Wednesday, March 9, 2016

No Pain No Game

On the road again! Today during our eleven and a half hour drive day, with the 25% left of mobile data that I have, I am going to give you an update on how tour is going. We are 5 days into the tour. Our first booking on this tour took us to Troy Michigan. We left Jackson, MS at 8 am on Sunday and drove for two days (stopping overnight in Cincinnati, OH halfway) to get to Detroit, MI on Monday by about 5:30 pm. It so happened that The Valparaiso University basketball team was having their Horizon League Semifinal game that evening in the Joe Louis Arena downtown and since our boss' daughter is married to Bryce Drew the head coach of the team, he and our tour director made arrangements to get us in to see the game. I had never actually attended a live professional basketball game before, and I have never really known much about sports in general, besides the little that I've learned in high school gym class. Basketball has always had a small place in my heart. I cherish the childhood memories I have of playing the game with my Dad, brother, and other family members while growing up. I thoroughly enjoyed attending the game this past Tuesday, more than I expected. Valpo did a great job but I will tell you more about the game later!

We performed the next day at Zion Christian Church and the performance went very well! The church did an excellent job bringing us in and sponsoring us! They had brought our company into Troy, MI two other times in years past, but this was my first time working with them since joining the company. I thought everyone there was SO kind, helpful, and welcoming; great people! One of the highlights of the night was after the performance when I got to connect with a fellow blogger in person. She decided to travel several hours with her family just to check out all of what Ballet Magnificat is about, and to see the show! It was so sweet! We talked briefly about dance, and family, and crafting, and blogging and then before parting ways they blessed me with sweet gifts; an awesome little duct tape purse (not pictured) made by the grandchild, and a book by Elisabeth Elliot that I can't wait to read. Also, my new friend made me a beautiful bookmark like the ones that she talks about on her blog. All these things meant so much to me! It is so great to make new friends all around the country and world! ^_^

Next Ballet Magnificat Alpha stopped in Kentucky for one day to teach some workshops and now we are traveling to Florida! I have some more friends AND family that I look forward to meeting there too! We will first stop in Tallahassee for a performance tomorrow, then Jacksonville, and then visit St. Augustine for two performances. We will finish our tour with a stop in South Carolina for a performance and then head back home. 

Things I Learned From Watching Basketball : 

On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to attend my very first live professional basketball game. Call me sheltered, I know. It was the Valparaiso Crusaders against the Green Bay Pheonix. It was a PHENOMENAL GAME even though the team I was rooting for, Valpo lost. I had a great time! Check out the game stats at this following link.  The moment I stepped into the arena I was captivated by all the different sights and sounds; the athletic men warming up, the young ladies with pompoms, band members tooting their horns, lots of yummy junk food everywhere, and one scary mascot. It was an exciting, thrilling, and in a funny kind of way it was a refreshing experience to watch somebody else be in the limelight of their profession for a change instead of it being myself, with dancing, if that makes sense. The profession of basketball is like a whole new concept to me. As I observed the game, I tried finding similarities between the profession of basketball vs. ballet. The Lord often gives me pictures and analogies based off of random things in life, that He uses to teach and encourage me with. This time, He used the basketball game to draw different parallels and lessons that can be applied to my life and maybe yours too! I thought to share them with you; some of the little personal revelations that the Lord gave me while I was watching the game.

1. Receiving correction. What struck me was the amount of correction and instruction the basketball players received. Grown men were being disciplined by the sound of a whistle by the referees whenever they committed a foul. Wow, it is not just ballerinas who are called out whenever we make mistakes, but basketball players too! It is to my relief that at least our dance instructors do not use whistles to do it. I was also in awe thinking about the amount of humility these players must have to always be constantly and carefully following the instructions of the coach and submitting to their game plan for the sake of the team and winning the game. I know for me, in my life, sometimes submitting to the plan of another is a hard thing to do. I don't ever really like being told what to do, and naturally my pride wants to override the advice of others. Instead, I find myself thinking "I know what is best, my way is better" not being able to trust the guidance of others, unfortunately sometimes even if it's coming from someone more experienced or wiser. But I figure if grown men can pull themselves together and be submissive, I can too! Proverbs talks a lot about the value of good discipline.

  • Proverbs 10:17 "Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray."

  • Proverbs 12:1 "Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid."
  • Proverbs 13:18 "Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored."

  • Proverbs 13:24 "Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them."

2. Teamwork and respect for one another and the coach. The basketball players exhibited outstanding teamwork and exemplary team ethic. It was obvious that they had to work together if they had any hopes of winning the game. It was estimable to observe how they unitedly cooperated with one another. That is when I came to the realization that they actually needed  each other, as they all had different talents and giftings that supplemented and complimented one another. I realized that that is how my company is too and it caused me to be more grateful for my role in what we do as well as valuing the roles of my fellow cohorts. Not to mention, recognizing the important position of the coach and the role that they play, in my case our artistic and executive directors. From the outside looking in, I realized that it is as though it is the coach who bears the brunt of the weight of the game. They seemed to call all the shots and be responsible for all their players. I was reminded that "Wow, I have amazing, winning coaches" that I must be careful not to take for granted.

  • 1 Corinthians 12:14-25 "Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be?If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact, God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other."

3. Seeking professionalism, excellency, and taking the game seriously. I was simply impressed with the appearance of integrity that the players had for their profession. Granted they had a game to win and a reputation at stake. They were also young eager-beaver college students, but that doesn't mean we can not (I can not) also strive for excellency with enthusiasm remembering my first love, why I got into my profession in the first place.

  • Colossians 3:17 "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

  • 1Thessalonians 5:16-18 "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."

  • 1 Corinthians 10:31 "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."

4. An enduring hope that lasts till the end. I never imagined I would enjoy the game as much as I did! I was on the edge of my seat nearly the whole time! Though at some points the game would seem to drag on, at other points an unexpected wrench would be thrown into the play that would just demand all of my attention and prayers and spirit fingers. At times, the suspense seemed enough to kill me. No pain, No game. It was amazing to me how the scoreboard would just flip flop in a matter of seconds. Just when my heart would sink to the floor because I had convinced myself that my team was too many points far behind the other team to catch up or win, we would miraculously catch up by getting points by the other team striking several fowls! And towards the end of the game, just when I thought my team was going to lose, 5 seconds before the clock would run out they score a 3 pointer bringing them back up to a tie. Unbelievable! Into overtime they went. What God used this to show me about life was: Never give up or lose heart, no matter what the clock/reason says. there is ALWAYS hope.

  • Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

  • Romans 12:11-12 "Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."

  • Romans 8:24-25 "But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." 

  • Romans 5:3-4 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Please be praying for the health of the dancers in my company. We have a number of people sick and injured which is never fun, especially on tour. Prayers are appreciated! 

Thanks for reading!
Please comment if you enjoyed it! ^_~


  1. We were blessed by the performance as well as getting to meet you! It is amazing how God uses people to encourage others and share the news of His love. I am praying for health and healing for your fellow dancers. Also, I loved your basketball/ballet/Christian life analogy! The scriptures you listed fit perfectly.

    1. It was a pleasure meeting you are your family, such a blessing! It is a memory I don't think I will forget! Thank you for reading my blog and for your prayers!!!

  2. I like this post about what God taught you at the basketball game. God often uses things like that to teach me thing as well. Like the waterfall and kindling I wrote about on my blog. I got to see Ballet Magnificat in Houston about 15 years ago. It was awesome. Keep up the good work. I will keep stopping by.

    1. That is so wild that you have heard of our ministry and have attended one of our shows before! I guess it really is a small world! ^_^ Yes... the things you post on your blog are quite intriguing! It always encourages me to see how and what God is teaching other believers. I bet you have a cool testimony of salvation! If you are interested, I would love to hear it. If you would like to take some time and send me a few lines about it via email, I could share it on my blog and it would surely bless many!? ^_^ that aside, Thanks for reading! I appreciate it!

  3. Hi Lillian!
    It sounds so amazing to know that there is a Ballet that dances for the Lord! I had no idea, and as a lover of Jesus myself, I would love to one day have the experience of attending one of your presentations.

    It is so wonderful to connect with you through my blog, and I look forward to following your blog, and your career as a ballet dancer! God Bless!