PinkGirl’s cartwheel God story.

PinkGirl has a God story – a story of how God weaved together a bunch of things in her life to bring her to a particular place. Here’s how it went:

1. Bye Bye Birdie – and we mean that literally. The performing arts studio that PinkGirl regularly participates in was supposed to be doing Bye Bye Birdie for their spring play. As it turns out, they didn’t get enough boys to audition and had to switch productions at the last minute. Like I said, bye bye Birdie. They’re doing two relatively unknown shows with a heavy emphasis on dancing.

Dancing is PinkGirl’s weakest link.

The rehearsals have been challenging for her but I’ve seen a lot of improvement the last few months. The hardest thing for her? She didn’t get a part she loved. Between the two plays, she’s: “whiny student,” a villager and a pile of snow. You read that right. A pile of snow. One of many. Every day parts were assigned and she didn’t get one, she asked “What is God doing in my life?” She always asks that question when things don’t go the way she hopes they will. I ask myself the same question when I’m faced with disappointment and obstacles. My answer to her is always the same one I tell myself: “I’m not sure, let’s try and figure out what you’re supposed to learn from this experience.” In this case, my strongest theory was that she needed to focus her attention on the dancing – learn as much as she can and strengthen her skills as much as possible. So she threw her energy at the choreography.

She had also signed up to sing special music at church. Singing as herself and not as a character in a play was a very new experience. Another challenge. I suggested that maybe that was another reason she didn’t get a big part in the plays.

2. Theater for kids, by kids. At this same performing arts company, a group of teenagers have started doing their own productions – interactive theater for children. The shows are on Saturdays at 3pm, an hour and a half after PinkGirl’s regular rehearsals which run from 9am to 1:30pm. I took her to see their production of The Princess and the Frog.

She LOVED it. But not just from the audience’s point of view. She wanted to participate. But these were teenagers. She’s only 10. Undaunted, she asked me to ask the owner of the company to ask the teenagers if they would consider allowing her to be in the next production. A few weeks later, we heard the answer. They were sorry, they would be doing The Emporer’s New Clothes and it just wouldn’t work out to use someone so young. Again with the question. “What is God doing in my life?” I don’t know, babe.

She threw herself back into play rehearsals and signed up to sing special music in church again.

3. The cartwheel. Last month, for the first time since I started recording, I needed someone to watch PinkGirl. Both her brother and father were in Jacksonville at a track meet and we weren’t comfortable leaving her at home alone from 4:30pm to 9:30pm while I was gone. She ended up going home with a friend after school and I picked her up at 9:30 after the session was over. Her friend had tumbling class that night from 6pm to 7pm so she got to go and watch.

For the next two days, she was obsessed with learning to do a cartwheel. Surprisingly, I can still do a cartwheel! Not surprisingly, I have no ability to teach someone else how to do a cartwheel. Subsequently, PinkGirl had no confidence in me and was too scared to throw her feet up in the air. Her cartwheels were not pretty to watch.

Long story short, She went to her first tumbling class last Friday night. And LOVED it.

4. The phone call. It’s spring break, FirstHusband is off for the week and we are on staycation. We’re supposed to go mini-golfing on Tuesday night. The phone rings and it’s the owner of the performing arts company. Would PinkGirl be able to play the part of the princess in The Emporer’s New Clothes? They had their first rehearsal the night before and they decided that PinkGirl would be perfect for the part of the princess. Was this an audition or does she actually have the part? This is it. She’s got the part if she wants it and can commit to the rehearsal and performance schedule. And there’s dancing in this show. Which she’s much better at than she was 3 months ago.

We didn’t go mini-golfing last night. PinkGirl was at rehearsal for The Emporer’s New Clothes. And nobody was upset about that. Especially PinkGirl.

5. The question. As PinkGirl was trying on costumes for The Emporer’s New Clothes, the director asked her, “Can you do a cartwheel?”

PinkGirl had an epiphany. THIS is what God was doing in her life! Preparing her for this! With a big grin, she answered: “Not yet, but I just started tumbling classes so I’ll be able to do one VERY SOON!

God can use anything to teach us faith and patience. Even a cartwheel.

And she’s singing “Pray” by Justine Bieber at all three services this Sunday.

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