Do what you love, to undo what you hate. One more time…slowly. Do what you love, to undo what you hate.
What would happen if we all asked ourselves this question? What do you love to do? How can I do what I love to bless and serve others?
What do you hate? Is it the refugee crisis? Perhaps homelessness, or your neighbor next door who is a single mom or dad and doesn’t have community? Maybe it’s the world water crisis, or the fact that there is so much turmoil going on in a friend’s life? Something about our culture?
In 1998 I was asked the question: Maluhia, would you be willing to design your own dance program and direct it at Hillcrest Chapel? I was 18 years old. I thought, Really, me? I am so young, I don’t know how, I am too inexperienced. Why me? As I began to pray about this opportunity, the Lord made it clear to me that this was my calling. I began to become more excited about redeeming dance! I loved to dance, but I hated some of the darker things that our broader culture had done to dance.
I saw dance as art, a wholesome and fun activity for healthy development, a discipline, and as a lifelong blessing. I wanted to instill that love and joy of dance in my students of all ages, while providing quality instruction, wholesome music, and maintaining professionalism. Modesty, creativity and mentoring became goals as well. Providing a “second home” for kids to come and just “be,” hiring staff that would go above and beyond to invest deeply into our students and families were all goals.
I was working to redeem dance, where dance has been robbed in our culture. Doing what I love, to undo what I hate. I named my new dance program Dancing for Joy after a verse from the Psalms 149:3; “Let them praise his name with dancing!”
Here is annother verse to live by:
222 Verse – 2 Love, 2 Serve, 2 Praise
In 1 Peter 4:8-11 it says ”Above all, LOVE each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to SERVE others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be PRAISED through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
What would it mean if we combined what we were passionate about with applying the above: Loving, Serving, and Praising Jesus? This became my lifelong mission in my marriage, as a mother, friend, sister, daughter, leader, mentor, teacher, and business owner.
I have learned that when we press into Jesus and respond to the call to serve, how much more we will be blessed as we are being a blessing to others…even though at times it may be hard. It was a JOY and a blessing for Jesus to wash the disciples’ feet. He loved them, grimy, dirty, calloused feet and all. What a beautiful example He gave us to go out and LOVE & SERVE, while we give him the PRAISE from a heart bubbling over with gratitude.
All I had to do was be willing, and ask the question: What are my gifts, and how can I use them for you, Jesus? I have also continued to ask the question about the struggles: Really Lord, why me? I didn’t ask for the deep, painful dips in the valley. But He has continued to draw me into trusting and obeying the calling in my life. I want to redeem dance! I want to be able to do what I love, to undo what I hate.
Our mission at Dancing for Joy has grown into not just redeeming dance in our culture, but redeeming things like self-worth, body image, and modesty among our individual youth. We have loved our students toward serving as well. Not only learning to serve each other by choreographing and directing each other in our annual Benefit Show, but also by using the money raised to provide the basic need of clean water in the world. As of today, our dancers have six wells possible in Ethiopian villages, as tangible results of their servant hearts.
My husband and I and our staff will continue to do what we love… to undo what we hate. We have extended our programs into an art school and a preschool to further our mission of helping families raise up our youth into loving, serving, and praising people who will become our next generation of leaders. We will continue to use our gifts to serve our community, as we attempt to “faithfully administer God’s grace in its various forms- through the strength that God provides, so that He may be praised.” AMEN?