I first met Stacey Thacker online in 2009. In 2010 we met face-to-face at the same blogging conference. And now, we talk (okay, we Vox) almost every day. She’s a true soul sister and I can’t imagine my life without her. I had the privilege of reading an advance copy of her new book, Fresh Out of Amazing, and offering an endorsement. Here’s what I said, “Stacey is the friend you call when you are at the end of yourself and you need someone to speak equal parts truth and grace over you … a generous guide who uses Scripture and story to point us back to the God who captures our tears and draws us near.” If you don’t already love her, you will! Because she is one of the most genuine and gracious people and writers. It’s such a sweet gift to be able to share her with you today! ~ Teri Lynne
She brought me her pointe shoes as a last ditch effort to save them before we bought a new pair. New pointe shoes don’t run cheap. And since her dance teacher thought we might be able to hold off a little longer I was willing to try anything. The two-dollar bottle of Crazy Glue was worth a shot.
I grabbed her pink satin shoes with ribbons trailing behind them and tried to figure out how to get the very messy glue inside the “box” as they call it. As I sat drizzling the liquid magic into the tip of her shoes I noticed something. Inside of each shoe, my daughter had written a Bible verse.
On the left shoe she had:
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
On the right shoe she had:
Ephesians 1:12 “so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.”
Both had special meaning to her and when I asked her later why she did it she said, “I want to see them every time I put on my shoes, to remind me of the truth of God’s Word. I want that to be my foundation of my dance.”
What's written in your girl's shoes? Beautiful guest post by @staceythacker on #prayersforgirls Click To Tweet
This conversation took me back to the year before when she nearly quit dancing because quite frankly her heart was hurting and she had lost her joy.
Emma has been a dancer for eleven years. For much of that time, she was part of a ballet company that grew slowly. For years they held classes in a local church and did not have the traditional mirrors you see in most studio spaces. With only her instructor to guide her in her technique, Emma learned her steps and positions, eventually dancing on pointe. Much to the delight of the dancers this past year, the company was able to procure a new studio complete with hardwood floors and a wall of mirrors on two sides of the room.
Emma’s joy in having a real studio was evident the first time I took her to class. Just before she went into the new studio, I said, “Have fun, but keep in mind you haven’t been dancing in front of a mirror for years. I know it will be tempting to watch the other girls and compare yourself to them. Just keep your eyes on the instructor and on yourself more than on your friends.” She smiled and went inside.
Within a few weeks I noticed a change in Emma’s demeanor when I picked her up from dance. Where before she might have been tired after a rehearsal, my usually extroverted girl was now quiet and a bit withdrawn. Slowly, she had started questioning her own dance skills to the degree that she hinted at quitting altogether. I had an idea what might be going on, but it took several conversations to get to the heart of the matter. She admitted, “Mom, when I was dancing at the church, I only had my instructor in my view. She not only gave me correction, but she always offered me encouragement as well. I had nothing to compare myself to because she was the only one I could see. Now, since we have mirrors all around us as we dance, I’m watching the other girls too. They look different from me, and they dance differently. Now all I see is my own need for correction—and their confidence.”
Later that week I happened to be talking to another dance mom whose daughter was feeling discouraged as well. When I relayed this to Emma, she seemed surprised that the other girls were feeling the exact same thing she was while they danced. In a moment of revelation and wisdom beyond her years, she said,
“Mom, the mirror magnified my insecurities.” And this understanding began to slow and eventually stop her downward spiral, and she resolved to keep dancing.
In the end, what made the difference for my daughter was the truth found in Joshua 1:9. (The same verse I found scrawled in her pointe shoe.) The truth of God’s presence in Emma’s life set her free from the idea that she had to be a better version of what she saw in other girls. She didn’t need to compare herself to the many. She only needed to imitate her instructor and strive to please the One who was with her and who would provide the courage she needed when she needed it most. She chose imitation over comparison, and this wise choice has served her well.
Emma’s lesson was not easy, but in the end, better than having those verses written in her shoes, God wrote them on her heart. Still, I find the visual reminder simply stunning. Maybe you might dream a little with your girl and find a verse to put in her favorite pair of shoes. Better yet, maybe us moms should do it too.How can you help your girl choose imitating God over comparison to others? @staceythacker #prayersforgirls Click To Tweet
*Portions of this blog post are taken from my new book called Fresh Out of Amazing: Opening Your Heart to God’s Unexpected Invitation, now available wherever books are sold. You can find out more at freshoutofamazing.com
Stacey Thacker is a wife and the mother of four girls. Creator of the popular blog Mothers of Daughters, she is a writer and speaker who loves God’s Word. Her passion is to connect with women and encourage them in their walks with God. Her books include Hope for the Weary Mom, the Hope for the Weary Mom Devotional: A 40 Day Journey, and Fresh Out of Amazing. You can find her blogging at staceythacker.com and hanging out on Instagram and Twitter usually with a cup of coffee in her hand.
Learn more about Stacey’s newest book, Fresh Out of Amazing, by clicking the image below.