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1.8.2021

Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man… 
~Romans 1:23

This verse scripture has been running through my brain for the past few months. We often read it and think it applies to other people. But what if we are the ones who have become fools?

I think all of us feel it. Our hearts are confused and aren’t quite sure how to react. The violence this country saw on January 6th and in the preceding months is disgraceful. Social media is rife with arrogance. It’s saddening to see disrespect for humans made in the image of God. The finger-pointing and blame game is exhausting. The spreading of disinformation, outright lies, and manipulation tactics undermine honesty and integrity. Our distrust of one another is valid.

Why? James says it well. 

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. ~James 4:1-2

We want something that we don’t have. What is it that we want? Could it be that we have placed people/ideals/causes/slogans/you name it on a pedestal that is reserved for God and God alone? Have we misplaced our hope in things that will never meet our expectations?

Please understand, I am not suggesting we become complacent. There is a time and a place to fight for noble causes, to stand for truth, to keep people accountable, and to reflect God’s justice here on earth. There is a time and a place for righteous anger (though it should not lead us to sin or to take vengeance into our own hands). 

What I am suggesting is that we take a look at the posture of our own hearts. At the root of it all is pride. Pride says “I deserve this.” Pride says, “You owe me something.” Pride says, “I know better than you” or even (consciously or subconsciously) “I know better than God.” Pride blinds us to the bigger picture. Pride leaves no room for compassion or others-centeredness. And our corporate pride has led events to reveal what’s festering under the surface and have boiled over into one gigantic mess. 

So what are we supposed to do? Most of us do not have a large platform. Most of us are not called to public office. As we ask ourselves, “where am I placing my hope?” let us remember that all of us have a sphere of influence whether it be at home with your kiddos (so much respect for you, SAHMs), in the corporate world, as an instagram blogger, as a store clerk, tradesperson, artist, or anywhere in between. May we steward our influence well. 

Let us seek to point our sphere to the Hope that will never disappoint. There is healing and reconciliation found in Jesus — the One who humbled himself to death on a cross. On our own strength, we’ll continue to make a mess of things but as we love others in humility, we can bring hope to the brokenness.

Practically speaking this is not a formula, nor is it an exhaustive list of actions to take but it might be somewhere to start. Let us:

  1. Humble ourselves before God and our fellow humans.
  2. Grieve, mourn, and lament the brokenness we see
  3. Check our own hearts and repent of the sin we find
  4. Make an active effort to resist evil both inwardly and outwardly
  5. Act on our convictions shaped by scripture

May we humble ourselves to seek wisdom, discernment, and understanding before making knee-jerk reactions. Let us remove any idols that may have taken up residence on the pedestals of our hearts. May we be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to become angry. May we not seek to slander our fellow image-bearers but call them to accountability in truth. Let us run our races with endurance, fixing our eyes on Jesus, in whom we have a hope that will never disappoint. Lord, show us how to courageously be lights in the midst of darkness. Heal our hearts and heal our land. Kyrie Eleison, we need you. 

Scriptures: James 4:8-10, James 1:19-22, Psalm 139:23-24, 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, Titus 3:1-2, Colossians 3:12-14, Philippians 2:1-18

1.1.2021

May we be grace[full]y courageous in 2021; steadfast in the truth, marked by kindness, and strengthened by joy to press forward in endurance towards the One in which we have hope that will never disappoint.

12.30.2020

At the beginning of 2020 I was asking God what I needed to say “no” to in order to say “yes” to other things He might have for me. What, even good things, did I need to say “no” to?

When everything got shut down, it was frustrating because it felt like a lot of the things I took for granted as being consistent in my life got taken away. At first, I tried to control it all by creating a strict schedule for myself even though nothing was really on the calendar.

But then I realized that, in a way, God was answering my prayer and asking me to loosen my grip on my expectations for life. He was saying “SLOW DOWN, rest in me, see what I have for you.” With everything cleared off the table, I didn’t have to say “no” because it was already done for me. Instead, I was freed to say “yes” to opportunities that I previously might have been oblivious to. God began opening doors to use + explore my gifts in different ways.

Not saying it was easy at all – 2020 has been rough, frustrating, disheartening, and so full of growth and grief. It’s been a somber kind of beautiful.

One of my many takeaways from this year is the reminder that in Jesus, there is abundant life beyond what we can imagine despite how dismal the world around us may seem. I’m still going into 2021 with a lot of unknowns but through it all, He is unchanging; consistent in the chaos, faithful to expand our horizons and shift our perspectives.

12.25.2020

The One who rules the world in Truth and grace.

Humbly born. Creator becoming Created.

Bid Thou our sad divisions cease, and by Thyself our King of Peace.

Thank you Jesus. You are worthy.

May our hearts ever be in reverent awe of our Savior.

Merry Christmas, friends!

12.9.2020

I think we should be careful saying “Jesus would ______” or “Jesus wouldn’t _____” in the context of situations that are unique to the 21st century. The truth is, Jesus didn’t walk the earth during our time, nor do we have a record of how he might respond in hypothetical situations.

What we DO have are eyewitness accounts of His actions that are still incredibly relevant today. What we DO have is God-breathed scripture that coaches us by the power of the Holy Spirit to be conformed to the image of His Son. What we DO have are clear instructions for resisting evil and training in righteousness. 

When we say things like “Jesus would/n’t _____” we run the risk of squishing God down to a size our brains can comprehend and in essence claiming to know the mind of God. Yes, we know that Jesus would never sin. We know that He would never contradict the nature or rebel against the will of the Father. But we don’t know the specifics of His actions if He dwelt among us today.

So as we ask WWJD, let us not paint a picture of the Jesus we think we want but seek an answer that displays humility to serve rather than be served; one which displays love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. One that has eyes to see and a heart of compassion for the least. One that boldly declares the Way, the Truth, and the Life. 

We desire to represent you accurately, Lord; humble us to do so.

11.16.2020

It’s been an easy year to be negative but in the words of Anne of Green Gables, “let us look on the bright side of things”…so, the the spirit of gratitude, here are twenty things 2020 has brought into my life that I ain’t mad at:

  1. Paddle boarding
  2. Estate sales
  3. Podcasting
  4. Pizzelle making
  5. RZIM Academy + Connect
  6. Peloton workouts
  7. Care/of vitamins
  8. Rebecca St. James’ new EP
  9. Paper mache hot air balloons
  10. Tie-dye
  11. Chacos
  12. DIY natural hair lightening
  13. Progressing Ballet Technique
  14. AHA sparkling water
  15. The Chosen
  16. Embroidering my vintage jean jacket
  17. Disney+
  18. Exploring cemeteries
  19. Axe throwing
  20. Pleated skirts and collared shirts

What are you grateful for?

10.27.2020

What a privilege it is to be able to voluntarily have a teeny tiny voice in choosing the leadership for our country!

Growing up, my parents always included us in their political thought process and took us to the polls. When it came time to cast my first ballot 10yrs ago, I said, “Daddy, who do I vote for?” “Who do YOU think you should vote for?” he replied.

With freedom comes responsibility and we should steward our influence wisely.

I’ve learned that no candidate will ever be perfect, no party will ever fully encompass our ideals. All of us bring different perspectives to the table and that’s one of the beautiful things about the United States of America.

Friends, as we approach November 3, let’s do our research and vote our conscience, remembering that choices have consequences and policies determine trajectories. We are setting the stage for future generations.

But as Jesus-followers, ultimately this is not our home: we belong to a Kingdom not of this world whose ruler is the Prince of Peace. While we are here, let us seek the peace and prosperity of the chunk of land mass to which we claim earthly citizenship (Jeremiah 29:7).

Our hope is not in leaders or governments but in JESUS alone. He changes the times and the epochs; He removes presidents and establishes them (Daniel 2:21). None of this is out of His control.

As we pray “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done; on earth as it is in heaven,” may we remember that every human bears the image of God and should be loved + treated with dignity regardless of politics. May the Church stand courageously for Truth while being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace amidst the schemes of division.

Kyrie Elieson, Lord, have mercy.

10.9.2020

“So, what do you do?” she asked. 
“I am a professional ballet dancer,” I replied. 
“Oh, is there a need for that?” 

I’m used to a range of interesting reactions when the topic of my profession comes up but this was a new one. Slightly taken aback, I paused. “Yes, there is a need for it” I stammered and rambled into a short, disjointed defense of my position while silently kicking myself for not being more prepared to answer.

The pandemic has turned all of our worlds upside down; no one has been unaffected by its repercussions. We’ve been forced to reevaluate what is important, define what is “essential,” and rearrange life as we knew it. In a word — it’s been disorienting. 

For a lot of dancers it’s caused us to do some introspection. Personally, dance has been a safe place for me to process this world’s brokenness. More specifically, the studio, whether it be abroad or locally, has felt like home. When my family experienced a year of tragedy in middle school, I remember counting down the minutes to when I could go to ballet class and escape it all. Through high school and college, the studio was a welcome respite from school stress. The dance world definitely has it’s ugliness and isn’t all tutus and fairytales but there’s something about the familiarness of the “ballet bubble” that is comforting. 

When everything got closed down, I (like most dancers) found myself somewhat floundering, in that the studio was off limits for the first time in my life. Dancers across the world began to make do by ordering marley and portable barres and creating makeshift home studios. We came together via zoom class and IG live in an effort to preserve some sense of normalcy. You can take the dancer out of the studio but you can’t take the dance out of the dancer. 

As we’re slowly reorienting ourselves, there’s been a lot of talk around the hashtag #savethearts. Our industry was the first to go and will probably be the last to bounce back (and it will be more like a crawl than a bounce). 

Yet artists are resilient. We are finding new ways to engage with and share art. Across the board, organizations are becoming more intentional and consequently creating more meaningful art. This makes me hopeful.

Dare I say it? 
I don’t think the arts don’t need saving. 
*gasp* what!? 
Yep, the arts don’t need saving. 

Since the beginning of civilization, art has existed. (Now, where the funding for art should come from — that’s a different discussion for a different day.) 

But think about it. Humans are intrinsically creative. This is one of the ways we reflect our Maker, the most insanely creative being that has ever and will ever exist. You can’t squelch the innate human desire for expression. Art is just another form of communication. This situation has simply forced us to hone our messaging + evaluate what conversations we need to be having.

Our resource pool may dwindle and dry up. Our events might get cancelled and our venues may collect dust being unoccupied. We may have to get creative in the ways we monetize our skills and gifts (but hey, aren’t we used to that already?). It will be tempting to clench our fists, hold on to “the way things were.” Yet, remember the creative process is always an adventure of bringing order to to the unknown chaos and we were never really in control in the first place.

When we find ourselves times like this or in conversations like the one above, it’s easy to doubt our calling. It feels like a personal attack and we can be tempted to want to prove our worth or justify our life choices. But the outward products of our art, do not define us; making art is what we do, it’s not who we are. Remember that. 

Is there a need for the arts you ask.

The answer is a resounding YES!

Art is more than a career. It’s a call to reflect the ultimate Creator. These gifts we are given are meant to be held with open hands and shared. The wonder. The joy. Friends, we hold a unique position to share hope and beauty amidst the brokenness. Let us not lose heart but steward these opportunities well. 

PS– We all carry God’s creativity through being made in His image and we all create art in some way or another. For those of you who may not feel called to create vocationally, know that your words of encouragement and patronage can go a long way. We’re all part of the mosaic in this redemption story. -RKD

8.27.2020

The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber…So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. ~Rom. 13:11,12

Now is the time to be able to articulate what you believe and why you believe it with gentleness and respect.

Now is the time to immerse ourselves in the Word and to test the spirits.
Now is the time to hold unswervingly to the hope that we have and to not be tossed by every wind of doctrine.
Now is the time to confidently stand firm, having girded ourselves with Truth.

Now is the time to pursue excellence and set an example by doing what is good in such a way that it is hard to find fault.
Now is that time to be steadfast and unmovable knowing nothing is wasted.

Now is the time to love fiercely.
Now is the time to courageously have hard conversations.
Now is the time to engage culture and not run from it.

Now is the time to display humility, kindness, and self-control.

Not by our own strength but through the Spirit living in us who raised Jesus Christ from the dead.

Warriors of light: rise
for such a time as this.

8.6.2020

Social media is amazing. I love a good meme and I laugh out loud at the #fallingfriday posts from the ballet community. Seeing people’s DIYs is inspiring. Watching others grow in their faith + step into their callings spurs me on in my own. It’s cool to keep up with friends in a different part of the globe, celebrate engagements, career milestones, and new babies, and learn about other cultures.

For most of 2020, we’ve been glued to our devices. They’ve been our link to the outside world, how we receive important updates, our modes of productivity, and an outlet for fellowship.

Yet, there’s a heaviness to it all. We’re fatigued. I think we all feel it. And rightfully so. Important conversations are being had. Injustices are being brought to light. We are fighting an invisible enemy in the coronavirus. Fear abounds.

We are bombarded with information through the devices we hold in our hands. It’s a huge responsibility in how we handle it all both privately and publicly. We all have a minute slice of internet real estate through our social media channels. The question is: how are we going to steward it?


“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth but only such a word that is good for edification according to the need of the moment so that it will give grace to those who hear.” ~Ephesians 4:29

A few things to consider:

How am I going to steward it outwardly?

  • Is this true? What does that say about my credibility and integrity?
  • Am I spreading words that are taken out of context?
  • If I were the person these words were written about, how would I feel?
  • If I were the person receiving these words, how would I feel?
  • Would I actually say these words out loud and face to face?
  • Is it better to have this conversation in real time (on the phone or face to face)?

Remember that on the other side of the screen is a real human being. One created in the image of God with intrinsic worth and value and irrevocable dignity.

How am I going to steward it inwardly?

  • What are my motives for posting this?
  • Is it healthy for me to be engaging with this content?
  • Is this the highest and best use of my time?
  • By sharing this post, am I participating in gossip?
  • Does my online presence match my real life?
  • Is this information helpful, uplifting, encouraging, and/or necessary?

Just some thoughts that have been swirling around over the last few weeks. And this isn’t meant to make rules — the last thing I want to be is legalistic. Just remember that you have influence 🙂

May we seek to “be like-minded, sympathetic, loving one another, compassionate and humble. Let us not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, let us repay evil with blessing…” ( ~1 Peter 3:8,9)