As I sit down to write this post, I have a million things to do today in preparation to send my two oldest off to Maine for the next two weeks...they leave today. But what is sticking in my mind about sending them off...particularly Tyler Bree...is that she'll be missing dance auditions next week.
You see, we (as in me, Blake, and Tyler Bree) made a conscious decision to not do company this year...which, as one can imagine, was a heart wrenching decision, especially coming off a year that her team won Nationals. But it is what is best for our family. I haven't felt the need to explain or go into much detail to other moms/families about our reasons "why" we made this choice...mainly because some don't comprehend why we wouldn't want our daughter to continue something in which she loves and excels.
But today, however, I think I do want to explain our decision at bit...just in case other families are thinking/feeling/experiencing something similar. This is how we dealt with it...
In our faith and how we live the gospel, we try our very best to obey all God's commandments. Not the ones that are convenient or the ones we have a strong conviction about...but ALL of them. We often fall short (and know that everyone is in a different place in their life/faith/testimony/etc), but one commandment we know we can improve upon is "keeping the Sabbath Day holy". We do our best to keep Sunday as the Lord's day...to show to Him our love through what we do on the day we've been commanded to treat as holy. In trying to teach our kids how to live this commandment, they've inevitably pointed out how we aren't doing it as well as we should. Kids seem to be annoyingly good at that...which kinda makes me proud at the same time. ;) They are totally right.
So last year, as we had several competitions and practices on Sundays, my kids brought it up to me and Blake asking if it's okay to do these "other" things on a Sunday...especially when what we're teaching them said otherwise. It's not about dance competitions...dance is great, our studio is great, and dance is a beautiful and worthwhile activity. But in my gut...I knew it was good, and maybe even better than lots of things we could be doing on Sundays...but not the absolute best. I knew that if anything, my kids will do what I do before they do what I say, and I don't ever want to leave any doubt in their minds as to what I believe and how I live the gospel. (And if I'm being totally honest, this actually had been weighing on my mind for a long while...we just didn't take action on it because she was part of a team that depended on her...which was another lesson to teach, that when you're part of a team, you have to do your part 100%.)
We prayed about the decision we had to make. On one hand, Tyler Bree loves dance and she's good at it. How could we quit something that she enjoys and benefits from? And on the other hand, we knew dance was not the last thing that will come our way in terms of extracurriculars on Sundays. There will always be games, activities, practices, you name it. We know this and expect it. It will be something we deal with throughout raising our children. But when it came down to it, we knew our family could do better in keeping the Sabbath in the way we had set out to do, which made the decision clear.
In the end, we decided she wasn't going to do team this next year...BUT, she is doing a solo which we are SUPER excited about. She'll still take dance classes and compete with her solo, so we feel she's still able to do what she loves. It's a compromise she (and we) were willing to make. There's one quote I love and it's a great reminder and check of how we are keeping the Sabbath:
"The way we keep the Sabbath Day holy is an outward manifestation of our covenant to always remember Jesus Christ." -Larry M. Gibson
So as I mentioned, Tyler Bree's team won Nationals!!!!!!! It was bananas! Her team's jazz routine won 1st place (video below) and the entire company's production routine won 1st place. I, unfortunately, wasn't able to be there for the finals, but Blake was and said it was amazing! I'm SO proud of their team and all of their hard work. Her little team this year was something special...I don't know if there will ever be another team like it. Such sweet girls, great families, and LOTS of talent and sass! We feel so blessed to have been part of an incredible group and will cherish the memories for year to come!
Seriously...check out those trophies. I mean.