Please, Don’t Make Me Dance Like a Chicken!!!!

smile faces 2When I was in high school, I spent a lot of my time feeling EXTREMELY awkward. I tried very hard to blend into the background, but truthfully, blending is a little hard to do when you’re six feet tall. And there was one scholastic event that always made me feel like I was sticking out like a sore thumb. What was it?? It was pep rallies.

GACK!!! The name alone gives me the shivers.

Pep rallies were supposed to be fun. Pep rallies were supposed to be a treat. Most students LOVED pep rallies. My friends adored them. But I hated pep rallies with a purple passion.

Why?

cheerleader 2That’s simple. Sometime during the pep rally, cheerleaders would inevitably dash out onto the gym floor and lead the student body in “school spirit” cheers. Most of the time, these cheers involved you rising to your feet and doing something silly. I HATED looking silly. In fact, every inch of my six-foot frame HATED looking silly. The worst cheer of all was the funky chicken dance. During the cheer, students were supposed to squat down, wiggle their legs in and out, and flap their arms like a chicken.

!!!

I used to have nightmares about the funky chicken dance.

frog danceWhenever a pep rally would begin, my heart would start to race. As the cheerleaders surged onto the gym floor, I would earnestly start to pray: “Please, Lord! Don’t let them do the funky chicken dance. Please, Lord! Don’t let them…” Sometimes, my prayers would work, but most of the time they didn’t. And as the cute, petite cheerleaders with their electric grins would call for us to stand, I would groan. Afraid to be rebelliously disobedient, I would rise to the call and try to make my gangly, six-foot frame look graceful as I danced like a chicken. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible for someone as clumsy and tall as me to flap around in an attractive way. I looked like an utter idiot. And I knew it.

dancing chickensI used to die a little after every “funky chicken” episode. I was certain THE WHOLE SCHOOL was looking at me and seeing how uncoordinated I was. Years later, of course, I realized that I wasn’t actually the center of the universe and that most people didn’t have time to focus on anything other than themselves—but at the time, my teenaged-self was convinced that all eyes were focused directly on me as I danced like a chicken. It was truly humiliating.

Although the funky chicken episodes were pretty horrible, there was another school cheer that was actually pretty cool. I can’t remember all of it, just the words: “Attitude check, how do you feel? —I feel good! Oh, I feel so good!” Down through the years, I’ve repeated those words to myself about a million times. You see, I believe it’s important to have “attitude checks.” Sometimes, when I’m feeling angry, blue, or scared, I will close my eyes and mentally recite the “attitude” cheer.

cheerleader 1James 1:19 says, “Let everyone be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” When I feel myself becoming angry, I get a picture in my mind of those spunky cheerleaders and their electric grins. I picture them clapping their hands and shouting, “Attitude check! How do you feel?” Taking a deep breath, I clamp a lid on my anger and mentally respond, “I feel good! Oh, I feel so good!”

Psalm 41:11 says, “But O my soul, don’t be discouraged. Don’t be upset. Expect God to act! For I know that I shall again have plenty of reason to praise Him for all that He will do. He is my help! He is my God!” When I feel myself becoming blue, I again think of those cheerleaders. “Attitude check! How do you feel?” Brushing away my tears, I pin on a smile and respond, “I feel good! Oh, I feel so good!”

Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed. I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” When I am afraid, the cheerleaders dance through my brain, and I mentally chant: “Attitude check! How do you feel?— I feel good! Oh, I feel so good!”

beautiful-day-1388532_1280My years in quarantine were extremely difficult, and there were lots of times when I wanted to give up. But during those years, I learned an important lesson—ATTITUDE is everything. I spent several of my quarantined years feeling miserable, upset, discouraged, afraid, and angry. I really didn’t like how that felt, so I pinned a smile on my lips, and with God’s help, I changed my attitude. Although changing my attitude was HARD—it WAS possible. I’ve learned through bitter experience that no matter what life tosses at me, I CAN be happy. I CAN be content. I CAN be sweet and kind. It all depends on my attitude.

Attitude check! How do you feel?—I feel good! Oh, I feel so good!

You know what? Maybe those HORRIBLE pep rallies were an important part of my scholastic experience after all. Thinking about it, they did teach me something… But regardless, I’m NEVER going to be fond of dancing like a chicken.

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12 thoughts on “Please, Don’t Make Me Dance Like a Chicken!!!!

  1. Danele, I just love reading all about your life and experiences. I have to say, I see myself in SO MUCH of your writing. I mean, I tend to learn the same kinds of lessons, I have had similar experiences where the Lord will take mundane experiences and turn them into lessons. AND even our writing styles. We are definitely cut from very similar cloth. Maybe that is why I relate SO MUCH to your blogs, your stories, and your ideas. I love you, my sister, for being so transparent with all of us!

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    1. 🙂 Oh, Petra! You just made me smile! We are cut from similar cloth, indeed! 🙂 I’m so glad that you are enjoying my blog! Thanks for lifting me up and encouraging me with your kind words!!! I really appreciate you!!! 🙂 ❤ You are awesome!

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  2. Hope in the storm blog

    Oh the joys of growing up in England – no cheerleaders or pep rallies. I think I would have died of embarrassment too, not due to my height but because I was awkward and painfully shy. Any attention was too much. I was the kid who had the knitted jumper and not the official school shop one as it was the best my mum could do. I was the day dreamer desperate to be invisible. The only place I felt I achieved was on the sports field, playing football with the boys and being patted on the back for playing like a ‘boy’. Then: Attitude check: I didn’t feel alright, I felt an outside. Now: Attitude check: I am alright because God says I am. Great post Danele, thank you for sharing this. Many blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Margaret, I was a real day dreamer too! Many times, I would stare at the chalkboard while mentally composing a story in my mind! 🙂 I wasn’t good at sports. 😦 I was so incredibly clumsy that sports were very difficult for me. My feet always wanted to go in two different directions, and I would end up tripping over them. LOL. I think I spent more time getting hit in the head with the ball rather than catching it. 🙂 But just like you, I finally realized that I’m okay because God says I am. I love the fact that we are all beautiful and unique in our own special ways. I love the fact that God created us–and that He was pleased with what He created. 🙂 Thank you so much for commenting!! I’m glad that you enjoyed this post!!! I hope you have a really lovely day!! 🙂 ❤

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  3. Fun story, great application, and another glimpse into your life. Thanks for sharing, and especially for not being afraid to be a ‘fool for Christ.’
    (Although I don’t think you are one bit foolish, I appreciate how you can laugh at yourself. Humility and humor make a great combination!

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    1. 🙂 LOL!! Oh, Anita! You’re so much fun! I’m glad you enjoyed this article. I have to admit that I was giggling as I wrote it. 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful day!! Thanks so much for commenting! 🙂

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  4. LOL, ladies. Laughing out loud ’cause, unlike you, Danele, I was short, shy, and slow. My gym teacher said I held a baseball like a tea cup. My math teacher wished I had another teacher. And my English teacher…oh well, he was weird too! Mama used a bowl to cut my hair, I believe in my day they called it a Buster Brown hair cut–straight bangs over the forehead, and straight hair about chin length. And freckles. And a long nose–ugly to the bone–I thought.

    Funny how our minds work along the same line, Danele, I’m writing a blog today that talks about the power of words spoken, involving words spoken to me during this ultra-sensitive time in my life.Love your posts and your ability to apply what you’ve learned. Now if we could just bottle and settle these life-lessons we’d be millionaires–wait a minute, we already are–“heirs of God and joint-heirs with our Lord Jesus Christ!

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  5. Ann Ellison

    I always enjoy your posts and the ability you have to take those difficult times and teach a wonderful lesson about faith. I was one of those also that hated the “chicken dance” moments.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Amy, I’m so glad that you enjoyed this article. I’m glad it made you smile, and I’m glad that you liked the cheer. 🙂 Thank you so much for encouraging me! I really appreciate your lovely comment! I hope you have a great day! 🙂

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