08 November 2012

Guest Post by Dina Sleiman: Overcoming Through Dance

Dina Sleiman Dancing
Overcoming Through Dance 
By Dina Sleiman, guest


I love that this blog is all about overcoming. Ultimately, we overcome through God. But along the way, there are many methods for overcoming adversity in life. One way that has meant so much to me has been dance. Dance is often seen as a metaphor for life: for the willingness to step beyond yourself, to embrace the wonder about you, to move in harmony with the universe. As joy and celebration build within, they require an outlet. And so, our hands and feet begin to move, our bodies begin to sing and flow, releasing emotions from our hearts and culminating in dance. Even releasing the heavenlies deep within through our fingertips and toes.


But what if you don’t feel that joy? What if life has beaten you down? Dance is at its core, a form of communication. You can dance your pain, your prayer, and as the music begins to overtake you, you begin to find that joy. Or you can employee the regular old, boogie-on-down kind of dancing to help you dance your blues away.

Exercise itself is a great way to chase away depression. When I’m feeling down, if I turn on a dance workout video and shake and shimmy along with the instructor, before long it’s hard to keep a smile my your face. Oxygen and endorphins alone will do that to a person, but add in some happy music and joyous expression, and you’ll have a hard time holding onto your doldrums.

Now what if we top that off with some praise and worship? Wow! Anytime we offer our praise and worship as an offering, the joy is sure to come. David danced before the Lord with all his might, and God was well pleased. Even Jesus spoke of his frustration with the generation around him by saying in Matthew 11, "We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge and you did not mourn.” Yet how often do we stifle this wondrous outlet?
Most churches today that incorporate contemporary choruses sing songs about dance. “Dance with me, oh lover of my soul.” "Dancers who dance upon injustice.” “We will dance on the streets that are golden.” “Dancing with my Father God in fields of grace.” The list goes on and on, but do we take it seriously, or do we stand still and sing the words, hampering our bodies from becoming living, breathing expressions of praise. Romans 12:1 instructs, "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship." Of course this scripture has many applications, but I like to take it quite literally.


In my new historical romance, Love in Three-Quarter Time, my heroine is a dancer. Dance is one of her few sources of joy in life. Yet because of wounds from her past, she represses her true passionate nature and restricts herself to formulaic ballet and polite ballroom dances. It isn’t until she lets herself dance wild and free before a bonfire that she finally feels the full love and acceptance of her creator. In a way, her story is mine as well. In dance, I’ve found both my true self and a way to truly connect to God.


So I urge you to offer up your bodies as living sacrifices of praise. Embrace and enjoy the wonder of dance. Take time to relate with God through this amazing form of expression today. Discover the joy and overcoming power available through dance.

Dina Sleiman
Bio:
In the style of Deeanne Gist, Dina Sleiman explores the world of 1817 Virginia in her novel Love in Three-Quarter Time. When the belle of the ball falls into genteel poverty, the fiery Constance Cavendish must teach the dances she once loved in order to help her family survive. The opportunity of a lifetime might await her in the frontier town of Charlottesville, but the position will require her to instruct the sisters of the plantation owner who jilted her when she needed him most. As Robert Montgomery and Constance make discoveries about one another, will their renewed faith in God help them to face their past and the guilt that threatens to destroy them in time to waltz to a fresh start?
 

GIVEAWAY! One blessed commenter will have a choice of Dina Sleiman's awesome book, Dance of the Dandelion, or a beautiful quill pen set!

52 comments:

  1. DINA, thank you for being with us on OTT! What a totally beautiful post -- I teared up as I read it. I believe alot of our bondages would drop off if we just really let ourselves go, so to speak, in our worship of our Almighty Creator. It's what He desires of us.

    I'm so excited about this book, and can't wait to catch up so that I can read it! I loved Dance of the Dandelion and urge everyone that hasn't read it to do so ASAP! Thanks, DINA!

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  2. I downloaded the book onto my Kindle. So far, Constance is quite the volatile character. I like her!
    I think dance is a great outlet. Most times I'm driving when I start "dancing" in my seat :)

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  3. Fascinating post, DINA! Glad you agreed to share a guest post with us. Sure praying that I will get to dance again and my arthritis will keep improving as I stay off foods that aggravate it! Blessings!

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  4. Thanks, Diana. It's so true that worship breaks so much bondage. And thanks for the raving endorsement too ;)

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  5. Oh, Anne, wait until you see what Constance will come up with next. That girl is quite a character, LOL, in every sense of the word.

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  6. Would love to read this book.I love your posts.Thanks for sharing.jackie_tessnair@yahoo.com

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  7. You know, Carrie, I thought about including this in the post, but it didn't really seem to fit. Once I injured my ankle, and it was really hurting. In church on Sunday morning I felt like God told me to dance. I told Him I couldn't, because my ankle was injured. He told me to dance anyway, and He'd heal it. I followed his instructions and was instantly pain free.

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  8. I would love to read this book and review it on my blog! themaryreader@yahoo.com

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  9. Well that just gave me the Holy Ghost bumps (as Carrie calls them):), DINA! Worship ushers in the presence of the Lord, and in His presence there is healing and fullness of joy!

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  10. Thanks, Mary. It's available on netgalley for reviewers right now also.

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  11. For everyone I want to mention that Love in Three-Quarter Time is only $3.99 for ebooks!!! It hasn't released in print yet as it is a part of Zondervan's new digital first imprint.

    And Dandelion is also a great deal for ebooks at $3.03-$3.99. That one is available in print as well.

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  12. I would love to win. angelachesnut246@gmail.com

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  13. DINA, thanks for sharing with us. I finished Love in Three-Quarter Time yesterday and wrote my review earlier today. Now it's extra special to read your guest post after I have enjoyed your book SO much!
    My review is up on Saturday. :)

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  14. Looking forward to it, Marian. I'm so happy that you enjoyed it. I never get tired of hearing that. :)

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  15. Wonderful post Dina, it's so exciting to hear you speak of giving youself totally up to God in worship. I was raised Pentecostal and we called it being "lost in the Spirit." After all HE has done for us it's the least we can do!! Thank you for sharing with us. Can't wait to finsh reading Love in Three-Quarter Time, started it while standing in line at the Polls on Tuesday. :D

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  16. Great blog! Looking forward to reading more

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  17. I want to know if the chicken sandwich was really there or if you spoofed me, Dina!!!

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  18. Hi Dina & Carrie--

    What a terrific post! And hopefully, we all know that Jesus is Lord of the Dance :) I for one, am going to purchase this book pronto! One good turn deserves another, Dina (I have to thank you for stopping in with Roseanna to my friend's blog, (Sue)the day before elections. Thank you!
    Besides I love the Federalist period! God Bless you!
    (hugs, Carrie!)

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  19. I can so relate to this post as I have overcome myself...looking forward to reading this book.
    Thank you for sharing and will be watching for it on the shelves.

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  20. CATHY, thank you! Hope to see you more often around here!

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  21. PAT, DINA's book is awesome. Start reading it NOW - you will thank me afterwards. ;)

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  22. LINDA, hope you'll enjoy the book as much as I did!

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  23. I want to hear more about the chicken sandwich, CARRIE! And of course DINA's wonderful new book! :)

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  24. Would love to have this book for our church library. Only have one novel that involves dance.

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  25. Teresa, I came from a similar background, although I now think of myself as interdenominational. It is a wonderful feeling.

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  26. Carrie, you're so funny. I told you I'd show you the wrapper. In fact, after I threw it away I kept the receipt in case you asked. Ha ha. No way I'm going to Chick-fil-a and not eating chicken.

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  27. Pat, I'm so glad you enjoyed it and are excited about the book :) Roseanna is a good friend and critique partner of mine as well as my senior editor at WhiteFire.

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  28. Diana, Carrie was so busy talking today at lunch that she was convinced I only ate coleslaw. She missed my entire sandwich.

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  29. Anonymous friend, Dandelion in the give away is available in print right now. Love in Three-Quarter Time should be releasing in print soon. I have another contemporary novel with a ballerina as one of the main characters, but that one isn't published yet. I know as I continue my career not all of my heroines can be dancers. LOL. But I'm guessing dance will find it's way into most of my books.

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  30. Enjoyed your post, Dina. Not much of a dancer - some folks have 2 left feet, I have 3. :) However, I do have the sway down pretty good.

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  31. Johnese, I'm sure your sway is awesome :) And I'm sure our dance is beautiful to God even if not to anyone else.

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  32. I can't dance down here on earth but you just wait until I get to Heaven.
    I would love to win the book, "Dance of the Dandelion".
    Thanks for entering me in the contest.
    Janet Estridge.
    von1janet@gmail.com

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  33. That's a beautiful thought, Janet, and very true.

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  34. Thanks for the post Dina. I don't really dance, but sometimes you get that urge to move=) Not sure what I look like, but it's fun.

    Look forward to reading your books!

    Patty
    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  35. Patty, it is fun, and that's all that really matters.

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  36. Thanks for this encouraging and joyful post DINA!! I'm not much of a dancer either but boy, when I'm lost in worship and God's presence, I'm sure dancing in the heavenlies!! :) Can't wait to read your book!!

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  37. HAHA DINA, I DO love to hear myself speak, lol! I was trying to tell you everything before I forgot. I hate when I have a lunch meeting with someone and I don't hit all the agenda points. I am OCD like that! And we covered ALL of them! Sneaky chicken eater you! Can't be because a chatterbox self-distracted herself, lol!!!

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  38. Did someone say Chick-fil-A? I love to eat there :) Wait...stop talking about food. Ok, I confess I ate a donut yesterday BUT while I was eating it I was DANCING in my seat (so much so that my husband asked me to stop) so that makes it ok, right?

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  39. LOL ANNE - Dancing in your seat! I'm sure you burned the calories right away! :)

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  40. Noela, I love that feeling. I'm thankful for my dance training and healthy body that allows me to physically express that feeling as well.

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  41. Anne, that's a great plan. I should always dance in my seat while eating :)

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  42. I would love to win this book but only if it comes in print. I don't own a ereader. It sounds good. Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

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  43. Yes, Maxie, Dance of the Dandelion is available in print for the giveaway.

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  44. Beautiful post! :) And that's a lovely picture of Dina dancing at the beach! :)

    Jes
    jswaks at gmail dot com

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  45. thanks for the chance to win my daughter would love if I won the quill pen set

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

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  46. Here's hoping you win Apple Blossom!!! Good luck!

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  47. The WINNER of this contest is KATIE. Congrats KATIE!

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