More Than We Bargained For

We got more than we bargained for at our daughter’s dance recital. She was three—the epitome of cuteness. Dressed in baby blue and sequins and holding a lollypop, she and the rest of her beginning dance class tapped their way around a lopsided circle for their two-minute spot in the performance. It was a fun conclusion to her first semester of dance lessons.

What came next, however, wasn’t fun or cute. As class after class took its place on stage, the music, costumes, and dances began to change. What began as simple and sweet gradually morphed into suggestive and sensual. By the end of the recital, the oldest girls, dressed in scanty leotards and heavy makeup, danced in ways that made my heart break and my husband turn away.

We withdrew our daughter from dance class the next day. Proverbs 4:26 tells us to ponder the path of our feet. When we caught a glimpse of what was down the road for our daughter if she continued in this program, we knew we didn’t want to go there. Thankfully, we realized it before we were highly invested.

How often, though, do we find ourselves arriving somewhere we never intended to go? I believe this happens with everything from careers to credit card debt to extramarital affairs.

If we stop to ponder the paths of our feet, would we:

Allow our children to participate in sports or activities that will ultimately consume our family time, dictate our schedules, and cause us to miss church on a regular basis?

Work closely with or enter into deeply personal conversations with a co-worker, church member, or friend of the opposite sex, thus opening the door for temptation and sin?

Purchase items (perhaps on credit) that will cost a lot to use and maintain, thereby limiting our ability to give to others when God prompts us? Purchasing what we can’t afford also requires us to work overtime, nights, and weekends to pay for them, thus affecting our family lives, friendships, and church attendance.

Invest our limited time and energy in good causes while neglecting our families, homes, and churches?

Are you on a path you never intended to walk? If you pause, pray, and ponder the path of your feet, God, the giver of all wisdom (James 1:5) will help you choose what is best. And it’s never too late to turn around. I’m praying for you today.

Ponder the path of your feet. Proverbs 4:26, NKJV

Your Turn

Join the conversation by adding your comments below!

What do you do when you get more than you bargained for?


by Lori Hatcher

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Lori is an author, blogger, and women’s ministry speaker. She shares an empty nest in Columbia, South Carolina, with her ministry and marriage partner, David, and best dog ever, Winston. She’s the editor of Reach Out, Columbia magazine, and has authored two devotional books. You’ll find her pondering the marvelous and the mundane on her blog, Hungry for God. . . Starving for Time . Connect with her on Facebook (Hungry for God), Twitter (@lorihatcher2) or by email (

About Be the Light Editor

Martin Wiles is a minister, author, freelance editor, and English teacher who lives in Greenwood, SC. He is the founder of Love Lines from God and is the author of Grits & Grace and God and Grits, Gumbo and Going to Church. He serves as Managing Editor for Christian Devotions ( and Assistant Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. He and his wife are parents of two and grandparents of three.