The Ballerina

Dedicated: in memory of my mother, Hettie Ruby Raynor
On a tiny shelf sat the most beautiful ballerina. She had every hair swept up high and in place. She had a flawless complexion and the perfect ballerina pose. She was high on her toes, and the dance floor was hers to command. Her costume gave a light and airy appearance with rose buds scattered here and there. Her dream was to dance before her King. She trained and trained and became better and better at the art of ballet. Her legs became strong and movement was easy because her heart was in the dance.

Ballerina 001(photo by Rena Oynes)

Somehow with the passing years, her dreams did not become a reality. She
was placed upon a shelf to be admired by the guest. Sometimes her owners
would forget all about her and dust took its toll on the ballerina. The
dust became so hard and caked on, that the ballerina’s beauty no longer
showed through. “Why has this happened to me?” thought the ballerina.

One time she actually fell causing a huge crack to appear on her head. Oh
her beauty was not as it use to be at all. The owner after this put the
ballerina in a small little purse and tucked her away in a drawer. “Oh my
dream is of no use. Dance before the King, forget it, I will just turn to
dust!” she wailed.

One day a fine painter came upon the ballerina. She carefully opened the
little bag with the ballerina in it. When she tilted the bag, out came dirt
and the ballerina with the cracked head. The dress had turned to dust. The
great painter with compassion looked over every detail of the ballerina.
She could see that the ballerina had been very beautiful. She immediately
set out the task of cleaning and fixing up the ballerina.

The great painter fixed the ballerina’s head and repainted it. She painted
joy on her face. She gave her a new costume trimmed with hearts. She set
the ballerina upon her feet. She painted new slippers for the fine dancer.

“Oh,” the ballerina, thought I do indeed look like a wonderful ballerina
fit to dance before the King.”

Before she knew it, she was swept up and away and put in a box lined in gold tissue paper. Oh her heart sunk. Put away again with her goal of
dancing before the King again gone.

She was taken somewhere and then suddenly someone was opening the box. Suddenly someone pulled her out of the tissue paper. Who was it? Who could it be? Did she dare look up?

Ballerina 001-1
As she looked up she discovered that she was in the hands of the King of
Kings. From the enormous halls flowed music. The King of Kings set the
ballerina upon her feet, and she danced the most beautiful dance of any
ballerina. Her dream, her goal for life had been met. Upon completion of
the dance, the ballerina bowed before the King. The King clapped saying,
“Well done my ballerina.”
by Rena K. Oynes © December, 1999

Published by rko777

I am a novice writer and painter who loves to be creative. I love singing but can't sing without a hymnal, except for children's songs. I love to make up my own songs and love the old hymns. I love to garden and got that love from my Mom and Dad who taught be everything I know from planting to harvesting to canning. I'm happy gardening, walking with my pug, JD Sir Winston Churchill, painting, and crafting. I love to spend Saturday's sitting in my rocker going through a bible study. I love working with elementary school aged children and seeing them use their creative gifts. I have taught Sunday school for a number of years and taught in the public schools for 18 years. I might say I'm retired but I spend most of my time subbing and enjoy it immensely. The kids spark my own creativeness.

59 thoughts on “The Ballerina

  1. Rena, thank you for this story of “overcoming”. This is a good example and also, what we have been learning through Sara & Gary’s teachings….to “wait upon the Lord”.

  2. Rena, your ballad sounds near and dear to your heart. It makes one stop and think how to interpret their dream and creativity. At times we can only think in the limit we know and not the limitless. Great story.

    Is this your doll? Was it your Mother’s? Where did it originate from? So very interesting. Makes one think of an “American Idol story.”

    Blessings as you reach out to and desire to be published. May God honor your desire and connect your dream to His perfect will and timelessness.

  3. Rena, when I read your story my mind flashed to my favorite picture in Sara’s book, “The Dance of Healing”. It is a picture of a beautiful ballerina dressed in rose pink dancing across farmland lying fallow. This picture illustrates the first step in the Dance called ‘The Fallow Ground-Cultivating the Mind’. I often wondered why Sara chose this picture to give a view of her ‘reflections’. I think your story helps me see a perspective on this. Fallow fields don’t appear to be productive. They just lay there seemingly barren and still, waiting for the plow. But being fallow is a necessary rest that the earth must take to allow the breakdown of plant material and the essential activity of microbes and earthworms to take place. The furrows make a place for the seed, so that the crops will one day grow and yield a harvest.
    Laying in a box seemed useless to your ballerina. But in the darkness, perhaps a necessary cultivating of heart and mind was taking place so that when the time was ripe, the dormant seeds of her creativity would sprout and she would rise to dance her dance…the dance that she had been created for by her King. We all have a dance we are created to dance and a harvest we are called to produce. And even when the ‘plowmen’ plow deep and painful furrows in our being, we can dance because we know it is a step towards the productive field of our life.
    Thank you for sharing this with us. It is very beautiful.

  4. This story reminds me of how the Lord causes us to realize our need of Him..He clothes us with His garments because ours are as filthy rags(dust)and He causes our dreams(His desires implanted within us) to become reality..when we set our hearts on Him. He gives His angels charge over us..and the Lord said He’d never leave nor forsake us..and he would give us beauty for ashes….(maybe He was the painter too!)…dj

  5. “Her legs became strong and movement was easy because her heart was in the dance.” (quote from Rena’s short story)

    Debi and Dorothy have given us great insight into the “heart of the dance.”
    Recently, I have been placed aside somewhat becomes of an allergic reaction to a fall allergy, I had and still overcoming. I am working to recover from a very bad rash which with meds gave me another reaction. I must say this caused my holidays, work and play to take on another dimension. First of all it itched like crazy, second, it looked bad. Third, it keep me from dressing except for jogging suits. I even had to wear jogging suits to church to stand and teach in. The desire in the emotions kept wanting to stop. But, my heart stayed in the dance.

    Now how did my heart stay in the dance when I felt I was placed aside? I didn’t see with my natural eye “Hope”. My house with dust which I believed was the cause of the dust only worsen while I lay dormant in the middle of the accumulated dust on dust.

    In the Dance of Healing” workbook and retreat Debi spoke of in her above narrative, Needles did an ‘informal spoof’ to demonstrate one of the foundational scriptures from Psalm 46. “Be still and know that I am God…I am your refuge.” I could hear and see this spoof during my waiting and feeling dormant. I knew the ‘Be still’ was a rebuke… a call to cease from personal efforts and submit to God. When we do God becomes our refuge. Now I knew this because this is what I teach.

    Debi’s narrative”Laying in a box seemed useless to your ballerina. But in the darkness, perhaps a necessary cultivating of heart and mind was taking place so that when the time was ripe, the dormant seeds of her creativity would sprout and she would rise to dance her dance.” Now, what method was used to cultivate the heart and mind in my delimna? God of course, but how? Using each of you. Using The Lilies of The Daily Lily.

    Watching, seeing, hearing each of you encourage me with ‘trumpeting Faith, giving HOPE and serving Others with Love. This is what I received from each of you daily.

    Yes, Daily Lilies continue to dance your dream in your field of dreams but remember “The Kingdom of heaven is like a farmer….” (Matthew 13:24)…I give thanks to God for the farmer that each of you have and are being to me to heal me. “The Dance of Healing” must go on season after season and from glory to glory. WOW! what away to dance into ’07!

    “Dance dance wherever you may be Daily Lilies in ’07. I will lead you on in the dance for I AM the Lord of Dance, said HE! “

  6. Thanks to all for sharing and giving me an even deeper insight into the story which God gave me. The doll is my mother’s when she was a child. It is about the only toy she had growing up. She grew up in the time of the Depression and in the cotton fields of Oklahoma. She always loved to do crafts. She designed and made quilts out of the worn scraps of dresses. One of the first quilts she made was a shooting star when she was young. As she grew up she would search out patterns to make quilts. She would also be able to look at a craft and go home and design her own. My sisters, brother, and I called her “The Master of the Needle” and that she was. That of course was her “dance”.

  7. Rena,
    I love this story. This ballerina had a goal in her life to fullfill: to dance before the king. We all have goals in life, like this ballerina. Satan seems to try to put us in a box, to keep us from being useful for the Lord, but like Debi said, perhaps “a necessary cultivating of the mind” takes place while we may be in that dark box. If we will be reminded, while we are in this dark box, to “Be still” and listen to God, He never fails to help us know what it is, He has for us. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story.

  8. Thank you Leyla. The little doll of the God inspired story that is pictured was my Mother’s doll when she was a child. I found it in a small bag and when I opened it to my surprise there was the doll with a little crack in her head and her body had started to turn to dust. It reminds me of your story of your Grandmother who made dolls and now they are misplaced and how you long to find one. I hope they are just misplaced and that you will find one of the dolls someday in your grandfathers closet. Dolls like the one pictured and dolls belonging or made by someone we love, we cherish. We have so many fond memories of the one they belonged to. Perhaps you will have a story come forth as well and I anxiously await to read it as you are a great writer.

    Love, Mrs. O

  9. I do hope to find that doll which my mother had made for my grandmother when i go to germany for the summer. I will say more about it tomorrow!


  10. Leyla, when you find the doll, it would be great to see a picture of her/him? Do you know what the doll looks like? Was it handmade with fabric, ceramic or other materials? Did the doll have fabric clothes or hand painted? It is really nice that your Mother made a doll for her Mother. Would love to hear more about the story.

    By the way, was it a gift to your grandmother for Christmas, Birthday or?

  11. I will post a picture of the doll when i find it. And yes i do know what the doll looks like it was handmade with cloth and has a cloth dress.
    My mother had given it to her mother in law long before i was even born.

    My grandmother died three years ago by stroke. when my mother my sister and i had went to germany for christmas two years ago my mother wanted to take the doll from my grandmothers workshop with her but forget to take it. later the next year we got news that my grandfather had cleaned out her workshop. My mother was so sad and so were my sister and I because i still remember going in the summer four years ago sitting in my grandmothers workshop wathching her make a person out of a fake flower, a walnut pieces of corks a pine cone and beads and a little bird made out of a walnut a wooden sphere and more pieces of cork . But I managed to cheer he up by saying that he might have brought everything into his workshop in the basement. So now it is my duty to see if he still has that wonderful doll.

  12. Leyla, what a lovely story. I hope you find this special doll. But, if not, I believe the wonderful memories you have of this doll, the doll maker and the doll owner will be your friend throughout life. What a very special story of a doll and family love.

  13. Dear Leyla,

    What a fond, loving memory of your Grandmother. What a beautiful story of life and love unfolded. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to seeing the picture someday if you find it and the rest of the story. So your Mom gave of her talents to make a doll for the Grandmother. I also see you doing the same kind of thing like making things for people to eat and crafts with your hands. Beautiful talents displayed and enjoyed by a loving heart for others.

  14. yah i remember when i went to with my grandfather to the cemetery during christmas to put a stepping stone that i made in front of it.

  15. Leyla, you made a stepping stone? How interesting? Did you make it in Virginia and travel with it to Germany? What color and design did you make?

    You sure have a lot of talent and a great big heart. You are very special.

  16. Leyla, you write so very well by telling your story in a touching yet practical style. As you practice your skills I feel you will have the opportunity to become a fine writer, especially because you live your experiences and that is the best way to communicate with others…to have lived it, first.
    Special student, special child, special talent. God bless you.

  17. Yes I made a stepping stone for my grandmothers grave. I made it in my grandmothers workshop in germany. I put the colored stones on it the stepping stone was in the shape of a heart

  18. Hey Leyla, are you in Germany now? I know Mrs. O will be so happy to hear that you are busy writing. I am, too! What are you doing with your days there? Will you return for school in Virginia. Be safe and enjoy! Thanks for checking in with….Love to hear more about your trip!

  19. There you are, Leyla, garnering more and more memorable experiences and touching episodes in your life to share with others in your writings. As Sara says, let us hear on about your adventures with that special practical style of writing that is your gift.
    Bon Voyage

  20. My trip to Germany was so amazing I never stayed in only one spot I loved traveling by train! I went to Bodensee, where you could see switzerland! ( Which I also visited) It was freezing in switzerland first because it was cold and second we were on a Mt.!! Mrs.Oynes how are you I which that you were doing the writing after school program! Zach tells me you are tutoring in writing though is this true?
    Well I have a great teacher he helps me alot in my weak spots in writing the one thing that he is trying to squeeze in our minds is Show Don’t Tell.
    We have been through two prompts so far the first was personal narrative the second which i am hoping that will be handed back out soon is a stone prompt. I am so glad you showed me about speech in writing or I would surely fail. Well good bye hope to hear from you soon.

  21. Wow, Leyla…world traveler! What fun to hear from you again. Write about your special experiences in your special prose!
    Happy New Year and God bless you.

  22. Dear Leyla it is so exciting to hear from you again,

    I would love to hear about your trip to Germany. I hope to read your story that you wrote while there. I like your teachers words SHOW DON”T TELL. I like also the term “paint a picture using figurative language.” I learned that one from our dailylily retreats a few years back. Your lucky to have a wonderful writing teacher. I love writing and am open to working with students.

    Love to hear your experiences here on – write away Leyla!

  23. Happy New Year Mrs.Oynes what are you doing for new years my aunt and her husband are coming from richmond today and we will be doing fondue!!!
    I haven’t seen you for so long the teacher who took your place (and classroom) Is Mrs.Gruden. Now every time I am an usher for assembly i go down to her room remembering every day of 4th Grade (the usher jobs have changed now we escort the classes)
    I miss you and wish that we could get together soon!
    And happy new year to MG and sara whom I have never met but are oh so kind and always say supportive and nice things about my entries.

  24. Why thank you, Leyla. May God bless you greatly this new year and bring your dreams to fruition for you, your family and your friends…until we meet…God Bless.

  25. Hi Layla, glad to see you on again. Where are you going in your next adventure? You seem to find adventures everywhere….and do take time to tell us about them on!!

  26. I am most likely going to go to Houston for spring break to see my uncle, his wife Jana, and their dog Michelle. But we do not know for sure. So how is everyone I have not been on the daily lily for a while now what is going on? My best friend Alexandra’s grandma passed away last month only 1 month after her birthday may she rest in peace. She was always so kind she was always like a grandmother to us. Before her death she was hospitalized because she fell down the stairs on her hip and she stayed at the Nova hospital/retirement home where my grandmother works night shifts. Sadly she was not allowed to come home unless they hired a 24 hour nurse ro watch her and that was just too expensive. We were all so sad that she had to leave us.

  27. Leyla, so sorry to hear about your friend’s grandma. Our thoughts and prayers for Alexandra and family.

    Happy to see you on the Lily with us. If you are in town on spring break maybe we could see you and your family for coffee, lunch or?.

  28. Yay! Glad to see and “read” Layla, once again on But sad to hear of your lovely friend, Alexandra’s Grandmother’s passing. You write very beautifully of her and she sounds like a wonderful person to have known and loved.
    Someday we will be able to meet you, as Sara suggested above. In the meantime, please do write on our blog and give us tales of your adventures, like if you do go to Texas, etc.
    May God bless you and protect you and your family and friends. Will look forward to your writings on

  29. well I will be in town on Saturday the day after spring break starts but on sunday i leave we could all meet up including Mrs. Oynes whom I haven’t heard from in a while but have heard that she is helping out in my school on friday at Panera or at my house

  30. Hi Leyla. I too am sad to hear about your friend’s loss of her beautiful, kind grandmother. Our thoughts and prayers are with your friend, Alexandra and her family. I do hope to see you when I substitute at your school. I just started subbing. We’d love to meet up with you and your family at Starbucks or Panera over Spring Break or another time that is convenient with you. So glad you are writing on thedailylily. I’d love to hear some of your current writings. Spring break is just right around the corner. Enjoy your travel to Houston. There is lots to see there.

  31. Hey Leyla, after we all get our schedules closer to break we will check in to see if time works out for meeting. I hope you have a real fun time in Houston.

  32. awesome that’s great!! My latest writing is a story called The Book of Trapped Souls. We are being highly pressured to do our best and show don’t tell since our D.A.R.E. essays to be finished by next Wednesday!!! I can’t even keep my head on with all that studying for the SOLs.

  33. Thank you. Mrs. Oynes we must meet up next week or tomorrow to discuss my latest writing. Other than writing I am trying to find out as much as possible about the human brain for I heard that some paralyzed people have some surgery done so that they can lift or interact with things only using their mind and I have been wondering wether or not it works because of the disability or can it work for others who are perfectly fine.

  34. Leyla, I join Sara is praying for you for peace at this hectic time in the school year.
    Your new story sounds interesting. Seems like amazing miracles are enabling people to do things today that once without surgery they were trapped. My sister who had epileptic seizures for many years has them no more due to surgery and she thanks GOD for this miracle of medicine as it has given her a whole new life. What a wonderful blessing to her. And what a wonderful blessing of God to all who have been touched with a medical breakthrough.

  35. Rena, do you know what the name of the surgery is that your sister had? I have been hearing about this. What a miraculous thing….

  36. yes what was the name of the surgery? I saw you today at school we have to meet up on saturday or friday this week or next.

  37. Wow, Layla, I love the title of your new story. It is most intriguing to say the least. I wish you the best on your writings and pray that the peace that passes all understanding will mount garrison on your heart and soul and give you peace as you go thru the SOLS. Grace and peace to you!

  38. Dear Leyla and Sara,

    I contacted my sister and she said the surgery was called frontal lobal surgery. This was a miracle for my sister.

  39. hi mrs. o how are you how many grades have you subbed for in all??? well here at seldens this year of course

  40. hi Mrs. O and the rest,
    I am soo excited for next year! Though i wouldnt have been finishing if it were not for you Mrs.oynes I am so grateful to have all of you wonderful people in my life.
    I am nervous though it is such a huge jump i will miss the comforts of elementary school as i join the buzzing hallways of middle school

  41. Hi Leyla,

    You are so well prepared to go to middle school by all your teachers and fifth grade teachers are wonderful at giving you what you need to prepare you for entrance into the middle school. May Jesus bless you as you walk those hallways and prepare for the next stage in your life. May He give you wisdom in relationships/communiciation and continue to send other teachers to hone your creativeness in areas that will prepare you for your future. Know Jesus is always by your side, just call upon Him. We at lift you up as well asking Jesus to bless you in everyway. Remember, Jesus’s journey in life is always an adventure, enjoy!

    Are you traveling to see family this summer?

  42. Leyla,
    How nice to see you on Blessings on you in your promotion to middle school. What opportunities lie before you as you venture into “higher” education. I am sure, as Mrs. O has said above, that you have been well prepared for the next segment of your schooling. How exciting for you!
    Take the Name of Jesus with you and you will always have a BFF right there with you.
    Best wishes for a successful school year.

  43. Thanks so much! I can’t believe there are only two more months of school left! My english teacher, Mrs. Diehl is amazing, my writing has improved more than I expected. I visit Seldens Landing every so often to visit Mr. Hrynyk since hes the only teacher I use to have who hasnt moved schools. Anyways, Belmont Ridge is so exciting! Mr. Flynn is increasingly..spontaneous I love it so much but I never let go of old fourth grade memories.
    God Bless You all.

    1. Dear Leyla,

      So nice to hear from you once again. I’m so glad you are making such wonderful strides in your writing. I am currently at Seldens on a long term subbing position for Mrs. Vaughn. I will be there until the end of the year. I hope when you visit Mr. Hrynyk you will drop by to see me. I would love to see some of your wonderful writings and visit with you. Memories are exciting to reflect on and today is exciting to LIVE. God’s adventures each day are exciting to see unfold. What a gift He has before us each and everyday if we will take long enough to stick around in today to open it instead of thinking about tomorrows.

      God Bless YOU! Mrs. O

      1. Dear Mrs. O,
        Oh fun! Im glad to hear that you are still at Seldens!! I’ll drop by soon to see you, it has been so long since I’ve seen you. Sols are coming around the corner.. My history teacher hates Sols.. He thinks they are dumbing us down we only have to know two things about the War of 1812, that James Madison was the president, and that we gained respect from Europe.
        May God Bless You,

  44. Mrs.O,
    how are you? we haven’t spoken in so long how are things? I wish i could have visited you again after the sol’s.
    Yours Truly,

  45. No not this year sadly 😦 maybe for Christmas. Mariam and I traveled to California to visit with my aunt and take surfing lessons 🙂 i hope all is well and peaceful, Leyla.

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