I really stink at many a life function. Like I might be a missing chromosome. Cooking, gardening, “home making,” crafting, shopping, event planning…I’m notably bad, and the older I get, I really don’t care. I’m into Jesus. My family. Writing. And running, but that’s only to keep the waist in check. However. I will say amidst all my deficiencies, I’ve somehow developed a heightened ability to be worshipful in all circumstances. I realize this summates me to a toddler, living to feel good and be happy, but this ability has really gotten me through Corona time.
Admittedly. There’s much to be upset about- kid’s birthdays missed, jobs lost, just normal fun, cancelled. But honestly, when I do what I do best- worship in the rain- I’ve managed to feel joy through all of it. Here’s what’s worked…
If worshipping was a sport, I’d be a gold medalist. I’ve incurred injury from worship (note to self, remove socks when dancing in the kitchen to Jesus Culture). I’ve been caught out by strangers praising aloud while jogging, escaped a few near accidents while car worshipping, and I’ve been shamefully late for school pickup after some extra ardent worship times. The key to remember is we’re not praising him for our circumstances. We’re praising him because he’s all that matters. He’s SO irrationally good to us, whether we deserve it or not, and he’s always faithful. Praise him that we even found him, when so many around us remain lost. And praise him because almost every single problem, or unfortunate circumstance is temporal and will be over before we know it.
Read these Psalms
Nuff said. They’ve pulled me out of some deep, dark, hopeless mind chasms, and they’re God’s promises for every human. One of my all-time favorites, from Psalm 18, says he delights in us. Something about God delighting my ridiculous self makes it so hard to remain crabby. When it feels like everyone’s letting us down- even our kids, spouses and besties-God’s right there, looking for ways to redirect our thoughts and lead us back to his presence.
Psalm 18: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+18&version=NIV
Psalm 62-63 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+62&version=NIV
Psalm 91: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+91&version=NIV
Make a Gratitude List
Then read it every day. There’s something about making a physical list of all our answered prayers and thinking about all the times God’s got us through, that creates an environment of worship. I am AMAZED how quickly I move on from all the continually answered prayers I experience on a weekly if not daily basis. We’re just so programmed to look to the next problem, next want, next area of improvement that we rarely relish and meditate on all we have, and all he’s done. Here’s a sampling of mine, just this month:
-My hair extensions have not fallen out since quarantine closed my salon a month ago. It is my belief that the Holy Spirit alone has held them in place.
-My kids have adjusted to distance learning. I legit don’t do a thing. Heaven has perhaps never heard louder praise.
– I just renewed my son’s college FASFA loan without a glitch. This application nearly stole my sanity last year, as EVERY parent incurring this federal aid rabbit hole of horror, understands. I actually cried when I saw “successfully submitted.”
-My 12-year old started reading the Bible on his own every morning. I took a picture to snap me into reality every time a bad mood creeps in.
-I nervously presented an previously ignored “old credit card bill” to my new husband during our weekly “finance meeting” and he didn’t flinch. The Lord is faithful.
– I prayed for strength and joy during hours of quarantined Barbie play with our five year old last weekend. She actually was the first one to call it quits.
Pray and Think about Others
One of the best ways to stifle self-pity is to make a list of the needs of those in your life-co-workers, family, neighbors, church friends and commit to prayer, every day. This takes the focus off our own gripes and reminds us of how good we really do have it. It’s been extremely difficult to continually pout over my four pound weight gain (thanks, Corona) when continually praying for a friend going through a marriage issue, or thinking about my grandmother living all alone through this nonsense. We all have our moments, but I just refuse to be the girl God’s gaze falls upon to find continually pouting over minor irritations.
Think of Middle School
Okay. Shamefully. If praising the Lord doesn’t improve my mood, I think of middle school. I was 5’9, 90 pounds from 12 years old on, so yeah, that really does do it. Because I’ve had an abnormally awkward, admittedly sorted life, I can think of many other magical season of life that make me cringe so hard, I immediately embrace my current state, no matter how grumpy. Being quarantined with the love of your life and five seriously amazing kids instantly feels like a dream when I think of the horrific temp job I took right out of school or battling the demon spirit that led me to go blond in ’97. Oh em gee.
Get into nature
I’m obsessed with my running trail. I feel like God legit made every creak, root and fern patch on that path, just for me. Something happens in our psyches when we get alone in nature. Even unbelievers feel God here, they just don’t recognize it. I think a huge portion of our westernized anxiety is correlated to our lack of activity, and not being outdoors enough. Unless you’re in urban area with zero open space (send me your name, I will pray for you!) you can usually find some part of nature where it’s safe to at least take a walk with the Lord, and renew your mind. Our governor just announced nail salons would continue to remain closed ‘til June. If there’s ever a need for endorphins, the time is now, friends.
So turn the worship station up extra high, and focus on truth instead of the utter nonsense happening around us. If Paul could praise from prison, I will sing through every fallen hair piece. Praise ‘em!