I really stink at many a life function. Like, I might be missing a 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. 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 my mental state to that of a toddler, living to feel good and be happy, but this ability has really gotten me through coronavirus time.
There’s SO much to be upset about – kid’s birthdays missed, jobs lost, 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 literally incurred injury from worship (note: stretch first and remove socks when dancing in the kitchen to Jesus Culture). I’ve gotten caught out by strangers praising aloud on my running trail, nearly escaped a few car accidents because I was so caught up in worship while commuting, and have been shamefully late for school pickup after some overly spirit-filled worship times. What helps usher the spirit of worship in is when 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 are lost. And praise Him because almost every single problem and 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, is that “He delights in us.” Something about God delighting in me always shakes me out of my bad moods. When it feels like everyone’s letting me down – even our kids, spouses, and besties – God’s right there, looking for ways to comfort us and lead us back to His presence.
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 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 did not fall out after quarantine closed my salon for a month. It is my belief that the Holy Spirit alone has held them to this head.
- My kids have adjusted to distance learning. I legit don’t do a thing. Heaven has perhaps never heard louder praise.
- I just completed my college son’s FASFA application 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 a 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 kill 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, quarantine) 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 who God’s gaze falls upon only to find her continually pouting over minor irritations.
Get into nature
I’m obsessed with my running trail. I feel like God legit made every creek, 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 extension. Praise ‘em!
Learn more about Jessica Kastner’s books by visiting her blog at jessicakastner.com.