letting praise rule me

To praise someone is to recognize, acknowledge, and express gratitude for what they have done.
And while I love to praise God on my own, and to worship Him with others around me...
I realized this weekend that it is not always on my lips.
His praise is not what always comes out.
His purposes do not always get acknowledged when I am living in doubt.
His extravagant love for me does not always rule my emotions.

We heard an amazing prophetic couple speak recently, who shared some incredible encouragements from the Lord.
One of the things I took away from it the most was this:
I cannot let how I feel when I wake up in the morning rule my day.

(and oh it does, let me tell you.
When your 2 and 4 year old wake you up screaming and needing your every ounce of attention...
it's easy to let feelings take over.)

But I so desire for WORSHIP and PRAISE and TRUTH to be what rules my day, my heart.
From the minute I wake up.

And I'm not talking about going around in a sing-songy voice and praising Jesus for the peanut butter that my 4-year-old just smeared all over my 2-year-old's hair while I was still sleeping.
(thank you Jesus for your grace to laugh on that particular day)

But I am talking about seeing Him in it all.

Not just the peanut butter situations.
The hard stuff and the good stuff.
Sickness, cancer, uncertainty, money problems, anger.
Good news, salvation, healing, restoration.

When we can see Him, see His sovereignty and His purposes of love,
it's a lot easier to worship.
And worship is a lot easier than anger, or whatever else the "feeling" is that is ruling you.

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Worship has been a huge part of my life ever since I was touched by the Holy Spirit in 10th grade.
It's what fuels me. It's what SHOULD fuel me, especially on harder days.
There are so many ways to worship our Jesus, and everyone is drawn differently...
some worship through song, some through art, some through service, some through time and money. 
It is ALL worship when we are doing it for His glory and His purposes, and not our own.

But you know the amazing thing?
When we worship to bless HIM....WE get blessed ourselves.

Like I said, everyone worships God differently, even within singing.
Some like louder songs, some prefer traditional quiet hymns.
Some sit in silence and reverence, and some raise their hands and pray out loud.
And some do it all, in different seasons and on different days.

All to bring glory to God.
To praise Him and acknowledge what He has done in our lives.
To recognize His value.

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so today, I want to praise God right here in front of you.
I want to worship His heart by proclaiming things He has done in my life.
Because He does show up.
Because He loves us.
And so I want to worship Him "publicly" in this way...

I am praising God for my health and my life. He has healed me from disease and issues that should not have been so easy to be healed. He has made me whole again!

I am praising Him for my precious husband who leads and guides me and ALWAYS speaks the Truth to me. He pulls me out of my cloud when I am in the midst of doubt and fear and shame. I praise Him for giving me Parker.

I praise God for my babies. For my sweet girls who love on me, make me laugh, refine and challenge my soul, keep me grounded, and keep me motivated. They are the biggest blessings in my life.

I praise Him for the other three babies we have in Heaven. What a big family we have there now...what an amazing Homecoming it will be for us someday!

I praise Him for the loss and the heartache we have been through. It has made us strong. HE has made us strong.

I praise Him for all of our family. For our moms here who love us so well, and for our Dads in Heaven who left a legacy for us.

I praise God for incredible friends scattered all throughout the country, who I met through this crazy world of social media. They are my friendship rocks and make me cry and laugh pretty much every day.

I praise Him for teaching us about His power. For not letting us stay in the rut of religion, but showing us the powerful ways He still moves. It has forever changed us and I praise Him for allowing us to see it.

I praise Him for Provision. HE is our provider. Even when we had nothing, we had much.

I praise Him for the freedom we get to worship Him. I take it for granted. Whew! We are SO blessed here, yall.

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I want everyone to know just how amazing you are. How loving and how good.
YOU have rescued and redeemed and forgiven and healed.
Thank you so much for letting me bless you.

Let it rule me, and let Your praise ever be on my lips, God.