This past week, I’ve been in San Diego. Our 12th grandchild has made her entrance into the world. Our daughter Keri is a worship leader, and she and her husband felt this baby had a theme of praise over her life, so they chose the name Melody Joy.
As I’ve been here in San Diego, the calendar has turned to November. Ah, the month of Thanksgiving. It’s the perfect time to make gratitude our priority and praise our purpose. The Psalmist David wrote, “Arise, my soul, and sing praises! I will awaken the dawn with my worship, greeting the daybreak with my songs” (Psalm 108:2 The Passion Translation). Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we woke up every morning with a song of praise on our hearts? It’s easy when you have a beautiful grandchild born into the world. But what about the days, weeks, and even months that feel dark? What about the times when your job is not going well, or your marriage is struggling, or your kids are driving you bonkers or walking far from God? What about the times when you feel your faith shaken to the core or your health fails? How do you make gratitude a priority and praise your purpose?
Focus on God’s Character. This can be a challenge when your faith is shattered. Go to the Word. Make a list of what you know to be true of God. Ruth Myers was a favorite author of mine for many years. Widowed early and left with two children to raise, Ruth felt forgotten by God. She knew she needed to focus on God’s love and goodness even in the darkness, so she bought a notebook. Every morning she looked up verses about God’s love and wrote those verses in her notebook. That notebook became a precious reminder about God’s love and goodness even in the grief of widowhood. Friend, if you are in a dark place this November, but you want to make praise your purpose, open your Bible. Read one Psalm per day. Write down in a notebook one character trait of God’s each morning and make that your focus.
Turn on your worship music. While in Finland last year our guide told us that when the Finish people were fighting for their freedom from Russia, they wrote songs and sang them together to bolster their courage. God has ordained music to lift our spirits. This November start each day with worship music. Like the Psalmist, greet the morning with songs of praise. There are amazing new worship albums out. Hillsong worship just released a new one. Look it up on iTunes and download the songs to your phone. Then, as you listen, echo the praise of the song in your heart. Here’s a suggestion for you by Hillsong Worship:
Take a walk and thank God for the beauty of His creation. Let your eyes feast on the changing colors of the leaves. Or – if you’re in a warmer climate – the beauty of the desert or a walk by the ocean. God’s majesty is revealed everywhere in creation. Let it remind you that His love reaches the highest heavens and His faithfulness to the skies. He is good, friend. Worship Him.
As you worship and praise the Lord this November, keep a journal. Watch what happens to your attitude as you praise Him. It’s amazing how hope and joy rise as we praise Him.
If you’re looking for a way to keep praise a priority in your life check out The 30-Day Praise Challenge and let me know what you think:
I am speaking Thursday and Friday at the Inspire retreat in Missouri. I can’t wait! It’s one of my favorite conferences for women!
How you can pray:
Please pray for good health and energy as I head to Missouri.
Please pray that the Holy Spirit fills me and uses me in the lives of the women coming.
Please pray for wisdom for Steve as he has board meetings this week for Reach Beyond.
Please pray as I finish writing the book due in December (more about this project later!).