April 9, 2011

Worship, Gratitude, Joy

I had insomnia all night. Ugh. And then at around two in the morning I had a charlie horse. Those freakin' hurt! And at 5:30 a thunder-storm ensued. So I figured if I was going to be up, I might as well open a couple of windows to let in some cool air, to listen to the storm, and pray/journal. (Plus my room now smells like rain. I've always thought how strange that rain has a scent of it's own.)

I've had so many thoughts flying through my head these past few weeks. This one question/quote keeps replaying in my head:
How do we live fully so we are fully ready to die? -Ann Voskamp
I've been seeking and trying to figure out the answer. Because honestly, if I were to die today I wouldn't be "fully ready."  

I think it comes down to finding satisfaction in Jesus Christ, and the joy, gratitude, and worship that's birthed from that. I used to think that worship was just singing songs and lifting hands in the air. Counting my blessings eventually got boring after a while. And it was crazy to think one could always be joyful with all the pain and garbage we have to endure in this life. But I was wrong.

All of these things are interlinked together. When we give thanks, we worship, and when we truly worship we taste joy, and once we hold joy, we then begin to find all that we could ever want in Christ. 

Worship comes from giving thanks. It's turning outward and fixing our eyes towards God. Gratitude is a treasure hunt that never ends. And though at times life is hard and you can't see beyond that pain, joy can always be grasped. We exist to give God glory. When we worship, give thanks, and find crazy, unadulterated joy and satisfaction in Him, we give God glory. This I must seek. 

It's not always easy. It's a constant battle. Joy is something that has to be fought for recklessly. Will I fight? Will you? 

Some quotes and scripture I've been dwelling on...
...worship is a way of gladly reflecting back to God the radiance of His worth. ~John Piper
Don't let the childlike awe and wonder be choked out by unbiblical views of virtue. Don't let the scenery and poetry and music of your relationship with God shrivel up and die. You have capacities for joy that you can scarcely imagine. They were made for the enjoyment of God. He can awaken them no matter how long they have lain asleep. ~John Piper
The art of deep seeing makes gratitude possible. And it is the art of gratitude that makes joy possible. Isn't joy the art of God. ~Ann Voskamp
 I say thanks and I swell with Him, and I swell the world and He stirs me, joy all afoot. ~Ann Voskamp
It is a Christian duty, as you know, for everyone to be as happy as he can. ~C.S. Lewis 
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! ~Psalm 34:8 ESV
Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength! Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts! ~Psalm 96:6-8 ESV


  1. I needed to hear that this morning. Thank you! Today- I will glory in God. :-)

  2. i love this post! i love "gratitude is a treasure hunt that never ends!" and i love all the quotes you chose. loving every thing about this...its all so true! :)

  3. Hi! Thanks for looking at my blog :) i've stalked yours and I LOVE IT! :) this post is awesome. very encouraging.

    ps when i wrote my post that you commented on, i was up ALL night. as in no sleep. just couldn't fall asleep! so, just like you, i turned to the bible slash journal slash talking with jesus :)

  4. Oh, I absolutely love this post Natalie. I experienced a little of the ready to fully die after my experience in and after the earthquake. It changed my perspective on the meaning of living a full life now so that when the time comes, I will really be ready to go with nothing unfinished. Thanks so much for this. So insightful and encouraging :)

  5. Middle-of-the-night Bible/Journal sessions are amazing.... as long as you didn't have to get up early the next morning!

    Thanks for sharing your heart. I find it hard not to get caught up in the "littleness" of life sometimes. This was a good reminder :)

    I love your new spring blog design, even though I'm a little late =D lol.


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