Learning to Worship Again

Worshiping God. It’s something that Christians do. We each do it our own way, and it’s a personal experience. It’s an opportunity to be in the presence of the Father, who saved us, and redeemed us. A chance to pour out love, and gratitude, and take our cares to Him. I think it’s a form of prayer…or, prayer is a form of worship. Or both.

Recently, we began attending a church that we really feel is the place that God brought us. I had a feeling He would bring us there, and I am so blessed by everything it has offered us so far. For me, having had the need, and desire for a place that I could just feel safe, and grow, and be at peace…this has been that place. Our pastor just sent us a text to say hey, and that he missed us. I have never felt so free to worship the Lord, at least not in the past few years. I love to worship God, but there just was a point where I didn’t anymore. I didn’t raise my hands, I didn’t say anything out loud. Now, my hands lift past my head. I feel so much peace now, to worship my heavenly Father.

I was particularly blessed yesterday in service. We were a little late, and at whatever point I just decided to close my eyes, and think about the Lord. This led me on a journey to understanding the value of worship. There are some things in my life that I’m dealing with, and trusting the Lord with, and when I began to worship, those things came into my mind. I realized how I was really feeling about things, etc.

Now, what is common – or at least it has been common for me – is to wallow-worship. I stew, and cry, and despair over my pain or troubles while I lift my hands to God, thinking that that somehow brings Him glory. When really, it’s my emotions. It’s literally worshiping my emotions, and feelings.

I’m not saying that we don’t process, and heal during worship, but there has to come that point where we hand those things over to Jesus, and then praise Him for His mercy, and grace, and love, and faithfulness. We must take our attention away from the things that press on us, and put them on the altar of our hearts…and leave them there.

That was a popular phrase in college…the altar of your heart. Now, as I write this, it’s beginning to make sense to me.

Our body is the temple of God (1 Corinthians 16:19.) Our heart is the center of our being (Luke 6:45) So, the altar of our heart….if we are the temple, and the heart is that place where fruit is grown. SO…do you see where I’m going here?

When we worship, when we go before the Lord with our hearts, there are things that we need to give to Him because frankly, if they linger in our hearts, they can take root and grow into something unhealthy.

When we give them to Him, we need to be done with it. We need to take it, lift our hands from it, to Jesus, and praise Him. We leave that thing in the hands of Jesus, because trust me, He’s big enough.

That’s what’s been on my mind. God is faithful. He’s teaching me things every day, and He’s answering my prayer of starting fresh with Him.

I’m watching documentaries again

I love documentaries. Popular topics for me include (but are not limited to) dancing, serial killers, and WWII. I’m watching one now about the first African American prima ballerina at the American Ballet Theatre. She became the first prima ballerina of colorĀ last year. That was quite shocking to me.

I think I’ve always sort of dreamed of being a dancer, which is why I enjoy these kind of documentaries.

I’ve been married for two and a half months, now. A friend asked me today (and everyone who hasn’t seen me since the wedding – or has,) “How’s married life?” My answers have varied, because saying “It’s great!” is what you’re supposed to say šŸ˜‰ I told her it was awesome, and added that it was worth waiting for.

Married life was certainly worth waiting for. I told someone else that married life is “what I made to do.” Again, it’s true. Single life was not meant for me. I was created to love, and serve – be loved, and served. I’m not even three months in, but I have never felt more at home than I do as Tim’s wife. Yeah, planning meals is hard, but it’s fun. I’m kind of spoiled because Tim does the laundry, and it’s wonderful.

I’m learning a lot. I’m learning how vitally important it is to have a strong walk with Christ. Our spirituality is no longer just for us. What did I care if I didn’t walk closely with Jesus? It affected no one but myself, and I didn’t really care about myself. This is no longer the case. We need to be strong in the Lord for ourselvesĀ andĀ each other. For our future children. So much is in the balance now, because of our marriage.

It’s intimidating, but it’s not…scary. I’m not afraid of realizing how important it is that we are now accountable to God for our choices in a way unlike any other. It’s hard to explain. It’s real, though. We have become our own separate unit…I used to be under my parents, Tim used to be under his. The dynamic was different. Now it’s us. Sure, we have support, and love, and guidance, and support from our families, but we now are our own entity. Accountable to God.

It really is hard to explain, but I’m sure anyone who is married, can understand what I’m trying to say.

We are learning how to be married. We are learning how to be friends. Tim and I haven’t known each other a year! We have so much to learn about each other! It’s amazing, and sometimes emotional, but mostly the greatest experience of my life.

I’ve never been more in love with a man than I am with Tim. I have never been more thankful for him to be the one I get to share life with.

I’ve started exercising again. My friend Sam and I go to the gym twice a week. I realized at some point that I am now truly capable of having babies someday, and my biological whatever just clicked, and decided to start taking better care of my body. It was weird phenomenon. My mother has been telling me since the age of 12 that I should take care of my body because some day I’m going to have baby. “Okay, mom.”

Now, because I waited to have sex until marriage, frankly, that’s actually true. Is that too forward? I don’t know. My doctor has certainly been pleasantly surprised by my life choices. At one point, I thought I might be pregnant, and she was like, “Well, you’ve been together for a while now, right?” I was like yeah, but we’ve only been married for two months. Forgetting in that moment how uncommon it is to do that. She repeated herself, saying that “Well yeah, but you’ve still been together, right?”Ā Oh!Ā Well, no. We waited. She was genuinely surprised.

That was a rabbit trail, sorry. Just trying to sum up married life so far.

I love it. I would not go back to being single, if I had the chance. If you are someone who desires to be married, keep trusting God. He is not keeping something from you, He is preparing somethingĀ forĀ you. Enjoy what He’s blessed you with thus far. Don’t resent Him. He knows your hearts desires. The Bible does not lie – He gives you the desires of your heart. Just always ask Him to make His desires your own, and you will always live in pleasant surprise. It’s not always easy, it’s really not. But oh, is it worth it.

Being married is a new adventure. It is not a flat path. It has hills. There are always new places to explore.

“I am blessed.” – Me, August 31, 2015

Those were the last words, of my last blog post on my old blog. I’ve been wanting to blog for a while, now, but for some reason, something was holding me back.Ā I can’t post here, anymore. I’ve gone beyond pancakes now. If I keep blogging here, it’s as if I’m permitting my future self to get into a rut.

That’s how I felt, honestly. Life Over Pancakes was a process for me, the process of choosing substance over nothingness. I was a girl when I started that blog, 21 years old. I was infatuated with the wrong man, I was on a road to being completely consumed with myself, and I really did very little that wasn’t complaining, and/or having revelations about my spiritual condition. I was very honest, very open – perhaps too much so, sometimes.

Now, I’m two weeks away from being 25. A quarter of a century. I’ve been to England. I’ve been to Paris. I’ve met, and married an incredible man within the course of 8 months. In one week, we will be married for two months. Two. Months. It almost feels like a year has gone by…I haven’t even known him for a year! I started 2015 at a new coffee shop, as a simple barista, and I ended 2015 at a different coffee shop, with the title of Assistant Manager. There is no way that I could have made 2015 turn out to be so highly in my favor on my own. I didn’t, frankly. I started the year pretty hopeless, actually.

God is faithful. He saved me, He brought me back into the Light, and showed me His mercy, and love, and favor. He has blessed me, and I would be wary to give praise to anyone except the Lord for where I’m at today. It’s one of those situations where, you know that you’ll get stuck down by lightning if youĀ don’tĀ give glory where glory is due.

I am blessed. Tim’s and my wedding was perfect. Not a dry eye in the house, and God was honored, which is all that mattered.

Now, life is good. We’re happy. Being married works for me…I can’t imagine going back to being single by choice. I can’t imagine spending my life with any other man. We have a church that we enjoy. I used to not have good vibes about it, honestly, yet I felt the Holy Spirit tell me that it was where we were going to end up. End up there, we did. I’m so thankful. We are able to just take in for a little while. I’m learning to worship God again. I feel like my pastor cares about me, and my husband. It’s a healthy, safe environment for us.

I’m in school, again, and that’s going well so far. This past week was sort of rough in oe class, but each week I’m figuring out what I need to do to balance everything. Home, health, work, education, and my spiritual life. It’s a lot of responsibilities that I had before I was married, but now have become actually important to living now that IĀ amĀ married…which is strange, but hopefully someone can relate!

I’m a different woman. I’m a complete woman. I wont arrive until I get to glory, but until then, I hope that I always have the courage to move forward.

I’m looking forward to this new journey!