The part that really gets me about shifting my perspective to one of praise, is that while God doesn’t need my praise, giving it to him actually blesses me. It allows me to align myself with him, see his goodness everywhere I look and live my life to the fullest, because praising God is what we were designed for.
I am never "bringing" God anywhere. He is not something to be tucked into my back pocket, along for the ride. He is already there. He is already at work. He is gracious enough to invite me to join in.
I'm learning that the hard work of showing up in my relationship with Jesus doesn't make it less worthwhile. The days where He seems silent don't change the fact that I need Jesus more than the air I'm breathing. Jesus didn't promise warm and fuzzy - He promised everlasting life, and that's what I'm after.
But what I am trying to learn and repeat over and over to myself, is that maybe it's not the circumstances that need to change - it's me.
The phrase I keep thinking is that something has to give. That something? It’s me.
There is something sacred about finding a landing place, a home that is restful and joyful and calls your soul to something higher.
By spending all my energy trying to impress others and constantly worrying about other people's approval first, I basically tell God that His opinion isn't all that important.
Hesitating to hope and being afraid to ask for what I really want for fear of disappointment are not healthy spiritual practices. I wonder the ways that I would see our faithful, loving God would show up if I simply started truly asking him for the things I hope for.