To learn more about the heart behind the challenge and what it looked like, read my blog “Praise Challenge – Shout to God with joyful praise” or check out my Instagram page @LyricsOfAChristianGirl
Ariane – here’s what I wrote on the last day of the challenge [November 30, 2018]:
“We proclaim how great you are and tell of the wonderful things you have done.” (Psalm 75:1)
Whew. What to say about this challenge…
Father, you are good. You are such a good, good Father. You are a provider. A defender. You are filled with love and wisdom. You give knowledge and understanding. You are a God of clarity. You align all things for your glory.
And you are ever present. Ever almighty.
I started this challenge because I noticed my thoughts rested on the negative. The devil was winning the battle of my thoughts, and I would dwell on all I didn’t have.
Two things I’m confident the Old Testament has taught me: the devil will do anything to get us to focus on anything that isn’t God. And when we stop praising the Lord, we lose our way.
I think praise is how we win the battle. Praising daily and often. Stopping to notice. Notice all the good that is around. To “stop & smell the flowers.” To give God all the glory and praise that He deserves.
Father? You are worthy of it all.
This is only the beginning. Thank you. Thank you for friends who take on this challenge. Thank you for showing me new parts of You. Thank you for changing my perspective. Thank you for who you are.
Today [February 23, 2019]:
Today I sit at the Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside in Orlando. I’ve been in Florida since Thursday night, and I’m here until Monday afternoon.
Yesterday – I got very burned.
The kind of burned that when you see people with it your eyes go wide and silently say “Oh honey…” in your mind. The kind of burned that lays people out in sickness and dehydration and ruins a vacation kind of sun burned. The kind of burned where my eyelids are swollen because that’s how burned I am.
I’ve been looking forward to this weekend since I signed up for the Disney Princess Half-Marathon in November. Three months of anticipation of being someplace warm, laying outside all weekend, and enjoying the entire experience.
But then I get burned and I feel ridiculous. I’ve tried to avoid seeing as many people as possible so that people don’t look at me with pity and embarrassment. And how the heck am I supposed to run a half-marathon tomorrow when I’m exhausted from the sun, embarrassed about how I look, and in a liiiiittle bit of pain?
This should definitely be ruining my vacation.
However. At some point, I decided to choose joy. I decided to choose not dwelling on all the ways my plans for this weekend have been thwarted.
Instead, I’ve been choosing to see the positives. Because there are many.
Here’s what I’ve been praising the Lord for these past few days:
Lord, thank you that I could afford to be here. That I have the funds to buy a plane ticket, the funds to sign up for an expensive half-marathon, the funds to get a rental car, the funds to put myself up in a Disney Resort because I wanted to splurge on myself, the funds to feed myself while I’m traveling.
Thank you that I have grandparents I can stay with.
Thank you that I’m even in Florida. That it’s warm here. That I could sit outside all day yesterday (even though it bit me in the butt – lesson 100% learned. Always turn back to get your sunscreen if you forgot it).
Thank you that I’ve watched other people get this burned before so I knew the first thing I had to do was drink LOTSSSSS of water.
Thank you for freedom and flexibility to enjoy the Expo this morning at my own pace to pick up my race bib, shirt, and enjoy the experience.
Thank you for the silly pictures I got (for free!).
Thank you for safety through all of this.
Thank you that I’m not sicker than I am right now. Because Lord knows, I could be feeling a lot worse right now.
Thank you that I don’t mind seeing movies by myself. Thank you for the enjoyment I get in doing that. And thank you for the funds to do that, and buy ridiculously overpriced snacks to act as my lunch.
Just, thank you that I’m here. That I get to have this experience.
Thank you for this lesson this time around, so that when I come back in April for the Disney Star Wars Half-Marathon, I don’t make the same mistakes.
Thank you that you are good and loving, and that you’ve taught me to choose to see the positives and not the negatives.
The negatives suck when they happen.
But resting in the positives is so much better.