When You Don't Feel Like Worship

27 February 2015

Sometimes we love to worship our Father. We look forward to any chance we get to worship Him. We worship through all that we do and our life is focused around it. Sometimes our hearts are in it and it is true, it is genuine.

But sometimes it is just the opposite. Sometimes life weighs down on us and so much is going wrong that the last thing our hearts feel like doing is worshipping. Just the idea of doing so can feel like another source of exhaustion.

It can also feel like worship won't do anything for the situation. It can feel like it is just a band-aid for some people.

These feelings often come when we find ourselves at a point in time where numerous things are going wrong or are not working out. I have found myself in this very situation the past couple of weeks. There has just been one thing after another going wrong and nothing going right. I didn't want to talk to or interact with other people let alone worship.

I didn't realize how much I felt this until I was in chapel this past Wednesday morning. I was standing there with all of my fellow students, faculty and staff and I tried to sing the first few lines. I tried because I felt like I was supposed to or that I should. But I couldn't. I couldn't sing the lyrics. My heart wasn't in it and I didn't feel like worshipping. I kept thinking through all of the things that have been happening. It was like a movie highlight video playing in my head.

I was having a hard time worshipping at all throughout the day. I didn't really talk with anyone the rest of the day unless I had to. My heart was exhausted. I didn't feel like worship.

I heard a story from a classmate during a Children's Ministry class on Wednesday afternoon that I related to deeply. By the time I got into chapel on Thursday morning my heart was in a big of a different place. Before I knew it I was singing the songs and worshipping like I hadn't done in days.

I realized on Thursday that what I really needed in the time that I didn't feel like worshipping was just that. Worship. I needed to worship God, to spend time in His presence being reminded of who He is.

In those times when just the idea of worshipping feels exhausting. When life seems overwhelming and all of the situations are weighing on our shoulders. We may feel like the last thing we want to do, or in some cases need to do, is worship. But I think we need to.

We need to spend time worshipping and remembering who God is. We need to remember that He is the...

Provider. Comforter. Healer. Protector. Shepherd. Peace Giver. Father.

And so much more. He is so much more than we can imagine and He can bring us through the hard times. He can relieve that weight on our shoulders. Things may not change or get better right away, but He can give you a peace about what is going on. Your Heavenly Father has your best interests at heart and He cares about you deeply.

When you don't feel like worship that is likely when you need to do it most.

Find a quiet place and spend 5-10 minutes focusing on God. Talk to Him without mentioning yourself. It will seem strange at first, but it can be such a great experience. Grab a piece of paper and write down the names of God. Write a prayer to Him about Him (don't use I, me, my). Make a list of the things that He created. There is so much you can do.

So even when you don't feel like it... Worship. Worship your Father.

It's A Monday...

23 February 2015

Well it's the beginning of a new week and I am already feeling like this will be a long one. I had a post ready to go for today but decided to save it for tomorrow because I just don't have time to do finishing touches on it today.

Today hasn't started out the greatest since I wasn't able to get much sleep last night.I was tossing and turning like crazy. I have no idea what my problem was. Anyways, I woke up wishing that I didn't have to go to work until 8:30 instead of 6:30. But not long after I got there one of my boys got there and he came running at me and surprised me by hugging onto my legs with everything in him. He was so excited to see me that he couldn't even wait for me to pick him up for a real hug! He is the cutest. I love my kids!

Then I went to my hybrid class on Infant & Child Nutrition and we did a lab on healthy snacks....a.k.a. I didn't have to go get breakfast which was a plus. I was amazed at how picky my fellow students were about things like shaved coconut and blackberries. I don't see how they will get their kids or students to try things one day when they won't even eat it... Oh well, to each their own.

I had an interview this morning for a second job but I'm not sure that it is going to work out like I hoped. Pray for me if you get a chance!

Well I am off to get ready for another class and the rest of my day.

Have a wonderful Monday!
God Bless!


Currently Loving

21 February 2015

1. Stay With Me Dance 

I.aM.mE. Crew - Stay With Me Dance 

I couldn't get the video to embed and I couldn't find it on YouTube, so unfortunately I just had to put a link to their Facebook. I hope it works! If not let me know! I love the fluidity of their dance with this song. They are able to show so much emotion through it!

2. Good Parenting: Father Tells His Daughter How A Good Man Should Treat Her

This video is absolutely precious!! She is blessed to have a father who is teaching her early in her life how a man should treat her. Teaching her now will instill good instincts when it comes time for her to date and eventually marry. We need more dads like this who take the time to teach their daughters this. And we need fathers who teach their sons to treat women like this. Way to go to this daddy!

3. How To Find Community Right Where You Are - Joy Forney

I am absolutely loving this post about community that Joy posted! Joy's post How To Find Community Right Where You Are is such a great reminder that community doesn't have to be fancy, it doesn't have to always be put together. Community is more often just found in being together, in sharing life. It is found in the laughs, the tears, the celebrating that happens when we are together with people who care about us and who can understand the journey we are on. Thank you Joy for this wonderful post!

4. Mike Rowe's Response to Being Called Out On His Lifestyle

I grew up watching Mike Rowe on his show Dirty Jobs and I love him and the show! So when this article came across my feed on Facebook the other day I couldn't help but read it. Someone called Rowe out about what his lifestyle is like off screen and his response is wonderful!! You can head on over HERE and check it out!!

M15 Conference || Kansas City

17 February 2015

Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to go to the M15 Conference in Kansas City, MO. This was a four day conference for the clergy and laity in the Church of the Nazarene. In an attempt to encourage current ministry students to come to the conference they offered a reduced rate to students...FREE. That's a motivator right there! Hotel rooms and lunches were not free at the conference however and we were blessed to have our University President cover the cost the hotel rooms and lunches. So the only thing that the 50 of us ONU Ministry & Theology students had to pay for was our food while traveling and our dinners while in KC. Talk about wonderful!

So last Monday we all met in front of Ludwig Student Center (I think that's the full name...we just call it Ludwig) at 7:45am and loaded onto the charter bus. Many came bearing blankets and pillows, some came with a backpack full of homework. Others of us, myself included, brought some fun, non-school books with us to read. We spent the next seven hours on the bus driving down to KC. We were excited when we arrived and could get off of the bus!

We ran into an old professor of ours, Dr. Moore, who now works with Holiness Today

We got to KC in time to grab dinner and head to the exhibit hall for a little bit. The group I was with also managed to pick up a job within two hours of being in KC! We were walking the exhibit hall and someone from MNU asked us if would help hand out bulletins for the evening service. Of course we said yes! Our fellow students didn't question the fact that we were handing out bulletins, but our professors and university chaplain were confused as to how we managed to get a job on day one! Haha we're just eager to serve! :)  We had fun with it and had a great first night!

On our way to our secret mission! (A.K.A. Handing out bulletins)
 We ended our first night by exploring the College Basketball Hall of Fame at the College Basketball Experience and playing some 3-on-3 basketball. Such a great time with fellow ministry students!

On our second day we had two services, three workshops, and a lunch session. So we were constantly going which was totally okay with me. There was free time to wander the exhibits and talk with people, which was good for those who are looking for a job after graduation this May. After a long day in sessions we got to take a short trip to get dinner. The parents of a friend who wasn't even on the trip took a group of five of us girls out to dinner. We went to Gates BBQ in KC. Oh how I had missed KC BBQ!! It was SO good! Nothing like some burnt ends.

Just a quick snapshot before dinner
 We were so thankful to Mr. & Mrs. Steward for taking us out to dinner! It was a great time to just relax, eat good food, and enjoy our time in KC.

Wednesday was another day full of sessions and time to walk around the exhibit hall. There were some great sessions and I look forward to sharing some of them with you! While walking the exhibit hall we had to stop by our own school's Grad School booth. After being there for 15-20mins three of us had signed up for grad school. Carlos was too convincing!! Haha :) I also ran into some wonderful friends from the district I grew up in, Nebraska. So fun to see them again! I also ran into people who knew my great grandad from when he was a pastor in Nebraska. Haha gotta love the interconnectedness of the Nazarene church!

We ended our last night in KC by gathering in the hotel lobby to talk with a new friend from Florida who is going to school in Independence, MO. It was a fun evening!

Thursday morning we met in the lobby at 7:45am and once again boarded the charter bus. We were headed back to Illinois, back to the reality of school. It was such a lovely time and there were so many awesome memories made! I am so glad that I got the opportunity to go!! I am also glad to be back! :)

Here is the highlight video from the conference if you would like to watch it!

Monday Musings

16 February 2015

Hey everyone! I'm back from my short hiatus. It was an intentional one due to the fact that I was traveling last week for a conference. I'm getting back into the swing of things, including blogging. It's amazing what one week off does to your schedule!

The Friday before I left for my conference I had a day off from school because of Winter Break and I got to spend it with one of my favorite little guys, Elijah. He's in the picture above. His big brother was sick, dad was working on the sermon for Sunday, mom was at work, and grandma was sick, so I got to spend the afternoon playing and cuddling with him! I loved it!

The rest of the weekend was spent packing for my trip and prepping lessons and such for small groups and for other things so that everyone would be prepared before I left. A totally wonderful friend volunteered to spend her Wednesday evening teaching the preschoolers instead of being in the adult small group. I was so grateful for her doing this because I hadn't found anyone as of Sunday afternoon outside of our group. She is a blessing!

On Monday morning I got on a charter bus with 50 other Olivet ministry and theology students and two professors to head to Kansas City for the M15 Conference. This conference is all about discussing where the Nazarene church has been in the past and where we need to go in the future. There were workshops on some of the hot topics in culture which have a major impact on our ministry.There were some wonderful points made by some wonderful speakers. I hope to share them with you soon. I will post some pictures and a brief overview of the conference tomorrow.

After four days in Kansas City I came home to a Friday of work and easy classes followed by a lazy weekend. It's been a good week and a half and I am looking forward to a good week. 

Happy (be-lated) Valentine's Day!

God Bless!


Shaped by the Story by Michael Novelli || A Review

03 February 2015

This semester I am in a class called Issues in Children's Ministry and one of the books we were asked to read right away was the book Shaped by the Story: Discover the Art of Bible Storying by Michael Novelli. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect based on how my professor was describing the book and Michael's way of teaching, but it was required reading so I dove in. I was immediately intrigued by what Michael was sharing and found myself reading this book in less than 24 hours.

Before I go into my thoughts on this book, here is what the back of the books says:

After ten years in youth ministry, Michael Novelli felt like he had tried everything to help his students connect with the Bible. Then a missionary taught him the are of Bible "storying," an imaginative way to engage in the scriptures through storytelling, creative reflection, and dialogue. When Michael tried storying, he saw his students discover meaning and identity in the biblical narrative. This approach proved to be both deeply theological and experiential. Michael has invested almost a decade in refining this Bible storying approach, and has found it effective with groups of all ages. Shaped by the Story helps you engage your group with the Bible in a new way.

Michael starts out by sharing his journey to Bible storying and it is extremely relatable. Right at the beginning he talks about the issue of doubts and questions for those of us who grew up in the church. We find ourselves being told that we shouldn't have doubts or questions if we are Christians. Michael's statement about his feelings regarding this hit me:

I was afraid I'd get kicked out if I doubted or had any questions.

How often do we find ourselves echoing this sentiment? Likely more often than we want to admit. This notion that as Christians we should have everything together and know it all is something that many of us have grown up with. And guess what? We are passing that notion on to our kids and teens. We likely aren't explicitly stating that but it is implicit. This notion shapes how they view the Bible and how they view their faith. Do our kids and teens really have a solid knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures along with a healthy dose of questions?

Michael challenges us to think about that in this book. He challenges us to change our view of Scriptures so that we can change and help to shape the view that our kids and teens have of it. The Bible is full of stories, but not stories that we cannot relate to or stories of people who didn't exist. These stories are totally relatable and most importantly they are about real people, real situations. 

Michael makes a statement about the scriptures that actually kind of surprised due to the sheer size of the number:

Most of the Bible-about 75 percent-is actually narrative, meaning it was written in the form of a story.

Wow! The Scriptures are intended to be told as stories, not as lectures. Novelli shares this throughout this book and he shares why it is so important that we understand them as such. This approach to teaching and sharing the Bible is so much more than just another curriculum or tool, but rather a way to revive people's desire to really learn about and come to better understanding of the Scriptures. Michael shares how this approach can have an impact on you, your students, and those who don't yet believe. He shares about the value of returning to this style of teaching. The incorporation of creativity in the process makes it so much more than just another lesson. It opens the doors for people to connect with the story on another level and it draws in a variety of learning styles.

One of the best parts of this book is that Michael shares some tools for diving into storying and building your own narratives to use in your ministry. He gives you the information on how to go about making questions that will help your students to really dig into the Scriptures. There is all kinds of information on how learning theories actually back up and guide this approach. Michael Novelli has done such a great job of really sharing his heart behind this and of really striving to show others how storying can be beneficial for the growth of knowledge and faith. 

The Bible story is not just a story from the past; it's a living story, one of vibrancy and dimension.

By the end of this book I was rearing to go and wanted to implement this structure in my youth group, as well as in my preschool and children's ministry. I am still working on getting it started but I am excited to see how this could have a difference. It is actually very similar to what we use for our small groups already, but I think there could be a few tweaks in how we go about it with our kids and teens. It was even more exciting when Michael Novelli came and visited our class last week! My professor asked him to come talk with us and share in more detail how to go about storying. Michael actually shared one of his story narratives with us that was from the creation story. It was so great!!

I love this book and I have already recommended it to friends. If you work with children or teens, or really anyone, then this is a great book to read and learn about a new approach to how you are teaching the Bible Story. Novelli uses real life experience and stories to draw you in and he uses practical information to support the approach which makes you see how this can be applicable for your group. 

If you have a chance to pick up this book and read it I highly suggest that you do so!! Click on the picture above for a link to the website where you can buy it!


Currently Loving

01 February 2015

Hey All! I hope you have all had a wonderful weekend. I hope that everyone in the Midwest has stayed safe and warm in the midst of this snow that has been falling for over 24hrs now. My college cancelled classes for tomorrow a few hours ago, so I'm enjoying this evening as if it were my Saturday night. Minus the homework for my online class that we due by midnight... It's in and done over an hour early. Success! Now it's time to relax but I wanted to take a quick minute to share a video that I came across yesterday with you. If you have a couple minutes you should watch this!

Just a shout out to the awesome dads out there! Keep it up!

For everyone heading to work or school in the morning in any of this snowy weather, be cautious and drive safe. Prayers will be said tonight and tomorrow for everyone who is making the trek.

Have a wonderful night and a great Monday!
God Bless!


This post has been linked up with the Currently Loving Linkup over at The Happy Type.

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