Monday, October 28, 2013

Choosing Praise||Personal

 It's been one of those days.

One of those weeks, actually.
I'll be totally honest and tell y'all that I do not feel like writing this post, and that I'm having a moment of wishing that Blogtober had never been invented. 
{sigh/half smile combo inserted here}
My energy is pretty sapped. I feel like I've been behind on sleep all month.
You can keep reading...I'm going to quit complaining soon. =)
I had a lot of built up frustration and tiredness and all sorts of things lately. 
And then our preacher gave a message last night that I'm pretty sure was just tailor-made for me.
It was about praising God.
How we don't truly praise God. So often we get caught up in ourselves and our problems and our crazy lives and we don't take time recognize Him for WHO HE IS. 
I'm preaching to myself here, really. I've been needing this little pep talk for a while now and so here I am giving it to me. Y'all are just listening in for free. =)
My point being, that in these moments when....
-my desk is piled high with papers, letters, and all other manner of things
-all the windows in the house seem dirtier than they've ever been
-I get to the end of my day and I hardly have anything crossed of my list.
-I have the same things that have been on my list for a week and still aren't done
-my camera isn't working properly
-iPhoto malfuctions and my pictures disappear (and I still haven't been able to find them-any iPhoto experts out there?help, please!)
Well, in those moments......I am gonna have to choose to praise the Lord!

 Even when I don't "feel" bouncing-of-the-wall" happy. Even when I am frustrated at my daily failings. Even when...all those things happen. They are really so small in the realm of eternity. So small, so insignificant. And yet, Jesus cares. Nothing is too small to escape His notice. He knows..and He wants my praise. So often I just dump. You know, those complaining sort of prayers "God please help me! Life is falling apart and I just can't stand it anymore!" Why is it that it's so hard for us to change those prayers into this: "God, please help me! Life is falling apart and I'm struggling...but you are GOOD! You are always good! And you're faithful! You're my Counselor, my Prince of Peace, my EVERLASTING FATHER." 

My lifeline song for the last couple of weeks is one written & recorded by friends of ours, the Allen Family.
It's called  "Life in the Storm" and it is just powerful. 
It's not that I'd exactly compare my life to a storm. Goodness, I have such a blessed life. Really nothing to complain of. But still...this song has been ministering to me the last three weeks. I wish I could include a link or something so the rest of y'all could hear it too and it could bless you. It is on iTunes, if you want to hop over and listen to a clip of it there. Seriously, it just blesses me and reminds me so much of God's faithfulness when I listen to it.

I know today's post is a little untypical. Just a bunch of confession and a few pictures of window cleaning the other day. =) 
I had full intentions of posting something big and life-changing. 
But this is real life too...life isn't always perfect pictures and situations. So please bear with my honesty here. It's what I felt led to write today.
If it blesses or challenges you-well then, praise the LORD! 
{comment and let me know!}

Remember to praise HIM today. Praise Him for His goodness, His grace, His awesomeness. Even if you don't "feel" it, still choose to praise Him!

"Oh that men would PRAISE the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!"
Psalm 107:15

-chels

41 comments:

  1. wow chels! this is a good post! Steven and Mary were saying how good the message was last night! and then here you are saying it too! I am glad you posted about this cause I know that we really need it! -sarah

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  2. Thank you for posting this. Its very encouraging! This is a lesson I need for my life too! :) Just as a side note: thank you for doing this Blogtober my sister and I really enjoy it! :)

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  3. Hey! Thanks so much for sharing this! It is so easy to get caught up in all my short-comings and failures of the day that I forget that it is all about praising God! I appreciate your honesty:-)

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  4. Thank you so much for your honesty! Seriously, posting something like this rather than something big and happy can be a lot more life changing than you think. There is a time for everything and I personally, need this kind of message more often. Thank you!
    ~Hayley

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  5. Hi Chelsy!

    I love your posts. :) Thank you for being so faithful to your readers in Blogtober. Your posts are literally the highlight of my day. :) Will you be doing any more Q&A?

    One of your faithful readers :),
    Haley

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    1. aw, thanks so much! yes, hopefully I'll be doing more Q&A in the near future! I still have quite a few questions that were submitted that I need to answer!

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    2. Hi Chelsy!

      Thank you for taking time to answer my questions! :) I know you've been really busy with Blogtober. I'm so sad October is going to be over so soon. :( My questions were:

      -do you fight with your siblings a lot and if so how do you make peace with them

      -books you recommend for girls to read[ I read Before You Meet Prince Charming and really liked it :)]

      -what are some of your favorite Bible verses

      -what it takes to be a photographer [You and Hannah have made me really interested in photography from your blogs :)]

      I'm also hoping for Allison to do a hair tutorial if she has time! :)

      Thanks for all the work you put into this blog! It is a huge blessing for me.

      Haley

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  6. Wow, Chels, this was one of those "how did you know? same here!" posts for me. [Random side-note; every time I say "same here!" it reminds me of JostieFlicks, haha :P] Reallyyy needed this reminder today and was blessed/convicted by your thoughts. Um, yes, I can relate to those moments you mentioned! Struck by how perfect our Heavenly Father's timing is that you would post this now. That verse from Psalm 107 is one of my favorite-favorites and I love how it is repeated throughout the chapter. 1 Samuel 12:24 also came to mind: "Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you." He truly has done GREAT things for me/us. And yet I forget. So easily. Praying that He would give me remembrance, that I would not forget, even in really hard moments. Ah, I was just at this richly encouraging study of Ephesians, one of those so-many-pages-of-notes times...need to go back over them more slowly to grasp it all. :) And yet then so soon, here I am feeling stretched thin. Recently during an unexpected challenge, I was talking [wellll...actually, more tears than talking, but anyway! ;)] with a sister-in-Christ and one of the last things she mentioned was about how she was going to go make a thankful things list. There truly is so much to be thankful for. I'm ashamed of my forgetfulness, amazed at His faithfulness. <3 Wow, it's pretty embarrassing to look back at things that caused me irritation and then look to how much He has forgiven me! Love Psalm 145, too. Verses 8-11: "The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all His works. All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power." Ah, these verses drive me to thankfulness for the LORD - who He is and what He has done for me! And I shall end this chapter book of a comment with 2 Corinthians 12:9-10: "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."

    Wow, and I thought my last long comment was LONG. :P Thank you so much, Chels, for the (convicting) reminder to choose praise. So, yes, I'm super thankful that you shared the post even if it didn't feel like it. :) Miss you and am grateful for your encouragement + prayers!

    {p.s.} and you're still adorable as ever washing windows. just sayin' :)

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  7. I had "one of those days" a few days ago that threatened to turn into one of those weeks! I'm thankful for all the reminders (including this one :-) that God has put in my path to prevent that from happening! I love that we can praise Him for the sake of Him! He is worthy!

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  8. Thank-you Chelsy! I just needed that... I long to praise my Saviour more too!
    Priscilla Gerber

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  9. Thanks for the encouragement. I really needed that... this world is getting to be one big rat race and I don't think its going to change until we get to heaven!!! we need to remember that God is faithful and will never leave us.... thanks for the great posts, I really enjoy them, and I encourage all those out there not to give up for what is right. you'll will be rewared some day!!!

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  10. Chelsy, That is so true. We often don't praise GOd throughout the day. I know that help me to see some things. Thank you.
    Ashley

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  11. its always hard to remember in the moment, but changes your outlook so much when you praise anyway! hope your week gets better!

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  12. Thank you so much for posting this, Ms. Bontrager. I known I tend to struggle with praising the Lord when things aren't going my way or I'm dealing with stressful situations. But PRAISE HIM that He is faithful and never gives us more than we can bear!

    What a wonderful, merciful Savior we serve!

    His Princess,
    Bekah

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  13. Thanks for posting even though u didn't feel like posting!! :) Hang in there girl! -ash :)

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  14. Thank you, Chelsy. This post was a blessing to me!

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  15. such a good reminder. It's important to be real--especially in the 'virtual' world. hope you can catch up on sleep soon...it's rough feeling stretched/stressed & behind on so many things. cling to Jesus and He is all we need..remind me of this the next time I text you when I'm freaking out, mmk? ;)
    hugs.

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  16. You did a really good job on this post Chels! Thanks for sharing.:) ~Salinn

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  17. Hey, thanks so much for being honest and writing this stuff, Chelsy! I have been going through really hard times, and I know too that praising Jesus through the tough times and in the pain and grief is so, so hard. Sometimes the praise hardly comes anymore, but Jesus is so patient. Thanks for the reminder! Love, Janae

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  18. :) I am constantly reminded of Psalm 118: 24. It doesn't say "we feel like rejoicing" it says "we will rejoice and be glad in it"! To praise the Lord and rejoice, though sometimes they come more naturally, are choices. May God give us the strength to praise Him even in our darkest hours! Rejoice evermore. :)
    "I will bless the LORD at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth." Ps 34:1

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  19. This is totally how I feel at time. Your post looks like some diary entries I have written! So true! God is still on the throne, and He will remember his own. Blessings to you Chelsy!

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  20. I fully agree, the message was powerful and timely. I put my headphones on and listened to praise and worship music all the way home. The message tuned my heart for the music. :-) Oh that we would never forget that as ambassadors for Jesus we have the privilege and responsibility of giving Him praise. If we did not open our mouths to praise Him, He would not receive the proper glory and honor that He deserves from our lives!

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  21. Chels

    Are you wearing pants in these photos? I am giving serious consideration to wearing pants for the first time as an adult. I have seen some modest wide leg pants specially cut for women and feel I would like buy them. There is no way they could be thought of as men's apparel. I would never wear skinny jeans which in no way are modest.

    Have you any thoughts on this?

    Rachel

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    1. in these pictures I'm wearing a skirt.
      I do wear both pants & skirts.
      I'm hoping to do a post sometime in the next couple of weeks, about modesty/standards/etc.

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  22. I might be feeling a little selfish here, but I have enjoyed your daily posts. As a fellow blogger ,I know it can feel frustrating to have to stop and blog. Just to let you know, you are a blessing to me! God bless and honey girl, keep on the firing line! You are doing a wonderful job of giving the ole devil a black eye!

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  23. Awww,chels. I know how this stuff is I had quite a few weeks like that this past month!!!
    Wish I lived closer I would come help you tackle those windows.:) thank you for this post,we often forget to praise Him through the rough weeks,months or years in our lives.

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  24. Thanks for posting this, Chels! I have been going through a really hard time these past two months as I have lost my baby girl. I needed to be reminded that even though my days may seem dark, the Lord is still and always will be GOOD!!

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  25. Thanks so much for sharing this!! I know I needed this today, as I've been going through some stressful things lately, and have even been starting to get discouraged. From now on, I'm going to try my best to praise God no matter what is going on in my life. He truly has blessed us much more than we ever deserve. Thanks for being such a blessing!!

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  26. I think it is great when we tell others what is going on in our life. I have days/weeks when I feel just like you do, but the best of all is we have the Lord to go to in our needs.:) I look forward to checking your blog every day. Love your post, please keep them coming.:)
    ~ Ashley

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  27. You challenged me today! thank you.

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  28. Thanks Chelsy for that honest, uplifting post! I can't believe how easy it is for me to fall into the trap of complaining and pitying my situations in life! It only takes a look at God's greatness, awesome creation and unlimited love to snap me out of it!

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  29. Sometimes the real posts are the ones people need the most. We all have those days/weeks sometimes. I'm just thankful that when i do have a bad day i have an awesome God who is always there for me no matter what!
    Thanks for the great reminder!
    Michelle

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  30. Nice post--- I would love to see pictures of your house and your organization tips from coming from a large family if you can...

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    1. yes...those posts are coming sometime! sorry-its been a little crazy trying to find time to post all the Q&A's! Hopefully in November I'll get to these. =)

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  31. Chels -
    Thanks so much for this post - it was just what I needed today! (We have a good God!) I had a rough couple days too, feeling like life was sorta falling apart, about dinner tonight I finally decided I was going to at least have a good attitude about it. But I still wasn't praising God. But then I read your post, (and kept getting interrupted, even though I had asked specifically for just a little time on the computer by myself, so I got more irritated) and the praise just popped out as I was commenting! Praise the Lord!

    Love you and Big hugs to you!
    ~Ruth Watson

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    1. Aw Ruth..I can so identify! (in a big family, the computer time doesn't come in very big personal allotments, does it? =))
      I'm so glad it blessed you. praying for your family!!
      miss ya girl! was super fun to get to know you more at the conferences!
      -chels

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  32. That's fine. :) Thanks for answering my question!

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  33. This was so edifying for me to read. I'm terrible at displaying joy and love when I don't feel like it. Thanks, Chelsy, for the reminder. He is so worthy of our praise.

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  34. That was sweet Chelsy! It sounds all TOO familiar. Thanks for the honesty! Real people like to know that life ain't all lovely for everyone but them. BUT!!! I've been discovering that joy is a choice. When I choose to be joyful, (thankful, grateful, etc.) life is such a wonderful experience! Thanks for sharing! Love ya! ~H

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  35. Thank you so much. This was perfect for me to hear on so many levels! :)
    -Heather

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