Two weeks ago, I attended a worship night at a worship pastors conference my dad was attending. For and hour and a half, I sang at the top of my lungs, like I haven’t in years. I was brought to tears because of the magnitude of what we were singing to Jesus, and with wild abandonment, I raised my arms to Jesus, thanking Him for His steadfast love. As we were leaving, I told a few people how my heart had been longing for worship like that because I hadn’t been around it in so long. A few days later, I was in my grandmother’s home, and as she was making breakfast, she was listening and singing along to her favorite hymn cd. Right then and there, I stopped, watched, and felt such conviction. Just a few days before, I had admitted to people the condition of my heart without even knowing it. I expected worship to come with the dim lights, the perfect music set, and to be completely compartmentalized from the mundane part of my life. You would think that as a worship pastor’s daughter and more importantly as a Christ-follower, I would have known better. But I had let Satan come in, steal my joy for singing, make worship in my home seem unattainable, and therefore make me feel like I couldn’t approach Jesus as I am. I could not have been more wrong.
As I watched my Granny prepare a meal, I also watched her start her day worshipping her Savior. In those moments, her to-do list didn’t matter. Who she was entertaining didn’t take away from her time with Jesus. And most importantly, she started her day by inviting Jesus into her home and into every part of her day. Romans 12:1 tells us, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” This verse shows that worship isn’t thirty minutes set aside on Sunday, or the occasional camp, retreat, or worship night. Worship is ongoing. It is a daily activity. It is an attitude of the heart, and an attitude that I have failed to have for far to long.
Verse two of the same chapter states, “ Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” If I do not seek to have an attitude of worship, then how can I expect to overcome the patterns of this world? This world wants us to feel like we are only worthy if we have the perfect everything. In order to be a “STAHM unicorn”, we must have the immaculate, organized home, a fridge full of clean- eating foods, children who look perfect all the time, and the perfect body from all the time we have to work out. And I won’t lie, I feel that pressure everyday. I want people to look at me and think, “man, she’s really got it together.” That is how I have approached Christ; I’ve wanted to come to Him like I’ve got it all together, and I have left feeling empty and uninspired. Before I could start my quiet time, I needed to wake up to a perfect home, to smell the rich coffee, and to not be interrupted by the needs of my little family. I have been the one who has been putting expectations on my time with the Lord. But the fact of the matter is, I don’t, and I won’t have anything together if I fail to seek to have an attitude of worship everyday. I cannot be transformed if I do not renew my mind in preparation for an attitude of worship, and I have nothing apart from Jesus. Satan was winning when I was so caught up in the to-dos and carnal desires of life that I failed to come to Jesus just as I was.
However, even in the midst of my sinful heart, the Lord has been speaking this truth to me- “Arianna, come as you are. Come as you are. Come as you are- despite the dirty house that surrounds you. Come as you are- despite your tired eyes, and acne ridden face. Come as you are- despite your feelings of loneliness, and your longing for a close community. Come as you are- despite your spit-up stained shirt and unwashed hair. Come as you are- despite the unnecessary expectations you have put on your time with Me. Come as you are- despite the lists swirling in your head. Come as you are- despite your sin-stained, worldly heart. Come as you are- and find Me. Come as you are- and find rest. Come as you are- and find forgiveness and mercy. Come as you are- and be overwhelmed by Grace. Come as you are- and I will meet you- as you are.”
So here I am, a mom who doesn’t have it all together, seeking an attitude of worship everyday. A mom, wife, and woman longing to know Jesus deeper. Longing to feel His presence in my home. Longing to rest in the security of His loving embrace. When I wake up, I will turn on music and proclaim, “in the morning when I rise, give me Jesus”, because apart from Him I can do nothing. When I am putting down my daughter for a nap or bed, I will use that time to sing His praises, so that He will be near, and she will hear the gospel each day of her life. I will read His Word and spend time in prayer, even if my house is in shambles, so my mind and heart can be transformed. And each day, I will invite Him into every mundane and beautiful part of my life. Longing for Jesus is my attitude of worship.
Here I am, coming as I am, to meet Him, where I am. That is the longing of His heart.