I have a reputation with family—especially with my brother-in-law who used to kid me about a particular thing I do regularly. What is it? Well, I sing . . . in the bathroom. The way Craig has described this activity cracks me up. (I wonder what he’ll say when he finds out I DANCE in there, too?)

Many years ago, I was desperate for a private place where I could get away from family issues that were impacting me in a negative way. There was only one place in our home far enough from the main living area, separated by several walls, and with a lock on the door—the master bathroom. So I moved my CD player and favorite praise CDs in there, and it became my private retreat. It was amazing how wonderful it felt to have those uplifting messages penetrate my soul. If I was especially bothered by something, I would turn the music up loud and sing at the top of my lungs. That became my preferred method of handling stress because it worked.

I was smart enough to know that a private place with just any old songs would not create within me peace, comfort, motivation or inspiration. In fact, most songs would fail miserably in such a fight against stress. But praise songs—they always deliver.

It didn’t take long before I started dancing in there—losing myself in music and words that remind me of God’s love and blessings and of all that I am in Christ Jesus. My bathroom is small, but there’s enough room for me to dance with abandon as long as I take small steps, an action that comes naturally by now. And, every so often, my happy feet even pound the bathroom floor to the tune of Marcia Griffith’s “Electric Boogie.” (Yes—I know this isn’t a praise song, but I sure do smile when I’m doing the electric slide!)

Singing and dancing to songs focused on the Lord help me to rise above life’s challenges because their messages remind me of all that is good and true. According to Psalm 91:4, God’s promises are our armor and protection so planting the Word in my heart is my top goal in life. To help with this, I also listen to “Hide the Word” CDs of scripture verses set to music (and dance to some of them, too!). I highly recommend them.

Today my retreat room has a shelf for my Ipod attached to a portable speaker. I carry both with me whenever I go out of town for the night. My Ipod is full of messages from great Christian teachers and singers. No matter who or what I’m dealing with—or who’s at home with me at the time—I can retreat into privacy and receive inspiration and strength to conquer whatever the enemy is trying to use to steal the joy from my heart. He’s done it before, but I understand more now, and I know how to fight his deception. I have learned the truth, and this is it in a nutshell: The WORD in the heart, mind and mouth of a BELIEVER changes everything! (And moving your body to it doesn’t hurt either.)

Psalm 28:7 (NLT)—The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.