Jacob's recent visit with his dad. They took him around to schools and asked questions, enticing him to live there full-time. They didn't buy anything good for him to eat and didn't eat healthy meals at home. They didn't spend time with him, he was neglected or left alone at home for a couple hours every night. They wouldn't take him to his allergy shots twice-a-week. They only offered to buy him clothes at Dollar General. After 4 months, they switched jobs and health insurance plans...again, without notifying us. Threatening to take us back to court. This is our life, day in and day out.
Our dear neighbor (a.k.a. grandma) is battling lung cancer, struggling to breathe each day.
Another neighbor and friend (a.k.a. grandma) is moving farther away.
There's financial stress. Exhaustion. Loneliness. Fear. Anxiety and worry. Even the day-to-day stuff can sometimes get hard.
Today's devotional in Jesus Calling hit me right where I am:
I speak to you from deepest heaven. You hear Me in the depths of your being. Deep calls unto deep. You are blessed to hear Me so directly. Never take this privilege for granted. The best response is a heart overflowing with gratitude. I am training you to cultivate a thankful mind-set. This is like building your house on a firm rock, where life's storms cannot shake you. As you learn these lessons, you are to teach them to others. I will open up the way before you, one step at a time.
Some really bad things happen in life and I think - this just isn't right. God didn't intend for life to be this way. And that's true. I may get angry and wish things were different. But, God isn't focused on changing my circumstances. He wants to change my heart. So, I can stand on a rock that can't be shaken. And share my gratitude with others - even when things are hard and I don't understand.
Jacob struggles when he goes to his dad's? Thank you, God.
Our neighbor has cancer? Thank you, God.
Tired of paying bill after bill and moving money around to make ends meet? Thank you, God.
Feeling inadequate and struggling to be a good wife and mom to three kids? Thank you, God.
There's nothing we'll go through in life where we can't be grateful for something. Something I'm still learning every single day.