Trusting God through Gratitude

If I am being completely honest, yesterday was a hard day. It was my first big Holiday without my kids.   The morning began with my kids facetiming me at 6 am which was so special to me!! It truly helped me begin my day with a huge smile on my face even though my kids were not with me.   I spent the day with my sisters which was super wonderful; we had delicious food and fun but my heart was missing my two kids. Later in the day, I received a text with a movie of my youngest son doing a magic trick. It was wonderful to see him perform this trick but it was also a reminder that I was not there with them.   I started to realize all that I was missing: not only was I missing memories with my kids but time with my nieces and nephews who I love dearly, conversation with my sister in law or mother in law… sadly, this is one of the hardest parts of divorce.

This morning, I received Pastor Rick’s devotional called “Trusting God through Gratitude” and it truly touched me.   I love when God gives me exactly what I needed to hear.

He says, “How does gratitude develop my faith? It happens when times are tough — when things don’t make sense, when you can’t figure it out, when your prayers are unanswered, when everything is going the way you didn’t want it to go. It happens when you can say in those circumstances, “God, I know you’re in control. I know you love me, and I know you can bring good out of this. I’m thankful that you’re bigger than my problem.”

Here is my favorite part, “That is the ultimate test of the depth of your faith. Can you thank God when life stinks? When you’re going through tough times, don’t look at what’s lost. Look at what’s left, and be grateful for it!”

Well, I love that last line- don’t look at what is lost but look at what is left and be grateful for it!   So, this morning, I spent some time journaling all the wonderful blessings in my life: of course, my kids were at the top of the list along with my amazing time with God, friends who are so supportive and encouraging, family who love me and care about me…

So, if you are struggling with a hard time, I encourage you to do the same thing. Don’t focus on what is lost- Satan would like nothing more than to see up focus on what is lost and be ungrateful. Instead, focus on the blessings that God has surrounded you with and be grateful to Him!

Love, Jodi

PS If you want to read his entire devotional- here is a link: http://rickwarren.org/devotional/english/trusting-god-through-gratitude

Thanksgiving

My kids left this morning to spend Thanksgiving with their dad and his family up north. I have to say it will be hard to not have them with me tomorrow for Thanksgiving.   Before they left this morning, we had a special Thanksgiving breakfast together! I loved the priceless time with them this morning.   We went around the table and said what we were thankful for! This past year, I have started calling these special moments with my kids: “joy moments”!   It can be a simple word spoken or hug or an actual activity or event.   In the midst of my hard times this past year, I realized how amazing and special these “joy moments” have become with my kids. It is my hope that I can become a more thankful person and put my focus on these blessings that God has given me even in the middle of hard times and struggles in life.

I heard Lysa Terkeurst, one of my favorite authors, share in one of her books how she wants to be more joyful, more thankful and more prayerful! She based this on the verse in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT) Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”

Ladies, it is so easy to get caught up in the busy Holiday rush that we forget Thanksgiving. My hope for you and me is that we will want to become more joyful, more thankful and more prayerful. I cannot think of a better day to start than tomorrow on Thanksgiving! Enjoy your time with family and I hope you have some wonderful “joy moments”!

Love, Jodi