meme rhodes

I was lying in bed late last night and could hear the sounds of frogs and crickets outside. It took me back immediately to Ware Road in the back guest room where I would share a bed with my older sister on the fun ocassion we got to spend the night with my Meme Rhodes. The only bad part of these nights was the chance that the cat, Kitty Blue, would jump up on the end of the bed and stare us down. It was then that I would hope the cat wouldn’t suck my breath and cause me to die while I slept. I heard that this could happen to babies, and I imagined it could happen to me as well. Thankfully, Kitty Blue never came closer than the end of the bed. 

Marcy and I always shared the back bedroom. Cacy always got to sleep with Meme—I suppose since she was the baby. 

My thoughts just kept on going last night as I thought about how we were always happy to get to stay with Meme Rhodes. We might have vegetable soup for dinner; it was usually piping hot so she would let us put a piece of ice in it to cool it down. I always sat in Daddy Zeb’s chair at the table.  At this point he was probably dead for five or more years, and over the course of my life I had heard stories about how I always liked to sit with him in his chair, how he had loved me lots. And somehow in my mind that translated to me being his favorite, so I declared his chair as my chair and that was that. 

In MeMe’s kitchen area a wall was filled with photos of the faces she loved the most. Each family had their photo up on the wall. Austin, the oldest and dearest grandchild to Meme, would have probably unabashedly had the most photos on the wall, except MeMe would at least try to appear to love us all equally; the rest of us knew the truth and loved her still.  

In the morning we were guaranteed Rice Krispies cereal with as many spoonfuls of sugar as we could sneak into the bowl. And maybe we would get to hear songs she had written flow out of the tape recorder she would sing into on occassion. We may have had to put her furniture back in place because the night before we would have most definitely rearranged her living room furniture before settling down to watch Hee-Haw and suck on Hershey kisses until they disappeared in our mouths. 

MeMe had green carpet. And a floor heater that we would jump over on our way to the bathroom in our sock feet…because MeMe never let us roam around her house without socks on our feet for fear we would catch a cold.

She taught us what “french baths” were. She always had Archie comics and Reader’s Digest in her bathroom for your convenience. And there was a room sort of like a storage room filled with Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys novel sets…maybe both, I can’t remember. 

These were simple times that I love to remenince about. No worries (if you don’t count Kitty Blue’s nighttime appearance), no cares, no troubles on those spend the nights at MeMe’s house. 

A sweet memory for me quickly turns to pain though when I think about the fact that my kids don’t have either of their grandmothers anymore. A grandmother’s love is special and such security can be found there. They think you are the best. Always. They defend you and protect you (from even your parents!) and give you another layer of your history and what makes you, you! A fabulous memory of MeMe tinged with sadness at the loss for my own kids. But that’s ok…and that’s how it is with most of life…a mix of joy and sadness. I pray one day I can be a grandmother that hosts spend the nights and is a place of unending love and acceptance. One day.

waiting peacefully?

With my highschoolers at home while the school does some extra sanitizing and gives kids a break from sharing germs (there were two unrelated Covid-19 cases that came to light last week), I am newly reminded of a story from when Ruby was probably five years old or so. We were playing with her doll house. I was the baby, so I was making the baby cry. Ruby told me not to do that. She also, as the mom of the dollhouse, told the kids they were going to daycare. I asked Ruby why the kids were going to daycare—did the mom have to go to a job? Ruby looked at me as serious as could be and said, “No, the mom doesn’t have a job, but she can’t get anything done with these kids at home.” It cracked me up because my kids were always at home with me for, oh, about 15 years!!! She confirmed my feelings all along though, so there’s that.

But with them home, I am not getting things done like I would like. I am not enjoying the quiet like I usually do….I know, I know, but they are home and with me and that is sweet and special. Yes, yes it is. I love constant kitchen use and noise. 🙂 

These are weird days, for sure. The year has been a doozey and now we wait on who will be our next President.

One day if my grandkids ask me what I was thinking and feeling during the Election of 2020, I would have to tell them it was complicated. I mean, it probably shouldn’t be as a Believer. I know Jesus is in perfect control. He is sovereign and good and has purpose far beyond what I can see or know. Like at this moment, I am typing my thoughts and feelings, listening to worship music AND listening to Fox News in the background. Probably not the greatest idea. But a picture of how it all is shaking out. God has us living in this world, on this broken planet, reeling from so much unrest, unknown and unsettledness. How does one walk in peace? I went on a walk yesterday and shared my frustrations and my worries and concerns for our country with the Lord. I have some sadness about how the direction of our country affects my kids’ future. And at the same time, I know God has purpose and plans for Ruby, Molly and Mack that are not tied up in how an election goes. I pray that God continues to draw me closer to Him and give me clear vision of Him through these days of distractions and discouragment. 

I find myself scrolling social media looking for a little bit of hope, a little bit of answers, some certainty, the latest news is sure to clear all this up….right?

We can’t get fed and satisfied by reaching out for other people’s bits of hope or thoughts. Why not go to the Word and sit with Jesus?  Sit long. Sit quiet. Sit awake to His presence. That is the only thing that will get you through anything. It may sound trite or too easy or too simple, but it really is the exact right thing to say and do. Trust the Lord!

This was my journal the other morning. Much like a child who has to write over and over what they will or will not do in order to try and get it into their head, I was writing some truth over and over in hopes my head and heart would follow what I know to be true.

I have also been listening to this song (below) over and over and louder and louder. Sometimes we draw circles and shut out the noise, taking care of our souls so that we can then go out into the world with eyes that see people like God sees people. This doesn’t happen naturally. It’s intentional work. I fail often. I can’ t see my neighbor because all I see is the political sign in their yard. This isn’t right or good or godly.

Lord, help me stand firm in Your truth and Your Word and live in Your presence, full of the Spirit in this very broken world. Help me keep You as the main thing because You are!!

two more months

I am a sucker for fresh starts. When the first day of the month starts on the first day of the week, as it did today, I usually feel a sense of expectation. I think about what new focus I need to have in my life, what habit I need to hone in on, and of course, I wonder how many pounds I could lose over the next thirty days. 

This morning I felt that sense for about five seconds and then I could almost hear myself saying, “oh what’s the point?” I mean, the election is Tuesday. I would hate to give so much energy to a fresh start only to have the world implode or maybe to have riots break out down the street or maybe we won’t be able to find toilet paper again! Who stinkin’ knows?!?! 

Can we hope at the end of the year 2020? Can we look ahead with expectancy as we continue to deal with a global pandemic? Is there any way to just numb myself to make it through the next couple of months and pray Jesus comes back or can 2021 truly promise to be nothing like 2020? 

I watched a video about how to trick yourself into doing hard things. It is narrated by the author of Atomic Habits, I believe. We mustered up some courage and all sat together in the living room for a family meeting. I shared the video with everyone and told them how all of life is hard to some degree. I remember seeing a saying about that—-Marriage is hard. Divorce is hard. Choose your hard. Being healthy is hard. Being unhealthy is hard. Choose your hard. And on and on it goes challenging how one thinks about doing hard things. Josh shared an illustration he heard many years ago. Someone may read how Mozart spent hours upon hours of his life learning and practicing and perfecting his piano skills. This was his life’s work. And someone could say, “Wow, that is so hard.” But no, what is hard is taking the stage having NOT practiced and perfected his skill and expecting to be able to play amazingly. 

Josh also gave a mini-lecture of sorts on lead measures and lag measures. It was very enlightening and helpful. He used the example for the kids of their grades. To just want to make an A in Chemistry would be a lag measure. They should choose the lead measure of studying at least fifteen minutes every night no matter if they have homework or not—reviewing concepts, re-reading notes or chapters in their book, practiicng problems, etc. THEN, they have a high chance of making an A. Another example used was a lag measure of wanting to grow closer to the Lord. This a great goal/ambition/desire, but how is this measured exactly? Josh shared that, for him, being up at 5:00, getting coffee going and being at his desk with his Bible at 5:15 would be a lead measure because this ensures he has time to read God’s Word, to pray and listen to God. The result over time will be a closer walk with the Lord.

So why am I sharing about our family powwow? Well,  I just wanted to take a minute and encourage anyone who might be considering medicating through the rest of 2020 or burying your head in the sand instead of facing the realities of daily life. It’s tempting, I know. But there is purpose in your life. There are still challenges to accept, goals to aim for, lead measures to establish. There is THANKSGIVING! And CHRISTMAS! Family and food and friends and what a year to be able to look back and see the faithfulness of God. We’ve made it through some hard stuff. We are likely stronger and more compassionate, humble and more aware of our lack of control and God’s perfect control. We can do hard things even still. Cheers to these last two months of the longest year of our lives! 

PSALM 91

I needed a reminder to look to Jesus because there are a lot of other distractions to look at these days.  One in particular, the political signs in my neighborhood. Then, every single hour it seems that something “news worthy” is flashing on my phone. And then there is the wading through of lots and lots of opinions about that piece of news. We like to raise our voices and let people know what we think. And I definitely have opinions—mask or no mask, open schools or keep them closed, vote in person or by mail, pro-life or pro-abortion, less taxation or more taxation, small government versus big government, Trump or Biden. If I had no filter or operated out of zero wisdom, I may put a banner the size of Texas in my yard or comment on every post I disagree with. But thank the Lord above, He helps me. 

And a passage of scripture from Numbers 2 helped me immensely the other morning.  Whitney Capps, the author of WE OVER ME bible study, reminded me to look at how God set up camp with His people.  Verse 2 of chapter 2 says, “The sons of Israel shall camp, each by his own standard, with the banners of their fathers’ households; they shall camp around the tent of meeting at a distance.”  Their banner associated them with their father. They were under his leadership. They were around the tent of meeting, which is where the presence of God was. “At the command of the Lord” (Numbers 9:18) they would stay or pack up and travel on. The “command” of the Lord can also be translated as the “mouth” of the Lord. So they were to hang on His every word and be ready to follow the cloud by day or the fire by night.  And the only way to know what the Lord wanted was to keep their eyes on the tent of meeting where God’s presence dwelt.  The Israelites were often in enemy territory, so keeping their eyes on the center of their camp might seem less helpful than watching their backs and making sure no one was sneaking up on them. But God was teaching Israel that He alone is in control. He alone knows how to best take care of them. He alone deserves all of our attention and affection. He alone is worth following fully, giving my total allegiance. 

Is God the center of your thinking these days? Is God the One you’re looking to for direction, for relief, for satisfaction, for stability? Unless you are being intentional about this, then you are likely getting run slap over with the onslaught of distractions out there that steal your joy and peace. Don’t let satan win the moment or the day or the week or this election cycle. Keep Jesus at the center of your thinking. Re-align your thoughts and attention and affection to Him. Hang on His every Word that He has so graciously given to us. 

I might mention that there is a sign in a neighbor’s yard that brings me hope. On it are written “Psalm 91.” 

 PSALM 91

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,

My God, in whom I trust!”

For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper

And from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with His pinions,

And under His wings you may seek refuge;

His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.

You will not be afraid of the terror by night,

Or of the arrow that flies by day;

Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,

Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.

A thousand may fall at your side

And ten thousand at your right hand,

But it shall not approach you.

You will only look on with your eyes

And see the recompense of the wicked.

For you have made the Lord, my refuge,

Even the Most High, your dwelling place.

No evil will befall you,

Nor will any plague come near your tent.

For He will give His angels charge concerning you,

To guard you in all your ways.

They will bear you up in their hands,

That you do not strike your foot against a stone.

You will tread upon the lion and cobra,

The young lion and the ]serpent you will trample down.

“Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;

I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.

“He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;

I will be with him in trouble;

I will rescue him and honor him.

“With a long life I will satisfy him

And let him see My salvation.”

Dr. Albert Mohler recently taught Psalm 91, and I listened to the sermon several times. He challenges the believer to be determined to be found faithful in these “unprecendented” times. He reminds us that the sovereignty of God guarantees that there is purpose in this. He quoted C.S Lewis  from 1939 at the beginning of World War 2: “The war creates no new situation; it simply aggravates the permanent human situation so that we can no longer ignore it.”

Mohler goes on to say, “We are not NOW mortal. We are not NOW surrounded by danger. We are not NOW in a dangerous world” (meaning since Covid-19). He challenges us to respect concerns but do NOT give in to fear and he ends with this thought regarding the sweet truth of Psalm 91; “Under the shadow of the Almight—it’s where we’ve always been. It’s just imperative that we understand it now.”

So instead of hanging up the dog leash and putting away my walking shoes until after the election, I think I will keep walking and use every sign as a reminder that my banner is Jesus. He is who I look to for all I need. And I will pray that more and more people will look to God! He is our only hope!

homemaker

You would think by now–at age 43 and daily running a home for many years, being married nearly 20 years and having three kids in under three years, all of which are teenagers now–that I wouldn’t hesitate writing “homemaker” as my occupation. I mean, I KNOW I work very hard and serve my family very well. But that doesn’t mean other people appreciate a “homemaker.” I seriously wish I was brave enough to write “domestic goddess” on any of the forms I fill out that ask me my occupation, but I haven’t done that…yet. I have wondered lately about going back to school. I made a couple of phone calls and took down some details about local seminaries that offer Biblical Counseling Master’s Programs. No doubt, it interests me. No doubt, I could apply and get going on achieving this degree in what is known as my “mid-life.” And I don’t think it would be wrong or bad if it took my time, attention, and effort. After all, anything worth doing is going to take some of all of those things. So it’s still rolling around in my mind.

AND at the same time, I want to have pure motives about anything I endeavor to do. I don’t want to do it in order to feel some sort of worth or to just accomplish something or to have something to talk about when someone asks, “What do you do?” The reality is there is plenty to do around the house. Plenty. The challenging thing about home making–making a home–is it also takes time, attention and effort. It takes discipline and care. It takes humility….have you ever scrubbed melted gum out of a dryer? or had to handle dirty underclothes on a regular basis? Scrubbed crusty dishes someone left in the sink overnight?

Just yesterday I spent all day at home after dropping the kids at school. I went into Mack’s room which was nothing short of disastrous. Instead of cursing him for being so disorganized and messy, I prayed for him as I picked up his clothes off the floor and hung clean clothes up while tossing dirty clothes into the hamper. I put things in their place one thing at a time. I made his bed. I stacked his books. I gathered up sharpie markers from all around. I picked up a wet towel from the floor. And I prayed that one day it will click for him to clean his own room, to hang up his towel, to use the dirty clothes hamper and also that he he would find a godly wife that loves him enough to also do some of those things for him from time to time without complaint. (He gratefully asked me, “MOM, where did find my sunglasses? I have been looking every where for them!!!” I replied, “I picked them up off your floor, son.”)

Next was Molly’s room. I made her bed, folded a bunch of clean clothes she had laying around, and I washed a load of clothes for her. She finds great joy in coming home to a made bed. She usually makes her own bed, but I wanted to bless her. I prayed for her while I did all of those things.

Same for Ruby. That girl doesn’t even know she has a chest of drawers and a closet. Clothes laid everywhere around that room!!!! So I folded and put away and folded and put away and washed her load of laundry as well. And then folded and put them away. All the while praying that one day she would find the motivation to follow through on putting clothes away….and I prayed for other things for her too.

I thoughtfully prepared dinner. We ate. I cleaned up the kitchen while the kids studied for tests and did math homework. I baked cookies for the family to have while we watched the Presidential Debate (not sure that’s what you call it, but that’s a whole ‘nother topic). And I cleaned up the mess afterwards.

Most of motherhood is doing things that will be undone. The clean clothes will be dirtied. The made bed will be unmade. The cooked meal will be eaten and only dirty dishes will remain. But as I tell myself often—-Somebody has got to do it! Why not me? And if this is the boundary line God has given me, why not do it with great joy? Why not serve in love and humility? I can do that AND train them to do it for themselves one day. It’s been a challenging journey for me. This serving my family and also not wanting to be treated like a maid/cook/launderer. There is a tension there more often than I am proud of.

So why am I writing this? I don’t know exactly except to say to fellow moms out there–Keep on keepin’ on! Motherhood and homemaking is work. Your domestic goddess skills will often go overlooked and you won’t always receive the praise you desire from your family. They usually don’t even notice that their toilet no longer has a nasty ring inside it. But God sees you. He knows your heart. He hears your prayers and sighs and “is this what I am made to do?” questions. And He is there to guide you every step of the way. I have prayed for God to transform my heart often, and I am starting to see change in my attitude. I have a long way to go, but I am farther along than I was. Thank the Lord!

Three years old today!

It’s no secret I didn’t want a dog. My kids asked many, many times and were always met with a definitive “no way.” Then, we moved to a new state with no friends. This is when Mack really ramped up his asking and begging and was more persistent than ever. He would leave around the house, written in his sweet little 9 year old handwriting, a quote he found in a magazine: “Every boy needs two things—a dog and a mother willing to let him have one.”

Oh boy. That pretty much did it for me. We started looking for a breeder of Lagotto Romagnolos. I wanted a dog that did not shed even a little bit and so this one won! The girls and I traveled to Hayesville, NC one Friday to get her.

She was loved immediately. I had a rule that she shouldn’t be on the furniture.

And Molly let this happen. And Molly also lets her sleep in her bed. I could tell right away I could throw rules out the window.

But I will say that every mom of teenagers needs a dog. The kids get mouthy and they like to hide out in their rooms. They enjoy their friends a bit more than hanging out with parents, usually. They don’t sit in my lap anymore or follow me around like I’m the best thing in the world. BUT the dog loves me. The dog is my shadow. She is always right beside me while I’m at home. It’s sweet and only sort of annoying. She listens to me and still gets excited to go on walks with me. I can sway her with food. She’s my dog…and that’s saying a lot from this former non-dog person.

Supposedly, this dog’s life span is approximately 15 years. That means Ruby will be about 26 years old, Molly will be about 25 years old and Mack will be about 23 years old when Rolo passes. Which also means they will likely happily have their own grown up lives. Mack may just be meeting the love of his life or getting engaged by then. And then the dog will die and I’ll be heartbroken and sad. Gracious. Why do we do this to ourselves?!?! I blame the kids.

So today, on her third birthday, we did a little photo shoot with her new toys. And she didn’t give me any lip about it either or tell me not to post it anywhere. Good dog.

HAPPY 3rd BIRTHDAY, Rolo!!!! (Or is it her 21st birthday??) 🤷🏼‍♀️

the blasted empty toilet paper roll

The Lord uses empty toilet paper rolls to make me more like Christ. Sounds silly, but it’s true. It almost never fails that I am the one to change the toilet paper to a new roll. Even when I am not at my own home it seems I end up using the last of the toilet paper and am tasked with not being that person who doesn’t think about the person behind them (no pun intended). I am reminded to do the right thing when no one is around and to not be lazy and selfish. I even put it on the way my husband likes it to unroll, though when he used to correct my way, I have been known to reply with, “I CAN PUT IT ON HOWEVER I WANT BECAUSE I AM THE ONE WHO IS PUTTING IT ON THERE!!!!!” See, there is this frustration about the toilet paper roll because it feels like I am the only one who pays attention to this. It seems that I am the only one who goes that extra step or two to make sure the next person to use the bathroom isn’t left in a bind. 

This line of thinking can follow me throughout most of motherhood. Am I the only one who remembers to switch the laundry? Am I the only one who can empty the dishwasher or the only one who doesn’t leave my dish thrown in the sink to never think about again? Am I the only one who has to decide what is for dinner every. single. night.? Am I the only one who knows how to clean a toilet? Am I the only one who notices all the stuff piled on the stairs and can take it upstairs? I have been known to holler out, “I AM NOT YOUR SERVANT.” It never feels exactly biblical to yell that at my kids, but I think you know what I mean. Motherhood is made up of serving. Over and over and over again.

I read an article by Rachel Jankovic on desiringGod.org entitled, “Motherhood is a Calling: And Where Your Children Rank.” I was quite convicted as I read her words. She asks if we feel like motherhood is a rock-bottom job? She cautions us to not view motherhood as a hobby to be picked up for a short time to see if you like it and thrown to the side when it isn’t fun anymore. She also reminds us of the gospel, of the laying down your life part of following Jesus, of the death to self that should mark being a follower of Christ. I loved her words about death: “We, of all people, ought to know what follows death. The Christian life is resurrection life, life that cannot be contained by death, the kind of life that is only possible when you have been to the cross and back.”

And this is where I found myself today—-Do I believe that God sees me? Do I believe that life comes after death? Do I believe the person who loses their life is the one who actually finds it? 

When no one is impressed that just today I worked out, went to the grocery store, unloaded all the groceries, made egg&sausage&cheese muffins for this weeks’ breakfast, made rice&beans&beef mixture for the kids’ lunches this week, put a roast with potatoes and carrots and onion and mushrooms for dinner in the crock pot, completed several loads of laundry, cleaned the windows of my car, and made a list of upcoming tests and quizzes to help Mack succeed, will I just be joyful that motherhood and serving my family are offerings of obedience to God? Will I be content that God is pleased with how I am spending my days, no matter how mundane? Will I be thankful for health to move and work around my home? Will I be deeply appreciative of a hardworking husband that encourages me in the work my hands find to do? Will I quit looking for affirmation outside of my relationship with God? I must. 

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus, Who, being in the very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage, rather He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” (Philippians 2:3-7)

honest heart.

I have been reading through the Old Testament and was growing weary of all the bad news and blood shed and people “doing what was right in their own eyes.” I told the Lord I might need to spend some time in the New Testament for a while because living in a world and in a season where people are “doing what is right in their own eyes” and reading these news articles of riots and bloodshed, I was a bit discouraged. But I persevered and kept reading a few chapters each morning from I Samuel.  

I noticed that on several different occassions, Saul was noted as having “his spear in his hand.” He was a frustrated man. He felt threatened by David. He was tormented in his mind as he walked around with his spear in his hand. 

I could relate a little, as I seemed to be easily irritated and ready to use my spear on anyone who crossed me. Tensions are high—in the grocery store, on the road, in Barnes N Noble when Ruby and I ran in for a book and forgot to wear masks and got all the dirty looks.

So in my journal I had a little section of confession:  

“I confess my bitterness of soul. I confess I don’t know what to do about it.

I confess my constant bubbling frustration. I confess I don’t know what to do about it.

I confess I don’t like most people these days. I confess I don’t know what to do about it.”

The next morning I woke up with Psalm 3 on my mind. I was honestly relieved and used that prompting from the Spirit to not spend more time with wicked Saul and his spear. Or atleast that is what I thought I was going to do. In actuality, God was answering my confessions of not knowing what to do with my very real frustrations.

The first section of Psalm 3 is an honest heart crying out to God.

The next section is the truth about God—He is my protector, He is enough, He is restorer, He hears me, He saves me, He blesses me, He gives me rest, He sustains me.

I was reminded that it is more than ok, even healthy and good, to cry out to God with anything on my heart AS LONG AS I SET UP AGAINST THE LAMENTING the truth about Who God is.

We find another example in Psalm 11 when David feels threatened and afraid and even asks what he is to do if the foundations are destroyed. But as we read on we see that the foundations cannot be destroyed and nothing happens outside of God’s careful watch. 

G.Campbell Morgan writes about Psalm 11, “To reckon with circumstances and to leave God out of count is to omit the principal factor in any and every situation. What unutterable folly to confuse scaffolding with foundation.”  And boy don’t I do that?! I look at what I see and I listen to what is in the headlines and find it tempting to think the whole world is hopeless. But that is scaffolding. The foundation of my life is built on Christ and there is always hope in Him. 

Psalm 142 is another beautiful chapter subtitled “Prayer for Help in Trouble.” It coincides with the time David spent running from Saul who was constantly walking around “with a spear in his hand” and ready to take David’s life. David cries out to God in despair with the feeling that no one cares for him and that no one is going to help him escape the threats on his life.  THEN, David reminds himself—he said to the Lord, “You are my refuge, My portion in the land of the living.” Even after he confesses that he was overwhelmed, he also says in the same breath that God knows his path. He ends this mix of lamenting and reminding with hope—“For You will deal bountifully with me.” 

G. Campbell Morgan adds his commentary to this chapter, “It is a great thing in darkest hour to set over against the darkness all the facts about God. To do so is to triumph even in sorrow.”

So maybe you find yourself a bit on edge and feeling the tensions of living in a wicked world. By all means, take notice and pour out your heart to God, but don’t stop there. Remind yourself of who God is and of His power and rule over all of it. Remind yourself of all that His Word tells us He is and let your heart take courage! He is with you and this is not our home.