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Keeping up with The Cantelmo's: thankful

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Thankful in all circumstances

1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

I always thought that once I got married life would be easier. Married life has been easier in some ways and much harder in other ways. I have an amazing husband that supports me, loves me, cares for me and provides for me. He loves our children and endures through thick and thin. I never imagined that God would bless me with such an amazing man.

I also never imagined that my amazing husband would lose his job and join the millions of men and women who are unemployed. The day before Thanksgiving, Anthony and I were talking about our plan. We have one month left of unemployment. After that, no more check. Even though it is a tiny bit of money, it makes a difference. In one month our house payment and car payments will go up. 6 months ago we thought that Anthony would easily get a job by now. And now we are here, no job, no interviews, no nothing. It has nothing to do with him; it’s just the way it is right now.

It’s scary for us. We have three little ones, bills to pay and dreams for our future. The times where I just want to shake my fist at God, I slow down and remember all that He has given me. He has given our family so much. I remind myself over and over that after this season, I will see God’s hand at work. So often I pray that God would reveal His hand at work in our lives during this season. Sometimes He does.

The other day Anthony and I were talking with another couple about some of our common financial struggles. Not enough to get by, medical bills, Christmas presents, and the expense of children. These are common struggles to many of us. I listened as Anthony shared that we would have never chosen for Anthony to lose his job (one month after I quit to be a stay at home mom) but it has been a blessing in many ways. Anthony went on to share about all the health issues our family has faced in these past 6 months.

I always get embarrassed when we start talking about our health and the insurance we are currently on. It’s a pride thing and sometimes I like to keep things a secret. However, Anthony brought up a good point, the exact time we went through some random health issues in our family, was the exact time Anthony lost his job.

When I was working, I paid over $1,000 per month to have health insurance for our family. I also paid an additional $800 per month for daycare. On top of the health insurance and daycare there were all the added co-pays and medical expenses. Luke had to stay one extra day in the hospital after he was born and we got hit with a $900 bill. Thankfully for the period of time where we did not have any insurance at all, no one in our family needed any medical attention.

The moment the state health insurance kicked in, we started having health issues. Praise the Lord, there has not been one single thing that is life threatening or bad. Yet they were all issues that needed to be dealt with. I would never wish that my family would deal with some of these health problems but at the same time, I know that if we were working, we would be struggling to pay the bills.

It breaks my heart to think about all those moms and dads that have kids with chronic or life threatening illnesses. Not only is there an emotional toll that it must take on the family but a financial toll that many families are faced with. It burdens and breaks my heart.

Last night, Anthony woke me up in the middle of the night saying that Luke was gasping for air. When I put him to bed that night he had a little cough but we thought nothing of it. I jumped out of bed and I knew from the sound of his cough it was croup. We wrapped him up, opened the windows, and started a breathing treatment. Still gasping for air we decided I needed to take him to the emergency department. Then we mutually decided to call 911 when we saw just how much Luke was struggling to catch his breath. It really scared me.

When I got to the emergency department, Luke was doing much better but still struggling. After a few hours of observation, breathing treatments and a steroid shot we were able to go home. Praise the Lord.
As I held my sweet little man, God reminded me just how much He has given us. He reminded me to be thankful in all circumstances. He reminded me to trust in Him. To trust that He will provide for our family, He will take care of us, and He will guide our steps. He reminded me that He was still holding us in the palm of His hand.

I hold on to my kids, my husband and my dreams so tightly. Afraid to lose them. Afraid to hand them over to God. I often think my way is much better.
In reality, we are all much safer in His hands.
It’s beautiful when I let Him take control.

Tonight I was putting the kids to bed and Luke took longer than normal, as he wasn’t feeling well. Grace being so intuitive and concerned shared that she was worried about Luke’s breathing. I told her that Luke would be fine and that we just needed to pray for him. Grace then said, “Mom, what if in the morning Luke doesn’t wake up.” Immediately I became deathly afraid and said, “Don’t say that Grace, don’t scare mommy.”

Grace then said, “Oh sorry mommy, I didn’t mean to scare you. I just was  worried about Luke.”
Her question took me off guard. It made me think. I knew I needed to give her reassurance that the God we serve and pray to is bigger than our fears. I needed to tell her that God will take care of us.
I told Grace, “We just need to trust in God.”
Then Grace said, “Mommy, it’s hard to sometimes.”
All I could think to tell her were God’s promises and to reassure her that God is good.

God calls us to be thankful in all circumstances. It’s scary and not easy when the circumstances aren’t what we wanted or planned. But I know that God would never give us more than we could handle and He blesses us in these trying times.

Writing this blog post is incredibly scary for me because sometimes I feel that if I write it maybe I’ll be tested. Or maybe something horrible will happen to my family. All I can do is trust in my savior. Trust that He will take care of it all.
He will take care of my family, just as He has been (financially, physically, mentally and emotionally) and He has great plans for our life (even when it does not make any sense).

Thank you God that you take care of us through each and every season of our life.  Thank you that You love my family even more than I do and You will take care of them.

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At November 28, 2011 at 1:21 AM , Blogger The Adventurer said...

WOW Melanie your family is going thru such hard times. I appreciate the honesty in your post and I pray your husband fins a job and your family health concerns are taken care of. I have a relative who is unemployed and I can relate to how scared you are feeling right now. I will add you to my prayers. Thanks for sharing on the NOBH

At November 28, 2011 at 11:23 AM , Anonymous Jennifer said...

I'm so sorry to hear what your family is going through. We went through something similar about 18 months ago. It was by far the scariest thing we have ever faced, but we have emerged better and stronger because of it. I know it is easy for me to say now, but the same will be true for you. I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and that God doesn't put anything in front of us that we can't handle. It's hard while you are in the thick of it, but you too will emerge better and stronger.

While a door closed for my husband when he lost his highly lucrative job 18 months ago, God opened a window, and he now has a very successful business of his own. He is his own boss, has lots of time to spend with our kids, and makes more money than before. We struggle with the details of how to run a business and making it all work, but we are slowly getting the hang of it.

Thank you for sharing. Great post.

At November 28, 2011 at 2:41 PM , Blogger Andrea said...

Your faith is so encouraging. I am so sorry that your family is going through such a hard time, but it is beautiful that you're still able to see God's grace in everything. I'll be sure to say a prayer for your family that everyone remains happy, healthy, and keeps their faith in the midst of life. Have a great week! ~Andrea

At November 28, 2011 at 7:57 PM , Blogger Stephanie said...

I just wanted to say I GET IT! All of what you are saying! It is hard and not at all what educated people in a first world country ever expect to deal with. But God will continue to provide and maybe not in ways you would ever think of. . . but He will.

I am not singing some song and dance but saying it from a place of experience. In Nov. 2009, I dealt with the fatal diagnosis of my daughter and my husband being laid off. We had relocated across the country for this job, and bought a house. We dealt with planning a funeral and 20 months of unemployment. And God provided. I was so angry at times, but He was always there. He showed his love for us in ways that just blew my mind over and over again! So, I know how hard it is and that to have hope is important.

Stressful times are on the rise ~ and I like to think that God is simply asking me to continue to choose Him through it all. Faith is not easy, but necessary in times like these. Hang in there girl!

At December 1, 2011 at 8:02 PM , Blogger Becky [This Road Called Vida] said...

Reading this was such a blessing! I know exactly what you mean when you say that you're afraid to post (or say) certain things because your faith might be tested... that's a trap that I've fallen into way too often. We have no reason to fear. "Perfect love casts out fear.." or as my pastor always says, "the remedy for fear is Thanksgiving." Just by reading this post I can totally tell that God is building you up and causing you (through your trials) to become more and more of a mighty woman of God... and I don't even know you... it's just very evident in your words. So, keep at it, girl! Even if you have to put your soul in check over and over again... whenever you feel discouraged just tell yourself "Why are you downcast O my soul? Why so discouraged within me? Put your hope in God for I will yet praise Him my Savior and my God." (Psalm 42:5) Thanks for posting this! (Love your blog!)

At December 2, 2011 at 8:10 PM , Blogger Anna said...

This post takes my breath away. It is so inspiring to hear your faith come through all of this. I will definitely be praying for all of you, and I'm so glad to see from today's post that your little one is feeling better.



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