Tuesday, February 07, 2012

the complaining experiment

This month I’m making an effort to keep my mouth from complaining. I intended to start on February 1, but totally didn’t even remember until this week! Yesterday I noticed I complained mostly about kid messes and potty accidents. Listening to myself, I think my motto is when the going gets tough, you should start complaining about it. Yeah.

It’s such a bad habit to have.

Today I’m working on not saying complaining words when faced with a problem or a mess. I think much of my complaining comes from not seeing what I have to be thankful for. I can complain all day about the missing door of my old falling-apart tv cabinet pantry, but how thankful am I to have a lovely house with tall ceilings and hardwood floors and lots of room to move around? Why in the world am I so focused on that silly broken cabinet? Grrrr. I’m just ridiculous and sinful, that’s why.

Even worse? Right before I wrote this, I was complaining about the internet going down for the second time after I reset the modem again. See? I am ridiculous. I pay for internet and I want it now. Complain, complain….ahhh. So much conviction already! This one is going to be rough.

So to combat my complaining tongue this month, I’m going to do a little thankfulness experiment here on the blog where I’m going to take pictures and document things I am thankful for. When I become discontent with my situation, I’m hoping this list will pop through my mind and send me to praising the Lord for my blessings.  {with the Lord’s help, anyway!}.

So this week I’m thankful for:

1. the health of my family. We have zero health problems and almost never have even a cold. It’s amazing. And such a huge blessing.

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2. the love of my husband. He is such a wonderful man. I’ve never met a single man who loves his wife as much as he does. He is the man of my dreams.  We love the same things. We like being together all of the time. It’s so much fun being married to him.

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He even made me a special surprise sushi dinner last week:

3. God’s Word. I have a copy of it- or more like 12 copies of it in my house. Amazing, right? And I have the freedom to read it as much as I want to. It’s crazy.

4. coffee. From the serious to the trivial. ;) I really am thankful for coffee- I look forward to spending time reading the Bible and drinking a warm cup as I wake up every morning. Love those little joys in life. :Dimage

5. food for my family. It might cost a bunch to feed this crew, but I’m so thankful to have enough money and food available to feed them. We are blessed to be able to eat without worry of where or when our next meal will be. I’m thankful for Sam’s Club- for affordable food in large quantities, and even for Cheerios- a cereal that the whole family loves. :D

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The Bible has so much to say about your words- the ones you say, the ones you think.  These verses in Philippians 2 bring so much conviction to my heart today.

14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.

So I’m praying this for this one to happen:

Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! Psalm 141:3.

Would you pray for me too if you think of it? :D

What do you do to keep yourself from complaining? Please share- I will take any help I can get! ;)

linking up at Women Living Well!

24 comments:

Anna said...

I think I need to do this, too. I try to focus on the positive, be grateful, but lately, I've been hearing lots of negative things come out of my mouth!

JoAnne Potter said...

Why in the world do we complain so much. Good grief. This is a great reminder for a discipline to practice. Thinking I might give up complaining for Lent. Now wouldn't that be something?

Kris said...

Needed to see this today...I have been a big whiner these last couple weeks. Holy cats, you would think I live in misery if you could hear me, when in truth I have so much! I pray that we can all have thankful hearts and stop the complaining words that come out of our mouths.

Rachel Wojnarowski said...

Thanks for the reminder to BE THANKFUL! Great stuff!!

Amber said...

Thanks so much for this. I have been guilty of this lately also. I have too much to be thankful for to be a complainer. Thanks again. I enjoyed ready this and will apply this to my own life :)

Lee Anne said...

I'm sure you'll love the result!
I started this 'resolution' several years ago, and I've never been happier and more content. Of course, I still rant once in a while, we are no saints, but much much less than I used to. I even watch not to rant too much on the internet! If I really want to rant, I write it down on my journal. People around me have been commenting that being near me is like being near the sun, and that's all I need to keep going from not complaining.
I used to think hard what I could contribute to the world, because I felt I had no real outstanding talent like singing, cooking, sewing. Just very very average gal. Now I know I can contribute by NOT complaining and just being a sunshine maker!
Try it, you'll love it, also the people around you will!

Visit me:
LeeAnne, Style N Season
http://stylenseason.blogspot.com

Erica Frisk said...

I'm definitely struggling with the same things as well. This is definitely going to be a tough one. Thank you for the post. We will be praying for you. :)
friskpartyoffive.blogspot.com

Carolyn@Sweet Chaos said...

Such a good reminder to be thankful and appreciate what you have (even coffee and Cheerios :)) I need to work on this myself. I'll pray for you!

Amanda said...

You are such an inspiration!! Let's get together soon - I'm up your way several times a month now....

Leah said...

This is great! I am totally going to join you in this! I don't even notice when I'm complaining it has become such a part of my life. Yuck. I'll remember to pray for you when I pray for myself :)

Gina said...

Complaining is definitely one of my weaknesses too but I think you are on the right track...the first step is recognizing it and asking God to help you. A few months ago we had a very brief meeting after church about our Awana schedule and my very Godly friend complained about it being the Lord's day and we shouldn't have a meeting. I honestly couldn't believe she would complain over something so trivial but it took God all of five seconds to say to me, "this is what you sound like when you complain." Ouch! I won't ever forget it. I'm still a work in progress and you are a lot younger than me. ;) A verse I read this morning may be helpful to use as a prayer guide. Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Praying for you also. ;) Love your blog, by the way! :)

Amber said...

oops I meant reading this :)

Lora said...

Wow...did this hit close to home! God defintely used this to remind me to work on this area of my life. I am new to your blog, just found you a week ago and I have enjoyed exploring it and am now a daily visitor. Thank you!! Even used your Laundry Weds. on weariness for a devotion in my small group. We all could relate to it.

Pam Brown said...

Love it! Amen.

Suezq said...

This is a good experiment. Definitely something I struggle with. And your husband sounds like a good man...although I don't know if I would go so far as to say that he loves you better than any other man loves his wife...since there's no way of knowing the depths of a man's love for his spouse unless you're actually a part of the marriage. Different men have different ways of showing love.

Blessingfarm said...

I admire your goal. I seriously had to work on this about twelve years ago, when I realized it was beginning to affect my oldest son. I am thinking that maybe I need a bit of a refresher course these days...I am not so bad as I was then, and we are very focused on being grateful, but I have slipped in the area of griping about messes and such...not a good thing.

We are going to work on orderliness this week as a family, and I am going to work on not complaining when they slip up (and praising them more when they succeed.)

Best wishes on your experiment! I am certain your whole family will reap many dividends from it. What a wonderful motivation that is!

Blessings,

Heather

Jill said...

I was struggling with the same issue, when I stumbled upon (was divinely led) to Ann Voskamp's book, 1000 Gifts. it is inspiring and has helped me not only recognize the many blessings that God gives me daily, but has completely changed my heart from one of discontent to one of true thankfulness. If you haven't read it, you should. She also has a free App that helps you record things you are thankful for via comments or pictures. Not only does it bless you while you are recording them, but on days when you struggle to find something to be thankful for, you can go back and see some of the things you said. It's amazing how it can turn my day around in just a few minutes.

Jenniferkindle said...

I too have a new motto: "talk less, pray more!"
Kate and I both have dreadful colds this week...I'm so thankful for lots of cuddle time on the couch...Beatrix Potter has been the go to!
Thanks for the reminder to do everything without (arguing or) complaining!!

Tiffanygardner said...

This is always something on my heart and something I fail at most of the time. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight...O Lord, my rock and redeemer....this is the vs God always puts on my heart. It's not just about what comes out of our mouth...it's about what is in our hearts. So lately...I am praying the Lord change my heart. Love your blog!!

Gennevia Porterfield said...

I've been working my way through the blog (from the beginning) and just thought I'd drop a comment :-) This is one of the things that the Lord taught me (without my asking :-) ). Although it was a bit different.....to give thanks. Give thanks in all things...kept popping into my hard head. Some times were easier than others. Once or twice my response was "Why?!" His loving response was the same phrase "give thanks in all things." Fine! Through my gritted teeth I gave an almost sarcastic thanks (it was a rough day). A few minutes later, that gritted-teeth-sarcastic-thanks had started to turn my sour-puss attitude into a less grumblier....well, I am thankful for {insert thanks}. That turned into a full attitude change. By the time I got to where I was going, I was smiling (say it isn't so!) and singing along to gospel music on my iPod.
btw: This all happened in less than my drive (20 minutes at most).
That hard-learned lesson is something I am thankful for....I am (and will be) putting it to good use :-)

hisbelovedfirst said...

Just saw your blog post, my friend posted it on fb so here I am.. starting late.. on the road to a thankful heart. Please pray for me.. Thanks

sueann said...

Please pray for me as well! I will take this challenge and run with it. Thank you so much

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this entry. Just the right words for me today! God is good.

Anonymous said...

This post just blessed me today! I'm pregnant with my third, and pregnancies are usually really hard for me (not that I need to be pregnant to complain!), but I seem to be "extra whinny" during a pregnancy. Motherhood has been especially challenging with my VERY spirited/strong willed three year old, so that in addition to pregnancy, housework that never seems to be done...I've turned into a complaining/whinning brat! I've been working on character building with my children, and today we started talking about contentment. At the end of the day, I was about to burst with all my grumbling, frustration and impatience with the kids. I got the contentment flashcard and told my daughter I needed to learn that too! Asked her to pray for God to give me a grateful heart...then she said, "and patience"....hehehe. How can I teach these things to my kids, when I myself don't live them out? I can see my daughter following my footsteps and having a complaining heart. This gotta change! Thanks for the encouragement!

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