Wednesday, May 12, 2010

But you don't understand me...I am justified in my complaining!
A few months back, I was led to the passage I referred to the other day, and I felt the conviction laying thick. I set this challenge for myself, and I have to tell you that is was sooooo hard for me a few months back. I was very, very aware of my struggle within. For whatever reason, I had determined that because life was hard, I should complain about it every chance I got. All day long I would wait until my husband would get home so I could load off onto him....counting down the minutes until I could finally blow out all of the frustration I had built up throughout the day. He would come home to me saying to him, "You won't believe what happened this morning!...And then, just when I thought it couldn't get any worse...OH! and like I wasn't already mad enough..." Poor guy. If he had a bad day there wasn't any time to talk about it, because by the time I was done venting, we were both exhausted.
Life was hard. It is still hard most days. We're in a challenging phase of our lives with all of our kids being infants or toddlers: a 4 year old, 2 year old, and a 7 month old. I had no idea how demanding kids were until we had them. :) (Anybody out there relate?) So many things happen everyday that I never would have bargained for. I definitely still have my turn of struggles, and internal anguish, but I can honestly say this time of committing to a full day of no complaining was so much easier than the last time.

Here's my encouraging word
If you are someone who is always pulling out the "woah is me" card, make choices to stop, and look around you. Don't complain, even though you feel like it. See what happens. The more you consciously make the effort, the easier it will become. Seriously. Try it out for yourself. You will still need your one or two awesome friends that you can sort out life's wild mysteries with (like why my son still continues to insist on not flushing the toilet even though we have been telling him for months) but you won't feel like you have to unload your baggage at every chance you get. And when you do it will be brief, and it will be a relief when you are done.
The wrap up
When you feel like complaining ask yourself this question:
"Do I want to talk about this to find an answer, or do I just want everyone else to feel bad for me?" If it's the second one, pray instead, take a few deep breaths, and try to change your focus. Smile and give your kids a kiss instead. In some instances, you may need to ensure that the kids are safe, and then dart to another room for a moment until you collect yourself. Do it for them and for you.

LOVE YOU MOMMA FRIENDS!!! We'll get through this wild journey together. Okay, now go rock on with your bad self! :0)

***This post was part of a 3 post series on how to do everything without complaining. If you are interested in the 1st and 2nd posts that led up to this one click on one of the links below:
Do everything without complaining: Part One
Do everything without complaining: Part Two

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The reward you've all been waiting for....drum roll please...Your reward will be in Heaven. :) Just kidding...well...kind of. I know, I know...lame, right? :) Listen, if you agreed to join me in the challenge not to complain for one whole day, then you have chosen to make your environment around you better. The energy that could have been wasted and drained by thinking and meditating on all the "what ifs'" and the "if I could just's" was redirected into positive energy...which is less draining on you, I promise. Whatever energy your are putting off, is felt by your family...whether it be positive or negative. Have you ever gotten really excited about something all of a sudden and your kids lit up and got really excited with you, even though they didn't even understand why you were so happy? You're contagious. Think on that. Your reward when you choose to "do everything without complaining or arguing" is that you "shine" and don't think for a second that those precious little people around you aren't influenced by that light, because you are one of the greatest influences in their lives, both now, and forever.

I used to think that I was just being real when I vented the anger and disappointment I felt as soon as I felt it. As long as I was just keeping it real, it was okay. The problem, though, was that all my complaining was driving me further into the pit I was making for myself. The pit of self-pity. It can be hard to come out of at times, once the pit is dug. It's going to take one small choice at a time. So choose again, today, to make a promise to yourself, "I will complain less today, and smile more today, even if I don't feel like it yet."You're worth it, and so are your kids, so, SHINE ON, MOMMA FRIEND! SHINE ON, and be blessed because of it. Much love to you today. You are doing a great job. Keep on keeping on!

One last entry will be posted on this topic tomorrow to wrap up this "Do everything without complaining" challenge. If this challenge was hard for you and you are looking a true word of encouragement, that will be the one to read.

((***side note: There are times when you just need to talk to someone about how you are feeling, and the relief afterward is wonderful. I am not trying to discredit the importance of talking with a friend when you are truly struggling, but I am encouraging that you choose to not make complaining your all-day long affair. And don't waste all the energy that you DO have that day complaining about the small stuff, like how the kids left a million crumbs under the table after dinner. :) Many instances of self-pity, and self-loathing will actually just make you more self-centered, and then it becomes harder to focus on serving the little people around you. The attitude becomes, "Why should I have to (fill in the blank)" instead of "How may I serve you today?". Something to consider is all.))

Do everything without Complaining: Part One.

Has it been a hard day already, and the day has only begun? Do you feel like you slave over the same menial tasks day after day, and never seem to catch a break?
Phillippians 2:14
"Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life-- in order that I (this was Paul, speaking to the Phillippians, who he had been teaching) may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing."
Don't you want that? To shine in the world around you, and to know that all this work you have been putting in is not in vain?

Try this challenge with me today: Don't complain ALL DAY LONG. Is that a hard one for you? Can you do it? Try it with me. Being a mom is hard, keeping up with all the work, keeping everyone happy all at once, and feeling like you have a balanced life....well, let's just say that all of us have our reasons why we feel justified to complain. When a complaint comes to your mind today, and you so badly want it to come out of your lips, choose not to. Redirect your attention. If you can't "voice" the complaint, then you have to move on from it. "It" does not control you. There is nowhere for it to fester. Choose to replace the complaint with a praise. Choose not to complain today just for the sake of complaining (just for a day), and post a comment to let us know you are in this challenge with me. There will be a reward to each of you who does. The reward will be posted tomorrow.