Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Antidote to Complaining

I absolutely love this post. You see, I can be a huge complainer. Especially lately with my wrist being in a cast. I can give you a list of all of the ways in which having a fractured wrist has slowed down my agenda in my life. But what good would that do? Instead – I can give you an even longer list of how God has provided for my needs during this time. I will give you one example – I cannot write. At. All. When I do my job, I have to take a lot of notes. I have to interview people and ask them a gazillion questions. I can't do that. So I showed up this week for work – my first week with clients after taking a week off.  I don't know what I thought I would do, other than try to remember everything and use my speech to text software after work to write everything down. I got to my destination and upon arrival was reminded that there were two interns at this office who were always asking me if they could help me. They were both there for all three sessions! They did all my writing for me. Totally God's provision.  Thank you Kimberly for reminding us of this important and powerful way that we can live as Christians!  
Have you noticed that people like to complain?  You are more likely to hear negative things about a business or person instead of positive things. 

Our children like to complain as well. 

Complaining comes easy. 
Yet, as Christians we are told to do otherwise. 

Psalm 34:8 say, “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” 
Philippians 2:14-15 says, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 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.”

What is the antidote to complaining?
Learning to have an attitude of gratitude in every area of our lives.

We need to teach ourselves and our children to be thankful for every little thing. 
Let me share how basic this can get. 

On a mission trip to Peru I observed a girl, about age 6, run to the corner store and give a small amount of money to buy one diaper out of a diaper package hanging in the store.  The little girl ran home to take the diaper to her Mom for a sibling. 

Can you imagine going to the store and buying a diaper instead of a package of diapers?
We can be thankful when we are changing all those messy diapers that we have money to purchase diapers!

I challenge all of us to begin answering each complaint with what we are thankful for?
Your children say, “I’m hungry?”  You can then say, “What is something you are thankful for?”
I’m thankful we have food to eat when we are hungry. 
I’m thankful I have a car to drive when I’m sitting in bumper to bumper traffic. 
I’m thankful for the air conditioning in my house when it is 97 degrees outside. 
I’m thankful for God’s absolutely beautiful creation. 
I’m thankful for the air I breathe.

Thankfulness does not come to us easily, but it can be learned. 
Here is a practical application- try this out this week and comment below on the responses you get: Each night when you are eating dinner with your children, even if it is in the car on the way to a soccer game, go around the table and ask each person to share something they are thankful to God for in their life. 

You might be surprised by the answers. 
My son, when he was little, was thankful he didn’t have to sit by a girl in class. 
My daughter was thankful she got a certain size locker in middle school. 
We can be thankful for truly every little thing.

As Christians we can shine our light brightly when we have an attitude of gratitude. 

God is worthy of our praise and Thanksgiving!
Kimberly M. Chastain is a licensed marriage and family therapist.  She is the founder of  She is the author of the Voices of Christian Working Moms, Pearls of Encouragement for CWMs; Help my Preteen/Teen is Driving Me Nuts, and the ABCs of God’s character. 

Okay ladies – I want you to try this out this week- share your answers below. 
Can't wait to hear what your children are thankful for!

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