Monday, February 16, 2009

Complain, Complain, Complain

I am officially and openly confessing...I am a chronic complainer. Yep, I am. It's out there. I feel so relieved to have it off my chest. Thing is, if you know me well, you probably already know that. If you've spent much time with me, you've probably gotten to experience my complaining. I'm so sorry!

Lately, God has been putting my complaining at the forefront of things He is showing me about myself. After I've spent time complaining to someone, whether it be about my giant belly (you're probably all tired of hearing about that), being tired, a tough day with the kids, work, finances, I go home and feel weary; weary that I've burdened someone else with my constant complaining. God is pointing that out.

He's also showing me through Tristan. Tristan has been complaining and whining a lot. Every time Tristan whines or complains, I'm quick to remind him of the verses in Philippians: 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 may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. (Philippians 2:14-16).

God also shows me through others' complaining. In today's technological world, we all get to experience complaining at massive levels...we have the news, reality shows, face-to-face contact, the phone, blogs, facebook updates, twitter...there are so many ways to complain, it's incredible. Sometimes, I get on facebook updates, and all I see are complaints after complaints. I can only imagine if I joined the Twitter community.

Ok, got it, Lord. I have a problem. Now don't get me wrong, I think it's good to let your friends in on how you're really doing. I think it's great to release frustration, to receive encouragement and prayer; however, when complaining becomes what you are characterized by, which is how I often feel about myself, it's a problem. For instance, I am so excited about my baby girl. I know that she will be worth every single inch that I grow. So why do I keep complaining about it?

I also sometimes find myself complaining about things I wanted and asked for. What is that about?!?
I mean, I know people who have much more cause for complaint than I do, yet I never hear them complain. My sweet friend, Jennifer, has a child who was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Have I heard a complaint from her? Not a one! She is so faithful and positive. What a great example!!! Speaking of sweet Owen, please check out Jennifer's blog and be praying for her precious son. I have such faith that he will be healed...all the glory to God!

I don't know about you and where you fit into the "complaining spectrum", but I really want to get better about this. I want to focus on Philippians2:14-16, just like I expect Tristan to. I want to focus on the good things God has done and continues to do. I want to take the focus off of me and put it onto others. I want to make love my greatest aim (1 Corinthians 14:1). I really really do.

Now, don't expect me to stop sharing my pregnancy stories, specifically the crazy comments I get. I have to share those. You have to hear (or read) the crazy things people feel obligated to say to me. However, I am really going to work on not complaining so much. I realize, by hearing others constantly complain, that I must sound that exact way to many people who know me. I'm sure it will take time, as I've spent so much time complaining, but I plan to conquer this weakness. I, at the very least, want to keep my complaining to the minimum. :)

Ok, this whole post may have totally bored you! SORRY! I just have to put it in writing so that I can hold myself accountable. I hope you have a super great complain-free day!!!


Hillary @ The Dunham Diaries said...

Have you heard of the Complaint Free World? Google it. They have bracelets that they'll send you for free and there is a pastor who got his whole congregation to go complaint free.
We ordered the bracelets.
Even wore them for a day or 2. Then they were too much to handle. They didn't match. They looked like we were supporting gay rights or something. :) I'll send you one of mine, if you'd like! haha!

jenny from mommin' it up! said...

Great post! It's so easy to fall into the complaining trap...being content is not just a state of the heart, it's work! And it's hard!

Karen said...

I actually have a good friend who during a summer missions trip one year got sucked into complaining a lot. Her and a friend challenged each other that for every complaint one of them gave...they would have to come up with three good things to combat the "complaint". She shared this with me and it SO helps put things in perspective....I use it A LOT. So, for example, if I am annoyed that someone I am meeting is late then I would have to think of three good things about that: 1. The waiting gives me time to relax 2. At least they aren't speeding trying to get there to meet me :) 3. I get to people watch :)

The Greenfields said...

on thing stormie o'martian says is that every time she is tempted to complain, she asks herself "okay, what is RIGHT with this situation?" my mom is quick to challenge me with this question when she hears me start to complain (drives me NUTS haha) but it's good to look at the positive in people and in different circumstances. my sweet hubby is always quick to remind me that it could always be worse. we have friends who live in crazy difficult circumstances in iraq and every time i want to complain about not having enough water for a bath, or that it's cold in my house, i think about them and keep my mouth shut. just knowing them has help put my daily (minor) frustrations with living overseas in perspective.
if it makes you feel any better, annie- i never noticed that you complained a lot. i've never had the impression of you.

jenniferbernheim said...

Annie, I appreciate your honest post. I feel that since Owen was diagnosted there's less for me to complain about and more for me to appreciate. I truly appreciate each day with him even when he's whining and keeping me up most of the night. I must say just a few weeks ago I complained lots more about work, lack of sleep, etc. My husband is the best example for me... he seems to never complain but I'm sure at times he gets sick of me complaining. PS I think when you're pregnant you do get to complain a little :)