Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thankful, but Still Complaining...

'Tis the season of Thanksgiving and we're reminded we need to be/should be thankful every where we go.  From the big inflatable turkey in our neighbor's front lawn to the stacks of frozen birds at the store to my friends who are listing what they are thankful for on Facebook, giving thanks is all over.

This all is a good thing and I am happy to know the things for which others are thankful.  It helps to remind me to count my blessings as well. 

All in all, I like to think I'm a pretty thankful person in my everyday life.  Our path certainly hasn't been an easy one in the last couple of years, but God has provided and continues to do so in every way imaginable.  I'm thankful for His grace.  I know we are in His hands.  I KNOW all this.

I am thankful, but I still complain.  So, am I really thankful?

Our Cook & Book group is beginning to study a book called, "Calm My Anxious Heart" by Linda Dillow.  The book is about contentment and worry something most of us, women especially, struggle with from time to time.  I've only gotten through the first chapter and, let me just say it, "Ouch!"   This book is already hitting me where it hurts.
Only a few pages in, the author relates a story about an amazingly contented woman who, with her family, was a missionary to pygmies in Africa for over 52 years.  Their living conditions were primitive to say the least and the weather was hot.  The missionary told of having to take their thermometer inside on occasions because it was so hot it might explode and the thermometer went up to 120!  You get the picture.  Through it all this woman was known for her contented disposition and attitude in Christ.

This missionary woman kept a journal of her days in Africa and after she had died, her daughter found this journal.  In it, the daughter discovered her mother's recipe for contentment.  Her list was a great one!  However, I'm still stuck on the first ingredient in her recipe:

NEVER allow yourself to complain about anything - not even the weather.

Oh. My.

I've been trying to pay attention to my words in the week since I read this.  Watching to see how many times I find myself complaining when I'm not even aware of it.  Checking to discover if complaints find their way into my words or thoughts and with what frequency.

It's not pretty.

I've found that, while I'm pretty good at saying "thank you" and expressing my thanks, I'm better at complaining.  Which has led me to my question above, "Am I really thankful?" If I am such a good complainer can I really be thankful?

No answers here...yet.

14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning, 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 
 Phillipians 2:14 & 15

(Thanks for the book suggestion Sweet Lips or was it Sweet memory is failing.)

1 comment:

  1. Don't you LOVE the book? It is SO convicting...but just hits right where we live. So glad you're enjoying it, and I LOVE your post about it! I am re-reminded to guard my thoughts and my tongue from complaining :). (as far as the nick name.....could be either! :) ha ha! Actually, I'm 40, so it'll take some time to remember back that far!