Monday, I was talking on the phone with a friend while simultaneously trying to fit my week’s supply of milk into a very full refrigerator. With one hand holding the phone and the other hand working to rearrange the leftovers and eggs and dressings so that all of the milk jars would fit, I let out an exasperated, “Ugh! Why is my fridge always so FULL!?” My friend, in her loving and wise way said, “Well, when you consider the alternative…”
Huh. No kidding. Was I really just whining about having a refrigerator full of food? Shame on me.
Why is it so much easier to complain than to have a grateful heart? Why do we tend to complain and whine about things which are actually blessings?
We complain when the weather is so hot that we feel like we’ll melt and all we can do is long for cooler days – but come winter we’ll be complaining of the cold. If it’s raining, we’ll really want it to stop, but if it’s not raining, we’ll complain that everything is too dry. When the wind blows too hard, we complain that our hair is going to be messed up, but if there’s no breeze at all, we’ll complain about how still it is.
When we stand at our closet, trying to decide what to put on, we complain that we have nothing to wear – then later we’ll stand beside our piles of laundry thinking “woe is me” thoughts about all the clothes that need to be washed.
We complain about all the stuff all over our house that is causing clutter and making a mess – then we complain that we don’t have enough money to buy more stuff.
We complain when the roads are bumpy or full of pot holes, when the snow hasn’t been cleared well and when the streets need to be repaved – but talk to us about the taxes we need to pay in order for this to happen or the detours we’ll have to take so that the work can be done – and we’ll complain again even louder.
We complain that we never have time to ourselves and wish we could just get a moment’s peace without somebody asking us to do something or calling us on the phone – but when the phone is silent and we’re home alone, we wonder why we feel lonely.
We complain about all kinds of things we have no control over and seem to think that maybe complaining might help us feel better, but instead, it just makes us grumpy. We complain about all kinds of things we DO have control over, but really just wish we didn’t have to put forth the effort to make the changes happen.
I’m glad Jesus wasn’t a complainer – can you imagine? “I wish all these needy people would just leave me alone for a change and stop asking for miracles – they’re wearing me out. And this fish – can’t we find something to eat besides fish for a change? And for goodness sake, could someone please get me something other than a rock for a pillow?”
Complaining is an easy habit to get into and a hard one to break. Ha! Something else to complain about. ;)
Or, how about we all work together on being grateful and make a conscious effort to stop complaining?
Think of the peace we could all have if we just decide to stop complaining.
We are blessed! Be grateful!
Rebecca @ A Daily Dose of Grace says
Amen! I often think of this about laundry, too. Those are clothes for our backs. And we can afford to wash them! Now, if we could just get them put away. :)
Great post. I was just reading 1 Peter this morning and what stuck with me was how Jesus continued to do good and suffer. I catch myself saying things like, “We always do the right thing and it feels like we get the short end of the stick”. It was a reminder to continue to do good. Your post reminded to also have a grateful heart and to view the daily ‘inconveniences’ in a different light. Thanks for sharing.
I would just like to say thank you for this reminder. I can honestly say there is one thing on your list that I have not complained about in a while. Just today I was telling a friend…”Doesn’t it feel good to have a truck full of groceries.” The last month I havent been working and a friend living with us had a child in the hospital and then she lost her job and then we have had to deal with multiple flat tires. We are looking for another 2 weeks of really tight money but today we were able to go buy groceries. IT FELT GREAT!!! And I didnt even complain once about putting it all away or not having enough room. Be thankful for the little things, those are what get you through from day to day!!!
Preach it, sister! I have been convicted of this so much lately. I blame it on Ann Voskamp’s “1000 Gifts”. After reading that, I know I can never go back to my grumbly ol’ self…of which I’m so thankful! so is my hubby :)
On a side note, I’m drooling over all the jars in your fridge. love me some jars….
Alana Nystrom says
I think this is one of the best posts you’ve written! I’ve been convicted of my complaining spirit for the past couple weeks and this is just what I needed to hear. Thank you.
Thank you for a reminder we all need. I visited with an old friend last week who is in her nineties. She has no family left and has had her share of hard knocks but not one negative word. I was so inspired by her and am inspired by your words here.
Laura--The Sushi Snob says
I’m feeling very guilty over here. I complain far too much! It’s time for me to consciously look for the positive in the things I complain about.
Love this post! I’m a complainer, who is convicted to just knock it off already. I am working on it. :)
Jenni R says
Guilty! We do have SOOOO much to be thankful for! And God is so gracious.
Thank you for an excellent toe stomp!
You are a blessing!
Oh wise, wise Laura, talk about conviction! I just read this out loud to my husband and we both were stung right in the heart. Thank you for the reminder.
Smockity Frocks says
Very wonderfully put!
Since my husband’s sudden layoff 7 weeks ago, I have realized how much I used to complain. I feel so silly remembering how much I whined because we couldn’t afford this or that luxury. Now we are just hoping we can scrape together enough for our house payment.
Hm. I wonder if God had a little lesson in mind for me…
Thank You SO much! I needed this this morning. How this blesses me. I did start to complain a bit in my mind about work today and then realized that, how silly of me, I need to be thankful that the Lord has provided me work today. Thanks again!
Awesome post!! I’m cracking up over here while feeling guilty at the same time!! I really need to work on my attitude too!! I am very blessed I need to act like it more. Thank you for the reminder!!! :)
Angela B says
I really needed to be reminded of this. I can feel so overwhelmed and depressed so easily. I get angry with God for not doing what I want him to do. This post brought me to tears. Thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit speak through you to me!
Kimberly Jacobson says
Thank you for this~I was just complaining to my hubby about our children’s complaining…wonder where they get it? Guess I’m going to have to work a little harder to make some changes!
Ooh, the knife through me.
Thank you, Laura, for the reminder. We are so BLESSED! Blessed beyond belief. And so guilty of complaining. Thank you for the reminder. :)
Sarah S. says
Thank you so much for this post!! I found myself, just today, getting ready to post something on facebook, then to think, no, thats complaining and I shouldn’t do that…so I posted nothing instead. Complaining is such an easy habit to get into and sooo hard to stop! I think, starting tomorrow, me and the kids and hubby are going to start saying at least 1 thing we are thankful for. Thanks for the reminder, Laura.
WELL SAID LAURA!!! Thank You for this reminder of how blessed we really are!
Amen, and Amen.
Amen! And thank you for the reminder of how blessed we are!
I often complain about the long commute I have to work and back, but it is for a good job that I could never get in my own hometown, so I have to remember that and be thankful for my great job.
Love this post!! It seems so easy to automatically complain. It takes effort sometimes to see past the problem and find the silver lining. God’s been dealing with me about finding the positive in every situation, because it always could be worse. :)
Laura, you really didn’t have to write a whole post just for me! :)
Brandi @ Frugal Farmhouse says
very true. I often have the same thought. and I have to remind myself that I am darn lucky to have to think that..
Love this one! Thanks :)
Amy C. says
Thank you for posting! So very true!
What a great reminder! I sure needed to hear that. Hopefully it will remember it today when my 3 year old pushes me to my limits and my infant is crying and I just want some peace. I am beyond thankful that I am a mother. Yeah, the laundry…still need to put that away :P
I hear you! I have a 3 year old limit pusher, and an infant too. :) Some days are rough, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. We are blessed!
How true! Thank you for the reminder. We are all so extremely blessed.
Amen. Well written.
Thank you for this! I tend to be both a complainer and a worrier (but I am striving to do better every day with God’s help!). This is a wonderful reminder for me to count my blessings.
Amy Lynne says
Awesome words! In all circumstances we need to remember that we are blessed…even when things are balanced precariously in the fridge!
Jen Fortin says
Great post! Chief of all sinners here, guilty! Though God is bigger than it all and is so forgiving and gracious and good.
Sigh… One I’m guilty of daily though try hard to work on it. When I’m around complainers and negative people, I always find myself getting that way too. I hope I don’t encourage that behavior in others…
Danielle B says
Get away from the negative people. They tend to pull you down. And as a Christian, we should be a light, and be positive. Negative attitudes attract other negative attitudes. Not too many positive people want to be around negative attitudes.
Also, don’t put up with the negativity, you don’t have to be apart of the conversation. Just back away, and change the subject.
Thank you Laura for this post! I am 39 weeks pregnant and my baby is due in six days. Last night I spent a good chunk of time complaining about still being pregnant and that I just wanted this baby to come already! After reading this, I have put it into perspective for today and am trying to enjoy the last few days of kicks and wiggles from my little one. Thank you for always providing such great encouragement :)
When every I would get “wo is me” with my pregnancies (I’ve had TWO twin pregnancies!), my Mom would graciously say, “just remember that when they’re born they cry and need to be fed and changed ALL hours of the day and night… you have to dress them and load them up in the car seat to take them anywhere… being pregnant is easy! lol! Nothing like a mom to put things in to perspective again.
Amy O. says
My husband and I have had several opportunities to minister in a third world country. I find that when we are back home, we are more grateful and therefore, we complain less.
Loved this post!! Needed to hear it today. I’m due with my third baby on Saturday and have found myself complaining about how uncomfortable I am. ;)
Have you been hiding in my house?? Just yesterday I told my kiddoes that I was hearing WAYYYYYY too much negativity from everyone (myself included!). So we decided to have a “no negativity day”. We quoted Ephesians 4:29 – let NO unwholesome word proceed from your mouth but only such a word as is good for edification, according to the need of the moment, that it may give GRACE to those who hear. And I told them we all needed to think before we opened our mouths. Several times during the day I “caught” them starting to say something and then stopping mid-word! And my youngest a couple of times told the other two “Negative!” I really did notice a difference. Hopefully we can continue it today….
From Cristin To Mommy says
Very well put. I am going to share this post with my readers.
From Cristin To Mommy says
I remember whining about how bad I wanted the baby out of me. Now that she’s here I’m happy to hold her in my arms but miss feeling her in my belly:)
Amen! You need one of those ‘like’ buttons on your articles, so if I ‘like’ it it will post to my page on facebook. I came across a blog that had it the other day and I thought it was pretty nifty ;-)
Thank you for sharing this! What a great reminder to start my morning. :)
Vicki W. says
Such a meaningful post!! The Lord just impressed on me yesterday to thank Him for the situation I am in, for it brings me closer to Him! I was laid off in March, and broke my foot in May. I have 3 screws in my foot with a hard cast. I can’t put any weight on it, which forces me to rely on my husband & others. I just praise God, though, for the patience He is teaching me. And His love is enveloping me every day! Thank you, Laura, for your post. You have been a blessing to me many times!!
Charlotte Moore says
I think you have given ALL of us something to think about. GOD is GOOD!!!!
I LOVE this post. I was actually complaining to myself a little while ago about all the dishes I have to wash. Thank you for reminding me to REJOICE in EVERYTHING!!!
By the way, what kind of jars are they in your refrigerator? I am looking for some glass jars/containers to store leftovers in.
Jenifer Parker says
The way I see it you have 2 choices. Eat faster or get another fridge? LOL Ok an Ice Chest could be cheaper and short term. hahahahahha notice I didn’t say stop putting food in containers to use. :-)
amen!!! thanks for the reminder. something i am CONTINUOUSLY working on….
Janet Kiessling says
Amen!!!! Boy, I really needed to hear this today! Thank you! Especially right now, we have just been blessed with a heat wave & our 13 year old just can’t seem to stop complaining about the heat. Now, you have given me some ideas! :) And the refrig.& lack of space – hubby fits that bill – thanks for those ideas!!!
I am so loving your jars Please tell us where you found them???
I am a complainer to always it does make you feel silly when you step back and listen to yourself
Stacy Makes Cents says
Thanks, I needed that. You are an inspiration…
…and when Jesus had an opportunity to complain… beaten and crucified… He didn’t. I have to remind myself of that often.
Amen! to that post, a thousand times amen. Just so you don’t feel alone I’ve done it standing at my freezer and then I say to myself “are you really complaining about having too much food?” That will snap me out of it.
Excellent post that I really needed to read today. Thanks!
I had a neighbor who didn’t have much at all including food. She was at my house one day when I was fixing dinner. I opened my fridge to get something out and she said “Wow! I wish my fridge was that full.” That comes to my mind every once in a while. Made me more grateful that I can afford to feed my family the way I do.
Amen to that!!! Well said and thank you for the reminder!
My mom’s cousin has had many health problems over the years. When someone asks him how he is feelng, he does not complain. Instead, he says, “Any day above the ground is a good one!”
I so need to hear this sometimes. Thanks
thanks for this! I shared with my facebook friends, they may need it too!
By the way… I was buying some half gallon jars yesterday and thought to myself “I wonder if I have as many jars as Laura?” I picked ups some plastic caps too!!
Thanks. I needed that.
Been there myself! I’m quick, and my husband is too, to remind myself that it IS a blessing and to change my perspective.
So, so good Laura. Thank you!
Oh wow did *I* need to hear this today. Thank you for being so willing to listen to the soft whisper of God when you do your posts!!!!
Dawn(One Faithful Mom) says
Just today, after riding in the car for several hours, I caught myself complaining about the long ride. Thankfully, I immediately caught myself and said a quick prayer, “Thank you Father for a car with air conditioning and soft seats.” I often tell my children that we can ALWAYS find something to complain about…it’s being thankful that is the challenge!!
Wow!! Thank you so much for sharing these thoughts! I needed to read this.
[email protected] says
Amen!! I needed this, been complaining all day. Gotta get my head out of the clouds. Thanks :)
It is easy to get into the rut of complaining and whining (I might know this from experience), but I feel that, overall, it is so much easier to choose to be happy. And, for me, it is easier to find the good in things when I remember that I am not in control of everything that happens, but I am in control of how I choose to respond. Thanks for this post, Laura!
[email protected] says
I love this post. It is SO true and we are all probably guilty of this to some extent. We all need to complain less and be more grateful. Good post. :)
Just saw this today and had to think of your post: http://www.geekosystem.com/first-world-problems/
In PNG I’m often embarrassed to open my fridge when New Guineans are in my home. I can’t imagine what they must be thinking, especially considering most of them live day to day. The prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread” means something entirely different to many people around the world. Thanks for your great post.
Wonderful post! Thank you for the reminder to have a grateful heart.
I am so glad I came by. This was such a timely reminder.
Thank you for such a beautiful post!
Be grateful. We never know what is going to happen tomorrow. what we say and do can effect us. what if we wake up and someone dies that we just complained about, or we never really spent the time that we needed with someone and they die, like a child. God blesses us for reasons. We just watched the movie Courageous. That movie shows why to be thankful.
Paula L. says
Your frig looks so organized. Could you please tell me where you get you jars and lids? Thanks! I certainly needed to read this this morning…
I get the jars from Azure Standard and the lids usually at Walmart or Amazon.
Best post! We all need a little reminder now and then.
Girlfriends Are Like Shoes
Amen! Just what I needed to hear! :)
This message is REALLY hitting home with me recently…thanks for writing it…very good to hear and take to heart! :D
ps…i was on the phone with my mom today (we live far apart in miles) and we were sort of catching up. She said, “this life is harsh and bloody, and maybe Christ on the cross is the best example of that”…it was such a weird thing for her to say, but it really gave me food for thought. He didn’t complain…nor should I.
Therese' Pureveen says
Whenever my stepmother opened my fridge, she used to say, Oh, Thankyou Jesus! becuase my fridge was always full, and that is something I will never forget. That was more than 25 years ago. It has made me think too about maoaning!
Now everytime I open my fridge, I also say thankyou for my car and my home etc. Good lesson!
Every once in awhile I will come back to this page just to be reminded about how much I complain! Thank you for being here (in cyberville) to help out!
Last week while walking with my husband & dog around a local lake while our son was attending a youth event there, I dropped my car key. Someone picked it up, went to the parking lot and “beeped” around until they found our car and stole my purse. It had waayy too much stuff in it for someone else to have. I have in this last week struggled with fear at times of that person, now having my driver’s license, social security cards for me & all kids, Credit cards, cash, all keys to our home, church, both vehicles and husband’s office, will come to our home. Although the week has been so full of “brain mush” from everything that must be done, and still not finished, I AM SOOO THANKFUL TO GOD, AND GOD ALONE! It could have been worse….For some unknown reason, they didn’t take the car, they haven’t used the credit cards, they haven’t tried to use our bank account, they haven’t tried to get credit using our name yet, and they haven’t come to our home. If they do come for more, go for it, all I want is my family safe. If they do steal any of our identities, it’s only the ones on earth…Noone can snatch us out of God’s hand!
There is still much to do and I could give you all pretty simple steps to protect yourself, some you know already, but a few the police, Federal Trade Commission and Social Security Office told me that I couldn’t find online, but the main thing is to know where your true identity lies. If you don’t know, start by asking God to open your eyes to see, ears to listen and hearts to understand & begin reading any gospel in the Bible-Matthew, Mark, Luke or John… or Romans. Keep reading until God touches your heart.
Great post! Thanks for the reminders, i do laugh at myself when i complain about weather, it’s just silly ????