My Complaint-Free Day

Posted on December 20, 2011 by

I opened my eyes to new mercies this morning and every morning,

Fingers intertwined in the hands of a man who has taught me about love in ways I never thought possible ,

Healthy enough to jump out of bed, shut off the alarm, and head to the bathroom in my own strength,

Where clean running water waits for me; so many people do not enjoy this simple luxury,

Spoiled with an assortment of devotionals and Bible translations to choose from while brothers and sisters around the world risk their lives for one page of Scripture,

Prayers of gratefulness go up  to the One who loved me and gave Himself for me. I am wholly unworthy,

 Entering the kitchen to make coffee and there’s that wonderful clean water running again,

Blessed with a full pantry with which to pull groceries to cook an ample breakfast for my large family,

Relishing the pitter patter of a toddler’s feet, noting  the changing sound the bigger she gets,

Her calls pierce the quiet solitude, and I am thankful that she is healthy, running, and able to call out to me,

When was the last time I thought of my children, 5 miraculous, living beings, as  the beautiful physical evidence of love made rather than people for me to work at taking care of?

Thankful for the job that compels me to iron shirt and slacks for the man who sacrifices and works so hard to care for me and our family,

Wrong turn (turned on the news), but I decide to turn on the light of thankfulness rather than cursing the darkness,

Like the Proverbs 31 woman, my servants -the washing machine, the dryer, the dishwasher- help me handle today’s portion of work,

Reading stories, making paper bag puppets, baking cookies, folding laundry, even the challenges of potty training are all events I am blessed to witness up close, personal, first hand, present and not compelled to divide my attentions,

Family gathers around the dinner table, heads bowed, thanking God for His bountiful grace, blessings, and provision.

I kick up my feet, book in hand, head on beloved’s shoulder as the children, with the help of the servant of course, handle the dishes and talk about their day,

Bath tub fun and water splashing everywhere marks the winding down of the day as the little ones get into their pajamas.

Bedtime stories, prayers, and kisses.

I cannot express how much internal work was required to commit to a complaint-free day. When I embarked on this exercise one morning last week, I expected it to be a piece of cake. Just refuse to complain, inwardly as well as verbally.  How hard could that be? There are no words to describe…

Life’s challenges were still there. The irritations that occur naturally in a house with seven people, seven personalities, and seven sets of needs didn’t evaporate into thin air because I vowed not to complain. In fact, things that I normally would have brushed aside loomed larger than ever.

The key, and I must be honest here and admit that I fell back into my old patterns immediately upon waking the next day, is to thank God for what is going right as soon as your focus shifts to what is going wrong.

It was hard. Living intentionally always is. Today, I float in midair, somewhere between the blessed complaint free day and the natural man’s tendency to be perpetually dissatisfied. I say more prayers during the day since my experiment than I did before, but am still too lazy to commit to the level of intentionality every day that I did on my complaint-free day. It was harder than I ever imagined. Easy not to complain verbally, but harder to guard my heart against inward grumbles.

Posted in: Relationships