Yesterday, I posted my usual 'Sunday's Thought' on our Facebook Community Page, however this time I posted a little challenge that starts today for the next 24 hours. Feel free to join myself as well as the others to go without complaining for the entire day starting whenever you come across this post! I shared it via Instagram too and one reader actually suggested it as a family challenge and tagged her family members which I think is an awesome idea to change the dynamic inside of our homes.
You may remember me sharing my New Year goals and how complaining less was on the short list of things I really wanted to work on for 2015. As a Christian woman who desires to live like Christ and follow biblical principles, what I know for sure is that God doesn't bless complaining. In fact, there are many scriptures confirming this and we are commanded to be thankful in all circumstances and for all things. Regardless of your spiritual background (or lack thereof), I think we can all agree that murmuring is not very becoming of a lady.
I really believe that if we truly want to enjoy our life to the fullest, we must discipline ourselves by fighting the urge to complain. Instead, we can find gratitude in the very same circumstance. It's much easier said than done and something that I'm still working on myself every single day. Doesn't it seem as though the times we really try to be cognizant of this area and work towards doing better that it's precisely when life throws us a bunch of curve balls and allow us to cross paths with people that will test this even more? Knowing this, I'm already going into today expecting it but choosing to redirect my thoughts before they become the words that I utter.
You might be wondering why I included this in our Manners Monday series. In a previous post I wrote about how Complaining Isn't Classy. Etiquette and good manners are all about choosing our actions and words wisely, that we may make others around us feel comfortable. Have you ever been around someone who goes on and on endlessly about something that's making them unhappy? Of course, we all have. We may even live with people who do it regularly. It's an uncomfortable feeling when you're on the receiving end listening and can feel like such a drain of your time and emotional energy. Asking questions or chiming in with a comment to be a polite conversationalist may only encourage and prolong the negativity. That's the thing about complaining, it can quickly spiral out of control if we're not careful and it will alienate those around us. It will cause others to no longer find us good company and it becomes part of our...wait for it....REPUTATION. I don't know about you but that is the last thing I want to be remembered for or have as part of my lasting legacy here on earth.
For me personally, if I can be honest with you (although there is never a good excuse for complaining), a lot of my past complaints began a few weeks after the birth of our daughter as I felt exhausted and overwhelmed by my new role and wasn't receiving the help and support that I was asking for from my husband. I think this happens a lot for new mothers so I know I'm not alone. When you don't have any family surrounding you that lives nearby or is willing to help, it can feel very lonely. My asking eventually turned into complaining. Over time I became the kind of wife that I really never wanted to become which was a nag. At the time, I felt like I was drowning with so much to do and such little time, with a lack of help and sleep which was later magnified when he took a work position overseas for 6 months while she was still just a young baby at 5.5 months old. I know many of you mothers can relate-especially the single mothers, as women we naturally take on the majority of the workload in the domestic arena and it can feel very overwhelming sometimes.
I was desperate for some time for myself but at the end of the day, I recognized that complaining wasn't helping our situation. In fact, it was starting to drive us apart and when I really started paying attention to the words that were coming out of my mouth along with my tone, I didn't like who I was starting to become and that was my turning point. One of my biggest complaints was that he wasn't spending enough time with her and although I felt frustrated at times, I had to make the decision to see it from another perspective-that although I wasn't getting that alone time I craved and needed, not spending more time with his daughter was his own loss! She was never going to be that age again and if he didn't make the time now, he would be the one losing out in the end vs. focusing on what I was missing out on. Sometimes we just need to adjust our lens to see things in a new way. That was what got me through, knowing I was getting to savor every precious moment I could of baby time with my girl.
In life we're either part of the problem or part of the solution. There is so much power in the latter. In the end, after a bit of trial and error both while she was jut a few months old and then again once hubby arrived back home from living overseas and Lily had turned a year old, we finally got into more of a groove and a schedule that works for both of us given our current lifestyle right now. It's not perfect but it's constantly evolving and I'm continuing to be grateful for the time he spends with her and the new ways he continues to step up as a father. Lily adores her time with her daddy (as does he) and I have found new ways to ask for help with her and around our home that he will respond to. It's definitely made for a happier home.
There is always more than a single perspective...what one person sees as an annoyance, another finds the blessing in. Look for the silver lining even when it's different from what you wanted, hoped for, prayed for or planned on. I truly believe what we focus on becomes bigger and multiplies. So, let it work in your favor!
Let me know in the comments below if you plan to join our little challenge! Did you like this post? Be sure to pin the image above to Pinterest to encourage others to try this challenge in their own life as well.
Thanks for reading!