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Complaining prevents Thanksgiving

As we prepared for Thanksgiving celebrations this year I was overwhelmed by the amount of complaining I was hearing from so many people! (Myself included.)

“Ugh, I have to get my house ready for all these people we have coming over.”

“I have so much I have to do to feed all our family.”

“We will be on the road for hours to get where we are going.”

“Look at this menu! So much food to make.”

Sigh.

I’m guilty too.

A few weeks ago, as I was listening to people discuss their Thanksgiving plans, it occurred to me that they didn’t realize they were doing the opposite of what we are supposed to be celebrating. These wonderful friends of mine didn’t realize they were complaining. Just as I often say things with out realizing how they sound. As this occurred to me, my heart broke.

I began thinking of how I, personally, could be intentional about how I word things.

“Thank you God, for this home. For the opportunity to open it up and welcome others in. May they see You in our words and actions as we are gathered together in Thanksgiving.”

“Thank you God, for our stuff. It is not necessary, it is a blessing. I may not enjoy picking up and putting up over and over each day, but it is a constant reminder of our abundance. Thank you.”

“Thank you Father, for always providing. Thank you that I am able to purchase so many groceries and can provide a great meal for our family. There are so many out there that do not have this luxury. Please be with those who will go hungry, who will get their meals from shelters, or food pantries. Thank you for our local food pantry, for those who make donations, and those who volunteer. For those, like our family, who will be sharing a great meal together, I thank you, and ask that you bless our meal and our time together. Thank you for this blessing. May we not take food or family for granted.”

“Father, please keep us safe as we travel. May our time in the car be a blessing. May we rejoice in the fact that we have a safe vehicle to travel in. Thank you for making sure we have money for gas. Thank you that we have family that will welcome us with open arms. Thank you for the love and gift of family.”

I am not perfect. I often find myself grumbling instead of offering thanksgiving. However, now that God has revealed that to me, I know that I can ask Him to help me be intentional about my words and thoughts. Will I stop grumbling and complaining? No, not completely. But I can be more aware of what I say and think. I can ask for forgiveness. I can change my ways.

One of my mentors shared this: “When we complain we are saying to God that He is not providing.” God is our great provider. Instead of complaining about the rain, we should thank Him for knowing that our lands need water and for providing it. The same is true when we grumble about the little things in life. I hate doing laundry, instead of complaining I should be giving thanks for having clothes to wear. Thankful for a husband and children who also have an abundance of clothing. Thankful for a washer and dryer that work, so that I do not have to wash them by hand. Thankful for water, and soap. Electricity that makes them work. Instead of complaining about the dishes, I should give thanks to God for the food we have. For the family to share it with. For the dishwasher, water, soap and electricity. When my children are loud, and wild, I need to be thankful for the gift of motherhood. To pray for those that yearn for this job, and for what ever reason are unable to bear children at this time.  So many things I choose to complain about… Father forgive me. Help me to find the joy in each circumstance.

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