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Turning complaints into praise

Here is a sampling of some of the complaints I had this week: 

Ugh, I have to get so much dental work done. Two root canals, wisdom teeth extracted, and cavities. Our dental insurance barely covers the work! 

Lord, thank you that I have dental insurance through my husbands job to cover most of my dental work. Thank you that I live in a country where modern dentistry exists- where I can have the option of anesthesia and sanitary conditions. Thank you that I have the luxury of keeping my teeth.

I feel so “mommy-ish”. I barely have time any more to do things like paint my nails, work out, cut my hair, or put on cute clothes. 

Father, thank you that I am a mother to a beautiful daughter. Thank you that you change my priorities and my heart to become more sacrificial and to think of her first before myself, which is the way you love us. Thank you that you still make me beautiful without the fashions or trends of this world that we cling to tightly to for affirmation. Thank you that you make me realize that I am lovely without any additional help from the world, because you make me that way. 

Lillian woke me up four times last night! I barely got any sleep! 

Lord, thank you that I get to stay home during the day with my daughter. Thank you that my full time job is devoted to loving her and helping her grow into a child that is secure in your love. Thank you that my husband supports this. Thank you that I have the opportunity to wake up gratefully at night to be with her, knowing that the following day I can get rest if need be. Thank you for helping me live simply so that this can happen for our family. 

I feel so lonely. It seems like I spend most of my day at parks alone or on walks. I feel like I have no friend that is kin in spirit with me here in Denver
Jesus, thank you that you have provided me some good friends here that I can rely on for comfort and support. Thank you that you are guiding me towards a church I can call home. Thank you that you have given me my sister here in Denver, my husband, and my daughter. While I sometimes get lonely- I have you which is more than enough. Thank you for teaching me that loneliness can guide me into conversations with you. 
These are just a few of the complaints I verbalized this week. I caught myself saying these things out loud. How often do I take for granted the things that I have been so richly and undeservedly blessed by? Am I worthy of my husband, daughter, or  my relationship with Jesus? Absolutely not! Yet I find myself sometimes acting as though these people are burdens on my life. I truly grumble under my breathe before I even realize what I am doing. 

Gratitude. Praise. Grace. 

I do not deserve these blessings, yet my heavenly Father above has graciously given these things to me, as precious gifts that I ought to be praising him for. 

We live in a culture of entitlement. There is not a system in place in our capitalistic society where we are given something for nothing. We are paid for our work, and we pay for our goods. As we are taught in school- “there is no free lunch”. Our grades are earned by good test scores and our annual reviews are earned by work performance. 

Yet God’s scale for us is a scale of Grace. We can never earn our salvation, or anything for that matter, and he freely gives us love. It is an uncommon economy to us, and we have a very hard time differentiating it from ours. 

Entitlement. Greed. Right. 

Jesus, as I enter this week of Thanksgiving, may I understand the rich abundance of your grace. I deserve nothing, yet you give me everything in You. Help my eyes to be open to all the areas in which you have given me great things. Help me to praise you for the people in my life, the roof over my head, and the food I consume. May I be filled with overwhelming thanks for every little thing I am given, knowing fully that I am no better than anyone else- just your child. May my gratitude spill over into other people’s lives- giving them the gift of love and grace as you have given me. Help me to love people like you do, offering everything, extending unending mercy, and wanting them to know the gift of healing that you have given me. Give me new eyes and a clean heart. Keep me from grumbling or complaining for the lot you have given me, even if it is difficult. Help me to praise you even in hard times, because hard times are when we see you even more clearly. Help me to love your children- those who know you and do not- because you love us all with a perfect love and your command to us is to love each other, do good for one another, and extend grace to our enemy. Help me to show those who do not know you the medicine you give our souls, medicine of forgiveness, unconditional love, and purpose that we all long for. Keep me from judging anyone, for sin has no rank, and you call us to love only. Keep me from becoming religious or self-righteous, but rather filled with love and grace and joy. May I laugh at the coming future and enjoy life as you wish me to! 

I am overwhelmed with the topic of gratitude. Do we really think we earn things in this world? Do we judge others by their appearance, faith, or sin? If so, what do the verses below encourage us to believe? 

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.
Jeremiah 31:2-3 Thus says the LORD:”The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest, the LORD appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.

Ephesians 2:4-9 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Brielle Franklin

    I love your blog. You just take the complaints out of everything and spin it and look at the bright side! I was just on a website reading homedirectusa ratings and the amount of people that were complaining because of every little thing. It just bugged me. I should send them over to your site. Thanks for sharing!

    November 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm
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