And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body.
And be thankful.
My six year old daughter Maylen enjoys clothes. She loves laying out her outfit for school the next day. She loves mixing and matching and coming up with fun combinations. However, she really despises folding her clothes. Last week she looked at her basket of impending work and declared, “I have too many clothes! I wish I did not have so many clothes!”
I immediately used this as a teaching opportunity to talk to her about children who are so impoverished that they only have one outfit to wear. Undaunted by this scenario, Maylen sighed heavily and insisted that those girls are truly lucky because they don’t have to waste SO much of their life folding clothes. I was aghast at her outrageous claim and was momentarily speechless as I formulated my rebuttal.
She cursed her blessings! *
Let that sink in for a moment.
Maylen cursed her blessings. The very things that she adores, she grumbles about when the tide changes! I have a feeling that she is not the only one :)
Truly most of the things we complain about are the very blessings that our Heavenly Father has given us out of His love and mercy. He showers blessings on us and we curse them when they are not convenient for the moment. Heartbreaking!
It is a life passion of mine to make sure my children have a global vision. I believe that in order for our children to be globally focused, they must first recognize the immense blessings overflowing in their lives that most of the world cannot fathom!
A few years ago I heard Susie Larson, author of Growing Grateful Kids speak at the Hearts at Home conference. What I remember most is this nugget of wisdom “You cannot impart what you do not live.” That quote jarred my soul.
My OWN heart had to be pouring out thankfulness.
My OWN lips had to cease complaining.
I had to stop cursing my blessings.
I desperately want my children to be grateful, not consumed with worldliness and constantly wanting more, but it has to start with me. I then started a crusade of thankfulness to retrain my heart.
~ When I would turn on the water, “Wow, how BLESSED we are that we have CLEAN, running water inside of our house!
~ After getting medicine for strep throat for the kiddos I would make sure to verbalize, “We are so blessed that we have access to medicine that can make us healthy again, and doctors who can treat us.”
~Instead of my usual grumbling about having to put away all the groceries after a haul from the grocery store, “Thank you God for providing so much healthy food to nourish our bodies that we did not have to grow all by ourselves!”
It drove my husband a bit batty and it sounded quite campy at times. In fact, it felt quite foreign to me. But like I said, I was retraining. Quite quickly our children started to tune in to the blessing of having blessings; which were previously considered “givens.”
Several winters ago, my husband challenged me on how much I was complaining about the bitter cold.
Said the Hubby, “When we lived in South Carolina you loved the weather, but we were missing out on so much being far away from family. God blessed us with a job allowing us to move five minutes from your parents! You were SO excited to move back to Iowa! You cannot have it both ways!”
Harrumph. How right he was. Again.
I was cursing my blessings. God had answered a prayer for us and here I was complaining!
It takes utter self-restraint for me not to complain about the winters because I truly do disdain them. Every time a thought comes to my head about the unfortunate weather and my state of miserableness, I combat it with focusing on blessings and praising God. Ephesians 5:20
The Thanksgiving Holiday is here in all of its glory of feasting and family. Consider taking a moment with your family to imprint on your hearts to make thankfulness your family banner. Cancel complaining and let our praises and grateful hearts bring Glory to the Father, our King, our Savior.
Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
* I thank Kirk and Keri Plattner for introducing me to the concept of cursing our blessings several years ago in their blog. It has stuck with me and has truly helped me see the sin in my complaining.