The Complaining Bug

Photo by beneneuman in Flickr

Photo by beneneuman in Flickr

I’m not by nature a complainer.  And I’m usually not a negative person.  But every once-in-a-while the complaining/discontented bug hits me.

It tends to be during busy times or when something comes along to disrupt my schedule.  I can run my home and life like a well-oiled machine but then something throws it off course and I get to complaining.

Take the past three weeks.  My daughter has been taking driver’s education classes about 20 minutes from my home.  It couldn’t be at a more inconvenient time, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Unfortunately, I spent most of those three weeks complaining about it.  I’m sure it was just what my daughter wanted to hear.

How could I possibly get my work done, cook dinner, run errands and squeeze in driving her there and back?  It made for one grumpy mom.

I was seriously ready to have a party yesterday, celebrating her last class.  But then…well, God got a hold of my heart.  He began to show me how much I was acting like the Israelites of the Old Testament.

You know…the people we read about and think, “Oh, quit your complaining!”  I am so often amazed at how unthankful they were.  Yet I suddenly realized I was no different.

Here is what I find to be a great cure for the complaining bug.  For all the things that are bothering me, find something about it that I can be grateful for.

I started thinking about how long some of my days can be, all that I have to accomplish and how sometimes I end up working into the evening.  Then I turned it around.

Starting with the morning and my big complaint about how difficult it is to wake my 13-year-old son.  Be grateful that I have a healthy son to wake up, as I remember the mom whose son is going through chemotherapy.

My next complaint…the inconvenience of driving my kids to and from school everyday.  Be grateful I have a working vehicle.

Next on the list…the long hours I spend working.  Be grateful that I have a job I can do at home and that it’s something I love.

I guess I might as well throw in there the complaint that has been my biggest the past three weeks, the dreaded driver’s education classes.  Be grateful that I am able to spend this time in the car with her, as we have some great conversations.  It won’t be long and she will be more independent.  Ouch…that kind of stings the heart.

Time passes quickly.  Those things we complain about, well, they tend to go away.  And you never know when you just might miss them.

© 2012, Stephanie Romero

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