Chin Up Devotional: Day 3

Do all things without grumbling and complaining, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.
— Philippians 2:14

Have you had your coffee yet? Because reading that verse can be a wake up call. There's a crazy word in there that I cannot shake. I cannot ignore it. I cannot make it go away. 

All.

Really? All?  Like ALL THE THINGS? Because there is SO much ripe soil for complaints in my home, my job, my life. 

After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, my husband and I took 100 college students down there for spring break. Our goal was to help with the relief efforts, to gut abandoned and soaked houses, to restore what we could. We drove 14 hours from Ohio with a 23 car caravan. It was a crazy blast. 

Most of the students were ready with a positive attitude, but about 2 days in, as we were tearing down wet, moldy, sludgy, dry wall inside waterlogged houses, attitudes started to tank. The day one team found a snake inside a smelly, saturated refrigerator was one I'll never forget. In order to reset the plummetting  atmosphere, we gathered our people and quoted Philippians 2:14. And we renewed our motto for our week: "Flexible and fun!" 

So many complaints can easily be avoided if we would simply be flexible and have fun. I know a few people who roll with it and create fun in the middle of crazy. I am not one of them.

But I want to be. I bet you do to. Jesus, HALP.

Maybe the day in front of you feels like the aftermath of a hurricane. Sludgy. Stinky. Soaked. Ripe soil for complaints. But what has a complaint ever done for us? Has it helped? Has it brought life? Has it bolstered spirits?

Nope.

What if today, the ENTIRE day, we did not complain once. Can we possibly do it? YES. And it comes with a benefit: so that we shine in a warped and crooked generation where grumbling is its trademark.  

And what if, instead, we replaced our complaints with joyful words. I don't know about you, but it seems if I'm about to grumble, I will need something thankful to say instead. We need to replace our complaints. Gratitude is the perfect substitute for grumbling. 

Grumbling starves the soul, while gratitude feeds it. 

Today, as moms, we have the opportunity to starve or feed the atmosphere of our home. Once we set the pace of gratitude over grumbling, then growth and grace show up.

Our children will follow our example. Our home with have peace and joy. Our souls will not keep records of wrongs, but records of gifts. 

As we start our complaint-free day, write out FIVE things you are thankful for this morning. Keep them on your phone. Remember them throughout today when grumbling begins to grow.

Chin up, mommas, we have so much to be grateful for.

May our soul find grace, joy, hope, contentment, and peace. May our children watch our gratitude grow grace in our homes. May joy catch like wildfire. 

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
— 1 Thes 5:16-17
Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.
— James 5:9

Dear Jesus, help us see all the gifts to be thankful for around us. Teach us to silence our grumbling and to lead our families with gratitude. Change our hearts and then our speech. Show us the way to bring life to our homes. Amen.