Combatting Complaining

| 30 March 2020

After several days of quarantine, even my introverted daughter — who at first appreciated the idea of staying home — started complaining about being bored. Days before that, my extroverted son went from being excited about having a break to his regular routine to being frustrated that all his contacts with people were via technology. Occasionally, I hear bursts of comically dramatic whining: “When is this going to be over?” 

And let’s not get started on the food situation. We’ve been scraping through the pantry and freezer looking for possible menu items. So now I have a smidge more understanding when I read the Israelites complaining “We never see anything but this manna!” Ya, today, I totally get it!

When the stay-at-home mandate started, my mind kept replaying Habakkuk 3:17-18: “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”

That Scripture reminds me that rejoicing and being thankful is a choice. We can either choose to focus on all of our complaints — which, granted, can seem overwhelming right now. Or we can choose to focus on our blessings and thanksgivings.

If you don’t have Covid-19, that’s a thanksgiving! If you have a loved one at home that you can spend more time with, that’s a thanksgiving! If your schedule has now allowed you to take a deep breath or laugh or walk around the neighborhood, that’s a thanksgiving! If you are quarantined with some special animals that are getting extra TLC, that’s a thanksgiving — especially for them! And if you have plenty of toilet paper at home, well that there is a special kind of thanksgiving.

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What can you choose to be thankful for today? Just as complaining is contagious, so is thanksgiving. Spend some time sharing your blessings / thanksgivings with others — those in your home, those in your group text, or those on social media.

After all, changing our focus can change our perspective.

By Cyndie de Neve
Senior Creative Director