The Worst Part About Complaining

So this past Saturday I asked my friends on Facebook (FB) for recommendations on where to pick up a turkey dinner since I planned on cheating this year for Thanksgiving {cough}. Thinking this was a novel idea of mine, I couldn’t understand why I hadn’t done this before.
Then today a FB memory popped up from five years ago that said, “I’m thankful for the Publix prepared Thanksgiving Dinner sitting in the fridge…”
I’ve ordered a Turkey-day dinner before?
Good night, how do I not remember this?
Oh, Lord what else am I forgetting these days? Ugh. My brain is sometimes broken, I murmured in frustration.
I mean, of course I remember things, but I want to remember the little things, too. Like sweet moments of these two cuties below, but if I can’t remember ordering a holiday meal, whose to say I’ll remember a fun evening out if there’s not a photo involed?
And then I read this crazy quote in my morning devotion from Change Your Words Change Your Life by J. Meyer,

“One of the worst parts about complaining is that it prevents us from seeing all the blessings that we do have.”

Ugh. So. True.
Mrs. Meyer had just finished retelling how the Israelites in Numbers 21 were only satisfied when things went their way, but the second they grew tired and there didn’t seem to be an end to their journey, they grumbled and grew bored of their magical manna that dropped from the sky. Had they forgotten how Moses delivered them from slavery, the beatings, the oppression, the grueling work and now they’re harping on their free food and the long hike?
Basically, they assumed when Moses rescued them, then their lives would forever be perfect.
Ha. How many times have I thought that?

{More cuties I’m thankful for}

Why is it that we imagine as soon as we’re out of debt, then we’ll be free—or as soon as I quit this habit, get this promotion, meet the right mate, finally become pregnant, or go to the right college, then we will finally relish in contentment? But that’s not the case. We choose our satisfaction with each word we speak.
I don’t want to grumble like the Israelites did about the manna God provided.
Murmuring kept them wandering.
And who wants to wander around their bumps?
I want to free myself from focusing on what I don’t have (an impeccable memory, oodles of scholarships for my teen, mellowed work schedule for my sweet hubby), and verbally remind myself of the many blessings surrounding me.
{See, Dabney. Look how amazing these kiddos are}

Meyer says when we complain, we remain. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to remain wrapped in my disparaging thoughts, no I want to remind myself daily of what God says in Proverbs 18:21, that the power of life and death are in the tongue. What we say matters.
I love how God continues to encourage us in Philippians 2:14-16 to do everything without complaining, probably because he knows how discontentment sours our satisfaction.
So today when I walked in to Joseph’s Market (similar to a Publix) and picked up my pre-packaged turkey, complete with sides and pies and heating instructions, I prayed, “Thanks God, that someone else made this meal and that this year we have the means to pay for it because I so remember (see, my memory isn’t completely mush) the day when we needed food stamps just to survive. Thank you for abundantly blessing us today.”
Now that’s the type of thoughts that should swirl around in my head on a daily basis, don’t ya think?
If the antidote to murmuring is speaking thankful thoughts, then do you mind me asking what you’re thankful for today? I’d love to hear your praises if you don’t mind jotting a few down in the comment section below. 🙂
Philippians 2:14-16 (AMP)
14 Do everything without murmuring or questioning [the providence of God], 15 so that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and guileless, innocent and uncontaminated, children of God without blemish in the midst of a [morally] crooked and [spiritually] perverted generation, among whom you are seen as bright lights [beacons shining out clearly] in the world [of darkness], 16 holding out and offering to everyone the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to rejoice greatly because I did not run [my race] in vain nor labor without result.
PS I almost didn’t post this blog because a year ago someone questioned how I could listen to Joyce Meyer or even look at her (the person picked on her appearance, which so hurt my heart 🙁 ). Even though I have a number of amazing teachers and pastors I listen to, I enjoy listening to her. And today I couldn’t sit silent when I felt like God used someone’s message to heal my soul. So for those of you who aren’t fans, I hope you were still able to glean some insight from this post.
God bless you all, and have a fabulous Thanksgiving!

fullsizerender-6“One of the worst parts about complaining is that it prevents us from seeing all the blessings that we do have.” Joyce Meyer


  • Jennifer Zarifeh Major

    I love your attitude! And I love how you’re not letting the prep ruin the holiday. My daughter has a phrase to describe me when I’m stressing over stupid stuff. She’ll say “Mom, don’t get all ‘half an hour before the company arrives on Christmas’!”
    The first time she said that, I nearly fell over. *I* was ruining *their* holidays because I thought I had to have it all perfect. And I did that for YEARS. So now? Bring on the pre-made stuff and leave the dust to multiply!!
    Happy Thanksgiving, Dabney!!

    • dabneyhedegard

      Sweet, Jennifer….I love this SO much! We sound so similar. I would super stress over everything, and right after we ate I’d need a nap. Ha. So good to hear from you!!! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  • marshasue

    Great reminder today and awesome blog. Thanks Dabney for your transparency. I’m grateful for my family, I’m in Ohio for the Thanksgiving and it feels so good. Too many expectations placed on trying to live a Ward and June Cleaver life or having a Martha Stewart holiday. Keeping it simple and real is so much easier. Love you Dabney

    • dabneyhedegard

      I loved reading this, Marsha! And you’re so right. The greatest source of our frustration is unmet expectation (Heard this truth somewhere).
      I hope you had a lovely vacation away.

  • Sue Merkle

    I am thankful for a cousin that lives close enough to travel to and love to entertain. Making a few items to take and so grateful to just be a guest. Thankful that my church had an amazing service on thanksging eve. We worshipped & wrote down our blessings and also something we’re going to do for someone else. I committed to sharing the Good News to someone that needs hope. Sharing the blessing God has heaped down on me!

    • dabneyhedegard

      I love this!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing. This brought happy-tears to my eyes. 🙂
      Thank you!

  • Laura Bennet

    Thank you! It is another one of those years and I am choosing to focus on all the many things to be thankful for instead of what isn’t good. Hope your dinner is amazing! (And I love Joyce.)

    • dabneyhedegard

      Yay, another Joyce M. fan. She always knows how to help me get rid of my stinking thinking. Ha. And I love that you’re choosing to focus on what’s important. It’s so easy to get weighed down by the not-so-fun things in life.

  • Rosemary Hastings

    Hello Dabney!! As always I love your posts and really look forward to reading them. I love your honesty. Thanks for sharing from the heart!! Xoxo

    • dabneyhedegard

      Whew. I often wonder if I over-share sometimes? Ha. I guess it’s just my personality to put it all out there. 🙂
      I hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving!

  • Lois Blackburn

    Loved it, and enjoyed seeing the entire family again! I’m sure it was a very special Thanksgiving (regardless of who cooked it)!

    • dabneyhedegard

      It was the EASIEST Thanksgiving meal ever! I do love to cook, but for this hectic season in my life, the take-out meal was perfect. 🙂
      I hope to see you at the next writers’ group. 🙂

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