This last Sunday evening, as always, I was frantically getting my kids’ things ready for school for the next day. You know the drill… backpacks , clothes, lunches, anything to turn in… the list feels endless. As I was getting the kids clothes laid out, I realized that I could not find a clean sweatshirt for my older son anywhere. Immediately, I became frustrated and the complaints began launching off my tongue like an explosion of fireworks… “Why are my kids so messy?... This house is a disaster!... If my husband hadn't fallen asleep with the kids again, he could be helping me right now!” Then all of the sudden it dawned on me. I have so much to be thankful for! Why am I complaining? I decided then and there, I was going to turn my complaints into compliments…. “Wow, we are so blessed to have a home to live in!... We are so blessed to have three healthy, happy boys! Thank you God for blessing me with a loving, caring husband who will help put the kids to sleep!”
Suddenly, like a bird taking flight, I felt the burden of frustration being lifted from me. As I continued to look around our home with my new eyes of gratitude instead of frowns of complaints, I immediately spotted a clean sweatshirt sitting on a chair across the living room. Perfection! I could now go to bed instead of doing an entire load of laundry this late at night. And then I had a true ah-ha moment... Turning complaints into compliments not only elevated my mood, but allowed God to bless me with the clarity to see the gifts that were lying right in front of me.
Recently in an interview with Pope Francis, he was asked "How does one seek and find God in all things?" He responded "...there is a temptation to seek God in the past or in a possible future. God is certainly in the past because we can see the footprints. And God is also in the future as a promise. But the "concrete" God, so to speak, is today. For this reason, complaining never helps us find God." (America Magazine, September 30, 2013, copyrighted by American Press).
Life will never be perfect, but our response to the imperfections will either open our eyes to God grace or blind us to experiencing His glorious blessings. I will choose today to compliment, not complain! Each time a complaint enters my mind, I will stop for moment and just be quiet, giving the complaint time to leave my body and allowing me to turn it into a compliment instead!
For meditation: Take a quiet moment today to “count your blessings”. Write down 10 things you are grateful for. Say a prayer of thanksgiving for each of these beautiful blessings. Then when stresses arise throughout your day, as they always do, turn your complaints into compliments and allow God to open your eyes to the glory He has laid before you.
Written by Amy Connelly for the OLQA Mom's Group
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--
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