Friday, August 1, 2008

Complaint free?

This has been a hard Summer. (My real life friends are now saying "There she goes whining again.") I have been a whiner this summer. I hate whining. I hate to hear it and I hate it when I do it.

As I was perusing the blogs today I came across this graphic from I will take it Lord, all You have to give (appropriate title for today)

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Hmmm...not showing much of any of these. Evidence that I am not living in the Spirit.

This woman amazes me. I have read much about the life of Ruth Bell Graham. Both that which she wrote herself and also what others of her. She inspires me. Inspires me to be better than I am. Although my husband is not Billy Graham, he has been called into ministry. I thought I was marrying an engineer...and got a youth pastor.

One thing I have struggled with this summer has been being the one at home. Not that I don't want to be here, sometimes it just feels like I am more of a maid and taxi service than anything else. Like everyone else is living life and I am just cleaning up after it. Laundry, meals, housework, etc.

Ruth Graham gave up her aspirations of being a missionary to China to serve her family. And WOW look at the results. I can't imagine what it was like to be busily raising kids and have Billy phone home and tell her about the people he was meeting, the places he was seeing, and to witness God moving to mightily.

From all I have read she is described as spirited and spunky. I wonder if she ever lost it with her kids? If she ever felt likes she was missing out on life? If she ever wondered if what she was doing at home really mattered for God? Did she ever resent Billy? Or God for her position or lack of of it?

As I was cleaning my nightstand I had to laugh. These were the titles of books:
The Power of a Positive Mom by Karol Ladd
Faithful Women and their Extraordinary God by Noelle Piper

Attitudes of a Transformed Heart by Martha Peace


How about instead:
The Impact of a Crabby Momma?
Fickle Woman Resisting God?
Attitudes of a Selfish Heart?
All written of course by yours truly.

This is my pattern. Start of strong trusting and leaning on God for strength and then somewhere along the way when things get tough and long, I trust in my own strength and lean on my own understanding. The results are not pretty. I apologize to my real life friends who have seen me at my worst this summer. I have treasures in you for putting up with me. This time the enemy did turn up the heat on me. Circumstances a little longer and a little tougher than in the past, and I failed.

I woke with a renewal this morning. Circumstances have not changed, but my heart some's a start.

Last Sunday the Pastor told us he was going to be preaching on complaining and asking us to wear this

I said right then and there "Forget that. I won't wear one." Ugly I know. (not the bracelet, my attitude)

But today, nearly a week later, I think I will try. It will be good for my heart. And for your ears (eyes) ;o)


Carol said...

Jill, I know this summer has been a rough one for you... You are a great mom and wife. Not perfect, but even Ruth Graham had her struggles. I admire you for choosing to turn it around so quickly; I personally wallow in my pity parties much longer than a couple months! I will probably miss church this Sunday, so will you pick me up a bracelet? Just think, maybe you will write a book someday and all of us can glean from your experience! (Or leave it on our dresser...)

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

Are you sure you weren't writing about me!?! *smiles* I relate more to this post than you will ever know.
I love the line about everyone else living life and you're just cleaning up after took the words right outta my mouth my friend.
Praise God for new days and new beginnings...and forgiving friends ;)
Thanks for this post, Jill.

Hannah said...
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Hannah said...
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Kim said...

Great post Jill! I have been trying to stifle the whine over here too, but it keeps trying to rise heartburn.

Summer always wears on me. I try to blame it on my kids and their whiney-hiney's but truth-be-told it's all about this momma. I start to really lose direction at this point.

Thanks for the encouragement :)

Beth said...

I know that the last few weeks have been challenging. If you are anything like me when your body is tired your spirit becomes prone to such things as complaining. You are in my prayers... and I will be sitting right with you on Sunday morning.

Tricia said...

Jill, thanks for the honesty and vulnerability. I am sure Ruth had her days of losing it or questioning, she's human right?

Your book titles are amusing,but I am sure too that you would have other titles such as: I'm not perfect, But I'm still in the race!(of life that is)

I hope you know your real friends will keep loving you through whatever, praying for you...

I am not sure how this complaint free thing will go for me either. For instance, we just got home from getting a new vehicle and I woke up at 3:45 with a sore right thigh from pushing the gas pedal for an hour (did yours ever bother you or is it just my new car???) (see the twinge of complaint!) I am hopeful that the bracelets will help us be aware of our needs to lean more on Christ, and that we will have victory! Wouldn't that be great! I will pray for that for each of us.

We can never depend on our circumstances or even relationships to make us happy, unless it is our relationship with Jesus. Believe me, I am preaching to myself!

Christy said...

Right now things are going pretty well for us, but I know that when times get tough I am the first to bring on the whine! In fact one of Tims' favorite sayings to me is "would you like some cheese with your whine?"
I think this complaint free thing will be pretty hard for me too. But I think it will be a learning experence for all of us. And I will be lifting you up in prayer as you go through the rest of this summer and beyond. And thanks for being transparent. I know how hard that can be. :)

Jamie @ Purposeful Pursuit said...

Great post Jill! I think I could have co-authored a few of those books with you.

Looks like I'll be wearing one of those bracelets too...Beth picked one up for me, she said you told her to get one for me.:) So we are in this together friend!