Before I start with this week’s blogpost, I want to answer a question from last week’s post. I had asked where the rule came from that said “The toilet seat must be kept down.”
I went to a rehearsal last week and some of the guys were discussing just this topic, and so I asked my question to them. Lo and behold, I found an answer. Without hesitation, one of the guys immediately chimed in, “It comes from a wife who says that since she is the one who cleans the toilet – I will keep the toilet seat down or she will shoot me.” And there you have it! (Why have I never thought of that after all these years of marriage??)
Now on to this week's blogpost:
The past few weeks of my life have been a roller coaster ride bigger than I’ve experienced in a very long time. My emotions have gone from one extreme to the next and circumstances have ranged from miserable to unbelievably amazing. You would think that by now I should be able to transition a lot easier from mountain top to valley and back, but it’s not happening as quickly as I would have hoped. I really despise being human some times.
I was in such a low the other day (obviously not one of my ‘unbelievably amazing’ days) that I decided to write a letter to express my emotions. I was mad at the world and my husband. I have a close relative that I share all the good and bad in my life and intended to vent to her via email. I plotted out my writings in the middle of the night while sleep eluded me. The more I thought about it the lower I felt.
When I awoke the next morning, I went through my usual routine of feeding the dogs, making coffee and checking my email before my quiet time with God. I was about to begin my verbal assault in the form of this letter but decided to read my devotional first. I wondered if I should even share my thoughts with anyone much less put them in writing. Was this the best way for me to deal with these negative thoughts that were eating away at my soul?
It came to me, “I’ll see what ‘Jesus Calling’ says today" (the devotional I’m currently reading). Maybe that will determine if I should write this letter. Here is what it said:
“You have been on a long, uphill journey, and your energy is almost spent. Though you have faltered at times, you have not let go of My hand. I am pleased with your desire to stay close to Me. There is one thing, however, that displeases Me: your tendency to complain. You may talk to Me as much as you like about the difficulty of the path we are following. I understand better than anyone else the stresses and strains that have afflicted you. You can ventilate safely to Me because talking with me tempers your thoughts and helps you see things from My perspective.
Complaining to others is another matter altogether. It opens the door to deadly sins such as self-pity and rage. Whenever you are tempted to grumble, come to Me and talk it out. As you open up to Me, I will put My thoughts in your mind and My song in your heart.”
From Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
Oh…my…gosh. I felt as though God was sitting on the couch right next to me reprimanding me like a disappointed Father. Every word from that devotional was perfectly designed for me that day. I, indeed, have been on a long, uphill journey for quite some time now. I feel like my life has been in limbo since my husband retired from the Air Force eight years ago. (I won’t go into the details because I have learned my lesson now about complaining. Maybe someday when it’s all behind me, and I can tell the story with laughter!)
Those words spoke to my soul and convicted me of how poorly I had been handling my circumstances. I chose to never voice my complaints again except to God. He got my attention that day, and my attitude has changed. Now - I have to keep it that way!
Although it momentarily feels good to express your negative thoughts, complaining gets you nowhere. It only magnifies the issue and gives you justification in your feelings when you find someone to empathize with you - causing you to hang on to it longer. What may have started as a minor infraction can quickly become a major issue if complaints are vocalized enough. Divorce begins with a small complaint - like not putting the toilet seat up or down. Learn to express yourself without complaining. Take it to God before it becomes a roadblock in your marriage or in your life.