There's a sign that hangs over a doorway in our den that reads
I can't tell you how many people have stared at the needlepoint sign that used to hang in my grandparents house and asked me if it's German and what it means, but it has been a lot! And in case you are stumped, I'll translate for you. . .
Quit Your Belly Achin'
Stop Your Whining and Complaining
Oh my stars, how we preach this at our house! Not a day goes by when we aren't saying to one of our littles, "Ah, ah, ah! Watch that complaining!" Or "You've just lost that privilege because you were complaining." Our children even recognize whining in themselves and each other. Just the other day Charlie said to me, "Oh Mommy, he sure does sound like the Israelites grumbling and complaining!" And it drives me crazy to hear our boys complaining and to think about how their hearts seem so ungrateful (at times). But you know what? I do it too.
And when I think about how I complain, it makes me sick. I'm busy whining and complaining about our lack of snow, or complaining and nagging our boys to keep their room clean. It bums me out when my hubby travels, or when I cannot find any time to organize our crazy house and I wind up grumbling about it. The other half of my time, I probably don't even recognize my ways of complaining.
So, when I was sitting on our couch last night and I looked up and saw those words that had me mesmerized as a little girl, I thought about how my grandparents had them hung in their house as a reminder and a little bit of encouragement, even if you say "KwitchyerbellyaKin" with a little sass!
In Philippians 2:14-15, we are told to "14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world."
Needless to say, I'm not perfect, and none of us are, nor will be this side of heaven. But, one way I've found to combat complaining is to make a gratitude list by writing down my blessings and things I'm thankful for. Our 8 year old is interested in starting a thankful journal too! If you haven't read Ann Voskamp's, One Thousand Gifts, I highly recommend it. She speaks Truth and nails the reason we are grumblers. It all started, In the beginning. . .
Be encouraged and be thankful!