As I prepare to undertake this transformative challenge again this year. I am revisiting what I learned only 48 hours into 30 days without complaint last year. As the last day before I start this year, I’ve already seen how destructive a little complaining can be.
First, since I’ve started this challenge, I’ve found God has blessed me with ample opportunities to practice already. Not complaining may be a bit like praying for patience. Once I ask, I get lots & lots of chances to practice.Planning to quit complaining is like praying for patience - lots of chances to practice. Click To Tweet
I am outgoing and friendly if you meet me because I genuinely care about people, but my heart is fed by lots of quiet time, so a busy day can be very stressful for me. You might think I would have planned this better, but nope, Day 1, I had an extremely busy schedule.
Simply getting out the door for Bible study without any complaining (at least on my part) was going to be my first real challenge.
30 Days Without Complaint – Learning to be the light of the world!
The next part of our day (2014) was pretty amazing. We met up with Mike Viti, from Mike’s Hiking for Heroes, who is (was) walking across America, over 7,100 kilometers, one kilometer is designated by name for every service member who was killed in action during the Global War On Terror.
Having followed his journey since April, I was so excited, nothing was going to dissuade me. Yet, having had hip replacement in January with a string of complications and injuries, this was going to be my longest walk in a year. We walked on a busy highway with three children in strollers. My body got a really good workout while we talked and hiked almost 4k (one for each of my husband’s Iraq tours) with this very dedicated American.
By the end of a very full day, my body had been pushed pretty hard considering my recent occupation of perpetual patient. I smiled and took an Aleve, joyfully using my microwave-able heating pad, and didn’t utter a single complaint. My husband could see I was sore, but instead of grumbling, complaining about the aches, I smiled. I could almost see him relax, ease into the story of his day, not having apprehension about my needs.
Which brings me to my next observation. This challenge seemed pretty straight forward when I devised it, but the intricacies are continuing to blossom in my heart.#30DaysWithoutComplaint challenge is one of the most transformative I've undertaken. Join me! Click To Tweet
The first part of what I have learned is that carefully crafting my words from, “I’m hungry” to “I would like to eat now,” seems like just a lesson in semantics, but choosing positive words is part of being the light in a dark world.
Philippians 2:14-15 ESV “Do all things without grumbling or questioning, 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,”
Carefully crafting every sentence isn’t superficial. If word choice changes the way people perceive a product, don’t the words I use change the way people perceive me, my attitude, or even the way I perceive my world?
I have already seen how much my words affect not only my heart, but the hearts of those around me. The past few days have felt lighter, more joyful. I feel like my attempts to guard my mouth from complaining are also guarding the hearts of those who would hear those complaints. My husband and daughter are already responding to the light in me.
I can already feel myself slowing down and giving more thought to the words tumbling out of my mouth. Spending more time thinking about my words changes my heart for others, slowing down to listen and love. God is already blessing me in this challenge after only 48 hours.
If you’ve taken the #30DaysWithoutComplaint challenge, I hope you’re seeing the fruits of change in your life as well.