No Complaint November

“Ministering Grace Unto the Hearers”

There has been a trend, for many years, on Facebook, of posting “30 days of Thankfulness.” In November, many of my friends post daily lists of things they are thankful for. For five years I faithfully and gratefully posted about the things and people I appreciated.  I truly felt thankful for each one of my November posts.

Late in October, of 2015, I chanced upon a posting from “Heaven Not Harvard” detailing an adventure she embarked upon, back in the fall of 2014. She titled it: “30 days without complaint.” When she posted her article, a number of people joined in and that year she started a movement to attempt to go the entire month of November without complaining. It intrigued me.

After reading the above article by  Jennifer DeFrates, the author of “Heaven not Harvard,” my heart was touched and I realized that I TRULY DID NOT have the kind of Thankful heart worth posting daily updates for all to see. I had a spirit of complaint.

 The dishes – of which I have several sets – never seemed to get done.

The nicest days of fall – which I love- had passed without getting the outside of the house painted.

We had two precious little grandsons born this year – yet my husband and two youngest daughters haven’t been able to meet them, and I – the super blessed one – only saw them for a few days late this Spring.

AND SO IT WENT!

 

Whoa! I guess – like it or not – I’m in.

I knew I had to stop thinking – speaking – so negatively. This kind of thought does not show a Thankful Heart!

After several days – it was now early November – I got brave and shared Jennifer’s article on my personal page and on the Facebook page for my blog. I was rather surprised when friends on my personal page read it and immediately started commenting.

“What would we talk about then?”

“(My husband) and I did this one time for 21 days. It’s amazing how much we complain and don’t even realize it. We kept each other in check. He’s right “what would we talk about?” LOL Ok, then let’s all do it.”

“I’ll take the challenge with you. Lord, please help us!”

“Haha. Yes He will!”

“I’m in.”

“I’ll take the challenge”

“I’m in. Lord help me.”

“I’m gonna try.”

“I’m with (Name of Friend)! I’m in. Lord help me! Eph. 4:29.”

And from a mail carrier friend: “This will never fly at the post office.”

My reaction then was – Whoa! I guess – like it or not – I’m in. So I spent a little time with the LORD, asking HIM to truly give me a grateful, non complaining, heart. Then I waited, and did my best to become aware of when I had a complaining spirit, and squelch it.

 

The key to not complaining was going to be realized by keeping my mouth shut”

There were those dishes in the sink. My first thought was “I need to tell someone I’m not the only one here who knows how to do dishes!!” – But I kept my mouth shut and did the dishes.

“Why in the world does the trash can get so full that trash falls out of it, and I seem to be the only one that notices it or cares?” If I said this outloud, my complaining heart would be right there for all to see. So I kept my mouth shut and took care of the trash.

Pretty soon I realized that maybe the key to not complaining was going to be realized by keeping my mouth shut, and getting lots of things quietly done.

 

In the next few days, I didn’t write up any blog or Facebook posts or contact anyone who wanted to do this too with me. I did mention it to some friends at church and asked them to pray with me. AND I just kept praying and doing my best, and every now and then I would say something out loud like. “I don’t want to complain, so would someone please take care of this?”

 

I wasn’t sure if I knew how to help anyone else if I had such a challenge myself. My first conversation came this past weekend at church, from a close friend who been among the first ones posting. She told me “I’m not doing very well with the month of not complaining.” We spoke a little and then I asked her. “But are you complaining less?” “Oh, yes!! she quickly replied.” “Then it looks like you’re doing great!”   I realized I’m doing better too!

 

We aren’t perfect people, but this – NO COMPLAINT NOVEMBER – is a clear step to true Thanksgiving, and certainly a blessing to my family – even though they might not know it.  I’m struggling with it every day, but approaching God for help, with a heart of Gratitude.

 

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29

 

HOW ABOUT YOU? Are you taking this challenge too? With God’s help – ARE YOU MINISTERING GRACE UNTO THE HEARERS?

NO COMPLAINT NOVEMBER – Ministering Grace Unto the Hearers

30 thoughts on “NO COMPLAINT NOVEMBER – Ministering Grace Unto the Hearers

  • November 20, 2015 at 1:18 pm
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    I’m going to talk with my family and see if they’ll do this with me for December. I’m afraid they’ll think I’m complaining by asking them to do it with me, but maybe I can say it’s something I want for myself and I need their support 😉

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    • November 21, 2015 at 11:37 am
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      At times I have approached challenging discussions with the request that having everyone’s support would be a gift I would desire from them. (And at a bargain price – FREE!!!)

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  • November 20, 2015 at 7:13 pm
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    It really is easy to complain and forget about the everyday blessings we face each day. This challenge is a great way to be mindful and aware of our thoughts, and force ourselves to just be quite and not say a word more often 🙂

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    • November 21, 2015 at 11:34 am
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      For sure! I sure have become aware of the times I start to complain. It is a hard habit to break, but keeping my mouth shut helps!

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  • November 20, 2015 at 7:45 pm
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    This is such a great idea not to complain. It is so easy to do and so hard to stop. Thanks for the challenge.

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    • November 21, 2015 at 11:33 am
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      It has been a tough one! Thank you Kallee.

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  • November 20, 2015 at 9:00 pm
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    I’m not participating in the challenge, but seeing so much negativity, I have been trying to be more positive. For example, the other day, a group of friends were complaining that their spouses do have of a job- washing and drying the laundry, but not putting it away, rinsing the dishes, but not loading them in the dishwasher, ext.. They were focusing on what didn’t get done, or what didn’t get done the way that they would have done it, instead of focusing on the fact that their spouses went out of their way to help them. I’ve been trying to recognize this behavior and correct it within myself. Gratitude goes a long way, especially within a marriage.

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    • November 21, 2015 at 11:32 am
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      That is awesome. Unfulfilled expectations have gotten in the way of having a heart of gratitude for me for sure. It is great that you have focused on the wonderful things your husband does!

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  • November 21, 2015 at 12:03 am
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    What a great idea to have a no complaint November, I know I’m guilty of complaining too much, when indeed I have so much to be thankful for, thank-you for the inspiration!

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  • November 21, 2015 at 4:18 am
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    I am actually leading a Gratitude Challenge right now, but I think I will have to make note and try this some time. I really do think the key, as you said, is to keep my mouth shut which may be hard, but I am willing to try.

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    • November 21, 2015 at 11:29 am
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      It has been a challenge, but has clearly helped my attitude of Gratitude to really work at confining the whining!

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  • November 21, 2015 at 5:17 am
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    A change in attitude goes a long way towards expressing gratitude and appreciation. I would the one of those just keeping my mouth shut. Sometimes my filter slips a little. 🙂

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    • November 21, 2015 at 11:28 am
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      Been doing a lot of that lately. I had a filter slip today, but caught it pretty fast. My family just grinned. (I guess that is good!)

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  • November 21, 2015 at 5:37 am
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    I realized that good things in my life are the petty moments of everyday life. I am thankful and I cherish them without trying to expect the big, fancy ones! This realization really made my life and my mood better!

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    • November 21, 2015 at 11:27 am
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      It is great to have this attitude of gratitude. I expect you lead a happy life because of it.

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  • November 21, 2015 at 8:18 pm
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    My “sisters in law” always do a “thankful for” every day of November. Sometimes your voice can be heard without even speaking. 🙂

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    • November 21, 2015 at 10:19 pm
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      That would be my prayer. I’m also starting a private “Thankful” list. I may share it at some time. It is good to be reminded often of all the things we have to be thankful for here in this richly blessed country called America.

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  • November 22, 2015 at 3:06 am
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    This is a wonderful challenge and it sounds like you are well on your way. It’s always a good idea to give thought before speaking…at least if negative or complaining words are about to come out.

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    • November 22, 2015 at 3:28 am
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      That’s the truth. Thanks for the encouragement, Betsy.

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  • October 25, 2016 at 11:51 am
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    This is a great idea. Not sure if i could do it. I’m going to be more mindful of it.

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    • October 26, 2016 at 12:10 am
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      I am asking the Lord NOW to help me have a heart that ministers grace unto the hearers.

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  • October 25, 2016 at 7:16 pm
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    It’s amazing what being thankful for the small things will do for your mood. You can’t control others, but you certainly can control yourself and how you react. Keeping focused on the good things will help the bad things seem not quite so bad.

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    • October 26, 2016 at 12:09 am
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      I know. It was the hardest thing I ever did. I’m doing it again this year – starting now.

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  • October 26, 2016 at 12:57 am
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    I love this. A small change in mindset can have a HUGE impact. With the holidays quickly approaching, we should all be thankful for what we have.

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    • October 26, 2016 at 3:50 am
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      It does, and it makes such a difference with our family when I keep a no complaining attitude. (Should do this all year!)

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  • October 26, 2016 at 11:35 am
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    I’m in . I did it a few years ago but not last year. It made a big difference.

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    • October 27, 2016 at 12:48 am
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      Awesome! Will be praying for you as you take the challenge with me. It’s not easy, and if I find ourselves reaching into the negative side, it doesn’t mean I’ve failed, it means I just need to get back to the positive.

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  • October 27, 2016 at 12:42 am
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    I love this, sweet friend! I am such a complainer. Sometimes I will start a conversation just so I will get to complain. I definitely need and want to improve. I have always loved Ephesians 4:29 and when I complain I am not living that out very well!

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    • October 27, 2016 at 12:50 am
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      Hey, ME TOO! The Lord has such great plans for us, and my attitude surely does mess up a lot of it. Ministering grace unto the hearers is my goal for November!

      Reply

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