It’s my first Thanksgiving post on Guts On The Page!
I figured it was time I get with the program and mark the day with my own special brand of wit and encouragement. The best way I know how to do that? Lay my guts on the page, of course.
It’s about to get personal in here.
My name is Amy. I used to be one of the loudest complainers to ever utilize oxygen.
If anything happened that wasn’t exactly how my little OCD self wanted it to be, I complained. Loudly. If someone had the nerve to not do things precisely my way, I let ’em have it. Again, loudly. And often. I wanted things my way. All the time. No questions asked. No substitutions, exchanges, or refunds.
Sure, I’d have the occasional, “It’s okay to speak to Amy” day. I could be quite kind and gentle, given the proper circumstances. My circumstances. I’d say what I was thankful for on Thanksgiving, tell people thank you when they did something nice, and even go to church and thank God during praise and worship. That was enough, right?
Yeah. No. Not nearly enough. Especially considering everything I’d been given. Everything I was privileged to have.
When my best friend AND my husband had decided they’d had it up to the eyeballs and blowing out of the tops of their heads, they confronted me. Each in their own way and each in love. But they got their point across. They cared about me. They cared what other people thought about me. They wanted me to be happy. They were worried about the stress my temper, and constant need for control, and ungrateful spirit were putting on my already overloaded life and heart.
I was shocked.
I hadn’t even realized half of the things I was doing and saying, and how ungrateful and miserable I sounded. All. The. Time. I certainly hadn’t taken the time to stop and consider how my words and actions were affecting those around me. It’s not that I didn’t care. I was just so busy and caught up in whatever occupied my time at the moment, I didn’t make room to think about it.
So, I asked forgiveness of most everyone I love and set about to change. I began to consider how my complaints might sound to someone else. To really think about how my little tantrum, over something that didn’t matter in the long run, made others feel, and what it led them to think about me. I purposefully started to speak more positivity, and shun the negative.
It was hard. Still is. Every day I catch myself wanting to pop off. Or getting absorbed and ignoring someone who needs or wants my time. I have to bite the end of my tongue or press delete frequently. I’m constantly “Gibb’s smacking” the grumpus that still drops by to hang out every now and then.
Today, I started planning my post. I went through my Facebook statuses looking for anywhere I had complained. You can imagine my surprise when I found so few! Even most where I had given what would be considered a complaint, I’d also stated how I was going to turn it around or look at it differently.
This time I got to be shocked and delighted. My work was coming to fruition.
Now the reason I was looking for these posts in the first place, was that I wanted to take complaints I’ve made recently and turn them into things I’m thankful for.
Thanksgiving…in reverse. I‘ve already complained about it, now I am going to be thankful. Yes, that is backwards. Thanks for noticing! It’s a lesson that all of us have been taught, and few of us have truly grasped. But today, I’m trying. I’m turning my gripes into gratefulness. I’ve listed 5 below.
1.) Complaining Amy: I forgot to set the turkey out. It may not be thawed in time! Thankful Amy: I am able to buy a big ole turkey and all the trimmings and give my family a nice dinner.
2.) Complaining Amy: I can’t get motivated to work. Thankful Amy: I am able to work from the comfort of my nice home, doing what I love, while others have to spend time away from their families at jobs they don’t care for.
3.) Complaining Amy: It’s cold outside. Thankful Amy: Yeah, it’s cold, but I’m not. I’m nice and cozy in my warm home and plush blanket.
4.) Complaining Amy: I look so much older than I did 5 years ago. Thankful Amy: There have been some tough times these 5 years, but we made it through them. And there have been so many more good times than bad.
5.) Complaining Amy: I’m feeling beat up after my spinal procedure. Thankful Amy: I have quality medical care and am able to get treatment for my condition.
There is always a reason to be grateful. It may be small. Some days just really stink and you may have to dig for it. But it’s there. We are so fortunate. So blessed. Let’s not take that for granted. Instead, let’s be thankful and share what we do have with someone who has less. Not just around the holidays. Every day.
Let’s go out into the world and be the reason someone else is thankful.
Now it’s your turn. Share with us one thing you’ve complained about this past week, then turn it around into something you can be thankful for.
2 replies on “Thanksgiving…Backwards”
Okay, I’ll bite: I’ve complained about…hmmm, I’m actually in the same boat as you, where it’s really easy for me to be critical, but God has done a lot of work in my heart on this, so I can’t remember anything I’ve been grousing about recently. Even the sickness? *shrugs* One of my first thoughts was “thank God I got sick with a 24 bug on Sunday so I’ll be healthy for Thanksgiving on Thursday.” Plus, it gave me some writing insight. And I’ve also been sort of whining about this MG fiction book I’m reading to review, because I don’t enjoy MG fiction (nothing personal about the book, MG just isn’t my thing–I sort of skipped over it even when I was MG age). However, I’m grateful that it’s a short read and that there are aspects about it I’m enjoying.
I haven’t known you for too long, so I was shocked to hear that you used to be so negative. I do NOT see you like that at all. In fact, you are one of the more positive upbeat people on Facebook. You’re always reaching out to others, putting yourself out there, honest but kind, and I can tell you have a general love and heart for people. Christ has done a mighty work in you. That’s something to be thankful for! Love your humble honesty and love your spirit!