Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Don't be an Oscar...

On September 11th, I got my normal monthly email from the Unted Methodist Communications...a section of it caught my eye, it was about the Advent season and a new study series available called "A different kind of Christmas." I was intrigued and would really like to get a small group together for this 5 week study. (If you're interested, let me know.) Of course while I was on there I had to click around and explore. I came upon something that challenged me to take on the 21 day complaint free church challenge. Wow...now that's something we really need. I immediately posted it to my church Facebook and had a couple of friends like it but no one realy showed any interest.
Now don't get me wrong, my church isn't filled with a lot of Oscars but frequently on Sunday mornings I hear grumblings things like: I'm tired, it's been a really hard week, the kids have so much homework it's really eating our family time, my job sucks, I had to work on Saturday, my football team lost...on and on and on. Nothing really major just all the little petty stuff. I have to admit, I'm guilty. I really hadn't given any additional conscious thought to the challenge until yesterday, I made the mad dash through Walmart grabbing groceries for the week while Melissa was in volleyball practice for one hour. That meant I had about 35 minutes to do all my shopping plus visiting because we all know you can't just run into Walmart without seeing at least one person you know and getting sucked into a lengthy conversation!  At the checkout, I was quite pleased with myself-groceries plus some staples like toilet paper and paper towels came to a total of less than my normal. (Thank you ezmeals planner!) The guy behind me was guzzling his Diet Pepsi, on the belt he had placed ten giant two liters of all types of super caffinated diet soda drinks, four packages of frozen burritos, at least a dozen microwave meals, several blue boxes of mac & cheese and countless bags of chips--not a single piece of fruit or veggie. I found myself being a grocery cart judge, you know we all do it--we peek into other peoples carts and look down our noses at how much junk they buy when are carts are full of the good stuff!  What I thought to myself:

When the clerk told me my total he exclaimed "I wish I could get out of here for that!"

I replied with "this is groceries to feed my family of four for the next seven days minus the meat which I'll pick up at the Butcher Shop tomorrow."

He began to grumble and complain under his breath about how much his food cost and that it better last him two weeks. As I began to walk off, the clerk politely asked the gentleman how his day was. He began to unload about how horrible his day had been and how miserable he was.

I turned and said "at least you woke up this morning."

He retorted with, "that remains to be seen whether that is good or not."

I said, "it sure beats the alternative."

He said, "I guess you're right, I hadn't really thought about it that way."

All of a sudden, I felt a fire in my belly...what just happened?!?! It wasn't just a simple exchange with a stranger, it was a challenge, a 21 day challenge to quit complaining! The concept is quite simple put a bracelet on your wrist and every time you complain, you switch it to the other wrist. Now the website has ones you can purchase for $10/10 but I want to get started today, I'm fairly certain there is a bracelet running amok in my bathroom that can land on my wrist. The tricky part of the deal is you're supposed to go 21 whole days WITHOUT having to move the bracelet! Wow! 21 days without a grumble or complaint, I wonder how long it will take me to achieve that goal. I'm one crazy blessed woman; I strive to remember that several times a day and say a little prayer of thanks but how many times do I negate that with my grumbles? Who will join me in this challenge? Give me a shout by text, email, comment of Facebook message--let's hold one another accountable and see if we can start making this world a more positive place!!

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