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There are always going to be things in our life that disappoint us. We could get mad, stomp and scream like a terrible toddler. But what good does that do? Not a thing!

For our community, we finally had the vote this week to decide on a community center and upgrades for walking and biking trails. The public voted not to have these things. I was looking forward to our community growing and attracting families to stay and new ones to move here. The public spoke, and now we move on. 

I like what one young man said on FaceBook. He encouraged those who voted it down, to come up with other solutions to help our community. Then in my email today, I received a “No Complaining Challenge” by author and speaker Jon Gordon. But sometimes I want to complain!!! (Did you hear the whining voice?) 

Gordon said, “For one week, instead of complaining, appreciate what you do have. Instead of complaining about other people, think about something good about them. Instead of focusing on problems, look for solutions. Focus on the positive and help overcome negativity.”

God started this no complaining rule when he stated in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoeverthings are true, whatsoeverthings are honest, whatsoeverthings are just, whatsoeverthings are pure, whatsoeverthings are lovely, whatsoeverthings are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (KJV)

When my brain wants to go haywire I remind myself of these verses. After the election results, I had to remind myself, God is still on His throne, and still in control. It’s not the end of the world. 

I believe knowing God really is in control of my life gives me a lot of peace. Also, God makes no mistakes. Donna does. God doesn’t. Donna doesn’t always listen carefully and obey completely … but God still loves me.

Gordon says, “We complain because of two reasons. One, we are powerless and second, it’s a habit.”

But we are not powerless. (Of course, that should be obvious to a believer, but isn’t always.) Gordon said, “You have the power to choose your beliefs and actions. If you focus on the positive instead of the negatives you’ll find the faith, strength and confidence to take on life’s challenges and identify the solutions to your complaints.”

That’s as far as I got with the column preparation on Wednesday. But I had decided I would try very hard to not complain.I caught myself making a complaint before I ever left the building. GRRRR. Ok, start over again. Then Wednesday night at church I found myself joining a conversation and I made some statements … that were complaining. God woke me up at 3 a.m. today to talk about it. I promised Him, I’d ask forgiveness from the people I was talking to (at a decent time of morning) and I’d admit it right here in this column. I’m basically a positive person. But I can easily slip into complaining — especially over things I have no control. 

Gordon gives five suggestions to help us not complain. 

  • Practice gratitude.

  • Praise others.

  • Focus on success.

  • Let Go.

  • Pray and Meditate.

I must remember God does have control and wants the best for us. I’m so thankful “He’s still working on me!” Remember that song? Keep it in mind as we try to go 10 minutes without complaining … then maybe we can try for 20 minutes … 

Donna has written for the HDT for more than 19 years. When off the clock, she enjoys writing for children, teaching piano lessons and being a pastor's wife. The Braymers have three married sons and daughter-in-laws and 9 grandchildren.

(1) comment


Words to life by, but I have never quite understood why people want their community to keep growing?

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