December 10, 2007

The Complaint Jar

CJ's entered into a season of complaining practically non-stop. Twice in the past three days, I've pulled out the Samaritan's Purse Christmas Catalog to demonstrate to her just how blessed she is. As R reminded me this morning, we can't change her heart. But, we have made some changes. For every complaint or "It's not fair!" we hear, she pays a quarter to the Complaint Jar. That money will go to Samaritan's Purse to help families who can truly claim that life's not fair.

I've been so frustrated with her attitude the past few days. Maybe because I see myself in her complaints:

Dear God,

December 10th is the time to sing "Sleigh Ride", "Jingle Bells", "White Christmas" and all those other wintry songs I love so much. But this forecast makes it impossible:

Hi 76 F
Lo 53 F

Partly cloudy skies today with record high temps expected. Highs in the mid to upper 70s. SW 10-15 mph. Cloudy tonight with lows in the low to mid 50s. Partly to mostly cloudy skies tomorrow with highs in the 60s in the metro...cooler north and warmer south.

It's not like you can't do anything about it. So, please do.

And, while I'm thinking of it, could you lighten my load around the house just a little? And stretch the income more than a little. Oh, yeah, and take care of a few messes that I haven't dealt with yet (not to mention that pile of laundry).

Your Loving Daughter


I've been blaming the unseasonable weather, the unending chores, and an ungrateful 9-year old for my foul mood and lack of Christmas cheer. But, the truth is, I'm the problem.

So, I'm letting go of some things for the next couple of weeks. Like many others, I'm going on a blogging sabbatical. I'm going spend time laughing with my family, catching up on laundry, and watching sappy holiday movies. I'm going to bake cookies, wrap presents, and drink eggnog. And I'm going to stand before the Nativity every morning and thank my Jesus for leaving Heaven for my pitiful, sinful soul.

And I'll drop a quarter in the Complaint Jar every time I forget how blessed I am.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe
~Philippians 2:14-15


Alana said...

Oh Melissa, the complaint jar is BRILLIANT. I had similar thoughts this weekend with my oldest. I thought how am I raising such an ungrateful child? What does he have to be ungrateful for? And then the Holy Spirit whacked me upside the head with some whining and complaining of my own. I think the complaint jar would definitely be a whole family affair in our household.

Enjoy your bloggy break!

Laura said...

Oh what a beautiful post. Enjoy your break and your Christmas surrounded by the people you love.


Mary@notbefore7 said...

Amen sweet sister in Christ and blogging friend! Enjoy your quiet time and family fun time. You have chosen wisely how to spend Advent. Blessings!

Heather C said...

I think a Christmas break from blogging might be just what the Doctor - or Savior? - ordered! I love the way you think!

Don't you just hate it when just as we are ready to chastise our children, we realize that the phrases falling from their lips seem vaguely familiar? Ugh. Complaint Jars should be a fixture in every household! Thanks for the idea! :)


Wifeof1Momof4 said...

Love the idea of a complaint jar. We will definitely use this idea here. My oldest just isn't getting it that Christmas is NOT about him, but Jesus. After 4 weeks of nonstop complaining tonite, he finally said .. mommy I know what I want to give Jesus for his birthday.