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"Do everything without grumbling or arguing,”   Philippians 2:14

Complaining, weary, grumbling, impatient…

I’m skipping down the path of least resistance. Almost giddy as my negative emotions pick up momentum. Oh, it’s so easy to go there.

* No power, day 6. And the predictions are power may not be restored for another week.

* School has been closed for a week and won’t reopen until Wednesday.

* My husband has been in a gas line for almost nine hours and counting.

* Once he gets to the pumps, he will be limited to $20.

* My sister lost four out of five majestic pines that landed on her deck.

* Another sister has been stranded down the shore with no power and two dead cars (one of the reasons my husband is waiting on this endless gas line…to go fetch her!)

What choice do I have BUT TO COMPLAIN??? I mean I’m completely justified, right???

There’s a wrestling match for sure. On the one hand, I know better. I am called to be thankful in everything. But on the other hand, what do we have to be thankful for right now? I know it could be worse, much, much worse, but still, I’m cold, it’s dark, and my neighbors’ humming generators remind me of what I do not have.

Here’s one thing I am very thankful for…even as I write. I cannot get away with this kind of stinkin’ thinkin’.

The good news is I do know better. I do have a choice. I can stop the yammering. I can turn my mind toward good things. I can be thankful in the midst of this mess. I can and I will:

I’m thankful for:

* This spectacular day…full of light, warm sun, and fall beauty.

* The extra time my daughter’s been given to complete her college essays and catch up on her heavy school workload.

* Lots of unanticipated time with the same daughter who is preparing to leave the nest soon…In the midst of incredible busyness, this time is a precious gift!

* My sister and her family, the one out of four with electricity. She’s been outrageously generous in offering food, shelter, internet.

* Spending time we don’t ordinarily get with extended family.

* Many offers to come on over…friends and family opening their hearts and homes to welcome us.

* The many, many candles I already had that now flicker throughout the house.

* The silly family DVD we enjoyed on my computer under the down comforter in our bed.

* The local university that welcomes me to a library with light, power, and internet.

* The cheerful crew at the university café who make me feel at home.

* A home (even a cool one), a car (even one without gas), a family, a safe neighborhood…

 Oh my…it’s so much better this side of gratitude!

How are you doing in the wake of Hurricane Sandy? Are you counting your complaints? Or counting your blessings? Why not share your gratitude here?


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Elise has been married for 28 years and is mom to four mostly grown girls. She is a writer, editor, writing coach, and blogger. She believes we all have stories that matter--big life bios and small meaningful moments. Elise believes our stories are a reflection of God’s glory and are meant to be shared. They have the power to inform, reform, and transform. She loves God, familly, friends...and really likes travel!

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