Will You Accept the Challenge?

So I have to be honest with you all and let you know that this isn’t going to be easy for me. There is something that needs to be corrected, but it is so engrained into my everyday life that it will take a lot of energy and commitment to change; but it’s necessary. Now that I have all of you on the edge of your seats wondering what it is that I might be talking about, it is in this moment that I will come clean: I am… A COMPLAINER. Whew! That was like taking a load off right there.

Okay, I’ll cut the dramatics now (you guys know I like to be extra). But seriously though, I complain about anything and everything. It’s bad, and is something that I am challenging myself to work on. You see I was reading in Exodus a few weeks ago and Moses was leading the Israelites out of Egypt. He had just parted the Red Sea and they had been traveling for 3 whole days through the desert when they finally arrived in Marah {Exodus 15:22-24}. However, the whole time they were traveling, they didn’t have any water to drink. So imagine their dismay when they get to Marah and guess what…the water is bitter! As anyone would do, they started to ask Moses “what are we going to drink?”. However, as I read the exact verse, I noticed something that caught my eye. You see, they didn’t just ask Moses what was up with the water but it says they grumbled against Moses.

Well in case any of you were wondering, to grumble means to “complain or protest about something in a bad-tempered way”. Yikes. So you mean to tell me, that God just freed these people from Egypt and performed a miracle in front of their eyes with the parting of the Red Sea, and they still found something to complain about?!

So I meditated on that for a bit, but it didn’t really hit me until tonight when my boyfriend said to me “I was feeling a little tired but I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to complain”. WOW! So now I’m sitting here thinking to myself ‘well you aren’t really complaining because if you are really tired, and you say you’re tired, then you’re just stating a fact’. But then I thought, ‘well kudos to you for not even wanting to say a simple statement such as “you’re tired” because you don’t want to be seen as a complainer’. And then it hit me. I complain SO MUCH! I even complain about stuff that doesn’t even have to do with me!

I like to frame it as “just venting” but in all honesty, I’m just complaining. But then I realized, I am just like the Israelites. Complaining even after God has done so much for me. In Ephesians 4:29 it says “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen”. This verse really spoke to me because I do the exact opposite all the time. I complain to my friends about some of the dumbest things, simply for the act of complaining. So instead of possibly talking to them about something positive or giving them a word of encouragement, I am bringing them down by being Negative Nancy. Well as if that verse wasn’t enough to dissuade me from complaining, I looked at Philippians 2:14, and was hit with another bomb. It says very bluntly: “Do everything without complaining or arguing”! Well, okay then. I see Paul wasn’t holding anything back when he wrote that verse.

So here’s the deal: I complain, but being a Christian is about turning from our old ways (life of sin) and transforming into the likeness of Christ. But in order to turn away from our old ways we first have to recognize that those behaviors are wrong. This isn’t always easy and we have to be honest with ourselves, but once we are able to recognize those sinful behaviors we can then begin to work on it everyday! We have to put time and energy into this, or else nothing will change. So my challenge to myself (and you) is this: simply go 24 hours without complaining and see how you feel at the end of the day. Did you notice a change in your attitude?

I would love to hear how this worked for you and what you did to keep yourself from complaining! We can all be a light in this world, but we first have to make changes within ourselves.

Leave a comment below and don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe so you don’t miss another post!

Until next time,

XOXO

 

 

Advertisements

It’s the Dawn of a New Day: Learn to Enjoy Your Mornings!

Disclaimer: I am not a morning person

Or at least I wasn’t until recently. I found that I had more stuff to do and less time during the day to do it, so I started getting up earlier in the mornings to try and accomplish it all. The first week was brutal. I thought about quitting this new venture of mine and going back to sleeping in until 30 minutes before class started. Trust me. I thought long and hard about that. But I told myself that since I’m not really one to stay up late and my productivity usually diminishes around 10pm, something had to give.

Now, let me just tell you that I am not one of those people who gets up at like 4am and has everything crossed off their to-do list by 9am. I set my alarm for 5:55am realistically knowing that I will be out of bed by 6:10am. I avoid the mirror at all costs at this time of morning because lets just be real: I am not Beyoncé, and I do not wake up flawless. However, once I am up and out of bed the first thing that is on my mind is COFFEE. Yes. You heard it here first, I am a caffeine addict and no I will not get help (sorry, Mom). Coffee has magical powers, plus the coffee cup my sister got me for Christmas is seriously s’cute.

_Coffee gets me started, but God keeps me going_

Let’s be real though. Coffee gets me started, but God keeps me going! Which is why I strive to do my devotional in the morning before I get started on other things. We should all have quiet time with God each day whether that’s 5 minutes or 30 minutes, but it should be done out of a true desire; not just another item to cross off our checklist. This is what helps me to get out of bed in the mornings. You know like when you were a kid and on Christmas morning you couldn’t wait to get up and go open presents because you were just so excited to see what Santa had brought you? (What am I talking about, I’m almost 23 and I still get like that).

But my whole point is, that is what my mornings have turned into! I crave Jesus in the mornings and I get so excited to see what new teaching is in store for me. I look forward to my quiet time in the morning because it really helps to set the tone for the day. When I was waking up right before I needed to leave for class I was rushed, looked a hot mess, and typically was in a grumpy mood. But now, after getting in my daily dose of Jesus in the mornings, I feel refreshed and ready to take on my day! So I grab my coffee, sit down with my Bible, and enjoy some quiet time with God. Right now I am reading my way through the Bible in a year so I am currently in Leviticus. In addition to my daily reading, I have really been enjoying the Redeemed Girls Ministry app which has numerous teachings on a variety of topics. I am currently going through the “My God is” series where each day is a new characteristic of God. The teachings are only 5 minutes but are packed full of inspiration!

Untitled design

In addition to my Bible study, I have really challenged myself to workout for at least 30 minutes before getting ready for the day. I plan on sharing my fitness journey with you all soon, but let’s just say working out consistently has been a serious struggle for me. It has been much better ever since I began scheduling my workouts in the mornings because I don’t have the opportunity to make as many excuses for myself. Now there have been a few exceptions here and there, but I have actually come to enjoy working out at this time. Jesus time + working out = me feeling unstoppable! Right now I have just been doing some at home workouts but they have definitely helped to keep me energized so that I can tackle my busy schedule.

Some of my favorite workouts have been from GymRa on YouTube. They are challenging but effective and they have a huge variety of workouts to choose from! The link to their channel is here. I highly suggest that you check them out if you are looking to switch up your fitness routine!

Once I am done with my workout and have gotten ready for the day, I begin to tackle my to-do list one item at a time. I find that by doing those few things beforehand help me to have a more positive outlook on the day which helps decrease those thoughts of “this is too much to get done” or “I am just so overwhelmed”. I have a daily planner that helps me to keep my days structured and what I really like about it, is that it has a portion at the top of each day where you can list your “Top 3”, or your most important to-do’s. I have found that once I have tackled those, I can move on to other things I have listed out for the week. This has really helped to keep me organized and focused throughout the day. Plus I just love that feeling of being able to go to bed knowing that I got everything done for that day. That gives me total satisfaction. The planner that I use can be found here or you can design your own the mini version here.

Once a hater and now a lover, I am living proof that mornings don’t have to be your enemy. I hope that you were able to gain some helpful tips from this post, and I would love to hear some of the things that you have implemented in your morning routine!

Make sure to like, share, and subscribe so you can have my posts sent directly to your email!

Now go out and be the light

XOXO