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Friday, March 19, 2010

More Worship, Less Whine


Hi and welcome to all who stop by after reading today's devotion! Depending on when you read this I will be en route to speak at an event in Greenville, NC. The event was originally supposed to be Tracie Miles' but her stepmom died and she's involved with the funeral and preparations so I stepped in to take the event for her. (Please keep Tracie and her family in your prayers.) I am looking forward to the time with the ladies and seeing what God has planned. As I told the coordinator when we talked, God is not surprised that I am speaking this weekend even though we are! He knew all along and that brings me great comfort.

In the devotion I asked how you choose whining over worship. I am looking forward to your responses! As I thought about how I would answer this question, I thought of a couple of examples. With Curt being out of work right now, I've had chances to practice this a lot lately. I don't always succeed. Sometimes I just want to whine, to wallow. Here are ways to see the potential to worship that I have found:

Realize I have a choice to make instead of going with my feelings. I wrote about how last weekend we were supposed to go on a fun family trip that fell through due to illness. I had a choice to make when that happened-- focus on how disappointed I was or thank God. I chose (and I don't always so hear me on that) to focus on thanking Him. I trusted that for whatever reason, we were just not supposed to go on that trip. And so I was able to praise Him for protecting us and accept His plans. Just that shift in thinking helped me not get angry and frustrated and still enjoy our weekend.

Read Scripture. There is something about immersing myself in God's word that shifts my perspective. I can't stay upset or angry when I start reading the words of the Psalms or the story of David, or Paul's letters. I find hope lurking in the words... and hope doesn't disappoint.

Have verses posted around the house. I am a slow learner. I forget the Truth I know. I am someone who can really go into the pit of her feelings quickly so having verses that mean something to me posted around the house-- my bathroom mirror, my dresser mirror, my fridge-- keeps Truth in my face where I need it. So instead of that slippery slope of what I feel, I can refocus on what He has to say to me.

Talk to God. When things happen that I don't like I run to that friend who sticks closer than a brother. I tell Him everything-- the feelings I am struggling with, the doubts I am having, the stuff that just stinks. I let Him have it all. After I give it to Him, I feel better. And if I don't, then I keep talking. I unburden myself and He is always there to carry whatever load I can't. The lighter feeling I get makes worship possible... even likely.

So what do you do to help you worship more and whine less? I would love to hear...
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30 comments:

sagreen125 said...

I tend to whine when bad things happen. but I hope I will remember to praise god. It is so easy to whine. But to forget God is in control. Recently I was at our homeschool coop, and we had one of our high school students hit head on and was in critical. People were upset, and I and couple of others said at least and to remember he is alive.
To note he is doing great, long rehab process but eating and in pain.
thanks for reminding us all

Karen Ehman said...

Praying for you dear friend! You are a treasure to so many and especially to ME!!!!!

Anonymous said...

What great timing! I came into work to see one of those error messages on my computer that make you call IT immediately. The diagnosis was grim - my computer is on the verge of a crash. But, good news - I have time to back up my files! I refocused immediately - the "to do" stack got moved to another day, I whispered a quick "thank you God for letting us catch this early", started working on backing up files, all while pledging to not grumble about how slow the computer is moving but with a thankful heart that I have time to back up my work.

Angel said...

This message was so timely! I have been allowing alot of little things to get me very upset and whine. God forgive me and thank you that you have blessed me beyond measure and beyond what I deserve!

Doris F. said...

Thanks for the message. I'm a slow learner too! God is soooo good...yesterday prior to a meeting where I learned that my hours would not be increased in spite of all the reasons (good ones!) I had listed,I was listening to music which brought praise to my Maker. He knew I was going to be disappointed. I continue to be amazed how He prepares my heart for what's comming. I never ignore the song in my heart and in my head at the start of a new day. I've learned it's there for a reason! Blessings!

learningtobefrugal said...

Thank you for reminding me how much I learn from the hard times and how much I should praise God for those as much as for the times of smooth sailing. All the P31 devotionals have spoken so directly to me this week. Thank you for encouraging us daily.

LA said...

Thank you so much for this encouragement to chose God in the midst of it all. My situations seem so dark and bleak but I kmow God can and will deliver in His time. This devotion helped me to refocus and remember to praise God inspite of my outlooks and outcomes.

Julie said...

I was diagnosed with cancer in January and after whining (and arguing with God) I finally realize that I can praise Him through this storm. So many amazing things happen when our attitudes change. But it is easy to let the whining slip back in during the hard time, thanks for the reminder.

Jessica said...

I have problems forgetting to worship first and this is something I've been working on. I try to catch myself as soon as possible and pray!

Thanks for the great post! You have a beautiful family!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Marybeth!

I was just thinking last night how I had a great workday then one minor thing happened and I let that control my thoughts and not praising God for He has done great things in my workplace(such a turn around there)! I was reflecting how I had done this yesterday and it was wrong when I got up this morning your devotional reminding me was such a good timing of the Lord!
Thanks for encouraging us all! Blessing to you from the ONE who is able to do more than we ask or imagine!

Carrie Turansky said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on our responses to the unexpected things in life. They seem to happen every day! I appreciate your focus on worshiping in the good and bad times. Thanks!
Carrie

nmargic said...

simply give thanks in all things. This is only possible by letting God be God;you know? We could not save ourselves,thats y God sent us his son.by working out our own way and rejecting his help,we cause our own all whining .be all God called you to be.

Anonymous said...

My Spirit loves music, so I just crank up the iTunes through our speaker in order to drown out the negative thoughts rumbling around in my head. That way our home is filled with sound that honors our God. My favorites are Shane Barnard & Shane Everett, Andrew Peterson, Bebo Norman, David Crowder Band, & Casting Crowns.

Belle said...

I like to share that one way I remember not to whine is by knowing that He is in control,and that i have to choose right actions to teach my children what to do when things dont go our way or when we get bad news. And its not so easily done as i say it,but i do pray that God would teach me through His Spirit how to bring Him glory and how to make worship an instant act.BLESSINGS!

Anonymous said...

I wish I could tell you that I worship instead of wallowing in whine but I can't because I have not reached that place. Your devotion this morning only reinforces that our loving Father is always there patiently waiting willing to listen to us and to give us answers. Thank you Marybeth for this lovely devotion. Our Father really cares about his children. We need to run to him but only His grace will allow us because our feelings will not.

cottagegardener said...

One way to combat the 'whines' is to intentionally and immediately taking your thoughts captive. Replace negative thoughts (doubts, fears, what-if's,)as they crowd in, with a list of ways God has proven True and Good and Faithful in the past. Rehearse these to yourself. Then reiterate God's attributes of sovereignty, holiness, faithfulness and love and remind yourself THAT HE HASN'T CHANGED! He is in control, His timing is perfect, and whatever He chooses to do or happen is WHAT IS BEST, even though we may not be able to see it clearly at the present time. In this way, God is glorified and we are worshipers.

Betsy said...

Thank you SO much for sharing today's devotional and more on your blog too. You've taught me a great lesson on Who to talk to when I want to whine, as well as to see that God's got a plan and He's working it all out. While I've known that in my head, sometimes it's hard to go through things that challenge my heart. Now I'll look more at Job's response and work on worship rather than whine.

Elizabeth B said...

This was a great reminder of something I heard on March 3rd - give thanks to God when He gives and when He takes away. The timeliness of that message was profound - I had learned only 10 days before that I was pregnant with my first child after 2.5 years of trying, and the next day I miscarried. But the message had been on my heart and I found myself thanking God for the blessing of being pregnant, even for a short time. The difference it has made over these past two weeks has been amazing - I feel joy despite the disappointment and I can't remember feeling that before. I feel closer to God now, because by worshiping Him in the bad, He has reminded me that He is still in control. And this joy has inhabited the rest of my life; I feel more at peace in all areas. God has kept His promise: "draw near to Me and I will draw near to you." Thanks for the great reminder!

Grace said...

MaryBeth,
I am a whiner by nature. Just recently the Lord began to let me see how I grumble about even the simplest task. I'm still learning to praise God for all my circumstances. I'll be praying for your husband to find a job and that the Lord would encourage him in his time waiting. Do you know this little song?I can't remember what scripture it is from. It goes,"Rejoice evermore for this is the will of God. (repeat 2x's) In Christ Jesus concerning you. Pray without ceasing for this is the will of God...(repeat 2x's) In Christ Jesus concerning you." When I start whinig I usually sing a scripture song.
Grace

karen said...

All week, these devotionals have been hitting home. I thank God for seeing the needs of my heart & placing these P31 devos in my inbox every day!

I am extremely good at whining. My husband, 19 month old & my pregnant self are living with my parents while we build a house close-by. We moved in last August thinking we'd be in the house in the spring. Well, it hasn't even broke ground yet due to all the red tape & delays that no one expected. It's very difficult to move your whole life in with someone else's - whether they're family or strangers. We're always under each other's skin. Everyday I find numerous reasons to whine. Last week at MOPs, the speaker said when you're feeling ready to complain or feel sorry for yourself, offer up a "sacrifice of thanksgiving" instead. I've been trying to do that all week - & I succeed, I really have noticed a different feeling come over me immediately. I believe that the Holy Spirit is taking the negative thoughts away & replacing them with the countless good things I should be dwelling on. God is amazing & has given us so much, I just have to remember that during the not-so-great times.

Thank you Mary Beth for this wonderful devotional today!

Kara said...

The thing that helps me to stay focused on what matters is telling myself this: "Don't live in your imagination!" My imagination is where bad feelings and drama reside.....not God and truth. When I tell myself this, it is easier to give the load I inevitably canNOT carry myself over to HIM. There's this release God gives me, and I think my real worshiping comes from that place, because all things are possible thru Him, right? Yessssssss...!

kalea_kane said...

I try very hard not to whine when life gets rough which is a good thing, because let me tell you, I have some rough history. :) It is all good though. I know how much good has come out of those struggles. :)

Anyway, when I feel whiny I think of 1 Corinthians 13:1 - If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn't love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

Now granted this is talking about speaking and not having love. I think my whining is probably not terribly lovey. It is probably more like a clanging cymbal all noise and jarring. I try to catch myself. When I get too off in any self crybaby sessions, I often stop and say "clang, clang, clang." That wakes me up to the fact that this pain is only really a season, and I can do much better with my time.

Thank you for the post today. It was a real blessing for me, and I am sure many others.

Jill said...

Oh, how I need this today. I just learned a few hours ago that my dad's cancer is terminal, and has only a few months to live. he is also unsaved, and my heart is broken. I needed the reminder that I need to worship and not wallow. Please, if you can, say a prayer for his salvation. In all things, God is good.

Anonymous said...

I didn't read your post today until after a long awaited Dr's apointment. Today I received both good news and bad and I chose to focus on the Good and give God the Glory for it. This has become a recent habit, since November, and it is all because of my 3 year old daughter. She has learned to say "God's got me" Any time she is scared or unsure, and I find I hear her voice each time I start to feel angry, scared, or unsure. SO when your first reactions God's got me, you can't help but give him the Praise. In this case my praise is that I DO NOT HAVE CANCER! YEAH!!!! The dissapointing news is we still don't know what is wrong with me. But, God's got me, so how can I whine?

Rachel B said...

A few years ago I kept a "Gratitude Journal". It caused me to make an effort EVERY day to take a look around and remember what all I have to be thankful for. It started a pattern in my life. I don't keep a gratitude journal on paper anymore, but I do in my heart and mind EVERY day. :)

I also had a great example set for me by my mother. She is one of the most positive, thankful people I've ever met (through some very difficult circumstances!!). I pray my kids will be able to say the same about me someday!!

Thanks so much for this great reminder today, Marybeth!

Judy in Michigan said...

I am a whiner as a rule. I whine about day to day problems and forget to praise God for those "little foxes" that come up and nibble at me.

Our family just experienced the most incredibly sad situation. Our daughter and son-in-law became pregnant last year...at 5 months it was discovered that our first baby had some genetic problems....Owen was born in Sept. and lived 12 days...Our entire family (in-laws included) came together as one and worshipped and praised God through the whole time....we prayed together and The Faithful One brought us all through this. He even threw in a few miracles for our precious little Owen...
I am not saying I/we were perfect through this....there were many, many times when I would go to my Abba and whine and cry out.....but that is just what He wanted from me...take it to Him. He gave me the courage to speak about the situation as a means to show how He was working it out with us....He is so awesome....
Since Owen went from our arms to the arms of Jesus I have tried to keep my whining to a minimum and switch it up to praise and worship. This is difficult with the small things but that is what He wants....everything.....
Thank you for your devotional today...I needed to hear it as a reminder...
Do well today...and God be with you...
Peace..... Judy

Anonymous said...

God's timing is so perfect. We all have "stuff" we're dealing with; mine is that my husband walked out on me and our 2 young children a week ago. Clearly, we have some issues (just like everybody else). As I have tried to draw closer to God, I have always slipped into a good whine here and there. What I really appreciate about your blog, Marybeth, is including some very practical suggestions to help me remember HOW to worship instead of whine. So, thank you!

Leone O said...

While my natural response is not to praise in difficult circumstances, I just need to think back to a time twelve years ago when my son was diagnosed with cancer and subsequently passed away two years later at the age of 5 and 3/4 years. God was amazingly faithful during that time and continues to carry me and my family through our bereavement. Our lives are forever changed by losing Brayden, but God continues to make beauty from our ashes.

Johnni Schell said...

Corrie Ten Boom's books have been an inspiration for me - she tells of entering a POW camp and her sister thanking God for the bedbugs but Corrie said she just could not share in her sister's praise. But then - the bedbugs were especially virulent in their bunkhouse - so much so that the German guards would not come in and left the prisoners alone.
I try to always thank God for the 'bedbugs' in my life.

Sue Gilmore said...

I was out of the office on Friday, so did not read Friday's P31 until this morning at my desk. What immediately came to mind was the health care reform vote of yesterday. We can either whine about it or we can worship God, Who is STILL on the throne, and continue to pray for our nation.
Thanks for your words.