Sucked into Negativity

So I was sitting in the normal spot that I retreat to for my morning quiet times.  Quietly writing away and happily sipping my coffee when I look up and across from me is the recliner my husband usually sits in.  Instantly that takes me back to a conversation from last night when I was sitting here on the couch, and he was sitting in the chair.  The annoyance I felt at that time...which I hadn't thought of since...came flooding back to me. I started getting annoyed.  Then it hit me how easily I can get sucked into negativity.  My poor husband is in bed peacefully sleeping, and in my head I'm planning my retort on a conversation we had 12 hours ago and he has completely forgotten. I stopped myself right away and thought "I need to be thankful for my husband."

I've also been extremely negative about work.  There are so many changes happening right now, and I'm ashamed to admit I have been trapped in negative thinking. Like "this is never going to work", "these changes are going to make things horrible", "the person who thought of these obviously don't know our job"...etc etc.  Instead, I should be focusing on the positive (like I actually HAVE a job) and be thankful.

Sometimes I feel like such an Israelite. Read through the Old Testament and you'll see if anyone had the spiritual gift of complaining, it was them.  I wonder if it is human nature sometimes to seek out the negative, and just wallow around in it.  I wonder what a difference it would make if we stopped complaining, stopped being negative, and instead chose to be thankful.

I stumbled upon these verses:

Philippians 2:14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning

uh huh, ALL things. It doesn't say "try not to grumble"...nope, it says Don't.Do.It.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

James 5:9 Do not grumble against one another, brother, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.

Convicted yet? I sure am.  I am thankful for my husband.  He is a good man who spoils me rotten.  We have our disagreements, but I can't expect perfection from an imperfect man...anymore than he can expect it from me.  I need to be thankful for my job, that it's changing and it's not going anywhere.

Romans 15:7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, or order to bring praise to God.
1Thessalonians 5:11 Encourage one another and build each other up.
Hebrews 3:13 Encourage one another daily.

I know I need to stop myself when I start being negative, and speak the positive into the situation/conversation.  Do you?

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Minimalism: Essential Essays

Minimalism: Essential EssaysMinimalism: Essential Essays by Ryan Nicodemus
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lately I have been trying to simplify the chaos that has become my life.  I stumbled upon The Minimalists website about a month ago.  They offer great advise on how to simplify life and focus on what really matters. I was excited to read they were publishing some of their greatest essays into a book and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I downloaded it on my Kindle the day it was released and devoured it in just a couple of days. They offer great advise on how to live with less. It's a quick read that shares their life experience from the beginning of their path towards a mimimalist lifestyle. While there are one or two curse words, which I found disappointing since both authors have an extensive vocabulary and didn't require vulgarity to get their point across, their message is worth the read and their practical advice is applicable to wherever you are at in life.

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"Never shall I forget the days I spent with you. Continue to be my friend, as you will always find me yours." - Ludwig van Beethoven

Relationships are hard, complicated, messy.  I've never been good at relationships...especially friendships. I used to work with a lady who grew up on a farm.  She would always say "Humans are the strangest critters I've ever met." I couldn't agree more.  When I would hear a preacher talk about how humans are God's greatest creation I wanted to say "Really?? Have you met any??"  

I've often joked that I could be the crazy dog lady (because, really...who wants that many cats??) who lives 100 miles from the nearest person and be perfectly content.  It's safer there. No vulnerability, no fear of rejection, no condemnation. Putting myself out there hasn't always worked out so well for me, so for a long time I just haven't.  I'm pleasant, I'm friendly, I try to help out when I can...but I didn't open myself up to people. No one saw the real me...frankly, I've kept her hidden away so long I wasn't so sure what she was like either.  That is starting to change though.  

There are now a handful of people in my life who I am honored to call friends, and humbled they would consider me one.  People who care what is going on with me, who want to know what I wrestle with, who want to do life with me through the laughter and tears. I am so incredibly grateful for each and everyone one of them.  It's still hard.  We hurt each others feelings, we get frustrated and annoyed.  The difference with them is we love each other enough to talk it out...to call each other out on our crap.  To link arms together and be glad we fit.  All this stuff I've avoided (the pain and heartache) is just as much a part of the blessing as the laughter.  I've grown through these friendships.  At the age of 34 I'm finally I'm learning how to be a friend...I'm learning how to be myself....and (gulp) I'm learning how to be real and vulnerable.  It's frightening, but the value of these relationships is worth more than anything.