NCN 2018–Days 17 & 18 (aka Days 10 & 11 that didn’t get posted last weekend!)

I’ve been thinking back to this time last year. Life was quite a bit different for me. God had loaded my plate, I had piled some more things on top, and a few others were trying to do that for me, as well. I was stressed and feeling every bit of it as I worked to stay positive and write posts that would encourage others…and hide how exhausted I was really feeling.

This year, things are quite a bit different. I’ve been on a search for more Margin in my schedule and, although my schedule is still a busy one, right now, I find myself more relaxed than I would have believed possible just 12 months ago. Having more Margin in your life doesn’t mean that you’ll always have giant stretches of empty space on your calendar. It just means that the items that make it there are chosen with purpose and a lot of prayer over them. It means that, while everyone will occasionally have to do something they might rather not do, the majority of the time is devoted to things that are in line with the goals YOU are trying to achieve, so your attitude can be one of excitement and gratitude even when you’re really very busy.

I’m writing this today in case some of you are still struggling because you’re just tired, tired of being tired, and tired of doing so many activities and still not feeling like you’re making any progress. Packing your schedule tighter than you can breathe with things that meet “other people’s goals” and leaves you precious little time to rest and accomplish your own goals does NO ONE any good.

Here’s your weekend challenge: Make peace a priority!! Take out your calendar and start a review. Make sure you include the rest of the family on this, as well, since their items are also part of the mix. Take an honest look at what goals you’ve set for yourself and what items are simply on your docket because they accomplish someone else’s idea of what’s necessary or appropriate. You might just find that someone in your household is only doing an activity because it’s something YOU always wanted to do and it really isn’t a pleasurable thing for them at all. You MIGHT just find some room in there to go do some actual “fun stuff” and you might just make a difference in the way you spend both time and money in the days ahead. At the very least, you’ll be able to see if your activities are helping your meet those goals you’ve set or if they’re just keeping you from meeting them. Hopefully, you’ll also find that having some open communication about your calendar will make it easier for everyone involved to have a better attitude and, therefore, make it a little easier to get through the rest of NO COMPLAIN NOVEMBER.

Grace and Peace!

Romans 12:21!!!

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NCN 2018–Days 12-16

Happy Monday, everyone! I woke up very suddenly Sunday morning about 4:30 AM and realized two things: God had just given me a solution for a “problem” I had been considering…and I had forgotten to post my weekend challenge. I decided to celebrate both of those things. Naturally, I’m celebrating the first one, because–although it wasn’t a big problem (how to wrap some gifts for the holidays)–I now have an answer that works for me. (no brainer.) I decided to celebrate the second one, though, because I just figured God knew that y’all probably needed the break, as well. (HA!), and NOW, that means that I’m actually ahead! I have a post written for next weekend! (double HA and YAY!) Perspective and choosing to look for the positives are great gifts, y’all. Great gifts!

On this Monday of the week before Thanksgiving I find myself celebrating quite a few things early. Thanksgiving has long been my favorite holiday because we always celebrated it by gathering with family we hadn’t seen in awhile. Distance from childhood homes, work, and modern busy schedules have made that impossible the past several years and, to be honest, it won’t happen “on the day” this year, either. HOWEVER, if you’re determined to celebrate the reason for the holiday, it really doesn’t matter what day you choose to do that, does it?

Although we can’t all be together in one place again this year like we used to when we were growing up, I have the opportunity to celebrate and see most of my immediate family THIS week instead of next week. I’m choosing to celebrate the GET TO instead of the departure from the traditional. Because I’ll be celebrating, I’m choosing to make this post the main one for the week. If inspiration strikes and there’s opportunity, you might see another post, but if I’m too busy being happy and enjoying the hugs and catching up, feasting my eyes on faces I’ve missed, and getting to see my youngest nephew play basketball, well…I think we’ll all manage just fine.

To give you something to think about and, hopefully, something to do while I’m taking this little break (because I just KNOW you need something else to do! LOL) I want to share something our #5 (hey, Judy!) sent out the other day (and for context, she’s the one who suggested we do NO DIET NOVEMBER–LOL!!!):

So the “cure” for negativity… help someone. Buy a cup of coffee for a young man in need. Feed a homeless cat. Help pay for someone’s groceries. Give until it hurts. Get uncomfortable. Every day. Goodness…. those in need are EVERYWHERE!! You realize how blessed you are and there is so much joy in seeing joy in others.

Although it may cause me to diet… bc I’m broke!!! 😂😂😂😂😂

Judy’s suggestions are a natural extension of her beautiful heart and I think they’re a MARVELOUS way to kick off the holiday season, so that’s your challenge for the week and a great way to get into the Thanksgiving mood: See how many people you can help/bless this week! Bonus points if you can do the helping and the blessing anonymously. (If you’ve never done that before, TRUST ME, you’ll be amazed at how much FUN it can be!! And, when you can pull it off…GLEE, people! Pure GLEE!! Doing it enough can actually make you giddy!–a term you NEED to get familiar with, if you’re not already aware! grin)

So, go have fun, overcome evil by doing good, bless others, have a great week wherever you are and with whoever you’re with, and if you’re doing all of that…well, then you’ll have no cause to complain!

Grace and Peace!

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21 

 

NCN 2018–Day 8

Well, hello! I know this may sound funny, but I’ve been having the best time this morning preparing for some upcoming venues, trips, and holidays that I got a bit sidetracked and almost forgot to post today! I think that’s part of the joy of life–the preparing to do part! Oh, I love the DOING, but I also love the PREP–and since holidays are often spent apart from loved ones, my holiday prep has to start a lot earlier than it used to so I can get things where they need to be before “the big day” arrives.

I looked up some quotes earlier this morning and the first three I saw actually inspired this post. Here they are so maybe they can inspire some action on your part today, as well.

“If you’re not lighting any candles, don’t complain about being in the dark.”

“If you’re not helping to make it right, then stop complaining about it being wrong.”

“Don’t complain about things you’re unwilling to change.”

I’ve already heard some mumbling about people being behind this year on their shopping–and compared to where I normally am in the process, this year, I’m behind, too, but I believe this might be my favorite year yet! I’m having the best time rediscovering things I’ve bought for people throughout the year and thinking about what still needs to be done. While Thanksgiving is normally my favorite holiday, I’ve been getting into the Christmas spirit for several weeks already!

Speaking of holidays, gift giving, and mumbling, perhaps today is a good day for YOU to start planning ahead, as well. If it is still WAY too early for some of you who love to do your gift planning at the “last minute” every year–OR, if you’re already ahead on that score, then that’s fine, too! Today’s challenge is for you to take a look around you and see what needs “fixing” where you are. Look for those things that bug you–or others around you!!–and DO SOMETHING about it! Make it your gift to the world where you live to reduce a CAUSE of  complaint today!

What can YOU do today to make someone else’s load a little lighter? Think about it and then get busy lighting those candles so others can find their way in the dark, as well! Make it a Romans 12:21 day and do something GOOD for the people around you!! You can do this. You just have to choose.

Grace and Peace!

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21 

 

NCN 2018–Day 7

As of today, we’ve been at this NO COMPLAIN NOVEMBER-thing  for a whole week! I’ve been highly entertained by many of the comments I’ve gotten, saddened/frustrated by a few others (mainly those who would rather stay firmly glued in negativity and take pot shots at those who’ve made a different choice), and found a few others who are celebrating it on their blogs, as well. Many of those who have posted/commented there are people who won’t ever know me or my friends and aren’t aware that this NCN movement started here, but that doesn’t matter, so long as the influence toward the positive is out there. Becoming a person of influence doesn’t mean becoming a person of popularity or even being known. It does mean, hopefully, that more people were able to see and recognize a step toward the positive and then decide to take it for themselves.

That’s been a theme for some interesting conversations with some of the ones who DO know me lately, as well. The ability to see a need for improvement and take steps to make it so, isn’t as common as we’d would all like to think. I’ve been questioning some things in my own life and wondering, “Am I operating under learned/accepted behavior here or is this something I really want to think/say/do?” Asking that simple question has naturally led me to the next step of requiring me to decide for myself: “What kind of person do I want to be when ____?” and then start to act accordingly.

While you might think most of that would have already been decided by now as a Christian and having been on the planet this long, there are always new areas of discovery that have to do with the kind of activities I desire to pursue and the life I hope to lead in the future. For instance, a conversation with a friend the other day revealed that one of her family members with a influential and demanding job has begun considering how to share their knowledge and influence the future by becoming a lecturer in their area of expertise. Exploring that option means adding even more to the already-demanding schedule, but brings a payoff of being able to share knowledge and prepare for future options. How delightful is it to explore new possibilities in life? Extremely! Knowing someone else is thinking about how to reach for the next possibility has inspired me to start thinking about the options available for me. See! Becoming a person of influence is contagious! (smile!)

My own husband has been modeling this type of behavior for the past several months as he’s begun to sort through his current options for limited leisure time and decided to release some of his hobbies/skilled-abilities (and the equipment/tools that go along with those things–a MAJOR decision for an engineer who loves tools!) so that those items can be used by others who are pursuing those paths. It’s been an amazing process to watch as he’s carefully considered the time available now, the skills he already has, those he still wishes to acquire, and what the best path forward to accomplish his current goals instead of being overwhelmed by past goals/equipment to the point that there would be no room to move forward. It hasn’t been an been an overnight process, but one carefully considered and implementation is in the works as I type.

So, why did I share all of this…and on a WEDNESDAY? I wanted to get you thinking about the future. If you’re going to be positive, you have to plan for it and get busy making positive changes in more than just your verbal communications! What new possibilities await YOU? What skills do you need and what opportunities can you take to move in directions that will impact your future and allow you to positively influence others?

Just some food for thought…on this day after the US elections…when you have time to think about the implications of what happened yesterday and what that means for our future…and you’ve got ALL this time left and have chosen to participate in NO COMPLAIN NOVEMBER.

Timing is everything, isn’t it? (grin!) Have a wonderful day of possibilities!

Grace and Peace!

NCN 2018–Day 6

Good Morning! It’s barely 5 AM and I’ve been up for quite a bit already today–many things running through my head and lots to do, so this post will be a short one today. Among the many responses I’ve received to NCN this year, one of my favorites is a quote sent to our Line by our #12 (hey, Marsha!), as an encouragement for those who were struggling with the challenge this year. This quote has reminded me that complaining is never just about me…or them

“Complaining is never just horizontal. Every complaint has verticality to it. Embedded in complaining are questions of God’s wisdom His nearness, His compassion, His faithfulness, His goodness, and His love.” ~P.D. Tripp

I needed that.

There’s nothing quite like a dose of truth, is there?

Praying for each of us to have a wonderful, complaint-free day because we’re so very busy remembering the provision, the nearness, the compassion, the faithfulness, the goodness, and the love of our great God. Getting to know the truth of Who He is makes us more aware of how very blessed we are…and leaves us little room for complaint.

Grace and Peace!

Romans 12:21–Can you say it from memory now?

NCN 2018–Day 5

Good morning! I hope your weekend was both happy and productive! I find that those two things often go hand-in-hand for me. There’s something incredibly soothing about being able to mark another item off the to-do list! (Perhaps that’s just me? Nope. I know better. 😉)

I’ve been entertained for the past several days by various reactions to this year’s NCN. Several comments on Facebook, emails, and texts from friends has had me alternately howling with laughter and sending up prayers for my correspondents. Among some of my favorite responses were these:

  • 47117“Discreet Post-It posted at my desk to remind me that complaining is not an option (INSERT EMOJI ERE)…Less noticeable than that duct tape over my mouth! (emojis!)”
  • “Are we on board for group no complain?”
    • “yes…sigh…”
    • “I gotta go all month without complaining?! what about griping, Can I GRIPE?…Kidding, I’m in.”
  • “I told my clever 80-year old daddy it was NCN…he texted: ‘I am speechless. If I can’t gripe I am mute.'”
  • “Can we do this another month…like maybe the next one?!”
  • “Can’t we choose something new? Like maybe NDN (No Diet November) instead!!” (emojis)

Edited Addendum: For some reason, this post has decided to change itself! LOL I’ve never had that happen before, so I’m not sure what happened, but my original post said “Something” to the effect of the following:

Whether or not you decide to complete this challenge, decide you can’t possibly complete this challenge, or if you do it absolutely perfectly, GOD LOVES YOU!! He made you on purpose–not for complaining! LOL–and He will love you no matter what you decide about NCN 2018! You are amazing, so…

Go be THAT really LOUD today!

Grace and Peace!!

Romans 12:21!!

NCN 2018–Days 3 & 4

IMG_20180614_163032883_LLWell, the weekend is here and that means our regularly scheduled programming will be a little bit different for the next couple of days! It means more time with family and friends (and also some really important football games in the SEC!)…and, therefore, possibly, a greater urge to be challenged…errr…I mean “relax” on this challenge, but…DON’T YOU DO IT! (LOL)

Keep up the good progress that you’ve made over the past two days–even if you you’ve had to start over…multiple times….(grin). This is an opportunity to see if you can get your family even more involved to join in and support you in the challenge. Their buy-in can make a tremendous difference in the atmosphere at home!

One dear friend has instituted a little twist to the NCN challenge at her house. She’s assigned jars to the kids and when they complain, they receive a popsicle stick to put in their jar. At the end of the day, the one with the fewest sticks wins an extra treat like a later bedtime, a special snack, or something else fun. Isn’t that great? I love it!!

What kinds of motivators are YOU using to make this easier or more interesting for you and your crew? Let me hear from you! I’ll be back on Monday with another blog and, in the meantime, stay focused! YOU CAN DO THIS!! Become a person of influence right where you LIVE!!

Weekend challenge: See if you can recruit at least 2 “family” members to join you for NCN! They don’t have to live in your house–or even be related to you, as far as I’m concerned–if you love them, that counts enough for me, so love them enough to help them have a more positive November! Who knows? It might make a difference in their whole life–and yours! Bonus points if you find a new way to motivate everyone to work hard at this challenge. (grin)

Grace and Peace!

“Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.” Romans 12:21 (CSB)

(And, RTR!!! 😉 I HAD to, y’all!)