I Deserve Better! Or Do I?

gratitude, complaining

Last Wednesday I flew to California to visit my parents. I was flying on an airline I don’t normally use and thus have no frequent flyer status or even an airline credit card that would allow me to be one of the first four dozen people onto the plane rather than one of the last four. I pondered this issue as I sat in the waiting area. “Man,” I thought, “I feel like such a peon today without any perks whatsoever!” Drama much?

When I got on the plane I noticed my seat was almost directly across from a bathroom – a bathroom that hadn’t been visible on the online seating chart when I made my reservation. I commented about the previously unmentioned bathroom to the flight attendant in what might have been construed as a complaining tone as though she had anything to do with it’s lack of visibility on the internet. Then I posted my “complaint” on Facebook like anyone really cared.

Once settled into my seat, I opened my Kindle to read Thrill Sequence,* a book written by my pastor, Rob Ketterling. A friend had mentioned chapter seven was particularly good and I was ready to read it. Let me just say if “good” translates to “convicting” then yes, it was VERY good. You see, chapter seven is titled, “Is Pleasure Bad?” In this chapter, Pastor Rob talks about how we sometimes idolize the things that bring us pleasure more than the things of God. Things, I suppose, like frequent flyer perks.

You probably know the Israelites’ story of escaping slavery in Egypt to head to the Promised Land. While they were moving from one place to the other they were detained in the wilderness, mostly due to their whining. They complained all the time! And when I read of their plight in the book of Exodus I am baffled by their lack of gratefulness in light of all God was providing for them. When they had no food God provided manna for them to eat every day, enough to fill their stomachs and give them energy for their daily tasks. In Thrill Sequence Pastor Rob says, “The daily manna collection was an opportunity for the Israelites to celebrate God’s goodness and to worship Him. But they turned worship into wailing by focusing on their wants.” Ouch! I might be an Israelite!

As I read about the Israelites it occurred to me they were so set on complaining they forgot to thank God for what He’d provided! What if God’s original plan had been to surprise them with something far more delicious than manna if only they’d simply thanked Him for His provision? Here’s a thought, what if God had planned to move me up to one of those empty first-class seats once I’d remembered to thank Him for the one He’d provided me; the one on the aisle with an empty seat next to it. What if?

In November I wrote a post about a challenge I’d heard on a podcast to end every sentence with “and that’s just they way I want it.” Oh how quickly I forget! (I covered my forgetfulness issue last week.) Had I thought my sentence out like this, “That bathroom wasn’t noted on the online seating chart . . . and that’s just the way I want it,” I might have kept my little whiny moment to myself. But instead I shared my “I deserve better than this” attitude with the world – at least my Facebook world.

MemeI read a quote once that said, “What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?” I’ve gotta say, some days would be pretty pathetic if such were the case. Why is it so much easier to complain than to praise and give thanks? I have so much for which to be grateful even in this short trip to California; parents who are still alive and doing well, the fact they live in one of the most beautiful locations on the planet, and my ability to afford a plane ticket which allows me to get there in a few short hours.

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to try (once again) to focus on my many blessings and eliminate the complaining. We’ll see if I can last longer than a week this time. Is there something you need to thank God for today?

*I’d like to offer you a chance to win a free autographed copy of Pastor Rob’s book, Thrill Sequence. Simply leave a comment on my blog today and you’ll be entered into a drawing! I will contact the winner by email and announce it here next week.

Thank you to Holley Gerth who so graciously allows others to link up to her blog each week. She’s has a great blog you might want to check out!

29 comments on “I Deserve Better! Or Do I?

  1. Kandy Stevens

    Wow! Just wow! I don’t know how convicting that chapter was but the thought of waking up tomorrow with only the things I thanked God for was eye-opening for me! Thank you as always for a refreshing new perspective on an old rut. Love you – Kandy

    1. Nancy Post author

      To be clear, that quote wasn’t my own. I couldn’t figure out who the original author was. Thanks for your comment, Kandy! Love you, too!

    2. Llewellyn Moyer

      It is easy for us to feel like we deserve better. Our Savior certainly deserved better. He could have had better, but he sacrificed it all to have us free from sin and to give us a heavenly address. I worked for a VERY short time as a waitress in an assisted living home. The work was hard, but the lack of respect from coworkers and residents was much harder. I thought, “Don’t they know who I am? I have a college education.” I got a taste of the existence so many people live in daily. It didn’t taste very good. Sometimes we need reminders; they help us grow. I am thankful for you, Nancy. You help me grow. I needed your blog today.

  2. Dianne Brunsvold

    Guilty! We use this phrase on mission trips… (That’s just the way we like it). Now to use it on a daily basis when I’m on my home front. Thanks again Nancy

    1. Nancy Post author

      Yes, Dianne, I’ve been on one of those mission trips with you. I shared it with my cousin (in-law) who is a missionary and now she shares it with teams that come in. It’s a good saying!

  3. Donna Lindahl

    “What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?” I strive to live a grateful life, but this quote is a reminder that will stay with me. Thanks Nancy.

  4. John Agliata

    What if? I call it “focus on the awesome.” Of course, I pretty much suck at following my own advice a lot of the time, but I’m trying!

    1. Nancy Post author

      I like the “focus on awesome” saying, John! I think we all struggle with our own advice at times!

  5. Lynn

    Love this….“What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?” Thanks for the reality check, Nancy! I need to read Pastor Rob’s book…whether I win it or buy it. :) It sounds really good!

  6. Jeneane

    This week my husband and I celebrate 40 years of marriage. I am thankful that we have had the privilege to grow old together. It has been an adventure to be sure, with 5 children who have blessed our lives and 5 grandchildren, who are the “crown of old men (& women)”. We have grown our family and our business together, grown in our personal character and walks with God, and learned to love one another, even when one of us is not loveable! I am most grateful for the struggles and hardships, because without them, I would not appreciate the abundant joys, nor would I have had the opportunity to grow in character or in my trust of God. Through it all, I have learned to focus on the donut rather than the hole–and the donut is four times the size of the hole!!

    1. Nancy Post author

      I have a blog on that whole donut analogy, too, Jeneane! :) It’s titled Switch Your Focus. Such a great way to look at things, huh?

  7. Sarah Norton

    I read all your blog posts, but now you’ve given us an incentive to comment ;) I’ve been in a bit of a funk and needed this good reminder today! Thanks friend!

  8. LIsa Guidry

    Ouch, I am guilty! I am grateful that His mercies are new every morning, and I get a fresh start.

    1. Nancy Post author

      I’m guilty, too, Lisa! And yes, so grateful that His mercies are new every morning!

  9. ~Karrilee~

    Oh yes… it’s oh so easy to get used to our comfort zones and those little ways we find pleasure and forget that God may be the One calling us out into the unknown… giving up what’s known for what is unexpected. In my experience, it’s always a priceless exchange! ;) I try to count my many gifts each day– to slow and take note of them, and that seems to help my focus stay a bit more positive, and yet – haven’t we all given in to a bit of whiney complaining when things are not ‘just the way I want it’ ? Great post! Glad we are neighbors over at Holley’s place today!

  10. Kathleen

    Nancy, I so enjoyed your post. The thought of if I woke up with only what I was thankful the day before-definitely caught my attention! I am going to be more mindful this week of realizing the Blessings I do have amidst the not-so-great stuff.

    1. Nancy Post author

      I’m still baffled as to why it’s so hard for me to remember this concept, Kathleen! :) Thanks for reading. Blessings on your day.

  11. Arvilla Cherney

    I have been thanking the Lord for my blessing but not always first thing in the morning usually. Know I will be happier if I do it in the morning starting tomorrow, Sunday. Thank you for reminding me how blessed I have been.

  12. Sherry Vogel

    I hesitate to comment because I don’t want you to think I just want a book. I guess I read this first because I was curious about your Facebook post but I didn’t comment because this entry was too meaningful to enter a contest. Nancy, I believe this is one of the most profound and succinct blogs I have ever read. Life changing stuff and I’m going to buy the book by your pastor :-)

  13. Rachel

    I’ve been way to guilty of this myself lately. Thanks for the reminder. But don’t enter me in the drawing … I want someone to win who doesn’t have it already.

    1. Nancy Post author

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Rachel! And I appreciate your willingness for someone else to get the book.

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