Monday Challenge!

Hey, Sweet Things! God prompted me to throw a Monday challenge out on Twitter early this morning and on my way to work it occurred to me that I should extend it to my dear fellow Siestas. Here’s the challenge: to go through this entire day (starting now, in case it’s a little late) until shutting our eyes on our pillows tonight without a single criticism or complaint. Consider it a deliberate exercise in Philippians 2:14-15. What prompted the challenge was my own feeling that I could get cranky today if I let myself. (I didn’t have room to explain it on Twitter.) I’ve told you before about my sleep issue (it runs in my family of origin and, no, I don’t drink caffeine later in the day) and a lot of days I just shrug it off but somehow, when Monday morning follows a short Sunday night, I feel fussier about it. This morning I could see the handwriting on the wall. I made up my mind to choose joy in the power of Jesus’ Name. While turning those pedals on my exercise bike, I told the Lord out loud that I wanted to make it all day long without voicing one single complaint. I could not believe how quickly my mood improved and I feel as happy as one who’s had 10 solid hours of sleep.

Now, let me quickly say this. I’m not a fan of living in denial. Some complaints are legitimate and NEED VOICING! I already had one of those this morning on a good friend’s behalf who is in rough situation. So, what do you do then? Voice it to God! Lord have mercy, don’t think I’m posing as some huge example here this morning. I’m just asking you if you want to join me in being very deliberate about our mouths and our attitudes today. If you have a valid complaint, take it to God and, if possible, say it to Him out loud. It increases the sense that you really did get it off your chest. Sometimes a silent prayer doesn’t carry the same power as one spoken with passion and holy intent. Make some declarations today so even your enemy knows you mean business.

What do we do if we get to noon having already blown it? START OVER!!! How many times we have to start over helps us see how habitual our complaints may be. We may have no idea that some of the people around us think we’re habitual complainers and perpetual nay sayers. We are also part of a culture that shouts from every corner of social media, “If you think it, say it!” and the discipline of self-restraint is circling the drain. Lastly, it just doesn’t help. Murmuring and complaining and dwelling on how much something or someone annoys us only adds to the bad mood.

Think up, Siestas! Let’s choose joy! And let’s choose it out loud. No time to proof this post and write it well. Lots of work to do but I’m doing it with joy. I’m crazy about you guys and think of you every day.

Jesus loves you. This I know.


463 Responses to “Monday Challenge!”

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  1. 301

    Oh, I love this! This is the first challenge in the “Love Dare” book! My husband and I began using this challenge in our marriage after he read that book. We decided that when we are having those days when everything the other one does makes us want to pull the other ones hair out by the roots, this was our way of seeing them (our spouse) instead of ourselves or our bad mood. We decided that fickle hearts weren’t going to guide our marriage, God was! Here’s what we do:

    1. Every time a “meanie” thought about my man crosses my mind, I’m to immediately think a positive, kind thought about him and vice versa. (sometimes, this was/is the toughest step, siestas!)

    2. We very specifically try to notice kind things the other one is doing. Even simple stuff like bringing/making coffee for/to you, bringing you an extra napkin, or simply picking up after themselves. Then very specifically thank them for it! Tell them something as simple as I appreciate you taking the trash out this morning. (you’ll be surprised at how that man’s eyes light up when he gets appreciation for his “normal” jobs)

    3. Kiss each other good night and say our prayers out loud together every single night, even if we are mad. This one changed our marriage more than anything we’ve done.

    It makes it tough to think mean, grumpy thoughts about one another when you’re intentionally noticing positive stuff and you hear them praise the Lord and pour out their hearts to Him every night (prayer with David softens my heart even when we’re not grumpy with one another!). And it makes the “arguments” more like “conversations of compromise” when you’re not being mad and trying to be “right”.

    I know this is a little outside the context of what you were talking about, Beth, but it just sparked so much joy in me because this entire process has really done wonderful things in our marriage these last couple of years.

    Love you ladies, Kristi πŸ™‚

    • 301.1
      Shannon says:

      Thank you so much for sharing this! Nothing brings out the grouch in me like my man, and that’s not the life I want for us at all. He should always know I’m crazy for him, especially when I’m irritated. Thank you for the ideas.

  2. 302
    Ashley says:

    Almost 11am on Tuesday…but I’m going to take you up on this challenge! I need this! Carrying Galations 6:9 with me too…”and let us not grow weary while doing GOOD, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.” Times may be tough, but if we can remain focused on Him and always (try our very best) to do good, including having a positive attitude & outlook…we are pleasing Him and He will reward us with joy! Thanks for the inspiration today!

  3. 303
    Dawn says:

    I’m choosing JOY this Tuesday. I read this very early this morning after a very short night. I am taking the challenge today. It was a very timely reminder to me. Time to put on a praise CD and sing out loud to my Redeemer…

  4. 304
    Donna says:

    Oh my goodness! I have a feeling this one will be tougher than I originally thought! My first reaction is “Great! Let’s do this!” and then I realized that I’d already complained a time or two this morning. Starting over as of right now! Gonna find the positive side of life!

  5. 305
    karen harris says:

    I love it when God confirms something he wants me to learn. Yesterday God impressed upon me the need to be joyful. Then I read Beth’s Blog The lesson I’m trying to learn this year is not to be negative, not to dwell on negative thought, and to speak encouraging words. thank you for the reminder

  6. 306
    jill says:

    I am going to work on this all year. There are so many issues that I have no control over, but I can control my attitude.

  7. 307
    Natalie Hare says:

    It is so funny to hear this b/c God deals with me DAILY on complaining especially about those drivers on the road who should have never passed their drivers test no matter how old they are…ha) And my kids say…”amen” haha. But on a more serious note…My Father oh my Precious Jesus, has gotten on to me about my complaining…esp in front of my children…(and I have 5 of them). It is so hard when you have that many children not to complain. They drive me nuts even though I love them with every ounce of my being. But I know that I’m leaving a legacy for them. I’m a witness to my neighbors, my friends, my family. I am with you Beth. I want this challenge to extend beyond today, but from this day forward.

  8. 308
    Michelle says:

    Just now reading this post on Tuesday but I had a serious “wow” moment throughout the entire thing! What words of wisdom! It was like I had written this particular post. I too have had some serious sleep disorders since the end of High School. They worsened in college and Graduate school but got the most severe when I began working as an elementary school teacher. There were mornings where I could barely drive myself into school for another stressful day. I gripped the wheel as I pulled into the parking lot and prayed a weak prayer begging for strength to get through the day. I would pour out all of the energy (that I did not feel like I had) into my fifth graders but I was drained from my insomnia every day. During the time, I was in a long distance engagement and I started noticing a pattern. My evening phone conversation with my fiance were filled with habitual complaining…about my sleep problems, my family issues, my long commute to work, how horrible I felt, and all of the work I had to do with my job and wedding planning. My eyes and mind were clouded from all of the joy and blessings I had at the time and I started falling into a patter of complaints. I did not like myself for it at all. My fiance (now husband) was incredibly understanding and comforting but felt so helpless hundreds of miles away. I knew the problem was ME but did not know how to change it. I was pleasant throughout the day in my job (my staff, team, and students never knew I felt grumpy inside) but would take my complaints and problems to him at the end of the day. Beth, you just reinforced what I had to learn the hard way. It is a deliberate CHOICE to be joyful in our attitudes instead of a consistent complainer. I decided to do something about it and I purchased the book (and DVD that came with it) called “A Complaint Free World” by Will Bowmen. Taking on this challenge was one of the most difficult tasks I have ever had to do…to me it felt nearly impossible. I purchased a bag of the purple “complaint free” bracelets for all my homeroom students at the time (and myself) and we took the challenge together. It is amazing what happens when you are diligent about it…and when others start catching on to the joy you radiate (even when you feel so far from that joy sometimes)! Our daily circumstances and emotions should not drive our attitudes. So, I may not even have reached four hours of sleep per night, but I made the choice when my alarm when off before the crack of dawn to NOT be a complainer. It is SO difficult but WORTH it! Our thoughts sometimes govern how we act…and I needed to change that! Thanks for this challenge and encouragement, Beth! I ALWAYS need a reminder…we all do. Have a wonderful day. πŸ™‚

    • 308.1
      Roxie Crews says:

      Hi there Michelle,
      Could you pass along the info on where to get Will Bowmen’s “A Complaint Free World”-many thanks and God bless you!

  9. 309
    mary ann says:

    And surely I am with you always , Mary Ann, to the very end of the age.

    Matthew 28:20b

  10. 310
    HulaHeart says:

    Howdy, Beth!
    Thanks for the idea and encouragement to talk to God out loud! :). I have started bringing some of my complaints to Him, and things are so much better and I have so much more peace. :). Here’s another idea I had. For things like “My feet are cold.”, I think I’ll try stating what I’m going to do about it like “I’m going to warm my feet by the fire.” voicing the solution/action instead of the problem. Maybe that would work for “I’m going to talk to God about that.” too!!! New insights are so much fun! Thanks for the inspiration! πŸ™‚

  11. 311
    Dianne says:

    Dianne, Monroe, LA: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10 (NKJV)

  12. 312
    Julie Bottger says:

    Well, it may be Tuesday as I’m reading this, but it’s no coincidence that God had me read this just minutes before I was going to show a co-worker something another co-worker had done that offended me. And though I can’t declare it out loud to God right now at my desk, it has made me see how much joy I get sometimes in whining. Not pretty.

  13. 313
    Sarah says:

    I needed this today. I needed this a lot. Thank you for letting God speak through your life and your experiences.

  14. 314
    Elisabeth says:

    So I read the blog last night & decided to do it today. Dang, Beth! How do I keep finding myself saying yes to oober tough things with you? And is it too twisted that somehow I actually love them?ξ„…

  15. 315
    Vickie C in Houston says:

    I should have read this yesterday when you posted as it really applied. When I get out of my comfort zone, I can get a bit grumpy, but praise the Lord I don’t have to stay that way. Thank you, Beth, for voicing (or texting) what we deal with even if only occasionally. See ya tonight! πŸ™‚

  16. 316
    Tomi says:

    I’m all in! Lord help me!

  17. 317
    Magaly says:

    It’s 12:44p.m. and I have had such a lousy morning and to read this well it just made me laugh! I thank God for you all the women of God who are in this struggle!!

    Thanks Beth!

  18. 318
    Cherie says:

    Just yesterday, I wallowed at my ability to complain non-stop about a certain situation. I confided in a friend about wanting to please God – and knew this was unpleasing to Him. Even when stated, I felt worse because regardless I was still unhappy about my current situation, but knew I should be grateful – especially in this current economy. I didn’t know how to work on my complaining nature and lo and behold I decided to visit LPM blog – it’s been a while and God answered me. It’s pretty late on a Tuesday afternoon, but I’m stepping up to the challenge. Thank you God for answering my prayers, not just answering but for LISTENING to my prayers from such a complainer like me.

  19. 319
    April says:

    Siesta’s I have lost my spiral, could you all pray I find it πŸ™‚
    Thank you!

  20. 320
    April says:

    PRAISE THE LORD! I just found it πŸ™‚

  21. 321

    Thank you for this reminder. You are so right, getting it off of our chests by telling it to God really does help and it ensures that that which does come out of our mouths only edifies others instead of tearing them down. David poured out his heart to the Lord and we should too!

  22. 322
    Janet Volpe says:

    Just read your blog for today and it is 7 PM. I plan to take that challenge tomorrow. I love it. I really want to get through the whole day with no complaints unless I say it to our Father.

  23. 323
    Laura Krokos says:

    I’ll take it. Thanks, I love challenges!

  24. 324
    Heisfaithful says:

    It’s Tuesday and I’m being accountable. I took on this challenge yesterday and royally flunked. I mean, royally. Sigh…So today…well, not going so well. My goal now is to do this one day this week. I’m thinking Thursday will be a great day to do this. Bible study in the morning, prayer group in the afternoon, and meeting an incredibly godly woman to strategize for Priscilla Shirer’s simulcast in the late afternoon. Chances are good for Thursday. πŸ™‚

    I’ll check in and let you know how that day went. Thank you for the challenge. Just another confirmation about the power of words in God’s Kingdom. He’s been dealing with me a lot on this issue. Really wish He didn’t have to…

  25. 325
    Paula says:

    Well frankly I wish I had not read this post. I am a day late and tomorrow I have to drive with my husband an hour and a half away from our home to a new town. He may have to take a job near this town after closing our business recently. We are going to look at a rental home that we may have to live in (after owning our own home for 18 years). I am already full of cricisim and complaints and we have not pulled out of the driveway yet. I am facing leaving my Mom who is undergoing chemotherapy, and moving my kids age 10 and 13 to new schools. If I can face tomorrow, which is just a look-see trip, without a cricisim or complaint then Praise be to God because it will not be my doing!

    • 325.1

      Praying for you today,Paula. NObody likes change!It is so hard to give up what is comfortable for something that is unknown. As you already said, God showed you this challenge to be possitive at exactly the right time – it is His will for you today! Whatever it is that He is doing in your life, you can be sure that it will be great (“I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a HOPE and a FUTURE.”)He may have a wonderful blessing in mind for your family in this new place – and His first step is for you to be possitive. How wonderful that He is showing you one step at a time!
      Loving prayers, Latisha

  26. 326
    April says:

    I’m so glad I read this challenge on Twitter yesterday! I really thought about my words, and my day definitely went more smoothly! (I issued this same challenge to my girls, but they had some trouble not complaining!)

  27. 327
    Dee says:

    I’ll have to take up the challenge tomorrow (Wednesday). I have Bible Study Monday nights, so I’m normally not online Mondays. I’ll let you know. πŸ™‚

  28. 328
    mercy4Drew says:

    This is all I have heard today! (Not complaining!) On Moody– from Nancy DeMoss, Family Life Today– and now LP.

  29. 329
    Leona says:

    That was the coolest blog yet since I have been reading them.I think you are a wonderful person.Have a good day.

  30. 330
    Wendy M S says:

    I did this today and it made a big difference at work and I shared it with a co-worker who thought it was a great idea as well. Shared tonight at Bible study for my blessing of the day! Thanks, Beth

  31. 331
    Amanda says:

    love it!

  32. 332
    Jerrianne says:

    I am reading this on Tues. night after a massive “Holy Hangover” on Monday from teaching Sunday School, children’s church and supervising youth Super Bowl parties. After a long day of church work on Sunday I usually have a bad Monday, hence the “Holy Hangover”. I love your idea, I know it will help. Now if I can just remember it next Mon. it will be great. If I practice it every day…even better!

  33. 333
    Faith says:

    Thanks… I needed that and since it is the evening right now, I’m going to make that my goal for tomorrow. What a great challenge, but one that I needed.

  34. 334
    Erinn, Double Oak, TX says:

    Beth, So convicted by your challenge. My children (18 and 15) have another one especially for me… no interupting for a day. Does anyone else have this problem?? Here’s the scripture to encourage listening even when the answer might still be no. πŸ™‚

    To answer before listeningβ€”
    that is folly and shame. Proverbs 18:13 (NIV)

    • 334.1
      Sandra Harvey says:

      Yes, Erinn I do this, you are not alone! I will pray for you and you can for me. My girls are 17 and 14. I have been convicted by this verse myself. Godbless and Empower you to do it!

  35. 335
    Katie says:

    …for the Bible tells me so….! “This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!” Psalm 118 :24 My first memory verse and signature verse for 2011!!

  36. 336
    Julie says:

    I just read this on Tuesday at almost 9pm, but I’m doing just this tomorrow…and the rest of tonight! Thank you so very much for this encouragement!!! I love a challenge, and this is a good one!

  37. 337
    KELLY JO says:

    Oh my word I’ll try in Jesus name! For crying out loud I would read this the day before I go to the dentist, did I say possible root canal?? I used to know this verse that goes something like this… we should do everything without complaining and arguing so we can become pure blamless children of God and shine like the stars in the universe… ? Do you know what Im talking about? I know I should have looked up the verse in my bible but its in the car and its 17 degrees outside so anyways thank you for this challenge and yes I need to work on it!!! I love you my sweet momma!!! I posted a quote from you on my face book today that everyone seemed to love! Words of wisdom from my siesta momma “People are not looking for you to have it together. People are looking at what happens to you when you don’t.” πŸ™‚

  38. 338
    Missy says:

    Ok I read this post late but I am starting it now on wensday @ 2:57 am I am at work now so can not think of a better place to start will be hard considering I work in the emergency room and we are waiting with frowns for the ice to start.. was that a complaint already?? ok for real I am starting now!

  39. 339
    CyndaP says:

    I spent the day in the ER with my mom. It was an amazing experience. Everyone was kind, the doctors went out of the way to help us. The results were not what we wanted or expected, but still we had nothing to complain about or criticize. The LORD was gracious and smiled upon us all day!

    • 339.1
      Amanda says:

      Cynda–I also spent part of the day in the ER. I spent a total of nearly 12 hours in the pediatrician’s office and ER with my four month old on Monday. Fortunately, we got fairly decent news and she is now feeling better. I hadn’t had a chance to check my e-mails much until today, so it’s ironic that Beth posted this on Monday. I definitely was challenged not to complain a whole lot, but I leaned on the Word quite a bit Monday–between my pastor’s recent sermon series on Waiting replaying in my head and my memory verses, I had a lot more patience during those 11.5 hours than I would have had several years ago. I didn’t make it through the day without complaining entirely, but I did make it through the day with less complaining than I would have had without the Word helping me through!

      Not sure about the status of your mom’s medical stuff, but I hope and pray that it all turns out alright!

  40. 340
    Susie says:

    Thank you for posting this! I need reminders sometimes, to focus on what’s right instead of what’s wrong. Complaining and criticizing become bad habits. Saying it out loud to God really helps! πŸ™‚

  41. 341
    Ellie says:

    Okay, God is speaking to me with a megaphone! Last night, Beth focused on James 2:1 regarding the sin of favoritism. Wouldn’t you know it that this morning Tony Evans spoke on exactly the same verse and issue! Of course he had a few different insights but, okay, God, I’m listening and I won’t be a hearer of forgetfulness!

  42. 342
    Marilyn says:

    Thank you for posting this. I sure wish I’d read it on Monday when you posted it because I SURE needed it Monday but I NEED THIS. I was thinking the very same thing this morning about how to get out of this funk I’m in and one thing I want to work on is being more postiive and saying things that are postive and not negative/critical. Thank you for confirming what I’ve been thinking. It’s a God thing for me.

  43. 343
    Dana says:

    So….I’m on day 3 of this one day challenge….trying to make this a habit in my daily life….not finding complete success but am making progress….I do have a choice and I choose JOY!

  44. 344
    Mary says:

    I am so laughing out loud right now over God’s timing. I read this post earlier this morning and thought how right on it was, looking out at the snow coming down AGAIN on top of our already record snow from last week, and thinking I will not complain about this! I sat down a few minutes ago to do my Bible study, first week of Daniel day 4, Beth your comments to Amanda that you shared on that day are exactly like the post and I so love her comment, “I had to repent of being a spineless colt of grievances”. Still laughing, thanks for the reminder, double time, that I need to choose joy. Love you all so much, thanks for opening the door to your lives so that we all can train in godliness.
    Mary, in beautiful snowy Oklahoma

  45. 345
    Rebecca says:

    Everyday I come to this blog for encouragement and to see how God is working in all of your lives. I go to Joanne’s blog and see how her husband, family and Joanne are handling the circumstances they are in.
    Everyday I shout out to God “Where are you and why can’t I hear you.” How is it some people really know God is working and I can never be sure? How is it prayers are answered for some and I never know for certain whether He is talking to me? How do I get straightened out? Going to the bible helped yesterday, but how do I know the promises He makes are for me and not for the time of bible? How is it Lord I can’t get my life to work? What do I expect? When God, when? What do I have to do to prove I am not stupid? I just need You.

  46. 346
    Crystal says:

    Needed this today…I’ll start now at 1:42 and then try again tomorrow! Thank you Beth for encouraging us and to walk closer to Jesus and more like Him every day:-)

  47. 347
    Anna Mitchell says:

    boy, i sure wish i’d seen this monday morning! monday evening developed into quite a challenge with some difficult family members (my irregular people) and joy is very difficult to maintain at times with them. none the less, didn’t feel joy through it but thanks to breaking free did remember to walllpaper my mind through it.

  48. 348
    Anna Mitchell says:

    ….does my post seem “complainy”? oops….
    let me find something great to say about monday instead….i had a wonderful dinner with my man after our kids were in bed….
    there that was better.

  49. 349
    Courtney Beth says:

    Dearest Sisters & Siestas, Wanda Beth, I met you at the Living Proof at the Peterson Event center at the University of Pittsburgh a few summers ago, you and some of our siestas prayed over me, I asked you to trace your hand on the special events page of my calf skin John MacArthur Study Bible!!!’ AND Praise God you were so kind as to oblige( right quick without making me feel like you thought I was crazy) Thanks for all the ways you help us girls feel the embrace of holding hands in prayer circles as we seek to access the promises of God in prayer lift (ladies in fellowship together) also later Living Proof sent me your Whispers of Hope Devotional which has been such a blessing in my journey! Prairieland Church “God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and flowers and clouds abd stars.” – Martin Luther My first connection to you was via the wonderful Believing God study, next Living Proof in Hershey, Pa.,5 or so years ago, missed your women of faith intensive in Cleveland (speaking of misplaced files any chance you could send me that one? ) Breaking Free, the one with James & Betty, the Patriarches, Daniel, Esther, Updated Breaking Free, Insecurity book,lessons,Simulcast,etc. , a sound mind, When Godly people do ungodly things, Deeper Still Fathful, Abundant and True, Conversations with God, The Blog, Proud member of the Siesta Sisters Scripture Memory Team, (is it any wonder my husband said,”you take every Beth Moore Bible study in sight”)-most recently the letter about get over it asap so ministered to my heart, I may hit the reply on that one also (when I read it to my friend & Neighbor who has a Bible study at her home every other Thursday and told her about my latest ssmt verses she remarked at how much I have grown!! and sisters my beloved go to girls –and often I feel well so encouraged via your notes!!! Thanks a hundred thousand million for the ministry !!!! you have helped my heart in so many ways I thank God for his outreach through your ministry!!! More on this later I’m sure I have several points to all this, and through prayer and God’s grace eventually I might get some fo them across !!! we love you, we like you, we miss you !!! God Bless, hugs & prayers xoxo CB

  50. 350

    This is so true. Just last night I saw a woman follow every possitive comment with a negative one. When someone pointed it out to her, she said that she did not realize that she was even doing it – it was such a habit for her to see the negative! She felt empowered in that knowlege and decided to CHOOSE to be more possitive.
    Thanks for the reminder!

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