Pet Peeves and Power Words - Which Do You Share Most?

If I asked you to list five pet peeves in two minutes or less, could you do it? 

Oh yeah. After a 90-minute commute in bumper-to-bumper traffic, I’ll take up that challenge with grumpy glee.

1. People in the right lane who drive past the sign that says, “Right Lane Closed Ahead. Merge Left” until they can’t go any farther, then expect the sign-abiding people who merged left a mile ago to let them in. 

2. Patients who show up late to a dental appointment, then spend 15 minutes chatting it up with the doctor before they mention their health concerns. 

3. The automated checkout voice that prompts you (at ear-splitting decibel levels) to put the item you just scanned into the baggage area. Every. Single. Time. 

4. The certainty that if I leave my house without makeup to run to the grocery store for one item, I will meet everyone I know – on Aisle 1. .

5 If a bird plops on my windshield, its deposit will land at eye level on whichever side of the car I’m sitting on – on the day I run out of wiper fluid. 

There, that was easy. I think it took me less than a minute to list those five gripes. 

Now, if someone asked me to list five things I appreciate, could I rattle them off as quickly? Or as passionately? Maybe not. 

Humans are negative creatures by default. We have to cultivate character traits like gratitude and appreciation. They just don’t come naturally. 

Think about it. Which is more likely to come out of your mouth – a complaint about something your kids or your husband failed to do? Or a word of appreciation for something they did? 

Consider your most recent restaurant experience. When the time came to figure the tip, did you scroll through all the ways your server met your needs or quickly list the ways she failed you? 

Proverbs 25:11 reminds us, “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” I wonder, how often do our words shine like gold? 

My friend Lisa is an encourager. Every time we visit, she says something that makes me feel good. Her comments aren't just empty flattery, they're thoughtful and timely. She’s a great example of how to use encouragement as a mighty force for good. 

Today is a new day. We get to choose whether we’ll use our words to build up or to tear down. If we want to be most like Jesus, instead of grumbling and fault-finding, we can channel our thoughts toward gratitude and affirmation. We can speak golden words that warm others with their glow. 

I began this post with a list of pet peeves. I’d like to end it with a list of things for which I’m grateful. Then perhaps you’d join me by leaving a comment sharing what you appreciate. 

If we begin each day with gratitude instead of grumbling, we’ll find it easier to carry the positive words into the rest of our day. Then we’ll be able to bless others. And isn’t that much better than griping and complaining? 

I’m thankful for: 

1. Kind smiles on strangers’ faces. 

2. The way my tiniest granddaughter calls me, “my friend Gigi.” 

3. Books that go beyond our hearts to touch our souls. 

4. Early morning breezes. 

5. Simple kindnesses. 

Now it's your turn. For what are you thankful? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

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  1. It is easier to focus on the negative, unfortunately. I'm grateful for my dog Tommy and his unconditional love

    1. Oh Ellen, if you have a good dog in your life, you are truly blessed. Thanks for the smile, today :)

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