Those little streaks are the trails of gnats/bugs/flies, dancing, dancing up and down.
They get in your face.


I made an August resolution: No grumbling!

Because I should belong to Grumblers Anonymous! If there is one.

Oh, I don’t grumble in public. Usually not even to Husband or Son. (They wouldn’t put up with it!) I go at it in private.

I get going on something and build up steam. Most often stupid, trivial, flies-in-the-face things. The “little” things that drive me cah-razy if they keep flying at me! Especially in heat, and humidity, and overload.

A couple weeks ago I fussed and fumed on an on about…

How Husband picked blueberries.

“You’re kidding!” you say. You’re laughing at me. Go ahead; I deserve it. It’s true. That’s what I started in on as I washed and drained and sorted through the sapphire orbs — because a lot weren’t sapphire: They were pink. Or purple. Or even partly white.

I’d just made a pie for visiting family with mixed berries like that, and It. Was. SOUR!

But everyone picked together for that—which was fun. And who could expect perfection from, say, a five-year-old? (I messed up the pie anyhow by forgetting to switch the oven from convection to conventional. A whiz-bang, done-brown pie that granddaughter thought had jam in it, it was so gooed-up over-baked!)

But it’s different when we’re picking to freeze for winter and guests and all.

So I sorted, and grumbled.

I decided I should pick the berries—solo. If Husband would acquiesce.

He did.

I picked.

And guess what? I couldn’t discern the colors among the shade-spattered branches! So guess what came into the white plastic berry bucket? Pink. And Purple. And some  white.

And there I stood, embarrassed and ashamed before God.

I can’t recall what else I fussed about. I just remember the same thing happened each time: I proved entirely mistaken.

That was July. With God’s help in August, I’d conquer this bad  habit!

Until yesterday I did great. Then I almost-grumbled thrice. But I halted myself, and was so glad. I just would have ruined my day.

So, though not perfect, I was proud of my initial progress.

Maybe it was the pride that got me.

Because today nothing went “right.” Or on time. So, you know what I finally did?

You’ve got it! The endless debris sticking to the green beans’ Velcro sides wore down my patience entirely. I’d never seen so many bits of grass and leaf on beans.

Then I grumbled at myself for grumbling…

But still, I was never going to process such debris-laden beans again!!!

Beans finally nestled in the freezer, and me nestled into relative calm at the computer, in came Husband, to sit down and tell me, serious and gentle, not to be shocked, but he wanted me to know how he appreciated how much I do around here… like processing the green beans!!

What? Another well-timed shame-maker! Instead of accepting praise, I had to admit to grumping…

But he continued nice. Even apologized for messy beans, said he thought they’d lain in wet mulch, next batch would be better.

So later, more self-recrimination.

I prayed, I confessed, I begged God’s forgiveness — and to FIX me!

Time passed. It wasn’t happening!

Where was help?

I went back on line, and knowing nowhere else to go, went to my own blog, to the REASONS TO PRAISE GOD.

I started reading aloud, down one list, down the next, clicking to previous posts, reading reasons He’s praiseworthy.  Slowing down… Reading with thought…

And a funny thing happened…


When Augustine said it, I’m sure he meant it in a whole-life way: “Our hearts are restless till they find their rest in Thee.

But it’s true in the everyday, too, for grumblers anyway, especially at self.

Self is a bad place to fix one’s gaze. Either with pride or self-recrimination.

Looking to, looking at, the Prince of Peace, the One Who is our peace— that’s the way to peace.

At least for me.




  • 395 …He is our peace
  • 396 …He is the Prince of Peace (already listed elsewhere)
  • 396 …His name is Wonderful
  • 397 …He is the wonderful Counselor
  • 398 …He is Almighty God
  • 399 …He is God with us, Immanuel

Now these reasons in Philippians 3 —

  • 400 – Because scripture admonishes us repeatedly to rejoice in Him 
  • 401 – Because we (true believers) are “the circumcision” (of the heart), who worship Him in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh
  • 402 – Because everything else that we might count gain in the world is rubbish compared to knowing and gaining Christ Jesus our Lord and being found in Him
  • 403 – Because we don’t have righteousness in ourselves from the Law, but in and from God, by faith in Christ
  • 404 – Because Paul’s high passion should be ours, too: “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering, being conformed to His death,” and attaining to His resurrection from the dead.
  • 405 – Because Christ lays hold of the believer for this purpose
  • 406 – Because we have a glorious upward call of God in Christ Jesus
  • 407 – Because our citizenship is in Heaven on account of Him
  • 408 – Because we eagerly await Him from there as the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ
  • 409 – Because He will transform our lowly bodies to be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able to subdue all things to Himself.

And from Philippians 4 —

  • 410 – Because in Him we can stand fast
  • 411 – Because it’s in Him that we can have same-minded unity
  • 412 – Because scripture admonishes us to rejoice in the Lord always
  • 413 – Because the Lord is at hand
  • 414 – Because if we follow Phillippians 4:6, the peace of God will guard our minds and hearts
  • 415 – Because the peace of God is beyond understanding
  • 416 – Because, even so, the peace of God can be ours
  • 417 – Because we can do all things, be contented in want or abundance, through Christ,
  • 418 – Because it is Christ who strengthens us
  • 419 – Because to the givers God will supply all their need according to His riches in glory
  • 420 – Because to our God should be glory forever and ever. (Amen.)


Linked to

6 thoughts on “When Self-Recrimination’s Gotcha!

  1. Oh, you’ve been posting so many beautiful reasons here, Sylvia! It makes me happy to see them so often. And peace – yes, it is peaceful to rest in who He is, isn’t it? I’ll have to remember that the next time I’m beating myself up for falling into old habits for the billionth time. Thank you so much for sharing this!

    1. Yes, Mary. I think anything we want to change about ourselves has to start there. I’m convinced the more we look at and to Him (instead of ourselves) and spend times closely with Him, the more He “rubs off on” us. And there lies the peace and forgiveness that calms our futile agitation and “beating ourselves up” over our failings. God bless you, sister in the “Counting”!

  2. Important reading I found here. Sometimes I think if I don’t grumble out loud I’m not grumbling. I need to pray and deal with this.

  3. Yes, Pamela, there was something I once read or heard about the word we translate “grumble,” and though I may not have this exactly, not looking it up, at least in one case it meant privately, not openly.

    As for dealing with this, I am finding what I need is more than perseverance, or “stuffing it down.” I need HIM in this! to take it to, to cast my cares about it on Him, to yield to His Spirit’s work in me, producing the fruit thereof (love, joy, peace, patience, etc.). Then the struggle abates and I find myself behaving better! (Even privately.)

    God bless you, sister in this. Let’s pray for each other! 🙂

  4. It’s awfully easy to get irritated and frustrated over minor issues, isn’t it?

    In general, most people think of me as easy-going and mild-mannered…and for the most part that’s true…

    BUT…then there’s those days when everything seems to work against my intended goals…and it’s another matter, entirely.

    I have learned a few things about myself, though. For instance, I am much more prone to get frustrated and irritable late in the evening when I’m tired and worn out.

    So, when it feels like someone is intentionally trying to get on my last nerve, I now ask myself how tired I am, before responding. If I’m over-tired there is a real good chance that if I’ll just leave it alone until morning the situation will look a lot better by dawn’s early light…

  5. Yes, Joe, that’s something I didn’t mention. The fact is, what I know in hindsight (and maybe actually knew but ignored at the time) is that I was pushing myself to “get done,” and *was* tired — and what I should have done was just plain stop, draw aside to be quiet with the Lord, and wait to tackle whatever task sometime later (or maybe even not at all with some things!)

    Thanks for sharing the insight. Over-tiredness can really set us up for loss of patience, can’t it?

    This reminds me of something A W Tozer said in a personal conversation with a former pastor of ours: “Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is take a nap!”

Comments are now closed.