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From Pause…and Consider


Am I a complainer?

By Ken and Jan Merop

Avery County 

I do not thrive in the stifling summer heat.  I melt.

Neither do I like being in air conditioning constantly.  To keep things cooler when we lived in Florida, the shades in our family room were down most of the day…meaning I missed seeing the flowers, trees and green grass.

I always loved it when I could invite the outside in…windows and doors open so the cross ventilation blew through…as I do here in the mountains as much as possible.  But, summer time in Florida for me, though pretty and bright, prevented that.

Though autumn in Florida was not the colorful display of trees found here in North Carolina, we still looked forward to those cooler breezes that blew in saying goodbye to the summer heat.

Much as I like to see my ideas of the seasons as simply preference, there are times I must admit that I am complaining.  Instead, I should be thankful.  Let’s face it, if I hadn’t had air conditioning to keep out the humidity, I’d have been a lot more uncomfortable.  If I couldn’t pull shades down, the summer sun would have scorched the room.

I recall winters in New Jersey that seemed never ending, with ice storms, treacherous driving conditions, and piles of snow.  It was hard to appreciate the beauty of the crystalized trees if my husband was out on icy roads.

If we aren’t careful, we’ll easily become complainers.  Complaining leads to a depressed spirit and will render us unproductive.  It will cause others to shy away from us because complaining is wearying to the complainer and maybe even more so to the listener.

Rather, I think a bumper sticker I once read should be our motto.  Whenever our mouths are ready to spout a complaint, let’s say instead, “I’m too blessed to complain.”  And isn’t that really true?  We have so much to be thankful for that complaining is simply a waste of breath and time.

The Bible warns against complaining.  The children of Israel murmured.  It seemed no matter how many miracles God did for them, they complained.  He parted the Red Sea to free them from their enemies.  He gave them water from a rock, manna from heaven, and clothing and shoes that never wore out.  And still they complained.

In Philippians 2:14, NKJV it says, “Do all things without complaining and disputing.”

We all have preferences.  But, let’s be careful not to be complainers.  Selah


Mountainside splendor


I love color!

And autumn foliage is a non-stop show

that fills my senses.

How can we miss the fingertips of our Creator

dipped in gold, crimson, and amber hues.

Fall pushes out the emerald beauty of

spring and summer as it prepares us

to welcome the snows yet to come.

“For everything there is a season…God has made

Everything beautiful for its own time.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 11, NLT