Like a Weekend in Napa

In other words -- whine, from sunup to sundown. And boy, do I have a hangover.

I have two beautiful children -- Natalie, 5, and Connor, 3. Normally, they are the sweetest gifts -- affable, easy-going, prone to laughter. But the last few days, a particularly hostile rhinovirus has set up shop in their little bodies. And while they are over the worst of it now, two symptoms are hanging on -- the coughing and the whining.

Natalie whines like a girl. (Go figure.) Her voice takes on a slightly nasal tone, her pitch rises two octaves and she speaks in a sing-song pattern. "But Moooom! I don't want to do that. I want to watch TV!" "I'm boooored!"And the triomphe grand: "Coooonnor, quit touching me!"

Connor, on the other hand, has a more masculine style. Instead of whining, he grumps. "Hmph!" he says. "Hmmph! Hmmmph!" He stamps his foot. He crosses his arms. He turns his back to me. Even in the middle of the night, he wakes up and mumbles to no one in particular, " No! I don't want to." And my particular favorite: "It's not fair!"

Under normal circumstances, I'm a pretty patient person. I'm sanguine, which means fun is my primary motivator, and I'm melancholic, which means my heart hurts when I see people in distress. Put those two together, and I tend to react to unpleasant situations with both empathy and humor.

But this constant whining? This drip-drip-drip of complaining and bellyaching?!? It's enough to make me pull my hair out by the roots -- and not only would that hurt like the "deacons" (that's what I used to say when I was little), but it would negate the reason for my much-looked-forward-to hair appointment next week.

So. What do I do?!? Well, obviously, I logged on to my new blog to do some whining of my own. Kids aren't the only ones who can play that game, thank you very much.

And then I did what I should have done to begin with: I picked up my Bible.

First, I turned to Numbers 11, where I found another person who was sick to death of complaining. In verse 11, Moses asks the Lord, "Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these [children] on me? Did I conceive all these [children]? Did I give them birth? [Well, now that you mention it....] If this is how you are going to treat me, put me to death right now."

Don't you just love Moses' humanity? He's understandably exasperated by the constant "murmuring," as the King James Version so perfectly puts it. But since a complaining, whining spirit is usually as contagious as the rhinovirus, he turns from the people and whines to God about all this complaining -- and with more than a little drama, I might add.

What a sobering reminder. I have a note in the margin of my Bible that says, "The hallmark of complaining is not being grateful for what God has already provided."

Lord, I know you aren't a fan of complaining (to put it mildly). To be honest, neither am I. Remind me, gracious God, of all you have provided for me -- even when the gifts are tired and sick children. Fill me with patience today -- and make Your Spirit of gratitude and joy as as infectious as the common cold.


  1. Hi Kelly,
    I read your comment on the LPM blog and I wanted to say I am really sorry. I pray you are filled with God's joy and peace today.

  2. Kelly,I too, read your comment on the LPM blog and my heart just broke for you. 17 years ago this month our daughter was stillborn. God gave us two girls before her and two girls after her...God is so good and so faithful to comfort. I am praying for you and your sweet family today.