Jes, my favorite cook, gave me a new recipe for slow cooker Pork Carnitas. (Gotta love the slow cooker!) Pork shoulder was on sale, so I bought the rest of the ingredients and was ready to go. I even got the slow cooker loaded with all the ingredients the night before, so all I had to do in the morning was plop the crock in the crockpot and turn it to low. I was feeling rather good about myself.
After a day of smelling the goodness, I shredded the meat and got the fixins’ out for a Mexican feast. Table was set, things were looking fabulous, and I called all the kids in to eat. Everyone jostled to their places, except Johnny who was taking up the rear. As he makes his late grand entrance, he says, “Ahhhh! I don’t like this!” Really?! You have never had it number one. Number two, what isn’t to like? His knee jerk reaction was to complain, and complain he did. Sadly, he never really gave it a shot, as such he went to bed hungry.
As Tate was putting the kids to bed he gave Johnny a hypothetical. He asked Johnny what he would do if Johnny spent all day making a beautiful picture for Dad. When he gave the picture to Dad, he looked at it, and immediately crumbled it up and threw it in the garbage. Tate said Johnny looked at him with those big blue eyes and was in shock listening to the mere idea of Tate doing that to one of his drawings. Then Tate said to him, “Johnny, that is what you did to Mom today when you complained about the meal she spent all day making.”
Complaining is an all too common occurrence in the Hilgefort house, and it is not limited to the kids. I was having a little dinner party recently. I like to make easy dishes that I can do beforehand that feed a crowd. (Just feeding my family is a crowd!) Pasta bakes often fit the bill. One of the guests, not knowing my menu, said they were bringing a friend along and could I please not have pasta as the main dish since this person was averse. Of course I replied, “No problem.” However, I have to admit I complained about having to plan a second dish, get back to the grocery, etc. etc.
This specific guest proved to be an absolute delight. Well worth the effort to make another dish. There was also a very good reason for his aversion to pasta. Another bonus, the recipe I found turned out to be delicious! Needless to say, I was feeling fairly guilty about complaining. Like Johnny’s talk with Tate, God was giving me a talking too. I needed it as much as Johnny.
Complaining is so unattractive. It reveals a selfishness about ourselves that things aren’t exactly how we would like them. We are unable to see the blessings showered upon us and focus on the one irritation in our midst. Whenever my children start to complain, which is constantly, I tell them to think of something they are thankful for. I can’t say they take my advice very often.
I certainly need to take my own advice. The next time I am tempted to complain, I should think of something I am thankful for and hold my tongue. Silence is golden. As for my Johnny, we will see if his father’s words made an impression. I suspect they will take time to take full effect.
God, fill our hearts with gratitude and our mouths with Your praise. JMJ
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Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas: Jessie's suggestions: "Serve with lime tortillas chips and Tostidos white queso, black beans, spanish rice, and guacamole." Yum!