My friend Ellen is a preschool teacher who regularly contends with entitled toddlers and privileged preschoolers who know how to major on some minors and throw down some serious tantrums.
I want the red crayon, but Tommy has it!
I’m not eating this because it has white cheese. I only like yellow cheese.
I want to go first!
I’m allowed. You’re not my boss.
Miss Ellen calls these little escapades “princess problems,” and she does her best to lovingly redirect the heart of each young complainer toward the reality of his or her blessings and toward the virtue of patience, selflessness, kindness, sharing, etc..
Hardly a day goes by that the kingdom of her kiddie classroom isn’t inundated with princess problems. The outbursts are common. Most are simple issues to address, but occasionally they can become a minefield of messy mayhem that disrupts a special moment.
As I reflect on this, it occurs to me that even though I’m adult I’ve got my own fair share of princess problems. At times I throw myself in a tizzy and worry about things that don’t need to be given a second thought. I make a big deal out of situations that do not have eternal consequences just because I might be temporarily inconvenienced or offended.
I can’t believe I have to go to the grocery store again. This is the third time this week!
It took them over an hour to change the oil in my car today. Over an hour!
The pastor’s sermon was way too long and the music was loud.
In the Old Testament, Daniel could’ve complained about his problems. But he didn’t. Not even as he faced impending death when he was thrown in a den of lions. Instead, he remained devoted to God and honored the Lord while humbly serving the king who brutally destroyed his hometown and took he, and his friends, captive to Babylon.
In the New Testament, the apostle Paul endured extreme hardships during his missionary journeys. He was attacked by murderous mobs, beaten, betrayed, flogged, arrested, starved, shipwrecked three times, and bitten by a viper… all while serving God! Nice, right? Though he had every earthly reason to whine about the stuff he went through, Paul didn’t. To the contrary, he wrote a letter about joy and perseverance to encourage the believers in the church of Philippi from prison. He encouraged others instead of griping about the mess he’d been through, and in spite of the limitations he was constrained by.
Yes. I am a daughter of the Most High, King of kings. A noble princess in God’s kingdom with an endless and enchanting inheritance. I am not, however, entitled to grumble and complain about pithy little annoyances. Not even about big things!
Princess problems don’t fly with God. There’s no loophole.
Paul wrote about this very thing in that letter he sent to the Philippians.
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. (Philippians 2:14-16a)
Imagine what our loved ones and co-workers would think if you and I actually live these verses out. If we stop complaining. If we choose to be blameless and pure worshipers who trust God’s sovereignty in the inconvenient, uncomfortable, and even the worst of times.
What would it look like for you and I to hold firmly to the word of life … to sparkle instead of spew?
Let’s make a deal. You and me…
The next time we get shipwrecked in our own imaginations and begin to drown in the petty dramas of our own making, let’s straighten our crooked tiaras and ask God to adjust our crooked attitudes. In doing so we’ll move forward in the strength, dignity, and joy of Jesus.
In His grace, Jesus quiets our princess problems and purifies us to shine like stars in the sky for the glory of God.
Please forgive me for the times I get flustered and freaked out over things that don’t matter. Forgive me, also, when I fail to trust You with heavy and hard trials. I want to be a woman who lives with the strength, joy, and dignity of Jesus. Help me shine for You today, Lord.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE
Read Philippians 4:1-9. Take note of the peace available to believers who exercise faith and choose to think and behave as we are instructed to think and behave.
Pray about specific stresses in your heart that might be knocking your tiara off balance. Leave a comment about it on my blog wall or on my INSTAGRAM and lets pray for and encourage one another today.
ON THE PERSONAL SIDE… this princess is THANKFUL for so many reasons! My boys, who are both in college at UNC Chapel Hill, come home today. 🎉 Preston’s a junior and Hunter is a freshman. I LOVE having them home. My daughter, Kennedy, is in her senior year of high school and lemme tell ya, the girl had a REALLY big week! She signed her letter of intent to play D1 college volleyball at WOFFORD last Wednesday and also found out she made the All-American Volleyball team for the NAAPS (National Athletic Association of Private Schools). Proud mama? You bet. And if that wasn’t exciting enough, she turns 18 this week! (Hold me.) 🏐🎉💪🏼 We hosted a party for Kennedy last night with 16 of her closest friends. Yep. 16. 🤪🤪🤪 Gotta love it.
Connecting with you through these posts, in person and on social media is so meaningful. Thanks for doing life with me! 🌸
HAPPIEST of THANKSGIVINGS and MUCH LOVE to you,
PS. If you’re on INSTAGRAM, come find me! I’m obsessed. 😄 (That’s a phrase the teenagers are using now, so I’m stealing it.)
What? You want to see a picture of my daughter’s 18th birthday party? Okay. But only because you asked…
Hugs from my house to yours!
Hey Gwen, your so sweet and I thank you so much for being my friend and sister in Christ Jesus. Yes, I agree with you,we need to give our issues to God and learn to quit whining about it. I’m totally with you on this. I have a hard time remembering to go to God, it’s easier to run to friends and family. I want to work on going to God more and my Bible. To Put Him First, even though I know it will take practice on my part. I’m Thankful for Jesus, for you, my friends and family, my cat and getting to know you.
Love ya, Cindy
Thanks for sharing this. My tiara got knocked out of place by holiday stress and I let myself get in a funk. I realized as I read this that most of what I let upset me really didn’t matter. I am dealing with some huge life issues that when I get my focus off God overwhelm me. Thanks for redirecting me and helping me get my tiara straight again so I can focus on turning those important issues over to God again.
Good Morning! Gwen you have a Beautiful family love the picture of your daughters Birthday. it so easy to get wrap up and grumble a lot and we should just ask God to help us and not be so petty but instead doing everything in love and praise God.
Lately, the grief of taking care of my dad who has Parkinson’s and watching the agonizing progression of the disease has knocked me off balance. I admit I haven’t been always gentle and loving with those I come in contact with. Lord, forgive me for being irritable and snippy. Help me to have that peace that passes all understanding.
Good Morning Gwen, I am getting your messages I don’t understand why my gmail is wrong PLEASE forgive me my gmail account is email@example.com.
I show you in my records, and I show that you’ve viewed and opened everything I’ve sent since you signed up. So all should be well!! 🙂
Thanks so much for sharing this message. In eastern N.C. when so many have lost their homes, Churches (Hampstead United Methodist) and businesses it’s hard not to hold a “Pity Party”. BUT God does provide and we will survive. When we were feeling overwhelmed then the fires in California show us things could be even worse for others. Our church was blessed with a smaller activity building that we had to turn into our worship center to get us back on campus. A sister congregation let us meet at 2:00pm on Sundays but that just felt awkward. Thanks for listening and send us prayers!
Thank you Gwen for perspective using the daycare..I kinda related. Though depression is no excuse for lashing back, or being impatient, it still plays a real part in my reactions. I hate depression, and it is with me through the gray days of fall-winter. It is so much harder to react in a positive way when I am always clouded by depression, grief and sadness. Thank you for reminding me though, just the same. I will try harder.
Happy Thanksgiving darling. God bless you and your family.
Hi Gwen! I feel like I know you personally because of the wonderful ways you have blessed my heart: the I Want It All study (which I have read three times), the psalms study, and these lovely emails that always speak to what I’m facing! I’m writing you today because this one was EXACTLY what I needed as I get ready for the craziness of the holidays. My mother and mother in law both passed away in the past several years so Thanksgiving dinner is always on me now (do you hear the princess whine in there?🙄) I also have a sister who is disabled and a dad who is beginning Alzheimer’s and this will be the first thanksgiving we have all had together in years! I should be thankful, right? But instead, I’m being a Martha martyr and stressing over all I HAVE to do to get the house ready for company and all the food I HAVE to cook and I’m so old now (54) and so tired and why can’t somebody else do it? Shame on me! I’m the only one in my family who is healthy enough to do it and I want my tiara to shine and love, love, love come pouring out of me instead of whining and complaining! Please pray for me and you have no idea what a blessing you are to me constantly…HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
I remember the days when I was the creator of “The Dinner”. Pies all day the day before, the house wasn’t clean enough; oh where did all those cobwebs come from, were they there before? It took a long time, a lot of dinners before I decided, the Christmas music was coming on, and the cooking, cleaning and baking was something I could enjoy, and if everything wasn’t perfect, well that was okay too because my goal had become just getting everyone together, which in this day and age is very difficult. And then the moment when the prays of thanks go around the table, and my 10 grand children tell what they are thankful for; I see my reward, fruits of my labor. Then the chatter, laughter, and sometimes stories are passed around like a plate of hot turkey making it’s way around the table, and it is all worth it. Then they leave, the quiet comes, table cloth with gravy stains, children’s books strung about, yes it was all worth it.
I totally get it! I am living with my oldest daughter and her family, with 2 teens, an almost teen and 2 dogs and 1 cat! I admit to being an um clean freak with a touch of ocd to boot! I was a complainer and grumbler a lot, but then reading scripture, (Martha and Mary) and awesome devotions like yours that really got my attention! (Thank You Jesus!) I am a work in progress and over time I am more aware of what comes out of my mouth AND my thought life also! I look forward to reading your posts about real life and real people! You have a lovely family! Thank you! Thanksgiving Blessings to you all!
Thank you an inspiring message. I like the scripture which reminds us not to complain about everything. I really want to live this verse. Being a child of God is wonderful .
We are all princesses if Jesus is our Savior. God of course is our Father. But I like that you shared that being a “princess” doesn’t give us the entitlement to mistreat or take advantage of others. It does give us the opportunity to shine for Jesus so that others may be drawn to Him Thanks so much for your inspiring messages.
I’m usually a very giving person. My granddaughter is pregnant so she is staying with my husband and me right now. My elderly mother-in-law can’t stay by herself now so she will be staying with me. I’ll be 60 in August. Three women in the house will be stressful, especially the any day now mother with all her emotions and the pre Alzheimer’s woman that is mean out of the blue. Please pray for us. We’ll be needing it.
I love God with my whole heart. He is such a great father and king. I am proud to be his queen. What troubles me is my boyfriend isn’t a believer and I had to leave him again because he doesn’t want anything to do with God. Him and his friends laugh and make fun of me. I know God is the only path I choose to walk, I want to expand my faith and I know I can’t do that with a man who wouldn’t ever support me in this. I love him but I love God first and forever. I’m hurt by the words my boyfriend says because I follow Christ. I know God is good all the time and he will heal my wounds. I chose God know matter how many people laugh and make fun of me . I’m hoping to learn how to speak to those who are non believers. Thank you for everything you do, you truly help me so much.
You are so real and I love that. I have things going on sometimes and you know just what to share. Thank you for words of encouragement. I love this site!
I am enlighten by your blogs every time that I read them, thank you for sharing. I need prayers for my financial situations that only God can help. Please pray for financial blessings for my family and I . I believe in the Power of Prayer thru our Lord And Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you and God Bless you. P.S. I’ve never done anything like this before but something is compelling me to do it. Praise God!
Thank you for your inspiring words and prayers!!
Congratulations to your son on his graduation!!
Peace and Blessings,
So blessed by your honest and loving blogs. Please pray with me for my son, his wife and my two wonderful grandchildren.
Thanks again for giving of your life.
I am asking God to lead me and guide me to do what He has destined for me to to do. I am asking God to heal my body from renal failure, to bless me financially so that not only am I able to handle the things I need to, but so that I may have to finances to help and bless others. I ask that God will keep me full of joy and peace in all things. In Jesus name, Amen!