Monday, September 24, 2012


While I was in Minneapolis, I spent an hour in my Panera, being "the fly on the wall." My cafe, where I worked for three years and trained every new employee.

It was fun, knowing every square inch of that place and sitting with my hazelnut coffee ... watching.

I was surprised that I recognized several customers and even remembered some names. (seven years later)   

Then I spotted the dyed red hair of one of the only customers that I could never win over to the light side, and believe me, I tried.

She came in everyday. And everyday she complained. All she ever ordered was coffee and a bagel with cream cheese ... yet she always found something she did not like.

That morning, I could hear her talking to a customer that sat near her. And you guessed it ... she was saying that she had just spoken to the manager about the coffee.

Seven years later, she was still complaining.

It is so easy to get stuck in the ugly habit of having a critical spirit. Stuck.

Hebrews 12:15 has a lot to say about this.

          See to it that no one fails to
          obtain the grace of God; that
          no root of bitterness springs up
          and causes trouble, and by it
          many become defiled.

This morning, I am praying for myself (and my red-headed friend) for new eyes to see God's grace all around me.

If I miss it ... I can expect trouble, for me and those I love.

Bitterness or grace? Today I choose grace
Linking to Jen and the lovely Soli Sisters, who help me choose grace.


  1. Thanks Glenda. What a great story and reminder to put off all bitterness and stop grumbling and complaining. Not just put off, but put on, put on grace and love. Thanks.

  2. Must be a very lonely woman...if she has to reach out to other customers with her complaints. Someone who has probabaly alienated all her family and friends with her bitterness. She deserves your prayers, Glenda.

  3. A good reminder for the day! I have known "red haired" ladies (and men) who were annoying in their constant complaining but much in need of understanding and grace.


  4. I needed these words to start what is going to be a difficult day. You've helped me approach the day with grace and hopefully I'll also be able to summon some humor to make it pass quickly. Have a wonderful day, Glenda. Blessings...Mary.

  5. Awesome reminder!!!! Thank you for sharing :))


  6. Bitterness or grace? Your choice. Powerful thought!

    Day by day - our quality of life is built by choices. God has said, "I set before you THIS day, blessings or curses, life or death, therefore choose life." My heart goes out to the red-headed lady. And to a friend of mine who also chooses bitterness over grace. She has done so for years. Awhile back she posted something about "growing bitter or better." I thoughtlessly said, "Your choice." Completely offended, she insisted, "I had no choice when my child died. I have no choice except grief."
    Oh my dear, no one suggested you had a choice in the death of your child. But after nearly four years, could you not choose blessings for THIS day...GRACE for this day...Joy for this day?"
    Thanks Glenda. The loss of an old friend was hurtful...but today I choose grace, too.

  7. Oh the Eeyors of this world. Most people are about as happy as they make thier minds up to be. It's so important to be mindful of our attitudes. Those Eeyores will suck the life out of you. This is a great reminder to be mindful. Happy Monday!

  8. Glenda, I was so sorry
    to miss you when you
    visited. I hope the trip
    was successful; I know
    that you must have given
    your friend such comfort
    by being here, helping

    Yes. Grace. It must be
    practiced to become a habit.
    So sad that "Red" chooses
    to be negative as a way to
    get attention, instead of
    gratitude, which builds upon
    itself and brings so much
    back to the giver : )

    Happy Monday,
    xo Suzanne

  9. I really feel badly for people like this. They are missing all the joys in life.


  10. Great post, Glenda, and soooooo true!Maybe someday she will come over to the light side :)

  11. The other day as I was apologizing to my son about something I had done earlier in the day says, I don't dwell on the bad things, mom. Your post is a picture of the opposite.

  12. What a wonderful reminder for keeping a good perspective! Thanks so much. :) Choosing grace for the rest of the week and beyond!

  13. Glenda, this is great!

    Hugs to you~

  14. I choose grace too. That poor woman to be so stuck. A good start to 'seeing' all that is good. Take care

  15. Grace is my choice, too. Always. Poor lady. It must be difficult to be negative every day.

  16. I choose grace too. Life to too short to be negative.

  17. What a great post! I was thinking of grace too!

    Julie @ Naptime Review

  18. It's true, complaining is habitual and blinds us to the real blessing. Great post!

  19. This post makes me think of the Bible verse, "do everything without arguing and complaining." Thanks for this reminder!

  20. Oh, what a great post! So much wisdom and insight so practically stated. I love your prayer! That is my heart too.

    Visiting from Jen's place. We are neighbors tonight :)

  21. Wise words! Visiting from SDG today, and grateful for the reminder to choose grace.

  22. It's always a choice, isn't it? I get reminded that a major sin of the Israelites was their murmuring, grumbling & complaining attitudes.

  23. oh yes...praying along with you...more grace to see with His eyes all things around me. blessings to you~

  24. You write so well! Yes, I can think of a few times I caught myself complaining...ugh! So yes, let's pray for all of us to experience more grace and gratitude and pray that too for the red-haired lady. :)

  25. I drove a total of 100 miles yesterday just to hang out at a Panera. It's been over 14 years since I have lived in a town that has a Panera. Interesting that the "red head" keeps going back to the same place....

  26. Beautiful, Glenda. And I gotta say, if you couldn't win that redhead over to the light side, NO one could do it. :>) (Except maybe the Holy Spirit...)

  27. Love this! (And I love what Diana said just above me!) I like to choose the positive over the negative--less wrinkles that way. :)

  28. She must really be alone, not many people love complainers. Nice post, I want every day choose grace because He chose me

  29. Good choice! What would we do without grace! We'd be like a wounded bird that dies on the ground... we'd be like a deer panting for water in a dessert.... if it wasn't for His grace and His love! (those are the words of a song in Spanish and I sooo understand it) ... bitterness is a terrible thing... and if we let it take root in our hearts it can destroy it all. Big hugs! Thanks for sharing!

  30. Love Panera. How nice that you could see and remember customers....even remembering names! Wow!!

    Grace, Grace, God's I need it! So thankful for his grace!

    Blessings to you, Glenda.

  31. How fun that you used to work at Panera - love that place! And so sad to see someone stuck in a grumbling spirit ...

  32. We need to find the light inside us all ~ it is easy to be a pessimist ~ optimists have a harder go of it but life is so much more rewarding. Bless the red headed woman ~ the coffee can't be THAT bad if she still goes in every single day!!

  33. What a great story and illustration about choosing grace and gratitude over bitterness...Nice to find your blog, Glenda :) I have to agree with Lori...if the lady is still coming in for Panera's coffee is special treat, now and then, for us :)

  34. Gosh, what a challenge.

    One of the things I've had to look out for with blogging is learning to control my critical eye away from the computer. I don't want to be judging other people's houses, or constantly judging my own.

    Still learning on that one! ;-)


  35. Good challenge for today indeed... CHOOSING my attitude. Thanks Glenda, great post!

  36. Wise choice. After working in education for 17 years and dealing with grumpy parents on a daily basis I am even more aware that complaining is a useless past time. I just don't do it. It makes no sense and does no good. Hope all is well in the windy city!

  37. OH Glenda! I'm learning all about doing everything without complaining or arguing from Philippians....I'm amazed how easy a complaining spirit can creep into our hearts.

    I'm asking the Lord to help me be faithful at where he's placed me...and to be joyful while I'm there.

  38. funny how God works as I was complaining this morning about
    something...and right after I knew and I had to share with God that I didn't want to mumble like the children of Israel...funny why that scene always pops in my
    am I so much like them?:)
    and I acknowledged that I didn't want to have an ungrateful spirit...i enjoyed how you shared this today...and winnie
    and on a side note I laughed so hard at your comment about June Cleaver...:)))

  39. Such a lovely post. It is so better to find the positive than to complain even though my husband would say I'm guilty of complaining. How are you? I've got to go through some back posts of yours. Life has been busy.

  40. For some people it's the devil they know preferred to the one they don't.
    And for other people...they're just too lazy to change.

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