Blog

No Complaint Dinners: a story for the generations from the Story Powerline
3/10/2020 6:00:00 AM by: Laura Jane Cerling

The dream of every mom is to serve meals that are appreciated to a happy family. Thelma Brown was a good cook, and she knew how to serve a tasty meal. But sometimes one or more of her children came to dinner in a bad mood and made the meal unpleasant for everyone.

She wondered What can I do to make sure that everyone comes to the table with a good attitude?

New rule at dinnertime

So she started to serve “No Complaint Dinners.” She told her family that their conversation at the table had to be limited to statements that centered on thankfulness.

She soon found that when her children’s minds turned in the right direction, it was amazing how many things they could find that made them happy.

Learning to chat

The youngest family members needed help at first to come up with their stories. But this, too, turned into blessing when family members began to assist one another in finding proper “table talk.”

Good food consumed with joy and laughter makes the rest of the day go better.

What the Bible says

“Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting with strife” (Prov. 17:1).

Today’s prayer

This beautiful prayer written by Robert Louis Stevenson in the nineteenth century (and updated in today’s language) is a good prayer to pray for our families:

Giving thanks

“Lord, look at our family altogether here. We thank You for this home we live in;  for the love that unites us; for the peace we experienced today; for the hope we look forward to tomorrow; for the health, the work, the food, and the bright skies that make our lives delightful; for our friends in all parts of the earth.

Pursuing peace

Let peace abound in our small company. Purge out of every heart the lurking grudge. Give us grace and strength to forbear with each other and to persevere in our responsibilities. We are all offenders: give us the grace to accept and to forgive other offenders. We are all forgetful: help us to bear cheerfully the forgetfulness of others.

Receiving courage, innocence and strength

Give us courage and glad hearts and a quiet mind. Spare to us our friends, soften to us our enemies. Bless us, if possible, in everything we attempt with an innocent heart. If that is not possible, give us the strength to encounter what comes so  that we may be brave when in danger, reliable when in trouble, temperate when angry, and in all the changes of our fortune – even at the gates of death – loyal and loving to one to another.

Just like clay to the potter, or like a windmill to the wind, as Your children we beg You to help us and give us these mercies for Christ’s sake. Amen.”

© Laura Jane Cerling 1998

You can find other stories by Laura Jane Cerling in

My Roots Go Back to Loving and other stories from Year of the Family in the Bookstore


Previous Posts

Music Enriches the Family
9/10/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Pre-School at Home During Covid-19: tips from the Parent Powerline
8/21/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Parenting in the Mess: Tips from the Parent Powerline
8/16/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Grandpa Thure Cerling, Part 2: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
8/4/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Grandpa Thure Cerling, Part 1: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
8/4/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

The Way We Homeschooled, Part 1 Balance: from the Parent Powerline
8/4/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Temptation: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
7/23/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Glen A. Hinshaw

A Simple Way to Help Kids with School: from the Parent Powerline
7/21/2020 9:00:00 PM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Honest Abe Lincoln
7/14/2020 11:00:00 PM  by: Randy Limbird

The Most Conscientious Hunter I Ever Met: a Beatitudes Tale
6/24/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Glen A. Hinshaw

Washing Feet: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
6/17/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers and Lee Merrill Byrd

No Parking: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
6/10/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Ruby Bridges, part 2: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
6/3/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Ruby Bridges, part 1: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
6/2/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Raising Fluent Readers: tips from the Parent Powerline
5/29/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Unwanted Baby: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
5/26/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Eileen as told to Becky Cerling Powers

Family Funnies: Tips from the Parent Powerline
5/22/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Joey's Letters: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
5/21/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Lee Merrill Byrd

Alzheimer Valley: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
5/13/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

New Bride Confusion: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
5/12/2020 4:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Amaris Luz, Light from Darkness: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
4/28/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Lee Merrill Byrd

Losing Poetry: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
4/22/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Let Kids Cure Their Own Boredom: Tips from the Parent Powerline
4/15/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Naaman, Rich in Money and Presumption: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
4/14/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs and Becky Cerling Powers

David, Bathsheba & Psalm 51
4/9/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

The Hundred Chart: math lesson tips from the Parent Powerline
4/8/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

The Beer Would Call Me: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
4/7/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Beatriz Balcort as told to Becky Cerling Powers

Turned Around: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
4/2/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Brian Bolton with Becky Cerling Powers

Toddlers Helping During COVID-19 and Beyond: tips from the Parent Powerline
4/1/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Elijah & the Captain of 50 Men: a Beatitudes Tale from the Story Powerline
3/31/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Retold by Becky Cerling Powers

Fear in Residence: a story for the generations from the Story Powerline
3/24/2020 10:00:00 PM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

Household Management During COVID-19 Time: tips from the Parent Powerline
3/23/2020 10:00:00 PM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Dreaming of Anita Jo: a story for the generations from the Story Powerline
3/12/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

No Complaint Dinners: a story for the generations from the Story Powerline
3/10/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Laura Jane Cerling

DIY Plumbing: a story for the generations from the Story Powerline
3/5/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Jennifer Cummings

A Brother's Love: a story for the generations from the Story Powerline
3/3/2020 7:00:00 AM  by: Retold by Becky Cerling Powers

My Two Dads, part three: a story for the generations from the Story Powerline
2/27/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Janimarie Rowe as told to Becky Cerling Powers

My Two Dads, part two: a story for the generations from the Story Powerline
2/26/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Janimarie Rowe as told to Becky Cerling Powers

My Two Dads, part one: a story for the generations from the Story Powerline
2/25/2020 7:00:00 AM  by: Janimarie Rowe as told to Becky Cerling Powers

Grandma's Apron: a story for the generations from the Story Powerline
2/20/2020 12:45:00 PM  by: Jennifer Cummings

Colors of the Beetle: a retold story for the generations from the Story Powerline
2/13/2020 12:00:00 PM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Cantaloupe Crop Disaster: a story for the generations from the Story Powerline
2/5/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Glen Hinshaw

The Grumble Family
1/28/2020 7:00:00 AM  by: Anonymous

Afraid to Sleep at Night (Psalm 91): a story to share with friends and grandchildren
1/22/2020 6:00:00 AM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

How the Camel Got His Hump: a retold story to share with friends and grandchildren
1/13/2020 10:00:00 PM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Growing Up With Polio: a story to share with friends and grandchildren
1/9/2020 10:01:00 PM  by: Laura Jane Cerling

All Things Bright and Beautiful
1/7/2020 6:20:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers, poem by Cecil Frances Alexander

One Dollar for a Donut
1/1/2020 6:00:00 PM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Star of Wonder
12/26/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

The Shepherds
12/24/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

Mary and the Angel
12/18/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

Zechariah
12/17/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

Slow Down for Christmas
12/13/2019 10:35:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Christmas Cookies
12/10/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Laura Jane Cerling

First Thanksgiving, Part 2: Beginning in Weakness
11/28/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Rami Scully

First Thanksgiving, Part 3: Gifts & Gratitude
11/28/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Rami Scully

First Thanksgiving, Part 1: Enduring the Sea Voyage
11/27/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Rami Scully

Rescuing my Family in Wartime, Part Three
11/22/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Néaouguen Nodjimbadem as told to Becky Cerling Powers

Rescuing my Family in Wartime, Part Two
11/19/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Néaouguen Nodjimbadem

Rescuing my Family in Wartime, Part One
11/12/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Nodji (Néaouguen Nodjimbadem) as told to Becky Cerling Powers

Preventing Parent Burnout: from the Parent Powerline
11/4/2019 5:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Grandma Time
11/1/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Jennifer Cummings

Safe Amid Snakes and Semi-Trucks
10/30/2019 3:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

The Love & Diaper (Nappy) Connection
10/25/2019 6:30:00 PM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Avon Perfume Surprise
10/22/2019 7:00:00 AM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Saving Butterscotch
10/16/2019 6:00:00 AM  by: Karen M. Pickett Ward

The Patient in Room 116
10/8/2019 9:10:00 AM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

Belshazzar
10/2/2019 6:45:00 AM  by: Retold by Paula Kortkamp Combs

Reading to Babies
9/30/2019 2:37:00 PM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

My Mysterious Relative & the Missing Paycheck
9/26/2019 3:17:00 PM  by: Becky Cerling Powers

Keeping in Touch with Cousins
9/24/2019 3:20:00 PM  by: Paula Kortkamp Combs

How the Ostrich Got His Long Neck
9/9/2019 3:49:00 PM  by: Retold by Becky Cerling Powers

When Life Goes Up in Smoke
8/20/2019 3:28:00 PM  by: Glen A. Hinshaw

Focusing on the good stuff
8/20/2019 3:24:00 PM  by: Joe Herman