In a recent conversation with my fiancé, we discussed the power of a thank you and how significant it is to show appreciation.Gratitude, in my own personal terms, is an expression of sincere appreciation for what has been done for you. We live in a society where so many feel entitled to things and where lack of appreciation is prevalent. Growing up it was a custom in our home to conduct ourselves with what my mom referred to as “manners.” When you’re given a gift or if someone displays a kind gesture a “thank you” was the automatic reply. I’m appalled when I see children and even adults today become offended if when a gift is given it is not what was desired. As if to say without words that the thought behind the gesture is unimportant because what you gave wasn’t good enough.
Years ago when traveling to Honduras we packed simple gifts to share such as candy. The children were so grateful and I was moved by the outpouring of affection and appreciation by something that cost me so little but meant so much to the recipient. In that moment it made me want to give all I had and whatever I had because of the gratitude that was demonstrated.
I’ve learned that the more I’m appreciated for what I give of myself to others the more I want to be a blessing to them. There is something powerful about appreciation that makes me want to open the vault to my heart and give the very best I have to offer.This does not mean I go about my day seeking the approval for what I can do for people whether in my job or relationships however I do take notice to the level of appreciation and reciprocation that comes back into my life. This serves as a test for me to see how much of myself I should invest. In the same token, I have a responsibility to be mindful of who crosses my path each day and how they have served me. Am I returning the favor of honoring people who have helped and blessed my life?
I truly believe that everything we do in life is a seed and will produce a harvest. I desire to live a life filled with good things, so then, I have to “plant seeds” that will yield good fruit.
Ways to show appreciation:
- Our relationship with God
“For God so loved the world that He GAVE His only begotten son…” (reference to John 3:16). God gave us the ultimate gift by giving us Jesus. We can show our appreciation of this gift by living a life that honors God!
- Our relationship with our family
Ladies, let’s practice this first in our homes. Let’s not become so common in our relationships that we take them for granted. How would our husbands feel if when he takes out the trash we say (genuinely) “thank you”? Or what if when we catch our children doing something kind, we acknowledge them with a thank you for doing the right thing?
- Common Courtesies
The grocery store clerk-it is not difficult to offer a smile and a thank you to those serving us in public. What about our servers at a restaurant? Let’s be kind and show our appreciation not only with our words but also with a good tip! These are hard working people and they deserve to know that what they do is important but more so who they are as a person deserves to be recognized and validated.
I believe the more we become aware of our blessings our attitude of gratitude will become like a magnet and warmly welcome more of God’s goodness in our lives!
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