I read a story over the weekend and watched the accompanying video. And it got me thinking. About gratitude.
November is a natural time to focus on Thanksgiving. But how much “thanking” do I do during the rest of the year?
As Hubby and I attempt to instill in our boys the beauty of gratitude, I find myself wondering how much I practice this discipline in daily living.
It’s habit to hurry into my day with a quick, “Thanks God, for this food!” and then gobble down the meal so I can get on with the next task. What if, I slowed down and really thanked God for providing food I can eat on my very restricted diet?
What if our boys truly understood what it means to be thankful to have three squares a day?
Taking time to thank other people affirms them. Whether the “thank you” is for a small deed done, a gift given, or something else, it acknowledges that person. It affirms them.
As a mom, I seldom hear, “Thanks Mom, for _____________.” But, when I do, it melts my heart. Even more when one boy does something kind for the other, and the other boy acknowledges it. Our guys are slowly learning the joy in serving and showing gratitude.
In the story I read this weekend (**I would encourage you to at least watch the short video!), a race was being run to raise money for Pat Tillman’s Foundation. A WWII veteran sat in his uniform on a chair on the sidewalk cheering on the runners. When first one, then many more runners stopped to say thank you and to shake his hand, it moved him deeply.
Saying “Thank you” takes us outside ourselves, if only for a few minutes, to acknowledge and affirm another in some way. When we say these two words, we show thoughtfulness and kindness to another.
I’m being intentional about practicing thankfulness every day. Quick “Thank You!” prayers are one way. I also began a “Thankful Journal” a couple years ago. The idea came from Ann Voskamp. And it’s changing my heart. I scrawl down at least three things I’m thankful for each day.
It’s good to stop and consider what I am thankful for. I’m becoming more intentional about saying “thank you” to others when they do something for me, when I am given a gift, or when something happens that warrants a heartfelt “thank you.”
Saying “Thank you” fosters a sense of well-being in my spirit. It lifts up another to have those two words directed toward them. Really, aren’t there many things we can say “thank you” for each day?
What about you? How do you practice the discipline of being thankful? What’s been the most meaningful way someone has said, “Thank you” to you?