Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune. – Sam Walton
On the occasion of Thanksgiving, most folks give thought as to what they are thankful for. The usual list includes such things as family, friends, good health, faith, a means of making a living, safety, security, a warm bed on a cold night (or a cool bed on a hot night) and plentiful food. Don’t forget living in the greatest state in the greatest country in the world! (Texas!)
This is my own personal list; I’m sure you can think of other things to add. I’m also well aware that there are vast numbers of people out there who can’t include some of these items on their own lists, if any at all.
So it is with extra appreciation that I give thanks for my many blessings in a year that has snatched away several beloved family members and friends. Thinking about Bobby, Polly and Fred in particular, how grateful I have been for their presence in my life; I will never forget them.
With Bobby and Polly, I was able to tell them how much they meant to me, but Fred’s death was totally unexpected, and I never had the chance to let him know just how special he was.
This is a lesson to us all to take the time to appreciate those who touch our lives in some fashion, because you may never have another opportunity to do so. It means so much, and I can truthfully say this from the vantage point of one who has just been appreciated by others in the span of one week.
After our last Bible study group gathering at our house, a fellow “heathen” described me as such to the others, “She is a real shepherd. She looks after each of us, gathers us in, makes sure we are fed and watered, and that we don’t stray too far.” All this was said because I am the one who keeps track of the schedule and reminds everyone of it. These kind words were very generous and gratefully received.
The very next day, I went to the Fine Arts staff meeting at our church, where my job is to promote the arts events. Totally out of the blue, they presented me with a personalized platter in appreciation of my work. I’ve got to be honest, this surprise came on a day that I was feeling somewhat discouraged, and their gesture has been hugely motivating as a result.
Thinking about such things in relation to Bobby, Polly and Fred, often times the kind words and gestures aren’t extended until after it’s too late. I have renewed my commitment to make sure that I let those who deserve it know how much I appreciate them.
Appreciation and thankfulness go hand in hand. Saying “I appreciate you” to people is one thing, but likewise, it is important for us to say “thank you” to our God who has so richly blessed us. Make both a regular habit, and when the time comes, you will have no regrets.