The day started simple enough. The normal, drag-myself-out-of-bed-before-the-sun-knows-how-to-rise kind of morning. After getting dressed, I sauntered into the kitchen believing time was all mine. Until I looked at the blue-green, numbered glow from the microwave.
Not only was I late. I was five minutes later than my normal late.
The chaotic blur began.
After a few prayers of thanksgiving that the highway patrolmen were not patrolling my stretch of road and with a flurry of papers in my wake, I rushed through the school doors as the first bell rang.
Stress furrowed in my prematurely-wrinkled brow as I signed in and ran to check my teacher mail box. It was there my day shifted. Gentle. Quiet. Profound.
A thank you note. From a student. I taught last year.
I may or may not have carried that beautiful card with me all. day. long.
Being appreciated for the life-work you do allows a person to push through the mundane, the tedious, the chaotic. Words of gratitude can wash away frustration. A simple thanks is the reminder of why you do what you do.
This Sunday was spent in the trenches of a fourth grade ecosystem project. Aside from church, I was guiding my girl through the painting and the cutting and the gluing necessary for a successful African grassland. Not the way I wanted to spend the day.
“Thank you, mommy,” came her soft words as we cleaned up tiny bits of paper and scrubbed paint-stained hands. Even without her gratitude, the day was worth it, but those words? Oh, how they made my heart smile. Oh, the deep joy.
This week? This week we honor teachers and mothers. We honor those who have impacted our lives.
The ones who have mended scraped elbows and broken hearts. The ones who teach ABC’s and the value of kindness. The ones who reach out by opening arms wide.
But maybe your childhood was far from the storybooks. Or teachers tore you down on your way to growing up. And so you don’t understand what’s so great about mothers and educators.
But maybe there was someone. Someone who broke through walls to hold your heart. Someone willing to risk heartbreak for you. Someone prepared to stand sentinel as you faced battles. Someone who made a difference.
It’s time to say thank you.
Gratitude is never about the me. Rather it lifts us out of ourselves, out of our own chaos, to bring importance to the lives around us.
Your gratitude, your appreciation, may be just what turns a day around. The human spirit craves meaning and purpose. When we thank, we remind another soul of its value—a sister of her significance.
There is power in thanksgiving. It’s the voice whispering in our ears—Your life has purpose. You mean something to me. You make a difference.
Who needs to be shown an extra measure of gratitude? I have a friend who often bakes sweet goodies for her garbage men because, well, sometimes a thank you to those least expecting gratitude travels deepest.
There are so many we forget to acknowledge for the beautiful ways they impact our lives.
Who could be held up tomorrow by the comfort of a hand-written note? Who can you appreciate this week? Who needs the God-whisper of love into the soul through a simple thank you?
Because really? Isn’t that exactly what we all need to hear?
“How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy
we have in the presence of our God because of you?”
1 Thessalonians 3:19