Be A Blessing Magnet, Say Thank You!
"Tenk u very maach!" were the words of a little boy as his eyes twinkled with excitement when a local TV station went to his school to distribute school supplies. My husband and I find this very cute that every time this scene is flashed on the morning news, we can't help but laugh... and throughout the day we mimic him as we put very strong emphasis on the "MAAACH."
Deep inside though, we are in awe and our hearts are full of admiration for this cute little boy... for at a very young age, he knows how to express his gratitude. I feel joy in my heart whenever I see him onscreen, but I also fee sad so many of us adults find it difficult to utter these simple words: "Thank you."
Unfortunately, there's something about our nature that makes gratitude difficult to express. It is a habit that must be learned.
Often, we are grateful but don't take time to express our gratitude. Perhaps we just assume that someone knows, so we don't make the effort to write a note, to make a phone call or say thanks in person.
"Gratitude," wrote L. R. Akers, "has been called the memory of the heart. A heart without gratitude is like a grate filled with fuel unlighted, a cold and dead thing. A cardinal sin of our modern life is ingratitude."
To whom do we owe gratitude? First to God. Second, to our parents and third, to the people who have helped us and who have been with us in our journey through life - teachers, neighbors, career mentors, and friends. Always remember that no one is self-made.
You are where you are now because of your parents or because someone, somewhere helped you along the way.
Our first obligation of gratitude is always to God.
"Do not be anxious about anything but everything, through prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God that transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers "whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things" - Philippians 4:6-8
Bowing our heads to thank Him for our food is one sign of gratitude. Gratitude also involves giving rather than receiving. Christ gave us an example of this when He "took the seven loaves and the fish, and when He had given thanks, He broke them and gave to the disciples, and they in turn to the people" (Matthew 15:36).
On another occasion, Christ healed ten lepers, yet only one came back to express his appreciation. Too often, we are like the nine other lepers. God answers our prayers. He meets our needs. He understands on our behalf, and we go merrily along our own way, never stopping to express our gratitude to Him.
Feeling and expressing appreciation is good for us. Giving thanks reminds us of how much we have. As human beings, we are prone to covetousness -- we tend to focus on the things we don't have. But, when we start thanking God for the things we usually take for granted, our perspective changes. We realize we could not even exist without the merciful blessings of God.
"For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer." - 1 Timothy 4:4-5
Our second obligation of gratitude is to our parents.
Our parents are God's instruments in giving us life. Whether or not they are the kind of parents we wanted to have and whether or not they have been good to us, they are still our parents and we have the obligation to be grateful to them because we would not be here on Earth without them. And there is no better way to show our gratitude than by consistently showing them our unconditional love and care especially in their twilight years.
Our third obligation of gratitude is to those who have helped us.
Express your sincere gratitude to those who provide their services to us: helpers, cooks, drivers, garbage collectors, mailman... We meet these people daily and too often, we forget to express our appreciation for their efforts.
Bear in mind that the gratitude and appreciation that we express is never lost, it is kept in the hearts of others.
Studies show that being able to recognize our blessings and express our gratitude are two of the most critical factors when it comes to living a truly joyous life - the more gratitude we show, the more blessings we can welcome into our lives.
Here are three simple ways to express gratitude:
1. Be Thankful for Little Things: Quite often, the sweetest blessings come in the smallest forms. Learning to recognize those small things - a friend who called or stopped by just to check if you're okay, the stranger who offered you a seat on a crowded bus, or your husband who holds the car door open for you.
2. Give To Those In Need: It is easy to forget how well-off most of us really are. To forget being thankful for our soft beds, the roofs over our heads and the food we eat each day. Taking time to be thankful for all the comforts we take for granted can make it easier to reach out for people who have much less.
Many times, I have experienced giving even when I had little left on my wallet and always end up being amazed how it comes back to me a thousandfold. Thus, "JUST SHARE, MORE WILL RETURN," has become my motto, and my husband's as well.
3. Do Unto Others: When we are genuinely happy with ourselves and our lives it is much easier to treat others kindly. Still, it's important to be considerate no matter how we're feeling - picking up something someone has dropped, looking the person in the eye and saying a heartfelt thank you when they have helped you with something.
"You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. The service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God." - 2 Corinthians 9:11-12
A woman who expresses gratitude is a sign of a person who is at peace with herself and her world. A woman who has a peaceful and humble heart is a woman who conveys appreciation to God for the blessings she receives and is always thankful to those who aid her.
Push your positive mindset to greater heights, and make each day a day of thanksgiving... then, watch how bountiful blessings come into your life! After all, gratitude is an oil to the machinery of life; and the woman who thinks is a woman who thanks.
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