Our server went out of her way to help John and me enjoy our meal. I genuinely appreciated her extra effort. So why didn't I tell her that?
That's when I realized that I often let things go unsaid. I feel grateful inside, but I don't do enough about it.
So I decided to change. Over the last several months, I have become more verbal and resolute in my appreciation.
I now make it a point to look wait-staff in the eye and thank them for their service. I try to be specific in how I thank them. Were they particularly attentive? Did they make us feel comfortable?
When I talk to my pastor after a good sermon, I find a specific point to thank him for. It takes a little more effort than just saying "good sermon, pastor." But I find it helps me appreciate the sermon more, and it does more to honor and encourage him.
When my precious 4-year-old granddaughter performs some little act of service for me, I make sure to thank her out loud. When my husband repairs a broken lock, I resist the subtle temptation to take his help for granted. Instead, I thank him.
What have I noticed? These acts of verbal thanks produce good fruit in my life. As I thank others, my heart is warmed. I actually feel more grateful and I reflect more on what's good in the world. It's another little step I can take to help me get outside of my own preoccupations. I sincerely appreciate others more when I speak my thanks for them out loud.
So although I can't look you in the eyes, please accept my heartfelt thanks for what you do. Whenever I make a list of things I'm grateful for, homeschoolers are always near the top. I know you sacrifice time, energy and income to do what you do. But I think your sacrifice is worth it. You are raising the next generation to pursue Christ with all their hearts, souls, minds and strength! Thank you for your investment in your children's lives, and through that, your investment in the future of our shared world.
P.S. I am also very thankful for all who participated in the recent Mission India "Lost in India" campaign. I'm grateful for the increased awareness of the lost, for the prayers offered up, and for the amazing amount of money raised (over $335,000). As I refreshed the page (several times a day!) to watch the donations come in, I was struck by how many families God used together to make a huge impact in the lives of children in India. I used my visits to the website to pray a blessing on the children and families who sacrificially gave. If you participated through prayer or giving, thank you so much. May God be glorified both in the hearts of our children and in India!