The Gift of Appreciation

December 22, 2014
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Thank you…Other than ‘I love you’ it is probably the most underutilized yet necessary phrase in the English language. It is this very phrase that I make a point to share with youth workers every time I get a chance to speak publicly to them. I do this because I get it. I do this because I’ve been there. I do this because I’m truly thankful for the hard work, love & tears youth leaders go through on a weekly basis. Like many others who fill different roles.  Thank you parents for raising your children with love in the way they should go. It’s not always easy. I get it…I’ve been there. Thank you Corps Officers for working through one of the toughest months of your year. I watched & helped my parents work through kettles, toy shop, angel tree and like during Christmas. I get it. Thank you teachers for molding young minds. Thank you public service men and women who give of yourselves daily.

No, I have not mixed up what season it is. Yes, I recognize that the day after tomorrow is Christmas eve and not the day before Thanksgiving. But maybe that’s the point. What better time is there to give the gift of appreciation? Before the gifts are unwrapped; before the need to thank is presented: why not take a moment and think of those who have helped you along the way. Then take the time to reach out and do just that…Thank them. Thank that teacher who took a few extra minutes to help. Thank that friend who stood up for you. Thank that volunteer who gave of their time. Thank your mom before Mother’s Day. Men- thank your wives today before Valentine’s Day. Women-thank your husbands, it’ll mean more than you might think. Thank that person who went out of their way to comfort you during a difficult time in your life. Don’t wait until the month of November.

During the Christmas season there are many worthwhile things that can steal our focus and some not so worthwhile. This time of year has always been something so very special to me and been a time to focus on the coming of Christ. It also was a celebration of OTHERS. Growing up we read every Christmas card that came in the mail as a family at night. Trips were made to the bed-sides of strangers in a nursing home to give a small gift and wish a Merry Christmas. Christmas devotions were held with the ARC men. Ringing bells could be heard in our sleep.  Days were spent running around a warehouse as mom worked the angel tree distribution toy shop. The focus of all these events and the heart of every Salvationist is OTHERS. What a perfect time of year to reminisce on who we can be thankful for in our lives. And then let them know it. Merry Christmas….and thank you.

 

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