My grandma was a stickler for thank-you notes. She grew up in a generation where stationary had its own stores and etiquette was a big deal. I came of age the same time that email did (it wasn’t that long ago, y’all), so grandma’s insistence that every gift giver receive a handwritten thank-you note kind of got on my nerves.
God’s will is for us to be a thankful bunch of girls.
But the day I sat down to write this post, the most precious gift arrived in my mailbox. (As in my actual mailbox, not my inbox.) It was a thank-you note written by a student who was in the youth group my husband pastored a few years ago. It wasn’t fancy. It was written out on lined notebook paper. It wasn’t eloquent. The student just basically said, “Thanks for all you did for me.” But as I read it for the first time, big, salty tears rolled down my cheeks. His simple, sweet expression of gratitude meant the world to us. My socks were blessed right off that he took the time to say “thanks.”
And that got me thinking.
Every person you and I will meet today needs to hear these two words—thank you.
I know that it seems like some of them don’t deserve it. I know it may feel silly to say thanks for little things like showing up to teach your math class every day, or setting out the cereal boxes for you each morning, or printing the bulletins week after week for church. But instead of thinking about how weird it can feel to give thanks, think about how good it can feel to get thanks.
When was the last time someone sent you a thank-you note? How did opening that envelope, feeling that paper in your hands, and reading those words of gratitude addressed to you make you feel? Pretty great, right?
A Simple Revolution
You’ve heard this verse already on the blog this month, but it bears repeating:
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thess. 5:18).
God’s will is for us to be a thankful bunch of girls. We should start with giving God thanks, since every good gift comes from Him (James 1:17), but we don’t have to stop there. An overflow of our gratitude to God should be gratitude toward others who are made by God.
Gratitude is so simple and yet so revolutionary. It’s the kind of gift that changes the giver and the receiver.
Gratitude is so simple and yet so revolutionary. It’s the kind of gift that changes the giver and the receiver. It lifts our heads to receive a thank-you and warms our hearts to dish it out. I don’t think there could ever, ever be too many thank-you notes in the world. So you know what I’m thinking? Let’s find out!
What if the tens of thousands of readers of this blog each sent one thank-you note this week? What if we each sent two? What if we each sent ten? In no time at all, the world would have stacks of thank-you notes being circulated. Who knows who might go to her mailbox and open a thank-you note that brought her to tears just like I did?
So let’s go crazy with the thank-you notes together. Here are the rules:
- They don’t have to be fancy. Grab a sticky note or a piece of notebook paper.
- They do have to be real, not digital.
- Send them sooner rather than later. (Why not today?)
That’s it! I believe we can start a thank-you note revolution. Don’t you?
Leave me a comment if you plan to participate. I will chose three of you to win a copy of Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss (with a set of thank-you cards).
Grandma would be so proud.