A Little Appreciation

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As women, we need affirmation….Affirmation that we are good mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, and friends.  We want to know that the things we do mean something.  Women want to hear “thank you.” They want to know that meal was delicious.  Moms want to know their children are thankful for the endless hours of driving them to practices and games.  Wives want their husbands to be grateful when the sock drawer is full.

 

As a teacher, I’ve just “celebrated” Teacher Appreciation Week.  My principal, PTO, and superintendent showered the teachers with gifts and food. Teachers want to know they are appreciated. These fellow professionals spend their own money to enhance learning in the classroom. They study and plan and teach and assess and analyze.  Teachers attend their students’ games and baptisms.  They provide food, clothing, and supplies for students.  These educators cry and worry over their students, “their kids.”

 

Yesterday was Military Spouse Appreciation Day, a day set aside to let military spouses know their service is appreciated.  These spouses stand beside their men and women in uniform.  They support them and pray for them. Military spouses obediently go where they are sent, rebuilding their lives and developing a “new normal.”

As I type these words, I know there are many more appreciation days and months, times of the year set aside to show our appreciation to others and what they do.  However, I have to ask the question, “How often do we let God know that we appreciate Him?”

 

You see,  for me, I wouldn’t be a wife or a mother without God’s guidance and provision.  I wouldn’t be a teacher or a pastor’s wife without the path He’s laid before me.  Oh, and what about the prayers He’s answered? I’ve prayed for the health and salvation of my children. I’ve prayed for the safety of my husband. I’ve prayed during financial difficulties and times of decision making.

 

You see, it’s so easy to get caught up in the quest for gratitude. I’ll admit that I get frustrated that my children don’t seem to appreciate the fact that laundry gets done in waves because we have 8 ball games and mandolin lessons and church all in one week, and your  twelve year old says out of the blue, “Thank you, Mama, for taking me to mandolin. I love it.” What about when you are praying for your son’s salvation and not sure if he really gets what God does for us and you have an amazing conversation about how he knows God is real because he knows you’ve prayed to God for him to be healthy and here he is alive and healthy….It’s like “WOW! I didn’t see that coming!  Thank you God!” And when you’re tired, no completely exhausted, and you have no energy left to get through that pile of dishes in the sink, but your husband kisses you on the check and starts rinsing, you’ve go to whisper, “Thank you, Jesus.”  What about when you’ve prayed for a friend or family member, and God answered that prayer in an unbelievable way?

 

How many times do we tell God how good He is?  How much do we show appreciation to Him?

1 Corinthians 10:31 and Colossians 3:17 remind us that whatever we do, we should do for God and no one else.  We ought not seek our own glory, but do all things for His glory.  So when we feel unappreciated for the times we slave over matching socks or cleaning up toys, we should say, “Thank you, Lord for providing for my family so we can have clothes,” and “Thank you God for my children and the fun they have.”  When we feel unappreciated at work because our overtime went unpaid and unnoticed, we can be thankful that our jobs make a difference and provide for our families.

 

I encourage you to give thanks to the Lord for all He has done, for the big and the small.  Sing praises to Him, telling God he is a “Good, Good Father.”  When He whispers that He’s pleased by us, that’s all the appreciation we will need.

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