This isn’t a vulnerable blog. It’s an encouragement. Okay, maybe it’s an exhortation. Still…
I just received the most lovely thank-you note in the mail. It made my heart so happy. I gave a gift, but they gave an even better one back to me. Thank-you notes do that.
After our wedding, 33 years ago (!), it took us three months to write all our thank-you notes. It seemed like they took F O R E V E R. My hand began to cramp.
How amazing that we had so many to write! How incredible to be so blessed. When we got married, we had nothing, and today, we are still using hand towels, table cloths, serving dishes, vases, plates, the waffle iron, the ironing board (yes, my mom gave us an ironing board), and other bounty we were given to help establish our home.
Writing thank-you notes has not been my strong suit, however. I’m trying to write them promptly so I don’t forget, but I confess, sometimes they are written pretty late. But hopefully, they’re written. Better late than never, right? I write them because I was taught to and because I want to be polite. And also because (thank you, Jesus!) I am growing in gratitude.
Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts really struck a chord with many people. The posture of being thankful is a soul-opening one. To see your life with a grateful heart opens up the possibility of a deeper connection with our good God and, dare I say it, the possibility to receive even more goodness from his generous hand! Being thankful takes our gaze off of what is wrong with us, our circumstances, and our world and places it on what is right. Ultimately, it turns our gaze to the Giver of all good gifts, who tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to give thanks in all things!
“God loves a cheerful giver!” 2 Corinthians 9:10
He also loves a thankful receiver. Colossians 3:15
So what’s the deal with thank-you notes? They seem to have gone the way of rotary phones, and I’ve got to tell you, it’s not progress. It’s a regression that we really need to stop.
There is something beautiful about receiving a hand-written note in the mail with a real life stamp on it, isn’t there? But even a phone call or an email (the last choice) expressing your appreciation for a thoughtful (or even a strange) gift is important. You were thought of. You were planned on. You were given a gift. It cost them something. For heaven’s sake, say thank you. Manners matter. Their hearts matter.
Okay, I’m an exhorter and I’m hoping to exhort here. Get out your pens. Get out your note cards or pick some up at the grocery store. Take the time. Express your gratitude. You’ll be glad you did, and the person on the other side will be truly blessed.
Sing with a grateful heart.
Write with one too.