Give Thanks for Everything! Unlock the Rewards of Gratitude

Gratitude is an opener of locked-up blessings. ~ Marianne Williamson

How does it feel when someone tells you what a blessing you are?

Do you like it when you get a real card in your mailbox, not your inbox?

How special is it when someone calls to say, “I appreciate what you did”?

Simple actions. Huge returns.

How you treat others says a great deal about how you feel about yourself. Comfortable, confident people are more open, more giving, and more grateful. They look at the world with a positive viewpoint. They expect the Universe to meet their needs. They also recognize that those needs and wants will be supplied through other people. Like the lesson of childhood about flies and honey, they know that they will receive more – better service, more favor, preference and abundance – when they treat people well.

The simplest expressions of appreciation can yield abundant rewards for both the giver and receiver.

I remember a time in my marriage when my husband and I were struggling with anger, bitterness and disappointment. Some business setbacks had destroyed his self-esteem and our income. Money woes compounded the pressure and we were barely speaking – unless we were yelling! I knew something had to change.

I also knew that we had married for a reason. That somewhere in our messy relationship were the seeds of a better one. I could easily list all the things that aggravated me about him. The challenge was to find something – anything! – that was positive.

Be Aware.

I began to look for the smallest things to be grateful for. He changed a light bulb. ‘Thanks, hon. I appreciate that.’ He actually put his clothes in the hamper (didn’t happen often back then!). ‘Thanks, Ed. I appreciate that.’ Small things, baby steps, eventually led to ‘Thanks, I appreciate you.’

To become a bearer of gratitude requires awareness.  Often, we are so busy that we fail to notice the little blessings in our lives. They flit past in the jumble of responsibilities and activities, unrecognized and unacknowledged.

Seek opportunities to be grateful, appreciative and uplifting. In the midst of your To Do List, really notice the people you interact with. How can you edify them and make them feel good? Gratitude is a gift that costs little or nothing. Go ahead, give it away!

Be Expressive.

I could very easily have ignored those ‘little things’ when we were faced with huge issues. They didn’t begin to make up for what was missing in our relationship or our check book. BUT, by noticing and expressing my thanks, I became more aware of the contributions he was making – and he became less defensive and angry.

How many times does a thought flit through your head, “I should do something for so-and-so.”? Other times, you’ll notice someone’s tie or hair but you ignore the thought and say nothing. Gratitude and appreciation that is not expressed has no value. Compliments unspoken don’t bless or inspire.

Are you in a challenged relationship? Find ways to show appreciation instead of disdain.

Have a difficult co-worker? Tell them as often as possible what you like, what you can edify.

Edify means to build up, uplift, enlighten or inspire. Romans 14:19 tells us to follow after things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. Gratitude and appreciation (edification) are very effective peacemakers.

Be Blessed.

My husband and I have been married 36 years. He’s now my best friend – and he does windows! And floors and dishes … I can honestly say our relationship has been restored and strengthened by a steady supply of appreciation and gratitude.

Make it a point to call servers and tellers by their first names. Tip well. Thank everyone for the smallest favor or service. Become Blessing-Aware. Dole out love, friendship and gratitude at every opportunity. The more your practice, the better you’ll get – and the more favor and blessing you’ll receive in the process.

The rewards of gratitude and appreciation are exceptional. Exceptional service. Exceptional favor. Exceptional blessing and abundance. Exceptional friends, family and business connections.

The Bible tells us often that we are blessed to be a blessing. Sow to reap. Give to receive. Your blessing is on the other side of your gratitude.

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