From the very beginning Cherie and I have taught Aniston to say “please”, “thank you”, and “I’m sorry”. We both grew up in homes where manners and being polite were not an option they were mandatory. For some reason I see less and less of that being a priority in our society and we don’t want to fall into that cultural trap.
Aniston gets it. She says “thank you” for her milk, her food, and whenever else we teach her it’s appropriate. However recently she threw in a “thank you” that I wasn’t expecting.
We had just finished our princess bedtime story and said our prayers. I let her turn off the light and get into bed to prepare for “snug a bug a rug” time. This means we basically tuck her in so she looks like a Chipotle burrito but she LOVES it!
After “snug a bug”-ing her I gave her a final hug and kiss and was about to walk out the door when I heard this little innocent voice say “Thank You Daddy”. I about lost it. It was so sweet and so loving that I wanted to grab her out of her bed, give her a hug, and take her for ice cream at 10:00 at night.
My heart was saying, “you don’t need to say thank you sweetie! I’d do that for you no matter what and it’s one of my favorite things in the world to do”, but it wasn’t about me at that moment. She wasn’t trying to make me feel guilty to get another drink of water. She wasn’t emotionally damaged in some way that she felt she had to do it or I would be mad at her.
No, she did it because she loves her daddy and wanted to just say thank you. No strings attached just loving appreciation.
When was the last time you did that to God? When was the last time you genuinely thanked God for the simple, taken for granted things in your life?
So often our prayer life is centered on asking God for things as if He were a giant piñata in the sky. Don’t get me wrong, He doesn’t mind our requests, but he loves our gratitude too.
Listen to the heart of the writers of these Psalms.
“You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” – Psalm 16:2
“I love you, O Lord, my strength.” – Psalm 18:1
“We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near; men tell of your wonderful deeds.” – Psalm 75:1
“Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness.” – Psalm 150:2
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.” – Psalm 136:1
Sometimes we need to slow ourselves down enough to come to the throne of God without an agenda. To leave our list of wants on the kitchen table and simply thank God for who He is, what He’s done, and what He’s doing we don’t even see.
Pause right now and pray this:
“Heavenly Father I just want to say “thank you”. Thank you for the life you’ve given me and all that you’ve given to me is a blessing. Thank you for the breath I breathe at this very moment, which I’m not promised, but You give me. Thank you for the gift of Grace found in Jesus that I don’t deserve but that You give me freely. I praise You for all that you do in my life that I see and I don’t see and promise to use every breath you allow me to follow you in all that I do.” – Amen
Enjoy the fact that you have a Heavenly Father that loves you and blesses you out of goodness and not guilt. When you think of it that way it become easy to say