My husband mentioned in Thursday Thoughts that being grateful is a concept that is often overlooked, but I believe it is one of the most important concepts we as humans should hold dear.
We all enjoy feeling appreciated for the things we've done. Most people will contemplate leaving a job if they feel unappreciated or undervalued. Parents get upset when their children don't appreciate what they have. Husbands and wives become unhappily married when they feel taken for granted.
So no matter what role you're playing, being thanked to feel appreciated plays a huge part in your happiness.
I remember when I first started my role as a stay at home mom; I was very frustrated. I felt like I had given up so much of myself. At the time - I did. I foolishly identified myself as my profession, so not working was a life changing transition. I wanted to hear "thank you" every day for everything I had given up and every single thing I had done. My son doesn't speak yet, so there's only one other person who could tell me thank you- my husband. Dun dun dun.
Haha! My poor husband. We as wives can sometimes put such high expectations on our husbands without even realizing it. I would get so mad when he didn't say thank you for lunch or for coming home to a clean house or a fed and healthy baby. I mean mad!
Then I came across this scripture:
Everything I do is to serve the Lord not my husband. I don't receive my rewards from my husband, but from the Lord. And the Lord gives me so many blessings, one being my husband. And I am grateful! I am beyond blessed to have a husband to wake up to every morning and kiss every day. I am beyond blessed that the Lord has blessed my husband with a career that supports the whole family. I don't have to work. I am living comfortably and raising my son, whom is another blessing. This kid changed my world and it’s an adjustment that I've learned to appreciate.
For a while, I was constantly meditating on all the negatives in my life: not working, tired, cleaning, cooking, cleaning, cooking, cleaning (haha! I hate cleaning and cooking). And I would get so upset for feeling unappreciated, yet I wasn't appreciating and giving thanks to God and my husband for all my blessings. How ungrateful I was being.
Crazy thing is, once I came to this revelation, my husband started thanking me more often. Maybe because I was in a better mood and I thanked him more often, which meant he was actually grateful to come home to a loving home- not a cynical home. I changed the dynamics and energy in my home. We as mothers have that power! So we need to use it wisely.
Growing up, I was grateful of my parents and ancestors. I may not have shown it all the time, especially during my teenage years, but I'm sure that'll bite me in the butt when Xipher turns 13. I remember staying up late with my mom as she studied and went to night class to obtain her bachelors degree. That must've been a really tough time for my mom, but I am thankful for that experience. It's what's motivated me to continue learning and to get a higher education. It's what motivated me to not get pregnant before graduating college.
I remember learning about the 1960s Civil Rights Movement and watching videos of blacks being brutally beaten and sprayed with powerful water hoses. All of this because blacks and minorities wanted to be treated equally. They wanted to better themselves and their children's lives by given the opportunity to obtain a quality education like the white people. By getting a quality of life like the white people. By living without fear and being educated. This motivated me to stay in school and not let ANYONE stop me from doing what's best. I was so grateful for the minorities who stood up during the Civil Rights Movement that I had to and still have to show them how grateful I am by going to school and being a productive citizen like they wanted.
Things went downhill when I started to become ungrateful for the opportunities that were so hardly worked for by my parents and others that didn't even know me. I took my opportunity of college and freedom for granted. I got in trouble and almost lost everything that they and I worked so hard for. All the tears and blood almost went down the drain because I was ungrateful. Luckily God woke me up, slapped me on the wrist and saved me…