When I was 12-years-old, I loved stationary and hand-writing thank-you notes. I loved opening my drawer to find the perfect card for the recipient. I had all the time in the world, and had fun trying new ways to swirl letters. I tried to be witty and heartfelt in my LONG thank-you notes. Later, I became a professional writer and even taught a class on writing good thank-you notes!
Then I had multiple young children. Ha!
(I have a six-year-old white-haired boy, four-year-old darling girl, one-year-old busy toddler and I’m pregnant with our fourth baby.)
Today when I hand-write a thank-you note, I’m slapping a stamp on with caffeinated, shaking fingers. I’m scribbling as fast as I can with horrible penmanship because I’m ALWAYS in a terrible hurry. And I’m usually writing them at 10pm at night, or 6am before anyone is up.
Everyone tells me, “Oh, Leah! You don’t need to write thank-you notes anymore! You don’t have the time – look at your life season.”
They’re right. I don’t have to.
But I’ve discovered something along my 30-something years in life. I WANT to make time to practice gratitude, even in our fast-paced society. I WANT to cultivate a grateful outlook. I WANT to view life from a thankful perspective.
I believe, with all my tired mother’s heart, that taking the time to hand write thank-you notes is important. I believe that writing thank-you notes is almost more important for YOU – the sender – than it is for the receiver.
Something happens when I start scribbling thanks. It slams the brakes on my selfish mom-caretaking day. It forces me to think, really think, about the kindness in others. The more I scribble my thanks, the more grateful I become. The more grateful I become, the happier I get. When I finish, my whole mom world is brighter. What kind people I have in my life!
For example, this morning – at 6am – I composed two brief hand-written thank you notes. One to my mother, and one to my mother-in-law. They were to thank them for each hosting an Easter dinner for our family. The more I wrote, the more it slowed me down to think of how truly kind they were! THANK YOU for taking the time to organize a play of the resurrection of Christ – it made the story come alive! Thank you for the cute wooden Easter birdhouses you had for the kids to paint! Thank you for making a delicious homemade dinner I didn’t have to cook – what a blessing! Thank you for making a “big deal” out of holidays to stop and remind us all of what is important in life – God and family!
I wouldn’t have had all these thoughts had I not stopped and slowed down to write a thank you note.
Have you ever heard the saying that, “A mother is the heart of the home”? I believe the very act of writing thank-you notes makes moms grateful and happier. This, in turn, creates a culture in our homes of gratitude and joy. Now, isn’t it worth the few minutes for that?
Proverbs 15:23 (NAS) A man has joy in an apt answer, And how delightful is a timely word!
Want more stories like this? Check out Leah Spina’s Amazon Best-Seller book Stop and Smell Your Children: Laugh and Enjoy the Little Years on Amazon or click this image.