I work in a large office building in downtown Raleigh that has a café on the first floor. I was starving this morning, so I couldn’t stop thinking about what I would feed myself for lunch. I happily realized that I had a customer appreciation card for the café downstairs. When I pulled it out of my purse, I was even happier to see that it was fully stamped. So I rode the elevator to the first floor and got in line to order my free yummy sandwich.
I already had a little hop in my step because I was getting a free sandwich, so when they asked me if I would buy a cookie to benefit the Special Olympics and the Over the Edge campaign, I gladly agreed… and got an AMAZING looking cookie for a good cause.
“We appreciate you.”
I walked back to the elevator thinking about those three little words that may not pack too much of a punch when used in other contexts, but together they create a sentence that can go straight to the heart. I started thinking about how often I SHOULD say that to people and do not. Three simple words that can make a big difference in someone’s day!
So I am going to do a SHOUTOUT FRIDAY post today to show my appreciation for people in my life who I may not say to enough, “I appreciate you.”
1) MY AMAZING PARENTS – I know that they probably KNOW how much I appreciate them, but I probably don’t say it enough…
My mother and I talk a few times a day most days. She is truly one of my very best friends and I know that I can count on her for absolutely anything. Nothing is ever based on conditions with her and she expects nothing in return. If I call and I say, “I need…” then she will answer with, “I will do my best to…” Never have I heard her with the “What have you done for ME lately?” attitude that we see all too often in selfish parents these days. If my sitter is unavailable, then she will head to Raleigh to pick the kids up after school. When I fainted and couldn’t go to work for a week, she was there to drive me to the doctor and take care of me (even though she will admit that she is not a nurse in any sense of the word!).
And my father… I cannot say enough about him either. He has always been my litmus test of what a true husband and man should be like and I am so thankful that he has taught me to have those high standards. Watching the way people respond to him and respect him has always made me know that I want to be like him. He has always treated EVERYONE like they are SOMEONE, no matter who they are. I am thankful for all of the lessons I have learned from him over the years.
So to my mother and father, “I APPRECIATE YOU.”
2) MY BABYSITTER – Of course I thank her and I pay her, but I do not tell her enough just how much I appreciate how much she improves my life just by being in it.
She is so wonderful with the kids and is so dependable. When you are a full-time working mom, it is such a comfort to know that someone is taking good care of your kids. Someone is there to get them safely home from school, feed them a snack and help them with their homework. It’s tough being a mom and not being able to be there to do those things yourself, so it puts your mind at ease to know that the kids love the person you have hired to be there.
So to Kara, “I APPRECIATE YOU.”
3) MY CHILDREN’S STEP-MOTHER – I am quickly learning that being a step-mother can sometimes put you in a precarious position. You love your step-kids with every ounce of your being, while knowing and appreciating that you are not their true parent. Then you face resistance from the other parent sometimes for showing too much love or for being too active in the lives of the step-kids… because you are “just their step-mother.”
My children’s step-mother is always there for my kids. She often picks them up after a full day of work to take them back home with her so they can go to a practice or spend the night. She takes fundraiser information to her office and tries to sell as much as she can. She throws birthday parties if they want to have them there. She has dealt with stomach viruses and lice and everything else… some of it even before she had a child of her own.
Essentially, she is their mother when they are with her… and I am thankful for someone who loves my kids as much as I do. We may not ALWAYS see eye to eye about everything, but no matter what I am thankful for the role that she plays in the lives of my children – OUR children.
So to Amy, “I APPRECIATE YOU.”
4) I also want to do a blanket appreciation to my kids, my family, my in-laws, my ex-in-laws, my ex-husband, my friends, my minister, the music ministry, my boss and my co-workers. These are all people who make my life a little easier every day in one way or another. Even the random folks on Facebook who I haven’t seen in twenty years but who make me smile and encourage me through the internet. I am thankful for every single one of you.
To all of you, “I APPRECIATE YOU.”
5) And most importantly, MY HUSBAND – I try to tell him how very much I appreciate him every single day. He goes above and beyond in absolutely everything he does – as a husband, a father, a Christian. Just like my father, he is kind to everyone and it is obviously well-noted by everyone because no matter where we go, people are quick to tell me how much they love Joe. I hear on Facebook constantly how he is “the nicest guy” and how lucky I am.
And I KNOW how lucky I am… because I have been in the dating world and I know without a doubt that there are no men like Joe out there. He loves my children as his own and he goes out of his way to be friendly to my children’s father. Yesterday he took my daughter to school and realized after he signed her in that she had not talked to her dad before school like she does every morning. Joe went back into the school, took her back out front and called her dad. Her dad appreciated it so much. That’s just the way Joe is… he knows how it feels to be a dad in a divorced situation and he couldn’t live with himself if he had even unknowingly not let her talk to her dad. Just like that, he amazes me daily with how wonderful his heart is…
So I plan to do everything in my power to make sure that he knows every single day how appreciated he is. Because I never intend to live a day without him in my life ever again.
Joe…. “I APPRECIATE YOU… MORE”