Friday, March 9, 2012

the power of "thank you"

When I went on my trip to Colorado, I bought a book to read on the plane.  I picked it up randomly at Target, just because it looked interesting.  A Simple Act of Gratitude by John Kralik.  A memoir about a guy who changes his life, {which is in a downward spiral}, by spending a year writing thank you notes.  365 of them.   The book was fantastic.  Incredible actually.  I couldn't put it down.

It has inspired me to begin my own thank you note project, which I will share more about soon.

But, for today, I thought I'd share something else.

As I read the book, I got to thinking about the power of thank you.  In our busy lives we rarely take the time to thank someone.  I mean to really thank someone. 

I say "thank you" probably 100 times a day.  To my husband, my children, the barista who makes my coffee.  For random things, but not really in a way that makes people remember.  And not really in a way that makes me remember either.  It's just an automatic response from a girl who was taught by her Daddy that a lady always says "yes, please" and "no, thank you."  "Yeah" was not acceptable in my house growing up.  Neither was "No".  If I said "No", I was quickly corrected by my Dad clearing his throat and saying "You mean no, thank you?"  So, it's automatic for me, but it's not necessarily true gratitude as much as it's just a habit.

A couple months ago, I had the opportunity to understand the power of a true and heartfelt thank you when my sister in law and I got to go out to dinner just the two of us.  This never happens.  As we sat there chatting, the conversation happened back to my parents horrific car accident nearly two years ago.  I realized that I had never really looked her in the eyes and told her how grateful I was for all that she did.  She showed up and met me in the ICU with my brother just hours after the accident.  She stayed with us at my parents house for weeks, helping out in every possible way.  She cried with me.  Hugged me.  She showered my mom.  She fed and dressed my mom.  She helped her to the bathroom.  It's not her mom.  She didn't have to do it.  She didn't have to do any of it. But she did.  The fact that she gave up every single day off of work for months, to come stay at my parents so that I could go home for a few days made all the difference in the world to me.  Our relationship has never been the same.  And it never will be again.  I respect her so much.  The sacrifices she made.  She never thought twice about it.  She just jumped in.  I told her how much it meant.  How thankful I was.  How I knew that she didn't have to do it.  We both cried and in that moment, I understood, maybe for the first time in my life, the power of telling someone thank you. 

I would encourage you to try it.  You may be surprised at the results...


  1. This made me cry! What a special person she is and how lucky you all are to have her in your lives. I'm sure she feels the same way about you!

    P.S. Can I borrow that book? :)

  2. Aww... this made me tear up too! Beautiful story of thank you. Thank you for sharing! :)

  3. I really want to find this book now!! :)


  4. We are very lucky to have the WHOLE family be so caring and loving to each other. I am blessed to be part of this family THANK YOU. To my loving wife i love you

  5. Amber I love you like a sister. You're parents mean the world to me. And they gave me the best husband in the world. I know that you'd be there for me in an instant. It's crazy to think I met you when you were 4 and here we are sisters till the end. Thank you for letting me be a part of a beautiful family.... We are blessed. I love you!!!

  6. I LOVE that book! It's a very powerful read!

    And your story about your sister-in-law made me cry. Amazing how times like that can really cement people together forever and give you a new, beautiful way to see right through to someone's soul. Pure goodness right there.


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