I’m at a stage in my life when “thank you” means more than it used to.
This awareness of saying “thank you” first happened when my 11-year-old son first mentioned that I’m not grateful for anything he does. And, although I continually ask more of him, I AM grateful for what he does, but I obviously wasn’t showing it. I resolved to be more aware and more vocal about every little thing he finishes to contribute to our household and our family.
I thought about it again when my mom was sharing a story about a neighbor of hers on the farm. This neighbor in particular and both our extended families back a few generations have been friends and helpmates. She and my mom text to recap the weather last night, share the bounty of each other’s gardens, and help care for aging pets and family when schedules get busy. Mom told me that she needed to drop what she was doing to give the neighbor a ride to town to fix a flat tire. She didn’t mention it at the time, but it was another way of saying “thank you” for all the help the neighbor has provided to us.
As God continued to make me more aware of the blessings in my life and the importance of verbalizing gratitude, I thought about how farm families pull together to help each other out during planting and harvest seasons. In fact, just this past spring, my dad helped his cousin get the crop in after a car accident that left his cousin with a broken vertebra. It was a significant setback but just required a long recovery, so the community planted.
There are times when “thank you” doesn’t quite seem to be enough, but we say it anyway.
I believe that gratitude is something that some personalities more readily experience than others. For some, being grateful is a paved road in our brains and it comes very naturally. For others, saying “thank you” is more of a dirt road that we have to seek out and remember its there.
But I can’t help but wonder if growing up on a farm makes you a little more grateful. A farmer and his or her family live a life of uncertainty. Will there be rain? Will there be a harvest? Will the price I’m paid for the harvest be enough? Will the farm be here for my family again next year?
That uncertainty makes you understand blessings in a new way. The love and help of neighbors, of family, of community, is such an integral part of raising a family and making a living off a farm.
Don’t forget to notice the blessings all around you today and to verbalize your gratitude to friends, family, co-workers, strangers, and God.
“Thank you.” Those two little words can get you pretty far.
ICGA/ICMB Marketing Director