I held my arms tight against myself as the weight of my grocery bags kept my bicep muscles firm. I clipped along at a quick and steady pace, the heels of my boots lightly clicking as I made my way out of the busy grocery store. A man, nondescript and kind, opened the door for me and the unusually cool California air hit my cheeks, making them feel hot from the temperature change. I murmured my thanks without making eye contact and let the cool evening air dictate my increase of speed. I power walked the remaining steps to my car, eager to unload my plastic burdens, eager to get home, eager to get out of traffic, eager to escape the holiday parking lot.

I sighed, stripped off my scarf and glanced in my rearview mirror. The man was still standing at the door, holding it open whenever anyone walked in or out.

Weird.  Especially for Southern California. I looked again to see if he had a bell or was trying to collect money for something.  Nothing.  Just going out of his way to be nice…

I threw my car in reverse and started to feel guilty for not properly thanking the man for opening the door for me.

“I was in a hurry…” I muttered to myself, switching on the radio. I was in too big  a hurry to properly smile and genuinely thank someone for being kind?

I started to chew the inside of my mouth, a bad habit that occurs whenever I am deep in thought. If I’m too busy to say thank you properly, then I’m too busy. Period.

The sun was beginning to set. It had rained earlier in the day, leaving fluffy cloud wisps looming around the edges of the horizon, some coming to rest on the peaks of the nearby mountain range.

“Wow…” I said aloud to no one in particular, as the sky tinged, like dark blue ink spilling onto a bit of orange construction paper.

As I continued to drive and watch the ever-changing sky, I realized that for the second time today I had forgotten to say thank you for another seemingly ordinary blessing.

I bit my lip again and thanked God for the sunset that existed before me, displaying His majesty. And how in that every-day majesty, His love for me was proclaimed across the Heavens.

That’s when I began to realize that I need me to say thank you more than anyone needs to hear my thanks. Make no mistake, there is a deep satisfaction and joy in being appreciated; and we should often lavish our gratitude on others. However, I wonder if maybe saying thank you is actually better for me than it is for them.

Stopping to deeply appreciate seemingly ordinary acts or events transforms them into what they really are: miraculous blessings bestowed upon us out of grace and love. “Thank you” is not an involuntary response muttered without eye contact. True thanks is made with both eyes wide open, taking in the small everyday wonders with realization of what they truly are…God actively loving us.

Though God appreciates our thanks and wants it, He doesn’t need it. But we need to thank Him, to take the time to slow down and appreciate each gift that He brings, far more than He needs our praise. He is already perfect and complete all in Himself. Yes, He desires our praise and our honor. But we NEED to give a response of gratitude. It forces our hearts to slow down. We begin to intentionally notice the gifts of love God has placed everywhere for us to see. And we begin to stay in constant awareness and communication with Him when we whisper our heartfelt thanks for these gifts.

Snow falling softly over a warm roof. A door held open when hands are full. Cold salty waves tickling toes. Steam from a coffee mug filling senses with rich warmth. The feel of an embrace.  Breath expanding perfectly crafted lungs in a chest that houses a heart that was made to commune and thank its Creator.

When we take the time to intentionally give thanks for daily miracles, it increases our awareness to the presence of God in all that we do and in all that we are. We begin to see life as something miraculous, exciting, and beautiful…not just something to hurry through, not just a to-do list to check off.

And we begin to scratch the surface of understanding how deeply, how completely, how perfectly He loves each and every one of us. Enough to create the intricacies of your body. Enough to paint a sunset for you each and every night. Enough to hang a moon in the sky, and sculpt mountains from nothing. Enough to send His one and only Son to earth so that you might know Him and spend eternity in intimacy with Him.

And He shows us each and every day. There is something in every second, every breath, that screams of His love… His creative, world-changing, all-encompassing, love that knows no boundaries.

…And it’s for us.

How can I not take the time to say “thank You” with every fiber of who I am?

Coleen York

Coleen York is the founder and editor of She Has Worth. She works as a freelance copywriter and editor, so feel free to hire her so she has employment. Additionally, she enjoys being outside, traveling, dinosaurs, art, Oreos, slurpees, and coffee (but not all together, that would probably be gross). Read more about Coleen in the "Our Team" section of She Has Worth.

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