Recently I was lucky enough to attend a Military Spouses Night Out hosted by Operation Homefront and the Key Note Speaker was Michelle Cuthrell, author of Behind the Blue Star Banner. The writer inside of me was giddy to hear her speak and she didn’t disappoint! Her speech had a us laughing and crying as she talked about 5 super powers military spouses should have but the one that touched me most was the super power of gratitude. It touched me because I believe in it so much and why I spend much of my time volunteering. Now, Michelle talked about the importance of gratitude in the military spouse and I will let that be her message but, from me I’m going to give you some ways to outwardly show gratitude that is more than a thank you note (Which is great so don’t stop doing that).
1. Volunteer! Organizations do so much for our military families. They provide services when our own government falls short so why not show them how much you appreciate them by giving some of your time to help them in their mission.
2. Give a donation. Donations don’t just mean money it can be anything from food to baby diapers. Paying it forward in this way is very meaningful especially when the person receiving looks you in the eye and says THANK YOU and you know it’s from the heart.
3. Offer your services. This would be anything from singing/playing an instrument for your church to knitting baby blankets for Navy Marine Corps Relief Society. If you have a hobby you enjoy doing offer it up for free. You never know, it could turn into something bigger for you.
4. Turn a Thank You note into something more. Writing a hand written note is more meaningful than one might think and it is absolutely the best way to show gratitude but take it a step farther. You can do this by making cookies or soup (that’s my thing) or a meal and place the note with it and hand deliver your thanks. The goal is not just say Thank You but show the person how grateful you truly are for their help.
5. Be humble in your receiving. It is so exciting when the unexpected happens especially when you need the services the most. But, bragging is unbecoming. Instead do #1-4 and quietly accept.
As people around the globe are outwardly giving thanks each day leading up to Thanksgiving I challenge you to turn those words into something more. Will you donate to a food drive or give your time at a soup kitchen or maybe make a scarf for a battered woman on the run? Whatever it is give thanks with gratitude from the heart.