“Thank you” can be some of the most powerful words we ever hear. When we know we have done something that is worthy of appreciation and someone really expresses gratitude it is powerful feeling. I would imagine it was a powerful emotion for Jesus the day that he healed 10 lepers and while they were running away to go be judged as clean, one turned back and simply said, “thank you”.

“Thank you” can also be some of the least powerful words we hear. This also happens when we know we did something worthy of appreciation and were not appreciated immediately or without something else causing it. Like when one person says thank you and another one says, “oh yeah, thanks.” Times like that. Or when someone says “you’re welcome” to get you to say thank you. You know it is meaningless then.

The other time “thank you” is powerless is when you know you don’t really deserve it. You know in your heart you have not done anything worth those words. Some times in my life I feel like people appreciate something so much that really was not much from me. It is an odd feeling to get underserved appreciation.

The other problem with “thank you” is that we feel it becomes obsolete in our ongoing relationships, but it does not. The other night Wendy pulled one of those “you’re welcome’s” on me. Truth was – I deserved it. I was not thankful. Why? She had done something she does all the time. Does that remove the value of it? Does it make it less worth thanking her for? No, but I have grown accustomed to it. (Unfortunately we all tend to do it.)

I challenge you in your relationships to be authentic in gratitude. I don’t care if the person does the thing you are thankful for every day for 50 years, be grateful. Say thank you. But don’t only say, live it. Serve them back. Do for them what makes them feel thankful towards you.

So today, on Valentine’s Day, I want to say “THANK YOU, WENDY.” Thank you for the clean clothes, the cooked meals, the cared for kids, the clean house, and all the times those things are in some state in between. Thank you for the listening ear and the supportive talks and the challenging questions. Thank you for the quiet walks and the loud laughs and the moments in between. Thank you for believing in me and supporting me and encouraging me. Thank you for serving me and serving with me. Thank you for being you and for allowing me to be me. Thank you for being a great mom and a fun wife and an absolutely beautiful (in every way possible) woman.

Thank you most of all for loving me. Your love carries more days than you will ever know. Without you I would not be who I am, I could not do what I do, and I wouldn’t enjoy it even if I could.

So if I do not say it enough, forgive me, but today I want to Yell it. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

And God, thank you for giving me in one person more joy and love than I knew was possible.

Wendy, I love you, always and forever.

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