Thursday, September 26, 2013

I Appreciate You

One of my favorite quotes is

"He that is capable of deep and reflective reasoning will have a grateful heart."

Ann Voskamp, Author of One Thousands Gifts, wrote in her book,

 "As long as thanks is possible, joy is always possible."

The blog post today is a revision of an article I shared with friends on my mailing list in July, 2011. I have praise overflowing from my heart and I just want to express it. I remembered this article and thought it would be a good way to kick off a weekend we have set apart to lavish praise on God for His goodness and faithfulness to us as a family.

I appreciate You

At this time of the year as we come to the end of the ninth month,  it is a good time to reflect and recount God’s many acts of wonder in our lives. Tommy Walker sang: “We will remember the works of Your hands. We will stop and give You praise. For great is Thy faithfulness.”  

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord.
David declared in Ps 89 that he will sing of the mercies of the Lord; “With my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.” His heart overflowed with praise and with his mouth, he gave verbal expression of his appreciation of the goodness and faithfulness of God. Blessed are those who learn to acclaim (to praise enthusiastically and publicly, openly declare or proclaim) the goodness and greatness of God in praise and worship, those who honor Him, they walk in the light of His presence. It is an unspeakable mercy to walk in the light of God’s presence and to enjoy a sense of divine favor that makes us bold and joyous (vs: 15 – 18). When we continually lavish praise on God, we live daily in the light of His favor.

Anyone who has been married for any length of time will agree that communication is as vital to marriage as air is essential for life. Relationships require communication to deepen intimacy and intimacy is built when couples communicate with one another (from one heart to another). Both verbal and non-verbal communication is essential in this process.

Appreciating each other is an important component communication. We often take each other for granted and readily appreciate outsiders more than we appreciate our spouse. 

How often do we forget the common courtesy of saying “please” and “thank you”? 

Do outsiders appreciate and verbalize their appreciation of your spouse more than you do? 

When was the last time you looked at your spouse and truly thank him/her for being such a blessing to you? 

Pause for a moment, think back into the life you have shared together and bring to mind the many ways your spouse’s support and help have made a difference in defining who you are now. Acknowledging the good qualities in your spouse deepens your affection for one another. Many times we overlook this because there is something we would like to change in them but when we appreciate the good in them and we openly declare it, we give our spouses the needed booster to acknowledge and deal with those other issues. Honestly looking for what your spouse is doing right instead of the wrong things he/she did will also lead to a change in your attitude.

Elaine Creasman in her article, Let's Give Him Something To Talk About, shared tips on how to keep the communication line open and keep conversations going with our spouses but she nailed it with this: "People don't know how wonderful they are. Someone has to tell them.” In marriage, that means we need to tell our spouses about their “wonderfulness”. Just as David declared, we must learn to lavish praise on our spouses and openly appreciate them. It brings so much joy to both of us. If you can’t find something to praise God for in your spouse and something to praise or thank your spouse for, it is possible that there is unforgiveness lurking somewhere in your heart.

Now let’s talk a little bit about non-verbal communication.  When was the last time you looked at your spouse from across a room and give him/her a smile? When was the last time you looked into his/her eyes and smile for your heart? Many times we reserve the smile for the outsiders. Jim Gordon (The Intimate noted that of all the ways to nurture intimacy, communicating non-verbally is by far the most powerful: “A gentle touch or caress bridges the barriers between two lovers. Although surrounded by many people, even the meeting of eyes with a knowing smile can provide a “caress” from a distance!” Non-sexual touch makes most of us feel cherished and yet we so often neglect to do something that is so simple. Follow the link above and see if you can practice some of the ways listed there. The key, my dear friends, is consistency. That is, making the effort to do it again and again.

You make your spouse to feel wonderful and good about him/herself when you give genuine compliments, your spouse will blossom and your relationship will be the richer for it. Let’s cultivate the art of expressing our affection and love for our spouse both with our words and with our actions.

Now, do you know that God inhabits the praises of His people? A Yoruba chorus says that God feeds on praise. It is good for us to recognize the many wonderful works of God in our lives each day and to give Him praise and thanks for them. Let's show our appreciation to God by lavishing praise on Him.

Dear Friends, I encourage you to seek every opportunity to appreciate your spouse, and above all, the Lord God Almighty Who is such a good and faithful Father to us.

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever
I will sing. I will sing
With my mouth will I make known His faithfulness to all generation.

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