How to Iron on Gratitude

2 Corinthians 9:12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.

My sister, Lynn, is the most put together person I know. She is so easy to look up to, she makes being an older sister look effortless. When she leaves the house, her outfit and accessories are ideally coordinated, her makeup is expertly applied and her hair is skillfully styled. Most impressive, her clothes are always presented wrinkle-free.

Ironing is a mantle that my mother attempted to pass on to all four of her children. My mom models this behavior as she still faithfully selects and presses my father's clothes every morning. She even took the time to demonstrate the proper methodology and had me do this chore regularly as child. Perhaps because I'm the youngest or maybe because I'm just plain the laziest, I did not take up the mantle of ironing. Nonetheless, as a wife and mom I do perform a myriad of thankless tasks every day and week that I choose to treasure as blessings instead of curses.

This morning I am reading 2 Corinthians 9. Paul is continuing his discussion on the importance of giving generously to God's work. This chapter contains the often quoted words that God loves a "cheerful giver" (Verse 7). As I was pondering the impact of giving, I read verse 12: "This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God."

My mind was drawn to the little acts of service I do every day: picking up toys, running errands, doing laundry, preparing meals for my family. I don't know about your family but some days I'm not even sure my family notices the work I do let alone thanks me for it. It is at this precise moment that God whispers into my heart, "Shannon, what if it's your heart that I long to see overflowing with expressions of thanks to me?"
  • Thank you, God, for the abundance of your provision. Without it, there would not be near so many things in my home for me to pick up.
  • Thank you, God, for a life that is so full of excitement and fun that I never lack for errands to run.
  • Thank you, God, for loads of laundry that seem to magically reappear in the laundry room as soon as they are washed. They represent the profusion of your blessing to me in granting me four children.
  • Thank you, God, for the privilege of gathering around the family dinner table. It is there we share, laugh and enjoy being a family as our hearts are connected over a meal. Thank for the privilege of being Your facilitator of those things by being the cook.

God sees my small acts of service. "Now he who supplies the seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness." God multiplies these simply acts of love and kindness and enlarges them for good in the lives of my husband, children, family and friends.

Jesus, you love a cheerful giver. When I give my time and energy to my family and friends today, I will do it with a happy heart. Thank you for blessing me with the opportunity to serve. I may never present myself to the world as classily as my sister, Lynn. But, I pray today that what small things You give me to do, I carry out with her brand of excellence.

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