"Thanks for doing the laundry," my husband said as he pulled a freshly washed and folded pair of socks from his top drawer.
This was not the first time my sweet husband has thanked me for an act that was, in my eyes, so small. For some reason, though, his words this morning struck me as unbelievably kind and precious.
I hadn't done anything out of the ordinary. Laundry duty is something I do every weekend without thinking about it, and certainly without expecting a "thank you" in return. It has become such a habitual action that, to me, it hardly merits recognition. And yet, he took the time to stop and thank me for it.
Those two simple words touched my heart this morning, communicating to me that even though I saw this household chore as an assumed duty, he didn't take it for granted. He didn't take me for granted. As he unfolded his socks, he looked beyond the black cotton foot warmers and saw the time that it had taken from my Saturday to wash, dry, and fold our clothes...and subsequently took the time to express his gratitude.
His words echoed in mind this afternoon. We live in a culture where we tend to throw the phrase "thank you" around quite a bit. We give "thank you"s to cashiers for passing us our receipts, to employees who load our shopping carts with grocery bags, to waitresses who bring us our restaurant bills, and to kindhearted individuals who hold doors for us. These "thank you"s are certainly merited, but their meaning is often lacking because they tend to be spoken out of obligation. The power of my husband's words this morning was due, in large part, to the fact that he didn't have to say them. It wasn't a social nicety. It was just him being nice.
In light of his kindness, I find myself wondering, "Do I regularly take the time to brighten others' days with unexpected, yet deserved 'thank you's?" As I get ready to start a new week, I want to learn from my husband's example and actively look for ways to bless others with this little phrase. Thank you. The words are so simple and so easy to say. Still, when they are spoken from a sincere heart to an unsuspecting person, their power is magnificent.