In the Name of Love: 5 Meaningful Actions of Appreciation
Unbeknownst to my DH, today was a very busy, eventful day with tons of traffic. After chatting on the phone during my commute, I arrived home to a little loveliness on the ottoman. A single red rose. How thoughtful!! His comment was, "I was on the way home, and thought it was time you had a flower." Aw, how sweet, right? It's the unplanned tokens of love that keep relationships alive and thriving.
Whether you are in a marriage or have a BFF you adore, it's important to keep the sparks alive and well, and let one another know, "you matter to me."
- Love Notes: One of my favorite little things to do is write notes of appreciation to my friends. In order to keep this habit alive, I randomly shop for stationary that I would want to receive. Typically sets of note cards and individual custom cards from local vendors and specialty shops. Write a simple line of encouragement with a quote, a scripture, or your favorite saying, and close it with a "Have a great day!" It can really lift someone's spirits. Every now and then, I'll leave a love note on my hubby's pillow either before bed, or when he's getting ready for work. I make sure that I have plenty of "our cards" on hand to let him know how much I love and care for him.
- Small Gifts: Love Tokens of this type are not obtained through purposeful shopping, but rather they are gathered during local road trips, vacations, or some sale I happen to luck upon. Typically someone comes to mind for the purchase, or the "cute" factor motivates the reach into my purse for payment. These are typically smaller items under $10 or some crazy deal. I once found a designer dress under $10 at Macy's that was in a friend's size AND her favorite color -- black. I couldn't pass up the chance to encourage her.
- Have a Cup of Coffee (or Tea, or Shot of Tequila): I'm literally laughing inside right now. Every now and then, I will "pay it forward" by randomly purchasing coffee or tea for the person behind me in the coffee house line. Completely random and I never know when I'll be moved until I reach the drive-thru window. Since I am married, I never do this in a walk-in location -- I like to remain anonymous, and can make a clean get away in the car. You could also grab a friend's favorite beverage when you purchase your own. This is a very small investment into the Friendship Bank, and people generally appreciate the surprised gesture.
- Splurge on Dinner: While actions 1-3 require little monetary investment, this one is more purposeful. My husband and I both enjoy dining out with family and friends, and will pick up the tab for dinner. We have an eye exchange that we've developed over time as the signal to "treat." When we are out with friends, we do this more on our own. My sister and I share this same passion, and have become very creative with "I'll pay." She has gone so far as to give instructions to the maitre d before we even REACH the restaurant. There are some minor "rule of thumbs" so we don't blow the budget in the name of love and gestures, but it's a pleasure to see the "Oh, thanks!" look on the faces of those we love and care for.
- Amen: This can be the gift that keeps on giving and doesn't cost a thing. Pray for your friends and loved ones. You don't have to tell them you are praying for them, and you shouldn't have to wait for them to ask. It doesn't take long and can be done anywhere. Also, it motivates you to think of other's and their well being rather than focusing on yourself. "Encourage one another daily" through prayers....
Have you encouraged someone this week?
Do you know your best friend's love language?
When was the last time you performed a random act of kindness?
If you've stumbled through answering any of these questions, consider making a change today and inspire someone's tomorrow.
Today's Crayon Color: Jelly Bean