If you have been with me for the 30 Days to Growth, we’ll jump back into that tomorrow! In today’s Encouragement for Today devo I shared how I was present as a time capsule was opened. The occasion was my nephew, Jason’s, 18th birthday.
As each letter was read, there was laughter. . . and for some, there were tears as words from a loved ones no longer with us were read. As each letter or item was oohed or ahhed over, it was a reminder of something I don’t often think about:
Time will never, ever, stand still.
That loved one I got irritated with yesterday? One day I’ll wish I had a second chance to be a little more patient.
That one who seems to take up so much of my time? One day I’d give everything I had to have one more day with them.
Is it possible that I live in such a short-term way (based on how I feel, what I want) that I will one day look back with regret?
Today, I want to share with you 50 ways you and I can show appreciation to those we love (our children, our spouses, our grandparents, or parents, our closest friends).
It’s my prayer that we’ll begin to deposit words and actions that will one day be a time capsule in the hearts of those we care about most.
You won’t do all of these in a day, but some of these will take root and you’ll do them for a lifetime. Isn’t it fun to discover what a simple word or action can do?
Let’s get started!
1. Think of a time that your loved one did something nice for you. Tell them know that it made a difference.
2. Leave their favorite treat in a surprising place with a note that simply says, “I love you.”
3. Do something thoughtful and unexpected—something that clearly says “I know your love language”. (Mine would be touch, so an unhurried hug. Another’s might be affirmation, so words that lift and encourage, et al.)
4. Listen. All the way to the end, without advice or pat answers.
5. Write their name on a post-it note and place it where you’ll notice it several times a day. Each time, pause and pray over them.
7. Plan something that they’ve always wanted to do, but that you’ve not been crazy about (like watching a play, going to a museum, hiking, or [fill in the blank with something they love]) and make it a fun day together.
8. Encourage them to try something you know they want to do, but haven’t yet because they’re scared. (My son did this for me and we zip lined together! I was afraid of heights, but it was an incredible day.)
9. Take one chore that they normally do and hate, and do it for them without asking, or expecting anything in return.
10. Really look at them and find something beautiful about them and let them know you noticed.
12. Choose to make peace in an argument, rather than have to be right.
13. Put yourself in their shoes for a day, and thank them for the things you might have missed otherwise.
14. Commit to a day without complaint.
15. Resist the urge to tell your loved one that they are wrong.
16. Write a poem, even if it is silly, and leave it on their pillow.
17. Give them an extra hour of sleep while you take care of things.
19. Listen to yourself as you speak to them. Are you patient? Are you kind? Do your words accurately describe who they are and what they mean to you?
20. Give a “tip” to someone who is always serving others. It may be a gift card to their favorite restaurant, fun money to use any way they wish, or simply a card that says you noticed.
21. Remember to laugh, rather than be so serious.
22. Wrap the loved one close (or if they aren’t comfortable with that, simply hold their hand) and offer to pray with them if they ever need it.
23. Smile, often.
24. Give a small gift every day for a week — could be something as simple as a favorite candy bar.
25. Choose to be unhurried for one day.
26. Compliment them in front of someone.
27. Make a favorite meal. Or have that meal in a way that they might enjoy — like breakfast for dinner.
28. Declare one day a special night — like a move night or a night playing games, and honor that night as you would any other event on the schedule.
29. Shut your cell phone off when you are at dinner or when you are talking.
30. Be calm in a stressful situation.
31. Treat them to a massage or pedicure.
32. Honor them with an act of compassion in their name– such as donating to Compassion International or to restoration in the Philippines.
33. Give them space on their own if they are having a difficult day, with a promise that you are there when they have worked it through.
34. Make a list of things that impress you about them and mention one each day.
35. If they compliment you, accept it gracefully.
36. If phone calls are their love language, call them and truly hold a conversation without hurrying.
37. Write a note on the mirror saying how beautiful they are inside and out.
38.Tackle that task you’ve been saying you’d get to.
39. Schedule a date for an afternoon or evening that’s all about them.
40. Let your loved one know what they bring of value to the relationship.
41. Share a sweet memory from the past.
42. Foot rub or back rub.
43. Choose to be playful.
44. Create an oversized card and leave it in their room. It can be funny, or sweet, or a prayer of gratitude for their presence in your life.
45. Apologize when you are wrong.
46. If you don’t have all the answers, say so, but be open to find the answers, or work through the problem, together.
47. Trade inflexibility with being open to new things, new traditions, and new opportunities with those you love.
48. Turn off the TV when they sit close to you, and give them your attention instead.
49. Give up your need to be “right” to exchange it for their need to be heard.
50. Create your own time capsule and have fun adding items that represent this current calendar year, and letters that you’ll read to each other (and to those you love, and who love you) years from now.
What ideas do you have for showing appreciation to those you love?