Fall is a great time of year in the south. The temperatures turn cooler and the humidity drops a little that is if weíre lucky. Itís the ideal time for family bike rides. But if our family wants to ride, we canít just hop on and go because of my husbandís bicycle. Itís very old but he doesnít want to get a new one; he says his still works fine. Thatís code in our house for him beingÖhow to say this nicelyÖcheap. To be perfectly honest, it does still work but only with help. Before we can go on a ride he has to give it a little care and attention. He checks the tires to make sure there is enough air. They often leak. Then heíll check the chain. It accumulates rust and frequently locks up. When it does, heíll squirt a little oil on it to lubricate the links and then the wheels are free once more to turn again.
When itís put on the chain, the oil does a great job of improving the situation. But while it sits in the can, it has no benefit. The same is true with unexpressed gratitude in our homes. Most of us are good at thanking friends or even strangers but often we fail to extend that very courtesy to our closest loved ones.
Everyone longs to feel appreciated and valued. In situations where we arenít, especially over time, we can begin to feel that we are taken for granted or worse, taken advantage of. Each missed opportunity to express gratitude builds up like rust in the chain of our relationship. With enough rust, our relationship will lock up. Left untreated, it may even be permanently damaged.
Donít wait or put off any chance to tell your loved one how much you appreciate them and what they do. Appreciation,when expressed,is the lubricant that helps ensure the wheels of the relationship turn smoothly. Use it freely.