A thank you note benefits both the recipient and the writer. It reminds the writer of blessings received, and it motivates the recipient to bless others again. A written thank you note is a great way to deepen your relationship with someone.
Last year’s “Make it a Relational New Years Resolution” I first mentioned this a year ago in episode 087, “Make it a Relational New Years Resolution.” It was about resolving to do something kind, caring, or thoughtful for people during the course of the year to the extent you would receive a thank you note for what you did. I’ll have a link to this episode at the bottom of the show notes.
I was ready to move on today with another relational resolution for this year to talk to you about. But before doing that, I thought we should look back at the results of last year’s relational resolution. Before the future, consider the past and present.
I was surprised by what I learned when I did this for myself. I’ll share what I discovered because it can help you in considering a way to add depth to your relationships here in the New Year.
Why a written thank you note? By way of review, to receive a written “thank you” note, you had to do something pretty meaningful for someone to make the effort to show their appreciation in this way. For our purposes, it had to be in writing. Electronic communication didn’t count, nor did verbal expressions of gratitude.
In the age we live in, where electronic communication is the norm, for someone to use older technology like writing a note, requires a lot more of that person.
After I received a thank you note or card last year, I read and dated them, and then placed them in a folder.
Observations about the 2021 “thank you” cards I received From a scrap of paper to a linen parchment card, no two were the same. I’ve gotten identical birthday cards and Christmas cards, but no duplicate thank you notes. I received 5 thank you notes that mentioned appreciation for this podcast. I doubt if any of you have a podcast, but I’m sure a lot of you are doing things you enjoy that benefit other people. Several couples, and two single people we invited for dinner at our house, sent us written thank you notes. Thank you notes for birthdays and high school graduation gifts were the next most common. Two missionary couples who stayed with us a week to 10 days or so thanked us in writing. A friend of ours was sick with Covid, so Janet picked up groceries for her family and I delivered them. We received thank you notes from three teenage boys, all for high school graduation gifts. And they were most tender expressions of gratitude. Their parents raised them well! One person, a donor to our Caring for Others ministry, wrote at least 3 thank you notes over the course of last year. Here he was sending donations to us, and at the same time thanking us for our ministry in quite specific terms about what he was grateful for in what we do. A sampling of thank you notes received I feel a little uncomfortable reading these because they paint Janet and me in a good light, which you would think would happen in a thank you note. A more well-rounded picture would come from complaints people have about us.
But my only purpose in sharing them is to give you ideas of what you can do to impact the lives of people, to make a positive difference, to the point they will go to the trouble of thanking you in writing.
A secondary purpose is to give you ideas of HOW to thank people, as you listen to how people thanked Janet and me last year for one thing or another. Here’s the first one.
Just a quick note to say “Thanks” for your friendship over the years! Knowing you guys and being able to LEAN on you at times gives us confidence in His Grace!… Mostly I just wanted to make sure we get something in your 2021 pile of thank you notes.” ~ L. & J.
O.K., so this is clergy appreciation month! Although I consider you a friend you are also my clergy phon