By Michele Howe.
I was telling a good friend how much I had been appreciating reading two books on gratitude – the kind of gratitude that is not dependent upon having good things happen or experiencing favorable circumstances.
In other words, developing an attitude of gratitude that “sticks” no matter what.
This friend (whom I am always so grateful for…) recommended another book on the same theme called 365 Thank Yous by John Kralik.
The timing of this book was perfect because this author, a lawyer, discusses his 15 months of sending out 365 thank-yous to different people who touched his life and how it changed him forever.
Recognizing that time was slipping away from me and soon I’d be in recovery mode for a while (and unable to write with my left hand), I decided the month of August would be my month to send thank-yous.
Reading about Kralik’s inner transformation as he began (very uncomfortably at first) to come up with people/things/events for which to give thanks…sparked in me some forgotten (people/things/events) for which I was grateful but had forgotten to say, “Thank you,” to the people responsible for bringing good into my life.
As Kralik writes, “I did not view writing thank-you notes as a self-help system, nor did I view it as a new, positive psychological method to delude myself into believing that my life is better than it really is or to cultivate an artificial state of well-being. This is just an exercise in average good manners. At the risk of making an unscientific and directly moral statement, I will say writing thank-you notes is a good thing to do and makes the world a better place. It also made me a better man. More than success or material achievement, this is what I sought.”
Throughout this book, Kralik is continually amazed at the power of a simple written, “thank-you,” and how it totally changed him (on the inside) and his relationship with the recipients of his expressions of thanks. Whenever he wrote and shared his “thanks” it “stuck” and everyone was the better for it.
Kralik has pretty much mastered the art of writing a thank you note…but he gives one primary suggestion for everyone to follow.
“The one sure piece of advice I have on how to write thank-yous is this: write a lot of them.”
Michele Howe is a reviewer for Publishers Weekly, FaithfulReader.com, Retailers + Resources, Foreword Magazine, TeenReads.com, KidReads.com, among many others national and international publications. She has published over 3000 reviews/articles and has been featured on numerous radio shows across the country speaking on topics such as parenting and a diverse range of women's health issues. Her work has been published in MORE, FIRST for Women, Good Housekeeping, Christianity Today, Discipleship Journal, Midwest Living, Parentlife, Fullfill, Christian Single, Single Parent Family, Focus on the Family, PRISM, and Connections. She also does manuscript reviewing for several publishing houses including New Growth Press.
Michele is the author of twenty books for women. Her first book, "Going It Alone: Meeting the Challenges of Being a Single Mom" (Hendrickson Publishers), provided hope and practical helps for single moms new to parenting solo. She has also authored "Pilgrim Prayers for Single Mothers" (Pilgrim Press) and a third book of helps for single mothers titled, "Successful Single Moms" (Pilgrim Press.) In addition to these resources for single mothers, Michele wrote four separate titles combining real life stories with inspirational prayer retreats. These titles published by (Jossey-Bass) include: "Prayers for Homeschooling Moms," "Prayers to Nourish a Woman's Heart," "Prayers of Comfort and Strength" and "Prayers for New and Expecting Moms."
Her more recent books include a follow-up resource to "Going It Alone" titled, "Still Going It Alone: Mothering with Faith and Finesse Once the Children Have Grown" (Hendrickson Publishers) and "Burdens Do a Body Good: Meeting Life's Challenges with Strength and Soul" co-authored with orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Christopher A. Foetisch (Hendrickson Publishers).
One Size Fits All: Making Meaningful Choices, Stepping Into a Meaningful Life was released in early 2013 by Lighthouse of the Carolinas. Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Every Day Resource Kit for a Healthy, Happy Life was released by Bondfire Books in late 2013 and ACTA Publications released, "Faith, Friends, and Other Floatation Devices" which is a compilation of stories, quotes, and practical lifestyle recommendations for "staying afloat" during life's toughest times. Her newest book, Empty Nest, What's Next? Parenting Adult Children Without Losing Your Mind was published fall of 2015. In the fall of 2016, "Caring for Aging Parents: Lessons in Love, Loss, and Letting Go" was released by Hendrickson Publishers. Summer of 2017, her sequel to Empty Nest, What's Next? was published, Preparing, Adjusting, and Loving the Empty Nest. In 2018, There's a Reason They Call It Grandparenting and Navigating the Friendship Maze were released. In September 2018, Living Bravely: 52 Week Super Incredible Faith Devotional will also be published.
Read more of Michele's work at michelehowe.wordpress.com and contact Michele at: [email protected].
This Post Has 2 Comments
That is a FANTASTIC idea! I’m going to add this to my “to do” list for my 31 days of depression series (if you don’t mind). Getting out of ourselves and being thankful is a huge blessing to ourselves and the recipients. Going to add this book to my to read list along with yours 🙂
How is your shoulder healing?
Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God
Thanks for the good word…along the lines of this book, I’d recommend another, Choosing Gratitude, by Nancy Leigh DeMoss…powerful. Just checked out your lovely site…wow…what a help and a mission you’re on. Nicely done. 🙂
Shoulder? Getting better every day…happiness. 🙂