Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington
Unappreciated

Unappreciated?

 

Ever feel as if you’re unappreciated?

It’s happened to most of us. And during this COVID-19 pandemic it’s happening even more often.

  • Employees are doing the work of two or three people as coworkers resign due to virus fears or are laid off due to economic stresses on businesses.
  • Moms may have been thrust into the role of reluctant homeschool teacher.
  • Teachers are expected to teach both physical and online students, with all the inherent technological glitches.
  • Pastors, church employees, and volunteers are working diligently to continue worship opportunities despite the criticism they face: if they meet physically, they’re being reckless; if they meet online, they’re being unduly fearful. No matter what they do, they can’t win.
  • Maybe you’re the go-to person at work for a particular task because no one else does it as well. Perhaps you’re the one in your family who takes care of everyone else, but no one makes time to take care of your needs.

It hurts, doesn’t it?

But have you stopped to consider that we often treat God as unappreciated, too?

He gave us air to breathe, hearts that pump, and eyes that see. He meets our needs today, yet our prayer tomorrow will sound the theme of “what have you done for me lately?” Most important of all, He restored us to eternal relationship with Him through faith in Christ, yet we gripe if our prayers for temporal things aren’t answered the way we want in the time we want.

Giving thanks has been a regular part of my quiet time with the Lord. But too often I spent weeks, months, or even years, praying for something and when the answer came, I gave a quick thanks and moved on to other requests. Then someone challenged me to thank God for at least as long as I prayed for a request. If I prayed for something for months, do I thank God for at least as long? What a difference this practice has made in helping me maintain a consistent attitude of gratitude!

Here’s a challenge leading up to Thanksgiving: each day for the remainder of this month, thank God for one person you’ve never previously thanked Him for. Keep a running list for the month. Be sure to consider people you frequently overlook in your daily routine.

But don’t stop there. Take a moment during the day to thank that person for their role in your life. Your gratitude can be communicated in person, by email or text, or even better: with a handwritten note.

Let’s be intentional about cultivating thanksgiving, not just in November, but year-round!

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8 Comments

  1. FlowerLady

    Thank you Ava for taking the time to write what God places on your heart to inspire us all into a closer relationship with Jesus. ~ FlowerLady (Rainey)

  2. Anne

    I am thanking God for you, Ava. I rarely comment but always find truth to ponder in your posts. You are not unappreciated by me, so let this be the first of those I will thank during this season!

  3. Ava Pennington

    Thank you, Rainey and Anne!

  4. Jessica Brodie

    Ouch but yes, you are soooo right! “Have you stopped to consider that we often treat God as unappreciated, too?” This year, I hope and pray we take fewer things for granted and appreciate more… esp. God and the blessings He bestows! God is good all the time. ALL THE TIME. Even in hardship, God is so good.

    Thank you, Ava.

  5. Melissa Henderson

    Ava, your messages always inspire and encourage me. Thank you. Yes, there are times when I have fell unappreciated. I pray I never take others for granted and especially never take God for granted. I am thankful to be His child.

  6. Karen Friday

    Ava, appreciation for the Lord and others often falls by the wayside. Especially, thanksgiving. I like your challenge of praying with a grateful heart for as much time as making requests. And thanking one person a day. It’s a practical and doable way to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

  7. Yvonne Morgan

    Wonderful post Ava. We all need this kind of reminder. It is so easy to forget all that Christ has done for us. I will try your challenge to pray for someone each day for the rest of the month b

  8. Melinda Viergever Inman

    This is an excellent challenge, Ava: “Thank God for at least as long as I prayed for a request. If I prayed for something for months, do I thank God for at least as long? What a difference this practice has made in helping me maintain a consistent attitude of gratitude!” I have done the same thing you mention, pray, pray, pray, and then when the answer comes, I thank the Lord (or maybe even forget to thank him) and then go about my business. However, thanking him for as long as I prayed would be more in line with offering him the gratitude due his name. This is a great project for this Thanksgiving season, to focus on building even more thankfulness.

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