So, are you cooking tomorrow?
It’s Thanksgiving here in the U.S., a major holiday when most thoughts turn to turkey and dressing, family and friends. Many of us will be tuning in to watch the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, then we’ll enjoy a huge, delicious meal before dozing, off and on, through an entire afternoon of football. It’s tradition!
Life slows down a little. We gather to recognize and celebrate those things for which we are grateful.
We stop. Pay attention. Count our blessings.
And on a major holiday that centers around a meal like this, I know that many of you, my Courageous Sisters, will be in charge of the gatherings at your house. Many of you will feel the pressure of preparing a special dinner for those you love.
Some of you do it with pride and joy. And confidence. Some of you, like me, cook with fingers crossed behind your back that somehow it all comes out okay, whether you know what you’re doing or not. :)
But no matter how it goes, afterwards, someone’s going to give you a compliment. “That was great, Ann!” “The turkey looks perfect, Sue!” “Wow, look at that pie. Can’t wait to dig in to THAT one!”
And what will you do when that compliment comes your way?
Most of the women I work with do a great job of showing gratitude to others for all that they do. They think nothing of tossing out a hug and a “thank you!” for this or a “great job!” for that to a family member, their friends or co-workers.
And if you’re a guest at someone else’s kitchen this year, betcha money YOU’LL tell HER –(or him) – what a great job she did.
But when someone throws an “atta girl!” out to YOU, you don’t handle it so well, do you?
In fact, most of you pick up that compliment and throw it right back.
“Oh that? That was nothing. Anybody could do that…” “That” could be anything. Cook a great dessert, raise a great kid, bring a project in on time and under budget.
But a compliment is a gift, Courageous friends. And when you toss it back, you are returning the gift unopened. You are declining a treasure just as surely as if you’d handed back a present wrapped with love in beautiful, shimmering paper – unopened, refused.
What would that feel like to the gift GIVER?
I can tell you – it’s not good. I know you don’t MEAN to hurt anyone’s feelings. You certainly don’t MEAN to be so ungracious as to turn DOWN a gift! But that’s what you’re doing. Plain and simple.
Most of us don’t realize this. We think being modest is somehow more, what, ladylike? Oh my goodness. I’m not EVEN going there! :)
When someone says something nice to you, I challenge you to receive their words with Grace. Their words are a present being offered to you. Receive them well. RESIST the temptation to pick them up and toss them back with a careless, “oh that was nothing.”
Just say, with all the courage, and grace, you can muster, “Why, thank you!”
No qualifiers. No little statements afterwards that take it all back.
Just a simple smile and a thanks – and that’s IT.
Stop RIGHT there!
So by all means, do stop to give Thanks this Thanksgiving, but practice RECEIVING thanks, as well.
Oh, and here’s your BONUS TIP:
When they offer to help you do the dishes?
Say thanks, and yes, to THAT gift, too.
Now for extra credit:
Tell me below at least ONE compliment you receive sometime this week.
In writing. Here.
Happy Thanksgiving! :)
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Photo Credits: basykes, on Flickr