Jackson Five Friday: Being Known and “Stop saying ‘Thank You'”

Today I had parent-teacher conferences, and my biggest takeaway from this semi-annual event is always the same: I am filled with gratitude that my sons are known.  They are far from perfect.  There is tons of room for growth, not just because that’s a truism of life.  I mean they have lots of room for growth.  But seriously the fact that I sit down with teachers who know my sons is so comforting.  We can talk at such a heart level about them because we are talking about a person everyone at the table knows and cares about.  No school will ever be perfect.  No teacher will ever be perfect.  No parent will ever be perfect.  Lord knows no student will ever be perfect.  But we should acknowledge and be grateful whenever longings are answered.  I believe God wrote on our hearts the longing to be known and how great that I get to see this longing fulfilled for my boys in our school community.

After conferences this morning, my boys expected me to have some fun day planned.  Sometimes I feel like I’ve combined a bunch of jobs on The Love Boat and set sail.  Yes, I am cruise director, bartender (well, more short-order cook) and doc rolled into one.  I need to throw myself (this amalgam of Julie McCoy, Isaac Washington, and Dr. Adam Bricker) a retirement party and let by boys take over these roles.  They can do these things, and Mama needs a job.  But while we’re still pretending the Love Boat is our endless life, I pretty much eat it up.  When they are home I love being able to give them my full attention.  I find it fun and fulfilling and altogether too good to be true.  Today, I grabbed a couple friends for the older two boys and took them all to Popeyes for lunch.  You would’ve thought I had killed the fatted calf with my own hands.  Nate was the ringleader of the thank yous.  They would not end.

Finally, when just he and I were getting refills, he started in again, “Thank you so much, Mom.  This is so great, Mom.”

But he’d said that like ten times already.  So I said, “Nate, I want you to stop saying thank you.”  The woman beside us looked at me like I had six heads.

I don’t know what gets into him.  It’s not like I never do nice things for him.  I truly don’t know why he feels like he needs to say thank you fifteen times. And he hasn’t stopped.  The boys have played football, basketball and capture the flag all afternoon with Nate taking regular pitstops to thank me for such a fun day.

Perhaps I need to show him the verse from 1 John 3:18:

 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

Nate, my dear child, be thankful not with words or speech but with actions and truth.  Show me your love sweet boy, but for heaven’s sake stop saying thank you incessantly.

So today’s post is admittedly a bit hodge podge, but may we be thankful when the longings of our heart are met.  Can you give thanks right now for those who know you, really truly know you?  Take comfort too in the fact that the Person who knows you best and and loves you most is your Loving Creator.  And may we learn to show our love and gratitude with actions and in truth.  May our words never sound like they are hollow or on repeat.  Instead, may we be loving and true in all we do.

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