As we have been covering this month, the definition of the word “affirm” is “to state as fact; assert strongly and publicly; to declare one’s support for; uphold; defend.”

We talked about the importance of affirming your children in order for them to feel known and supported and of making affirmation a priority in your marriage. We also talked about taking the time to affirm the adults who are in authority over your children’s lives and who empower your family’s spiritual growth.

I had a precious mom moment awhile back when I had my children with me at the grocery store. My eldest went to pick something up for me while I took the others with me in another direction. As I rounded the corner, I heard, “Thank you for your hard work, sir.” Music to my ears. And then came a surprised and grateful response, “Why thank you.”

For years I have intentionally said, “Thank you for your hard work” to the people who stock our grocery store isles. Stocking is hard work. It hurts your back and it is not fun. It is also a pretty thankless job and feels like no one even notices the work that has been done, because it constantly needs to be done (laundry anyone?). Sometimes, the humble servants say, “Just doing my job, no need to thank me.” But I disagree.

When the server brings my menu or my check, the store clerk has to scan each and every one of my groceries, the lunch lady makes lunch for my children (and everyone else in the cafeteria), and the gentleman has to clean the lobby at McDonalds after little Chicken Nugget eating beauties… I will say thank you. I will affirm their hard work and diligence. It is a simple way I can affirm those people for their hard work and represent my Jesus.

And the more I do it, the more second nature it will become to my children and affirmation and gratitude will flow from their lips. Music to my ears and to the One who created those little hearts to overflow with thankfulness.

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24

What do you do to affirm and show appreciation to the people who work in your community?