In life we all want to feel like we are loved and appreciated by those around us. We want to know that we are valuable to those with whom we spend our time, for whom we spend and give our money, talents, skills, and resources. However, this is not always the case. Some days it feels like the very people that we pour the most energy into are the ones who least appreciate it, the ones who take us for granted the most.
Feeling unappreciated can lead to feelings of resentment and hopelessness. Why am I doing all that I do? What’s the point? No one cares. They don’t realize just how much I do for them!
I feel like women are especially vulnerable to these feelings of being used and unappreciated. Naturally we are nurturers, always looking out for everyone else’s needs, making sure everyone else is taken care of, comfortable, fed, happy, and content.
But in the meantime, as we pour out to others, we are often time left feeling empty with no thank yous coming our way, no we appreciate all that you’ve done. It’s almost as if everything we do is just expected of us. That’s our job, and we shouldn’t expect anyone to acknowledge all that we’ve done.
This “ungrateful” attitude may come from our spouses, our children, our coworkers, our bosses. I can speak on this because, I too, have felt these same feelings. Feeling like this can make you bitter and upset, even make you want to just stop doing what you’re doing. You may want to scream, cry, run away.
Again, I know because I have been there; I have felt that way. I’ve been hurt and discouraged by other’s lack of appreciation. I’ve stood back, resentful and upset, ready to speak my mind about how no one appreciates all that I do. Don’t you now how hard I work for you!
But this past weekend, I had a revelation, an epiphany, a brand new understanding of how I should view this.
This new understanding is so good, so profound, that I knew I had to share it with others especially other women who right now may be feeling overwhelmed by all that they’re going through, all that they take care of every day.
Who may be frustrated by the lack of appreciation from those to whom they give the most.
Who may be looking for some reason to continue, to keep going, to push forward, to keep giving.
For all of you ladies, this is what I’ve learned.
- Work as if you are working for God, not people. I know that technically, in our human eyes, that we are working for people. However, if we choose to have a different perspective, we may actually approach what we do entirely differently. This verse spoke volumes to me. God has blessed me so much, and I know that if I am doing what I am supposed to be doing, that it is not in vain. So while the people around me may not stop and say, “Thank you,” or bring me flowers or even give me a big raise, I should know that God is watching. Nothing that He has instructed me to do (clean my home, cook dinner for my family, turn in that report at work) is useless; it all is part of a much bigger plan, His ultimate plan. When I choose to view things in this perspective, I can approach my “work” differently and know that one day it will all make sense. 2. If you have the ability to do something, then do it. My children can’t fully take care of themselves; I have been hired to do a certain job and am getting paid for it. I see someone in need and I have the resources to help them. All of these are examples of things that we may need to tackle each day that may turn into thankless tasks, but we should still do them anyway. I think it is more of a crime for us to be able to do something, but because we don’t think we will get the credit or the applause or the appreciation, we don’t step forward to do it. I’m not talking about letting others take advantage of you, but I am saying that if you have the opportunity or the know-how to serve or help someone else, then just do it. You do your part, and God will take care of the rest. 3. You will be rewarded for all that you do. I know that you’re tired. I know that it’s hard. I know that all that you want is for someone to acknowledge all that you do. But don’t let that stop you because the Bible says that you will be rewarded. Do what’s right. Keep doing what is right. And then do it some more. Know that if you are doing what God has called you to do, you will reap a harvest of blessings. I promise you that God’s rewards will be bigger and greater than anything that any person could ever give you. So while a, “I appreciate all that you do,” would be great to hear every once and while, I feel like hearing God say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Well done,” makes my heart flutter more with joy and anticipation.
Now that I’ve come to these realizations, I will no longer need to fret when I have worked myself to exhaustion and someone comes in and asks me to do one more thing, or someone looks over what I’ve done and glances over it as if it’s nothing. I’m not living for them. I’m living and working for Him. With this in mind, everything else will fall into place. (This as well as a long warm bath, a nice massage, a mani-pedi, and a new outfit. After all, self-care is the best way to show yourself some appreciation and love.)
Keep going sister. God’s got your back. He will give you the strength to continue even when you think you can’t. And He will show you just how valuable and loved you are.