As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. - John F. Kennedy

How trustworthy are our words if there is no action behind them? We can tell our kids not to smoke, but if they see us smoking, can we realistically expect them to listen? We can say we care about our health, but do our eating habits support our claim? The old adage rings true: Actions speak louder than words.

It is not just the words we say that reveal the condition of our hearts. People watch what we do more than what we say. Our actions are the best indicators of who we really are. Actions can speak so loud that we may not even need words at all at times. If you see a man treating his wife with love and respect, speaking well of her, supporting and acknowledging her, you do not need him or anyone else to tell you that he loves her. If you know someone who gives of their time and resources to help people in need, you do not need to be told that she cares or that she is a giving person. Observing the actions of others lead us to come to our own conclusions.

When our hearts are truly thankful, it will come out of our mouths and be evident in the words and in our lives. With a thankful heart we will not find fault, but rather, we will find something to praise. We will not complain, but instead, we will rejoice. With a thankful heart, we will not focus on what is lacking, we will be filled with all that is good. We will not be resentful because we feel cheated; we will cherish and acknowledge the many ways in which we are blessed. The way we live, our attitude, and our perspective is communicating something to someone at all times.

We can be assured that our gratitude and appreciation is being heard when our life becomes a song of praise—-realizing our many blessings are undeserved, our life is a gift, the love we share with others is priceless, and the beauty and wonder we see and experience in creation is a privilege.

Copyright © 2009 All Rights Reserved. Written by Krystal Kuehn, co-founder of and, counseling services in MI for Individual and Marriage Family Counseling

Author's Bio: 

Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC is a licensed professional counselor, author, teacher, and musician. She specializes in helping people live their best life now, reach their full potential, overcome barriers, heal from their past, and develop a lifestyle of health, happiness, and love. Krystal is the cofounder of New Day Counseling Services, a marriage family counseling center and, an award-winning, self-improvement and personal growth site where you can find hundreds of free resources, online workshops, video presentations, insights, inspiration and more on a thankful heart