Jesus Follower | Word Stringer | Avocado Eater

Category Archives: Gratitude

Trading Sorry for Thank You

  • “Sorry I’m late.”
  • “Sorry I didn’t call.”
  • “Sorry about the mess.”
  • “Oh, sorry!”
  • “Oops–sorry.”

Enough already. Of course, sometimes a genuine sorry is exactly what’s needed. But I’m referring to all the times when sorry becomes excessive… unwarranted… over the top. 

Photo by Rye Jessen on Unsplash

What in the world would a public bus be sorry for? That it’s winter? That’s you have to step out onto slush?

Have you ever wished someone would stop saying sorry so much? Maybe (like I did) you realize you’re the one constantly saying it.

Whether it’s intentional or not, if we’re consistently spewing the word, it tends to lose its effectiveness.

It can also make us look guilty, even if we’re not. 

Since getting a new job, I realize I’ve been apologizing for things I don’t know and things I don’t need to be sorry for.

  • “I’m sorry, but I don’t know how many houses we build at a time.”
  • “Sorry—I don’t know who the board members are yet.”
  • “Wait, sorry, but what does the IV after Habitat for Humanity mean?”
  • “Oh, sorry. Am I in charge of that?”
  • “Sorry, but I have another question.”
  • “I’m sorry, but I don’t know what to tell the lady whose mobile home is splitting down the middle.”

I’m five weeks new. How would I be expected to already know those things?

Last week I walked into my boss’s office and said, “Sorry to interrupt, but I have those files you wanted.” 

Why did I feel the need to apologize for interrupting her (for three seconds) when I held something she wanted?


Losing Weight

A new ah-ha moment hit me when one of my friends said, “My husband’s sorrys came so frequently that the word lost its weight. I finally told him I didn’t believe him anymore.”

In an effort to not be accused of the same thing, I’m working on trading sorry for thank you. 

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash


For Example…

  • Instead of, “Sorry I’m late.”
  • Switch to, “Thanks for your patience.”
  • Instead of, “Sorry about the mess.”
  • Switch to, “Welcome to the organized chaos!”
  • Instead of, “I’m sorry, but this isn’t hot” to a waiter,
  • Switch to, “Could you please bringing me a hot one?”
  • Next time you bump into someone, try “Excuse me” instead of “Sorry.”
  • Instead of, “Sorry I missed that.”
  • Switch to, “Oops—thanks for catching that.”
  • Instead of, “Sorry my car’s such a disaster.”
  • Switch to, “Just toss that in the back.”
  • Instead of, “Sorry I haven’t called.”
  • Switch to, “I’ve been thinking about you!”
  • Instead of, “Sorry you had to drive me home.”
  • Switch to, “Thanks for the ride!”
  • Instead of, “Sorry I haven’t showered. For three days.”
  • Switch to, “I’m saving water,” or, “I found the best dry shampoo!”

Putting it Into Practice

Last weekend I ended up in urgent care after I tipped a wooden bar stool over and landed it on the tops of both bare feet. 

And no, I wasn’t drinking.

Dramatic reenactment

To confirm I didn’t break a metatarsal or phalange (those are fun to say), I got sent to a nurse, an X-ray technician and a doctor. I immediately felt sorry for them that they all had to work on Sunday. 

But instead of rubbing it in and saying sorry, I decided to work up the courage to implement my new plan. After six quick X-rays, I looked at the technician and said, “Thanks for working on a Sunday.”

I realize she might not have had a choice, but my comment took her back a bit… in a good way.

I thought I’d continue with the doctor, so before I hobbled out on my heels I said the same thing. She smiled, said, “Oh, you’re welcome,” and actually looked happy to be there. 

And again a few days ago: I took 16 days to email a friend back and desperately wanted to start off with a big fat “Sorry!”

Instead, I lead with this: “Thanks for your patience with my slow reply.”

And then of course I felt the need to explain what took me so long, but that’s a different story.


Help a Sistah Out

Are you a teeth friend? When someone gets spinach, chia seeds or espresso beans caught in their incisors, do you tell them? What about lipstick or gloss on their teeth?

If you’re friends, the answer is yes!

Now if someone points out the same thing on your teeth, are you prone to say sorry or thank you? There’s nothing to apologize for, but plenty to be thankful for. 


Guilty vs. Grateful

Unnecessary guilt. I’m thinking we could all use a little less of it.

Acting guilty about something you’re not guilty of can cause exhaustion. Don’t you think, as a society, we’re all tired enough? 

Try responding with only “thank you” when someone tells you there’s lettuce/kale/chard in your teeth and see how it feels. Showing gratitude for something takes the focus off the negative and lets it rest squarely on the positive.

I’m still a messy work in progress. Ready to join me? Try trading sorry for thank you and then tell me what happened in the comments.

  • How did you feel?
  • Did it seem awkward or natural?
  • Did you feel more positive? Confident? Grateful?


“I love where I come from. The people there are good people. When they say, ‘Thank you,’ they mean it.”  -Luke Perry



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A Loss, a Baby & Secondary Infertility

  After five years of marriage, my husband and I decided we wanted a baby.  Sad to say, I don’t recall checking with God much about this, but He didn’t send a concerned email so I laid my clothes on the bed next to Doug’s and bam—prego. Phone calls, nursery plans and a roomy pair… Continue Reading

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Family Dinner Questions w/a Side of Candlelight

  “So…? How was your day?” “Good.” “Anything fun or different?” “Nope.” If this riveting dialogue plagues your family too, take heart and read on.  Spreading a sheet or blanket in the family room and turning dinner into a picnic sounds so quaint, doesn’t it?  Photo by not brittany shh pls on Unsplash   Mostly,… Continue Reading

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When You Don’t Wanna Bloom Where You’re Planted

  When the Mary Englebreit craze invaded 1996, I joined millions of other fans and hung her calendar on my wall. I liked her one-two faith punch: “Everything is a risk. What if it doesn’t work out?”  “Oh—but what if it does?” Over the years my floral style changed, but I now see that she produces… Continue Reading

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The Day I Deleted Her

  Just because two sets of parents are good friends doesn’t mean their offspring will follow suit. So was the case with Chelsea and me. We saw each other every summer at Mount Hermon and ran through camp together while our parents hung out and caught up. It took 358 days to bring us together… Continue Reading

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The Secret Society of Christmas Anxiety

  No pressure, but have you poured your own candles with beeswax from your backyard colony yet? …gotten your hollyhock dipped and your mattress flipped? …added plumbing to your gingerbread house? …drained your hot tub and refilled it with mulled cider, orange slices and cinnamon sticks? Is there a wreath on your grill and a… Continue Reading

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How To Hack the Heck Out of Your Turkey Day

  Photo by Gemma Evans on Unsplash   No boring twine and brine reminders here. I dug deeper, scoured the sites and compiled a list to make your turkey day a tad easier. Some of these items I own, some I’m buying, and some I’m loving from a distance, but they are definitely mother-in-law approved. Most… Continue Reading

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Post-Vacation Blues, and How to Deal

  Though I’ve always thought Post-Vacation Depression was a real thing, most psychologists now agree that “Vacation Hangover” is a more accurate term. Cue the lime and celery. “Post-travel depression is not a legitimate mental health issue,” said Jeroen Nawijn of the Centre for Sustainable Tourism and Transport. “In my own study that dealt with… Continue Reading

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Not Your Grandma’s Kind of Ghost

  We stood in the aisles of the gigantic dining room, huddled in a loose swarm, chatting and anticipating the afternoon. Ropes course? Zip lines? Creek walk? Yes. Two groups of friends from the Temecula Valley were all at Mount Hermon’s family camp together but had never met, so a common friend did the introductions.… Continue Reading

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