“Hello there, may you feel there is a blessing just around the corner meant for you,” writes my friend BJo.
Now that the economy is in a slump, BJo thinks there might be a connection between the economy and fewer people recognizing blessings.
She also believes that rather than thinking we have to wait for God to bless us, perhaps what He might want is for us is to create our own blessings for ourselves or for one another.
As I ponder this unusual email, I find I rather like the idea of creating our own blessings and finding opportunities to bless one another. It's also a good time of year to begin the practice because Thanksgiving and blessings go together.
A blessing might be the prayer that is offered before the big dinner. A blessing could be the invitation to someone to join you who might otherwise be dining alone.
It may be a word of approval or encouragement, giving of yourself with your time and attention, making the sign of the cross upon or over someone, or simply saying, “God Bless You.”
A blessing can be a reminder to savor some quiet moments in the midst of the hurriedness of the season. One family does this by creating a Blessing Tree.
A family blog — Cottage in the Oaks — says the Blessing Tree sits in the middle of their entryway. On each branch is hung a blessing and anytime someone comes over they are encouraged to pick a blessing off the tree. Sing in the shower. Swing on a swing. Eat dinner outside at sunset. Visit a nursing home. Read a psalm. Take a nap. Listen to the birds. Take a picture a day for one month.
BJo says when the feeling of being blessed comes to you it is like a fragrance that clings, stays with you and follows you wherever you go so that you too might hand out blessings.
So how would that look in your life? What can you do to bless yourself or another as you move through this season?
Charlotte Lankard is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.