When Saying Grace Becomes A Blessing

{This post is part of five minute fridayA community of writers who write for five minutes on the word of choice. Today's word: Blessing.}

It happened every evening over heaping plates of warm food that were ogled and eyed by every little being (such as myself) whom sat upright, stiff with elbows off the table, wishing the blessing was over so that tummy's could be filled and throat's quenched.

Unbeknownst to my parents, my older sister and I would wink and stick our tongues out at each other, or kick each other with our feet while trying to get the other to laugh. Whomever squealed would get in trouble by the blessing sayer.

But it was also during those blessed meals with eyes closed and heads bent, my sister would reach over to my knee and softly press three fingers one at a time on the top of my leg.  

It was our code. 

Or I guess you say it was  handed down from my Grandmother and Mother. 

One of those things you'll never forget and always remember. Each finger pressed, meant one word. "I love you." 

And we would always both look up and smile at each other, because then in that moment you'd remember the faces of those loved and lost and still present and you'd remember each other. 

And still to this day I'd surprise my sister with those three words from fingers pressed and she still smiles and remembers.

Those were the days.

Grace was blessed and the blessed sayer would pray for country and men and friends and foe and for blood that washed away sins, never forgetting to give praise to the glory of a good God.

The blessings always seemed to be the same with different words placed sporadically here and there with the usual ending of, "Amen" and a chime in from Mama who would say, and "Thank you God for this food," as if the blessing itself had forgotten to bless the food.

Those were the days. Those days of endless evening meals, dish wash after supper. 
One would wash. 
One would dry and one would inspect, of course that was the blessing sayer as well.

You'd never think it, that something so ordinary as saying grace becomes a blessing with many memories made around tables and across plates.

A blessing that can be had by all, by all who give grace.

To My Ten Year Old Son, "You're Not Going to Make It."

{This post is part of five minute fridayA community of writers who write for five minutes ( sorry a little bit over today) on the word of choice. Today's word: Steady.}

She told me your weren't going to make it. 

Even before you were ten minutes old, there was no way you were going to make it.

I can remember it as clear as day. 

That's the thing about most Mom's. 

We can never forget when the hearts pained.

With belly still bloated and insides newly emptied and swollen they carried me to a wheelchair and rolled me into a room where they head pediatric nurse stood before me, straight faced and unsympathetic and all she said was, "you weren't going to make it and they didn't know why."

I knew something was wrong before that. 

I could tell by the look on my sister's face as she pursed her lips and shook her head from side to side at the very first sight of you. 


Your cry, a silent little plea. A soft whimper, steady and short.

I watched as they placed you in the cart and your little lungs shook hard and violently, struggling to release each breath that the little plastic frame that covered you would move with each inhale and exhale.

I wanted to reach in there and fix you. Fix your oxygen tubes in your nose, wrap you up nice and warm and hold you and tell you that "you were going to make it."

Fast-forward ten years on Saturday and you're here and maybe I've been told a time or two that you're still not going to make it.

And their right. You're never going to make it your going to surpass it, all.  

 You're tall and lanky with blue eyes and blond hair just like I wanted and what you now wished were brown. I tell you, you're rare, my rare bird. Your legs run their own race with limp arms that you wish could pull you up a little bit higher. They will one day. 

But you laugh, a laugh that's rare these days and you sing a song to your own rhythm. 

And you keep right along belting it out steady. I won't stop you. 

I'm not perfect, but I might just fix you though and tidy your hair one last time and tell you to watch out or you might slip and you just wave your hand at me and nod because you know. 

You know the road ahead of you is long and hard and much harder for you than some children, because you see yourself and they see you. A boy who jumps in the wind and whose blue eyes dart this way and that, and it's hard for you to sit still and make a friend, but when you do they stick with you because they see the you behind all the labels and your one cool dude once they know you.

You know the days will be long and that this Mom of yours will not give in or give up or let you quit or ever see yourself as being less than, because you'll always be more than with God. You'll be more than enough.

And no, I won't let you lay in waste and spend your hours in front of blackened screens and electronics that scream at you and pull you further and further away even though it's "in" and everyone does. I'll bring you back as I always do.

No matter how hard, I won't give in and you won't give up so you can go ahead and be that boy that jumps in the wind and who knows the numbers and names of moons unheard and who can swim hundreds of  yards in a day and who writes stories and the alphabet in Hebrew and Arabic and other languages. 

Because I believe all this is His plan, I have to and if I have to I'll set your sails high and I'll show you what I know and what I don't and we'll journey it all together. I'll make mistakes. You'll make mistakes. You're not alone there are others who love you and who will help you find, "You."

You'll find Something. 
You'll be Someone. 
You'll be just You.
Whoever God made you to be. 

You seek after Him and any door you believe is closed will become opened.

Your passage is never a dead end when you walk hand in hand with the Lord God the Creator of all men. Power does not come from you, but from Him.  Seek Him First and Steady your Sails to His winds and you'll more than make it you'll surpass it, all.