I’ve always enjoyed writing.  And many years ago when my children were little, I was searching for a closing for letters, cards and emails.  Many, many people sign their correspondence with “love.”

Love has always been tricky for me.  I love M&M’s, but I also love my husband, but I also love our new kitty cats.  Love just didn’t always cut it.

One day I received an email from someone and she signed it, “Blessings.”  And so I’ve followed suit. I had to chuckle. Recently I had someone who always used to sign correspondence with “love” change it to “blessings.”  This person was upset with me and I think, perhaps, the individual wasn’t feeling very loving toward me anymore, so borrowing my “blessings” may have seemed like a win.

But here’s the thing about wishing someone blessings: to bless someone means to add value to his or her  life. When you or I wish someone blessings, Dear Reader, we are literally telling that person, not only do I value you, but I really pray and hope value and goodness will be added to your life.  May it pour down on you and refresh you like a gentle spring shower.  May goodness and mercy follow you through every moment of every day.

I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t sign every piece of correspondence with “Blessings.”  But I’m working on it.

I’m working on having a heart which truly wishes blessings on all human beings.  I think that’s easy to talk about and difficult to live.

Friends of mine from “the region” told of how one Sunday morning during church service, they showed a video of my daughter standing up and taking a few steps in her new long-leg braces.  It was our first summer of therapy in Chicago and this church had been praying for our family for an entire year even though only one family in the whole church knew us personally. I am told that when the video of our daughter walking played, the entire church literally broke out into cheering and applause.

They are a cheering church.  They are a congregation wishing blessings on others.  Along the same vein, when the school year started that August of 2016, our local newspaper came to Alissa’s high school to film her walking into school.  She’d practiced and practiced all summer and it was long, difficult, and slow, but Alissa used those long-leg braces and some arm crutches to haul up the front steps of her school building.  The newspaper put the video on YouTube and earlier this summer I ran across it again. I had to laugh. Several people had given it a “thumbs up” on YouTube, but one person gave it a “thumbs down.”  I laughed out loud. What person in their right mind would think, “No! I don’t want a paralyzed teenager to stand up out of her wheelchair! No! I don’t want a paralyzed teenager who was told she would never walk again to actually navigate steps!  No! I don’t want goodness to come to a kid and family who have literally had their lives wrecked!”

It’s easy for me to consider the “thumbs down” person a loser, but then I take a good hard look at myself.  What about me? Am I truly choosing to give everyone around me a “thumbs up” in life? Do I truly wish them blessings?  Does their success somehow intimidate me? Am I holding onto a disagreement I have with them which is hindering our relationship, or do I let it go and love them despite the differences?

Do I willingly offer blessings to people who vehemently disagree with me?  What about my willingness to offer blessings to those in authority with whom I disagree? Hmmmmm. Maybe I’m a lot more like the “thumbs down guy” on the walking video than I’d care to admit.

Blessings.  Adding value to others’ lives.  Only I can make that choice for myself.  Which of course, will not just greatly impact me, but will also greatly impact everyone around me.  

Until next Wednesday, Lord willing.  Wishing you a week filled with blessings, Dear Reader.