alphabetI was an English major in college so I appreciate good, strong words. Blessing is such a word:

“Landing a job allowing me to work at home has been a mixed blessing [has advantages and disadvantages]. Or “I live in a country where I enjoy the blessings of liberty” [benefits]. Or “The town council passed the ordinance with the mayor’s blessing [approval]. Or “Grandfather, will you say a blessing [praise God] before we eat our meal?”

But the kind of blessing we are chasing in this series resembles this:

My friend’s mother always gave me a hug when I saw her and asked,  ‘Hey buddy, how’s your day going?’ I will never forget how much her blessing [special favor or mercy] meant to me when my own mother was preoccupied with a serious crisis in her life”

There’s an element of skill involved in showing admiration and expressing favor in a way a child can receive. Blessings comes from one’s heart.

jackie_joyner-kersee_eugene_2014Jackie Joyner-Kersee: Another way to bless

In her book The Path Laurie Beth Jones wrote, “It is said that the grandmother of Jackie Joyner-Kersee named the child Jackie, “Because someday she is going to be the first lady of something!”

Jackie grew up in an atmosphere of positive expectation and blessing. She overcame a birth defect and went on to become the first lady of track and field, winning 3 gold, 1 silver, and 2 bronze Olympic medals at four different Olympic Games. Sports Illustrated for Women magazine voted Joyner-Kersee the Greatest Female Athlete of All-Time.

Try one of these 5 actions to bless children right now.

  • Make eye contact and listen.
  • Make up a positive, loving nickname.
  • Use words: “You are going to make a significant impact with your life because of your empathy and kindness.” (Or courage and honesty, or fill-in-the blank with the child’s unique qualities).
  • Use one of the ideas they give when you ask for their opinion.
  • Let a child use something of yours for a short time because you trust the child.

Note: The concept of the blessing, along with some of the ideas under “5 actions to bless children right now,” are taken from John Trent’s book The Blessing.

Tweetable: To speak a word of blessing/favor to a child so they can receive it involves an element of skill. Ideas here. Click to Tweet