My kids’ buses leave pretty early for school. After I get ready in the morning, we’re really only crossing paths for five or ten minutes before they’re heading out the door.
The short crossover further emphasizes the fact that they’re now out of my sight more than they’re in it. Knowing that how they spend their time will have a big impact on who they become, I worry about all they’re exposed to that I can’t control. That’s a tough thing to come to terms with as an extreme Type A Control Freak.
I had to come up with a plan to ease my concerns.
Years ago, I placed a holy water font by the basement door. My plan was to bless my kids before they left the safety of our home each day. Sure, I did it for a while. But when I ran out of holy water, and it took me a few weeks to remember to get more at church, it fell off my radar, and out of my routine completely.
My sense of concern has me revisiting the idea. In doing so, I realized the holy water is great, but it’s the act of calling God down upon my children, and asking for His guidance and protection over them, that’s the more important part of the ritual. That can be done, holy water or not.
So I began a new routine of blessing my kids with the sign of the cross on their foreheads and telling them to make good choices. In my opinion, that covered it all: Make good choices in whom you hang out with; Make good choices in what you expose your heart and mind to; Make good choices on tests and behavior at school, and so on.
I still firmly believe all of that is important. But, I’ve come to realize I was turning the blessing into a command to them, not a petition to God. My kids are 15, 13, and 9. Their ability to discern what a good choice is isn’t fully developed yet. How frightening that I was putting my faith and emphasis on that!
I will pour out my spirit upon your offspring, my blessing upon your descendants. (Isaiah 44:3)
What I really need to be doing is putting my faith and emphasis on God. He’s the One who will lead them to good choices if they just open themselves up to His guidance and grace. That’s what my new blessing needs to be instead:
Dear God, Please bless _________. Open him/her up to Your grace that will lead him/her to good choices. Amen.
Short and sweet, yet powerful and profound.
Copyright 2020 Claire McGarry