Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"bless myself"

when BigGirl began learning her manners, one of the first phrases she picked up was "bless you" and she said it after anyone sneezed. anyone. complete strangers. people on tv commercials. the dog. herself.
it was super cute to hear such a heartfelt "bless you" coming from someone so small.

and then, when she got to be about 4, we started noticing her using this phrase in a manner that wasn't so cute. if no one said "bless you" quick enough to her liking, she began to say "bless myself" with a huffy, diva exasperated tone. how dare anyone not bless me after i sneezed?!

there are times i admit i didn't hear her sneeze because i was doing laundry or dishes, navigating traffic, or checking my email. and i felt bad for having taught her the importance of saying "bless you" after someone sneezes but then not saying it every. single. time. she sneezed.

over time, it became something she just said and no one reacted. soon, her annoyed "bless myself!" became a heartfelt "bless myself." i actually heard the tone of her sneeze blessing change into a mini-prayer. i wish i had audio of it before and after. she's really asking for God's blessing for herself after each sneeze.

every time i hear her sweet little sneeze followed by "bless myself" i think about Paul and Silas in the Philippi prison. they were attacked, beaten brutally, and thrown into jail. their feet were shackled, they were bound. and then "about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God" (Acts 16:25)
singing praises to God in the darkness and pain of prison!? they blessed themselves!

there are times when i need to do this. there are times when i need to just bless God and bless myself. there are days when no one will hold the door open for me, or no one tells me i look pretty, but you know? it's not up to other people to bless me. i need to be strong enough to get in front of the mirror and say, in essence, "bless myself!" say, "i look pretty today! i am wonderfully made in His image according to His word!" say, "thank you, God" and realize He has already blessed me abundantly.

if i simply get into His Word i will find countless promises from God that bless me. it's up to me to go there. have you ever known anyone to whine, "I'm hungry," then go to the refrigerator, open it, stand there and stare? what are they looking for? are they waiting for a sandwich to make itself and jump into their hands? grab something and eat. feed yourself!

God has the biggest, freshest, most delicious sandwich prepared for us anytime we're hungry. all we have to do is grab it.

anytime i feel alone, like i'm being ignored, or when i'm being attacked spiritually... anytime i feel bound, i think about paul and silas in the midnight hour. i think about God's big book of blessings waiting for me to grab them. i think about BigGirl's sneeze. and i pray, "bless myself."