The Meaning of Blessing

blue bud

A blessing can be a praise, a wish, a gift, or a sanctification.

Blessing as a custom derives from antiquity.  We were taught that as God created all living things he blessed them bidding them increase and multiply and fill the earth.  Matriarchal societies had blessing ceremonies honoring our natural resources.  Patriarchal elders of tribes blessed their young.  Medicine men and women blessed their warriors and hunters.  Later blessing became a sacramental ritual conducted by a qualified minister backed up by the authority of The Church, and the people were left with ‘grace’ before meals and blessing a sneeze.

As thrivers we know and appreciate the sacred aspects of our everyday lives.  We already feel blessed and we hope the example of our well-lived lives blesses others who know us.

I propose we sanctify ourselves and each other in a very simple way.  Post how you have been blessed and how you have blessed someone or something.  (It’s not bragging.  It’s honoring.)  It can be big or small.  Or post a special blessing to the world, to someone without specifying who (You will know and the intention is what counts.), to invoke a particular wish, virtue, or gift, and/or to remind us of the sacred in everything.


About Joyce

3 Responses to “The Meaning of Blessing”

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  1. Steve Pilar says:

    I have known Joyce Tepley for over forty-seven years and have found her to be a devoted true friend who has been there for me in the bad and good times. Even when her time limitations didn’t permit her to counsel me about my mental problems, she was completely honest about it, which I appreciated. Because of her own disability, she could relate to mine, which is the main reason we has stayed in touch all these years. She is truly a fellow sufferer who has known great adversity and overcame it. I would like to emulate her success in my own life and become a dynamic thriver like she is.

  2. Long time reader first time poster! Nice chosen topic. Appreciate the work thats gone into the blog so far, keep it up!

  3. Mary Kaiser says:

    I feel blessed in so many ways. It seems that every time in my life that something comes into it that changes the direction that I thought I was headed in God changes that direction. I then try to look at the new situation as a challenge and grow as a result of it. I had Polio in 1953 when I was six years old. This was before the “Salk Vaccine” had been discovered and released to the public. I remember feeling so afraid when I was told by my parents that I had to go to a special hospital to be cared for by nuns as I was sick and could not stay at home with them and my sister who is four years younger. I at first was sad, felt angry and alone. Then I began to make friends with some of the others who were also in this ward of the hospital. It was a big room, bed after bed lined up each with a child at some stage of Polio.

    The nuns were very strict, many rules were given to us. Like: visitation from our parents was to be limited to once or two times each week. We had to eat our food in certain ways. If I drank my milk too soon in my meal it was taken away until after I ate my food. Then I was forced to out-wit them and eat a bite or two then take a drink of my milk. That way I won I got to have my milk with my meal but on “my terms” not theirs… I was restricted to taking a very hot bath in a bathtub and sitting in the water for a timed amount, set by them. One day, a note was posted above my bed that said, “Mary is “too big” to fit in the bath tub. The place where she is to bathe will be changed. At first this scared me, Why was I being punished? It wasn’t my fault I grew and was too big… I was next taken by a wheel chair to a room with a big tub, silver with a slide at the top of it. It was a large in size tub with the slide to be used as a way to get into it. I found soon that this was “special” and I enjoyed going down the slide. Then I could float on my back in the large tub. It was more fun than the old type of bath tub. Soon, I was told I would be showing “new kids” how to get into this tub and use it. That made me feel special and like I was “being rewarded” for doing something well. I liked that. Maybe in a way it might have been considered “showing off'” but that was not it. I liked being able to help the others not be afraid of the different tub.
    I was the demonstrator for a long time. I loved the water in this big tank, the water was so warm and made the pain in my muscles and joints feel better. I looked forward to the “tank time”. It was I guess a feeling of hope for me that maybe now the pains would start to go away then I might be better and able to go back to my home with my parents and sister soon. .My legs were never totally strong enough for me to walk on my own. One day all four of the doctors showed up for a meeting with my parents. They met in the hallway right outside my room. I heard one of them say, “We’re not sure Mary will every walk alone again. But we have an experimental drug we’d like to try. They did and I was home by Christmas. I was weak, did PT daily at home, at least once a wk. still at the hospital and had a rigorous schedule and a “general”, my dad, who was determined: “I would walk again!” With the Lord’s goodness and lots of PT I was able to walk again. Wore special shoes for a few years but grew up running a little slower, sprained my ankles a lot but was no longer paralyzed. Thank you Lord. I survived and thrived!

    When I was sixty years old I was told I had Stage Two Breast Cancer that was malignant- next I was told I was going to have to have my left breast surgically removed. At first I was terrified. No one ever wants to hear the “C” word much less to then be told they have to have what I thought was an important part of my anatomy-my left breast taken off and lymph nodes taken out of my arm also. I was terrified. What if I died during the surgery. What if it the diagnosis was really bad and they gave me no hope? I was told after the surgery that I had to see the Oncologist and he would discuss the type of treatment that he was planning to do since my surgery results came back. There were eight lymph nodes removed and five of the eight were malignant. He said this mean both chemo and radiation would be done. Six rounds of mixtures of medication for the chemo and thirty-six rounds of radiation.

    I dreaded it all. I kept thinking, now what happens next? I ended up getting Thrush and Urinary Tract Infections following each round of chemo. I only wanted to eat soft foods-like mashed potatoes and gravy and macaroni and cheese. But they tasted terrible. I had a covering that seemed like it was 1/4″ thick on the top of my tongue. Then I had to use a special “gargle” to make it better. It never did. When it went away it returned again. Finally one of the nurses suggested using plastic utensils. That made the bad taste go away but not the Thrush- I had it ten times. All I wanted to do was sleep. I was totally exhausted all of they time. I only received a pill as treatment for the two infections. They kept returning. Finally, my surgeon questioned me about what was going on. Then, she called the Oncologist and asked him, “Did Mary ever mention to you that she had a Weakened Immune System?” He said, “Yes with a question in his voice.” She said, “Did you ever consider sending her to an Immune Specialist? He said, “No, but I know the Blood work tests to order!” I was then laughing because she won and he looked dumb! He was the “head of the Oncology Dept. at the Hospital where I was treated!” He laid a big egg. She sent me to the Immune Specialist, and asked me tons of questions… I then was told I would need to have something new called an “Infusion” every five weeks. But, first I had to have a “Port” surgically put into my right side above my remaining breast to do the infusions. My veins had collapsed as a result of all of the times my veins were used. They gave out, the walls were collapsing. Too much pressure from the four to six hour infusions. I felt like the nightmare was only getting worse as the weeks and months turned into what is now eight years. I had to have a second port put in because they took the first one out after chemo. My surgery list, doctor list and all if it was growing by the week. The meds list just kept increasing. It was a never-ending cycle it seemed.

    Then, one day there was lady as a much older than I, she was at least 80 year-old lady waiting to have her blood drawn before the sent her to see the Oncologist. It was her first “Chemo Day!” She was scared, crying and couldn’t stop. I looked at the fear in her eyes and remembered my first “Chemo Day”. I said, “Would you care if I prayed with you/ She just looked at me like a little child and said, “Okay..” I closed my eyes and the words just poured out, Scriptures I forgot that I knew and a total peace came over me. I knew that this was a “Divine Appt.” I felt so blessed by God.

    He was allowing me to help someone who was where I had been months earlier. She hugged me, cried more and said, “Thank you so much!” That day I knew why I was going through my treatments no matter how bad they made me feel and whatever else happened didn’t mean a thing. God gave me a chance to “be there and help” someone else who was scared, and had no idea what to expect and just wanted to run.” I got up after my turn and three women hugged me and said,Thanks, that was our mom that you just prayed with.” I didn’t even know they were there behind us.

    That day I decided that no matter what chemo did to me God had put me there for a purpose. To pray and reach out to others who were lonely, sick, scared and afraid as I had been. I won’t say chemo was fun after that but I knew I had a reason to be there. To serve others who also needed a friend to care, pray and just be there for them.

    Radiation followed, I never was able to drive myself after my first chemo appt. I had to have drivers everyday. But God provided them. I got so close to each of them, thanked them, and knew I wasn’t alone again. He and whomever drove and stayed with me I was once again the one “Who needed support.” I was so blessed by the entire ordeal but I grew stronger in my faith, read my Bible Daily and God took care of me no matter what happened. He cared and He provided me with whatever I needed. I also have the “Greatest Gift” my husband and best friend, Paul.” He walked with me on my good and weak days, fed me helped me just get into the bed when the day was over. God never ever leaves us alone. He never abandons us and He wants us to be there for the next person who is the “New one in line.”

    I won’t give in no matter what. He is my answer to all of my needs and always knows my every need and when I need it. Each one of the difficult circumstances in my life have made me love life for what it is and I am now a thriver.

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