For many of you, school is starting, which means Father’s Blessings.
What a special tradition! I am so grateful to be married to a man who honors his priesthood and is worthy to serve and bless our family. Each year, when school-time comes, and my children (and I) receive these special blessings, I’m overwhelmed by the Spirit that comes into our home and how righteous traditions bless families.
My own father is not Mormon. I love him dearly. He always did everything that he could for us – his children. I’m convinced that if he understood more of the gospel, then a father’s blessing is something he would have loved to have done for us. However, this was not the case in our family, so I’ve never had a father’s blessing.
I don’t say this to get pity or sympathy. I’m only saying that I’m cognizant of the fact that many children do not have this tradition in their home.
When Kid A was in Kindergarten, I wasn’t married. I felt horrible that she wasn’t able to receive a father’s blessing. It hurt me to know that she wouldn’t receive a father’s blessing. So I called my home teacher, and he offered her a blessing. Of course, in my heart, it felt like it “wasn’t the same” as a father’s blessing, however, I also knew that it was better than nothing. So, if your children don’t have the opportunity to receive a father’s blessing from their own father, I encourage you to go to your home teacher. This can still be a special occasion for the family and especially the child.
OKAY…all of this leads to a point – I promise. The first year Homey and I were married, Kid A was going into first grade. Kid B would be at home with me. Kid C didn’t yet exist. I was looking forward to the girls receiving Father’s Blessings, and Homey was also looking forward to giving them one. I felt that I should “take notes” on the blessing – so our girls would have a better way to remember the promises and advice given to them.
After each girl received the blessing, I was looking through what I had written. The idea came to me that we could make little bookmarks out of cardstock, they could decorate the front of the bookmark, then I would list the points of the blessing on the back. We then laminated the bookmark, and it stayed with their scriptures for the remainder of the year. So…here’s an example of one of our bookmarks:
Another little idea: In our family, Homey gives each of us a blessing – including those who aren’t in school yet and me. So, we all get a bookmark. And, to make sure that Homey doesn’t feel left out – since he didn’t receive a blessing – on the back of his bookmark, we write down all of the ways that we love him, so he gets something happy to read, too.
The girls have loved these bookmarks. They love reading them throughout the year. This year, my kids are older (how does that happen?!). There have been more warnings and advice given to them in their blessings. It would be hard to remember all of this if they heard it only once. The bookmarks are a good tradition – so father’s blessings can continue to be blessings to our children throughout the year.