We thank Thee for our daily bread,
And all the blessings on us shed.
We pray Thee fill us with Thy love,
And guide us to Your home above.
This blessing, our blessing, has been said at every meal we have shared, and still share, as a family for as long as I can remember. It is a blessing I learned, we all learned, from a very early age. One that we continue to teach to our newest members, no matter how small (or old!). It is a blessing that connects us as a family, that we grew up saying. It has been woven into the fabric of our family, spanning generations. Our mothers grew up saying it at the table they shared with their parents; our grandmother and siblings grew up saying it at their table. I wonder about its beginnings, where and who it started with. How far back does it go?
We thank thee for our daily bread. Every meal we had when we gathered was a well-orchestrated operation. Weeks of planning resulted in a well-balanced, home-cooked, coordinated effort by the moms of our family. They each were, and still are, exceptional cooks that created dishes that were delicious. Their efforts were quickly gobbled up by all! Not only were we well fed, but our spirits were fed through our gatherings as well. Those family ties and bonds grew stronger with each celebration and event.
And all the blessings on us shed. Oh, we’ve been so blessed. We have our faith. We have God in our hearts and souls and live our lives following God’s path. We have our family to be thankful for: our parents, aunts, uncles, sisters and brothers, cousins, nieces and nephews, our sons and daughters, and our spouses. That we are so close, even though we are spread all over this great country of ours. We have our health. We have been blessed by God’s love in so many ways, our cup runneth over, and for that I am most thankful.
We pray Thee fill us with Thy love. God’s love is filling us, every single minute of every day we are on this beautiful spinning globe. How lucky are we that we have so much love bestowed upon us? That no matter what mistakes we have made, or how down we are feeling or angry we are at circumstances, God is filling us, feeding our spirit with His love.
And guide us to our home above. Our prayer leads us to the path that God has set forth for us. We pray for it, that He will guide us. That following His path will lead us to the kingdom of heaven.
Thinking about it brings back a flood of memories…of meals we have shared, of holidays, birthdays, celebrations, times that we gathered as a family. Our hands joined together, heads bowed, sitting around our family dining table, at our grandparent’s much larger table (stretching hands and arms to include the “kids table”), or standing when there was no table for all of us to fit around. Lifting our voices, be it two, or four, or 20, reciting it as a family. The love it holds as we blessed our table, our food, our lives still fills me today.
As we grew, so did the distance between us. Each going our own separate way, taking our own paths towards independence and adulthood. This blessing has been a constant in my life, when so many other things have changed. I know that when we sit down for a meal as a family, we will say this. That my son will learn this and say it, and that he will carry on this tradition with his own children.
Earlier this year we gathered as a family, something that we do seldom due to being spread all over the country. Our extended family gathered together… aunts, uncles, cousins with their spouses and children, (deeply missing those that were unable to attend). Even though it had been several years since we had all been together in one place, when we circled the kitchen, joined our hands, bowed our heads, and recited our blessing; this blessing, goosebumps erupted on my flesh. We, our family, no matter how far apart we live, or how seldom we see each other, we are forever connected by this blessing. With this blessing our children, and their children will be forever connected and that makes my heart and soul happy.