Out of the mouths (and noses) of babes

I am back with another rendition of, “Things Ashton Says.”  

Ashton is my charismatic four-year-old daughter, and she keeps me in stitches over some of the things that come out of her mouth daily.  

Yesterday, she was playing with her little sister, my one-year-old, Kameron. While they were playing Kameron sneezed on her. Ashton of course was totally disgusted and told her sister, “Gross! Do not put your blessings on me.”  

I laughed so hard that I shed a few tears.  

Like most people, when someone sneezes in our vicinity, we say, “Bless you.” I do not know why we say this? 

There are quite a few theories, the most popular originating from Rome during the bubonic plague. One of the plague’s main symptoms was sneezing, so Pope Gregory I suggested saying a special prayer every time you or someone near you sneezed. If you would say, “God bless you,” it would protect the infected sneezer from dying.  

There are other theories about sneezing expelling evil spirits from the body, or your heart stopping when you sneeze, but I like the bubonic plague one the best, so we will go with that one.  

This hilarious little interaction between my two babies got me thinking on some types of ways we can be a blessing to others. How can we bless those around us, a person or family in our parish? 

So, I produced a little list, if any of you readers felt inspired to “put your blessings” on someone else. 

Recently, the Joe Leblanc Food Pantry has installed two “Little Free Pantries” around town. The first is located at The Farm of Cultural Crossroads and the newest addition just went up outside Mercy’s Closet. These pantries rely on the help of the community to keep them stocked with food or you could go by the food pantry and volunteer your time to help distribute food to families in need.  

Since we mentioned Mercy’s Closet, they are another great non-profit that blesses many. They make it their mission to supply underprivileged men, women and children with basic needs, such as clothing, uniforms, linens, shoes, and books. If you have anything like this that you are no longer using, load it up and bring it over to their location on Sibley Road.  

You could also donate baby supplies to SEEDS Women’s Center, who offer many services for pregnant women in our community. They have a Facebook page you can follow to stay updated on their current needs and they are always looking for people to help to organize, clean or fundraise. The Webster Case Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) may be willing to use a little bit of your time, as well.  

These are only a few great ways within our community to bless someone. I encourage you to take a few minutes of your time to see what important things these nonprofits, along with others, are doing in our parish.

(Paige Nash is a wife, mom and writer for The Webster Parish Journal.)