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Blessings can’t be blocked

Take a deep breath and count to 10.

Feels like I’ve been doing a lot of that lately.

One of the techniques I learned awhile back when I was going through some high stress was similar to that.

My other technique is just to sit in front of an ocean and zone out, but it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to do that.

In the course of reporting a story I’ll be writing soon, I spoke to a trio of John Yeates Middle School students about an event they put together for their school as part of Black History Month.

One of them, eighth-grader Laila Gaddist, brought up advice her mom has given to her. She said that whenever she’s feeling down about something someone said, her mom will say, “Nobody can block the blessings that God has for you.”

I hadn’t heard that before, but it’s a wise thought, and no doubt her mom is a wise woman. It’s cool to see someone young take that message to heart.

But it’s relevant to my own experience in the past, and present, and likely in the future.

Whenever life gives us lemons and we’re trying hard to turn it into lemonade, my wife and I will say, “Us three against the world,” and when our daughter is around, we’ll get together sometimes, put our hands together and shout, “Team LaRoue.”

And on one of those cases, we actually took lemons out of the refrigerator and made lemonade, and it tasted sweet and good and all things delicious. Of course, that was in the summertime, not during winter.

Currently, I scoop French vanilla ice cream, fill a bowl nice and tall with it and then squeeze an unhealthy dose of chocolate syrup on top. For my wife, it’s usually some form of chocolate, and for our 3-year-old, I’m not sure, but it likely manifests itself in acting out, or when she’ll talk about getting a timeout when in pretend play with her toy animals.

It’s not to say we shut ourselves out from others in high stress moments, or that we really believe the whole world is actually against us — after all, we couldn’t have gotten through most of those moments without a healthy dose of help from others — but sometimes a moment, or moments, of adversity can make it feel like we’re on an island with no hope for rescue.

And when the tension in your body extends from Maine to the Florida Keys, sometimes a little levity is in order.

So we allow ourselves a moment or two to dwell in the bad moment, but then we share a hug and, after being forced two steps back, we take that one step forward.

Because that’s how it starts.

Moving forward again, and heeding the advice from a clearly great mom.

Nobody, or nothing, is going to block the blessings God has for us.