When I (Kari) was growing up, there was no greater sign of achievement or accomplishment in our house than getting to eat dinner with the “Special Plate”. The “Special Plate” has a long history in my family, and it can for yours as well.

The Special Plate first made an appearance in our family the day I was born. A good friend of our family, Donna Otto, showed up at the hospital not with baby clothes, flowers, or balloons, but with a box containing a red china plate, with the words “You are Special Today” written across it. She told my parents to use this as a way to bless me as I was growing up. Four years later, when my sister Laura was born, she showed up with a second “You are Special Today” plate.

In our family, the Special Plate wasn’t something that we used every day. It was an honor that needed to be awarded. Which in our family that meant another family member needed to tell mom, and she would get the plate ready to be used at dinner.

Before we would all get to eat, the person who “gave” the special plate to the recipient would get to share why and give the person with the plate their blessing.

Then, for that meal, the Special Plate winner would get to use the Special Plate, instead of the normal dishware the rest of the family would use.

The reality was, we got the Special Plate…a lot. We got the special plate on our first day of school, for doing an extra chore to help at home, for completing a hard homework assignment, for defending a friend who wasn’t being treated kindly, for trying our hardest even if we didn’t make the team, for making a hard decision, etc.

While to some it may seem that we “overused” the Special Plate, it never felt like that. Each time we were the recipient of that beautiful red plate, my mom and dad would tell us that we had their blessing, and they would always be there as we continued to become the women God had created us to be.

When Joey and I got married, I got a package in the mail from Donna. As I opened it, tears flooded my eyes. Inside was my very own red “You are Special” plate. It’s been a blessing to continue to use the Special Plate with Joey, and celebrate key moments in our life, and the commitment to help each other grow as well.

You can get your very own Special Plate, just like the one we have, at this link below:

OR you can take a plate you have at home, and write “You are Special Today” on it and create your own!

No matter what you choose to do, take a few minutes to share the Blessing with your family today.

Don’t forget to share your blessing ideas, and pictures with us as well!

*This is an excerpt from the upcoming revised version of The Blessing.