Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Mother's Blessing - Celebrating Baby Chestnut!

I first got the idea to have a Mother's Blessing while re-reading my favorite birth book... Birthing From Within. With each pregnancy I have found re-reading my library of birth books to be very helpful in preparing for a natural birth. I typically read them until about a month before the due date and then I drop it all and try to quiet my mind until the baby arrives. This time around will probably be the most challenging to quiet my mind with two little cuties taking up most of my brain space. ;-)

Having walked through so many turbulent times with my depression and miscarriage I wanted to celebrate this pregnancy in a personal and meaningful way. The premise of a blessing is to nurture the mother-to-be and celebrate motherhood. This focus and the empowerment behind it sounded so encouraging for my next step in life. I also wanted to include my dear friends and family in a way that they would also feel blessed and loved as mothers and someday mothers.

I love seeing an idea evolve and flourish. This is how my blessing came to be... creating makes me happy and is healing. I bought candles for each woman and added a chestnut tree charm. After each person introduced herself we lit the candle to add her presence to our gathering. After the blessing each woman took her candle home and will light it when I'm in labor as a reminder to pray for me and so I can be comforted knowing I am supported. I also had each woman bring a verse or poem or word of wisdom which she then wrote down on a piece of fabric. My friend will create a flag which I can look on during birth and beyond and remember how loved I am by God and those around me. I especially loved the part where all shared what they had written. It was not only incredibly encouraging to me, but to all who were present.

Mikayla's involvement also evolved into something very special. From the pedicures with mama before the blessing, to the matching dresses and flower crowns (which were really fun to make!) to the specialness of being the only kid there to the reading of her special message to the baby... this big sister was celebrated! She did amazingly well throughout, and though the occasional sigh would escape her lips (she is 6 after all) I think she felt treasured and loved.

Being outside has always been a saving grace for me throughout my life. Climbing trees and reading in them when I was young, laying under a tree for hours at a time with Dhrumil before kids, walking to catch my breath after a tough day or running through the corn fields... God's beauty is all encompassing on the soul. I knew my sister's mother in law as an avid gardener and her backyard is always beautiful in the summer. She graciously allowed the use of her beautiful space and also her collection of serving-wear. Each element added just the right touch. I also had lovely women help with food and decor as well as setting up and cleaning up and taking pictures (thanks Margaret for these). I couldn't have done it without them!
And then of course the most important part of the Blessing... the women who have been there for me and who have been such an encouragement in my life. I treasure each of those who were there and my many other friends and family who were unable to make it... God has put each of you in my life for a special reason. I'm ready for this new step in my God-ordained "job" as a mama of three!