A Baby Blessingway

a virtual celebration for our friend, reverendmother, and the much anticipated reverendbaby

Monday, December 19, 2005

waiting

My soul waits for the Lord
More than those who watch for the morning
More than those who watch for the morning

Reverend Mother and Rev Baby
I wanted to pray this for you both today

Lord, you have always given
Bread for the coming day
And though I am poor,
Today I believe

Lord, you have always given
Strength for the coming day
And though I am weak,
Today I believe

Lord, you have always given
Peace for the coming day
And though I am of anxious heart,
Today I believe

Lord, you have always given
Me safe in trials
And now tried as I am ,
Today I believe

Lord, you have always marked
The road for the coming day
And though it may be hidden,
Today I believe

Lord, you have always lightened
This darkness of mine
And though the night is here,
Today I believe

Lord, you have always spoken
When the time is ripe
And though You be silent now,
Today I believe
(Celtic Daily Office)

Lord I hold Reverend Mother and RevBaby before you today
I thank you that we - her online circle of friends - can uphold her in prayers

Be with her as she waits
Be with us too as we wait in prayer

When the time is ripe, in the fullness of time according to Your plans and purposes, let us be the prayerful watchguard as these precious women of God travail together to mark the passage of Rev Baby from the womb into the daylight.
Amen

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Lullaby for Reverendbaby

Tell me why the Ivy twines,
Tell me why the stars do shine,
Tell me why the sky's so blue,
Then I will tell you just why I love you.

Because God made the Ivy twine,
Because God made the stars to shine,
Because God made the sky so blue,
Because God made you that's why I love you.

I heard this song for the first time while listening to Garrison Keilor's A Prairie Home Companion. Garrison's sweet homely voice filled the kitchen and I felt his warmth.
We added this lullaby to our baby's baptismal service. I can hear it in my mind as I write this.

I'm singing to you now, to you and Reverendbaby.

Love,
St. Casserole

Friday, December 02, 2005

Keep Watch Dear Lord

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying , soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen. Book of Common Prayers p. 134

Dear Reverendmother,

Advent, the season of hope, of anticipation, of expectation, is such an appropriate time to await the birth of your new daughter. May God keep watch with you as you wait, may the angels surround you as you labor and bring forth this precious new person to meet the world, and may your lives be richly blessed as your family grows in love together.

El Shaddai

My favorite name for God is El Shaddai. God sustains and nurtures us like a mother sustains and nurtures her infant with her milk. May El Shaddai enfold you and your babe in Her arms and sustain and nurture you with Her Holy Spirit.

A prayer

Our kind and gracious Heavenly Father, you have blessed us so much in so many ways. You have brought this community of believers together where we share each other's hopes, laughs, and tears. Today Heavenly Father, we lift up to you our friend reverend Mother. I ask today that you send to her an angel representing each of us on the webring that she might be comforted and strengthened in the last days before she delivers and the first days at home. Bless them, O Lord, as she has been a blessing to us. We give you the praise and honor for bringing us together. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Madonna and Child


William Dyce's Madonna and Child-- from the Tate Museum.
Uploaded by Quotidian Grace.

The Blog Announcement

This is how the blog world was told of the imminent arrival of reverend baby.

Metaphors

I'm a riddle in nine syllables.
An elephant, a ponderous house,
A melon strolling on two tendrils.
O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers!
This loaf's big with its yeasty rising.
Money's new-minted in this fat purse.
I'm a means, a stage, a cow in calf.
I've eaten a bag of green apples,
Boarded the train there's no getting off.

-Sylvia Plath

You Created Every Part of Me

You created every part of me,
Knitting me in my mother's womb.
For such handiwork, I praise you.
Awesome this great wonder.
Psalm 139: 13-14


Dearest Little One:
May the Mother of Mercy,
The Father of Faithfulness
And the Spirit of compassion
Wrap you in their all encompassing love.

Blessingly, Sr. Christine

From Margaret Mitchell


Death and taxes and childbirth! There's never any convenient time for any of them!

Lullaby

Sleep my child, and peace attend thee,
All through the night.
Guardian angels God will send thee,
All through the night.
Soft the drowsy hours are creeping,
Hill and dale in slumber sleeping,
I my loved ones' watch am keeping,
All through the night.

Angels watching, e'er around thee,
All through the night.
Midnight slumber close surround thee,
All through the night.
Soft the drowsy hours are creeping,
Hill and dale in slumber sleeping,
I my loved ones' watch am keeping,
All through the night.

A Promise and a Prayer

Dear Rev Mother,
This text has been dear to me from pregnancy through today, with "kids" in their 30s -- still claiming it over the grands!
May it be a special comfort to you as well. God bless you and your growing family,
With love,
Jenny

" And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children." Isaiah 54:13.

A Few Quotes


Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.
--Augustine

We can do no great things; only small things with great love.
--Mother Teresa

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
--Mahatma Gandhi

If I had my life to live over, instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished ever moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
--Irma Bombeck

Courage allows the successful woman to fail - and to learn powerful lessons from the failure - so that in the end, she didn't fail at all.
--Maya Angelou

Attending births is like growing roses. You have to marvel at the ones that just open up and bloom at the first kiss of the sun but you wouldn't dream of pulling open the petals of the tightly closed buds and forcing them to blossom to your time line.
--Gloria Lemay

Lo, children are a heritage of the LORD: and a reward from Him.
--Psalms 127:3

Speak tenderly to them. Let there be kindness in your face, in your eyes, in your smile, in the warmth of our greeting. Always have a cheerful smile. Don't only give your care, but give your heart as well.
--Mother Teresa

Ask me for strength and I will lend not only my hand, but also my heart.
--Unknown

Babies are such nice ways to start people.
--Unknown

The future is not something we enter. The future is something we create.
L. I. Sweet

The knowledge of how to give birth without outside interventions lies deep within each woman. Successful childbirth depends on an acceptance of the process.
--Unknown

To be ourselves causes us to be exiled by many others, and yet to comply with what others want causes us to be exiled from ourselves.
--Unknown

We have a secret in our culture, it's not that birth is painful, it's that women are strong.
--Laura Stavoe Harm

You are a midwife, assisting at someone else's birth. Do good without show or fuss. Facilitate what is happening rather than what you think ought to be happening. If you must take the lead, lead so that the mother is helped, yet still free and in charge. When the baby is born, the mother will rightly say: "We did it ourselves!"
--from The Tao Te Ching

It is no small thing that they, who are so fresh from God, love us.
--Charles Dickens

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
--Isaiah 30:18

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor touched...but are felt in the heart.
--Helen Keller

The woman about to become a mother, or with her newborn infant upon her bosom, should be the object of trembling care and sympathy wherever she bears her tender burden or stretches her aching limbs…. God forbid that any member of the profession to which she trusts her life, doubly precious at that eventful period, should hazard it negligently, unadvisedly or selfishly.
--Oliver Wendell Holmes

In the sheltered simplicity of the first days after a baby is born, one sees again the magical closed circle, the miraculous sense of two people existing only for each other, the tranquil sky reflected on the face of the mother nursing her child.
--Anne Morrow Lindbergh

The parallels between making love and giving birth are clear, not only in terms of passion and love, but also because we need essentially the same conditions for both experiences: privacy and safety.
--Sarah Buckley

Remember. Meconium happens
--Unknown

Thanksgiving for a Child

O God, you have taught us through your blessed Son that whoever receives a little child in the name of Christ receives Christ himself: We give you thanks for the blessing you have bestowed upon this family in giving them a child. Confirm their joy by a lively sense of your presence with them, and give them calm strength and patient wisdom as they seek to bring this child to love all that is true and noble, just and pure, lovable and gracious, excellent and admirable, following the example of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Amen.

From the service of A Thanksgiving for the Birth or Adoption of a Child, 1979 Book of Common Prayer

New Birth


When my younger sister’s second child was born, she invited me to attend the planned Cesarean delivery. I was stunned and thrilled. I was at that time thirty-two and unmarried, and not sure if I would have children of my own (and I have not, though today I have two most dear stepchildren).

When we went into the delivery room, a drape was hung across Nancy’s chest so that she couldn’t see the surgery that was going on in her abdominal area. Kind of a gyp for her, I think! As her husband and I leaned over her head, watching the birth, however, she realized that my glasses acted as a mirror and that if I kept my head in a certain position, she COULD see.

My goodness! The surgical procedure was amazing, but I CERTAINLY never imagined what a miracle it would be to see my niece Mallory Elizabeth suddenly appear from inside my sister! A whole new person! It was one of those things, like travel abroad, that make stunningly real something you have only heard about your entire life.

As I think about it, it was also amazing that I had my glasses on. I rarely wore them in those days, but I suppose I wanted to be able to see as well as possible! How immensely valuable they turned out to be, especially for the one giving birth.

May this offering to you, our dear friend, be a mirror of your birth experience that helps you to see it in many different ways.



Blessings to you and Revbaby!

what's in a name?

from one mother to another mother,
from sister to sister, and friend to friend,
this is for you Reverend Mother to bless you today, and for days to come.

Have you ever made a quilt? I haven’t. I don’t have the skill or the patience to be honest. But the whole concept of being part of a quilting bee fascinates me

For me RevGalsBlogring has been a 21st century quilting bee!

Imagine we are making a quilt, you and I and the other Rev Gals. We’re sitting side by side, sometimes silent, sometimes chatting, but we are all at peace. The work we are doing is important, but the relationship between us is even more so. And as we stitch away like dozens of busy bees, the conversations and the laughter and tears we share are as important as the stitches that hold the quilt together, because they are our story.

On the quilt we find the names we suggested for Rev Baby way back in August– the outlandish and the beautiful: Camille, Elspeth, Charlotte, Meredith and Evangeline. Even though we went through lists of authors and heroines in literature no one came up with Desdemona – Shakespeare’s tragic heroine in Othello … mmm … I wonder why not!

St Casserole summed it all up when she said
“Naming a child is such a treat.”
And so as my prayer for your daughter has been that she will grow up filled with God’s wisdom and discernment – Sophie remains my name of choice for her. May she be blessed abundantly, whatever her name finally turns out to be. These last few weeks are the time to put your feet us as much as you can. Your daughter will be born very soon, and you are about to make the transition from a family of three, to a family of four. This time of waiting gives you the opportunity too to find the right name for your newest precious addition to your family, and we eagerly await that news!

I wonder if you know that in Finland babies are usually nameless for the first few weeks! It’s a strong tradition not to reveal a baby’s name until their baptism. Some parents take this to the extreme and like the mute Zechariah (Luke 1:63) will not even voice the baby’s name. Instead they hand a piece of paper (we’ve moved on from tablets and chalk!) to the priest in the church at the appropriate time. As a pastor-to-be I have a Mr Bean clip playing in my mind where I end up baptising a baby Roast Beef because I’m given the wrong piece of paper!

When it came to choosing names for our own children, hubby and I had the additional challenge of choosing a name that worked well in both English and in Finnish. Imagine if we’d chosen the popular Finnish name Pekka for our son! And Finns don’t have the J sound (it’s pronounced like a Y) so my dad’s name Jack, becomes yak! Lovely not !

We finally chose the name Oliver.
A few weeks before our son was born however, Disney released the film Oliver & Company so we had to go to see it, and make sure that the Oliver there wasn’t an awful character, the ridicule of everyone’s jokes. Luckily he turned out to be the most adorable kitten, and we could live with that :)

Girl’s names are so much more international and therefore finding a name for our daughter was much easier, though choosing the right name, again quite problematic. The name we finally decided on was Ilona which means happy one. One thing we didn’t take into account though was our daughter’s desire to have a middle name, and so this year we officially changed her name to Ilona-Elizabeth, her choice and a name that has been on both sides of my family for generations.

RM whatever name you choose for RevBaby you can be sure she is precious in God's sight, as well as yours.

Be blessed. :)

Father God,
I ask for abundant blessings on Rev Mother during the last few weeks, days and hours of this pregnancy. Let her find Your rest in the midst of all the bustle around her, and I ask that you reveal to her Your secrets about the character of this little woman of God she is privileged to be preparing to give birth too. You Father know both mother and child intimately and by name and I ask they both feel safe as they are held in Your arms.

I thank you too that we Rev Gals and friends of Rev Mother’s can be part of her blessing way, stand around her praying for Your protection and Love to carry her through labour and beyond.
Amen

Welcome, RB!

Swimming in a salt-water bath
humming along as Mommy sings to C
warmed by R's bedtime hugs
almost ready to meet the world
in a splash of light and love.

Welcome, RB... We can't wait to meet you!

brother love

When my second child was born, his older brother rode with us on the gurney from Labor and Delivery to my room. He had been waiting with his grandmother just down the hall and was the first person in to see the new little fellow. During the pregnancy he had spoken of “our baby” and been one of the parties to choosing “our baby’s” name.

He was four years and almost eight months old, and he found the mewling bundle a bit disappointing. When we had been home for a few days, I asked, “Don’t you love the baby?”

He held his hands about six inches apart and said, “I love him this much.”

Soon the mewling became cooing, and within weeks little smiles began to appear on the baby’s face, most of them directed at Older Brother.

One beautiful day, he turned to me, flung his arms wide and said, “I love him this much!!!”

Loving God,
bless this growing family
as they share in the gift
of ever-expanding love. Amen.


Before Birth: A Waiting Prayer

For reverendmother and her family, as you anticipate and live each day with
joy. May everything be exactly as you hoped and better...

Peace,
Apstraight

Before Birth: A Waiting Prayer, written by Barrowby

Here Lord,
We await your gift of life.
Grown in secret
Now in ripeness
Full fruited
Ready to be received.

Lord, we long for our child,
Borne out of covenant love
Nurtured in love, hope, forgiveness,
Received as gift, blessing, joy.

Release in her abundant grace,
Enjoyment of all the earth affords,
Gentleness to those whose way has been hard,
Patience, kindliness, and faith.

We receive, nurture, and set free your gift,
Not only our child, but yours,
Yours to enjoy and delight in,
Our to marvel at your generosity.

Lord of all the living
God of the uncreated and yet to be
Create in us community
As we await your gift. Amen.

Crossing Sacred Paths

I'd always planned for my children to be much closer in age. Although friends told me I was crazy, I wanted them to be about two years apart. As my son turned 18 months, then two, then two and a half, we were sad that this was not going to be the case, but determined to grow our little family nevertheless, even though month after month it seemed less and less likely.

In late 1989 we nearly gave up our hope of having another child, and went back to a love-life that did not revolve around calendars and thermometers.

On January 12, 1990 the unthinkable happened. After coming back from a shopping trip in preparation to go to Indianapolis for my mother-in-law's wedding, we got a frantic phone call from my father-in-law telling us that my brother was desperate to get a hold of us. I called my brother, and was told the devastating news: "Grandma's dead."

I remember throwing the phone down (luckily it was a corded phone), screaming, and flinging myself into my husband's arms. In an instant, the happy weekend of wedding festivities became the trip I never wanted to take: home to bury the woman who was my touchstone.

Many of the details of that weekend are a blur; we went to the wedding, and held off on telling my mother-in-law and her new husband about my grandmother's death until we were leaving the reception. Kindly we did not want to ruin their day, although for me many, many days would pass before a day would not be ruined.

Many people I encountered in the next days did not understand the depth of my grief for a woman who lived a satisfying 86 years. But to me she was my kindred spirit; the only person in my adoptive family who treated me as if I was "normal" somehow. Grandma grew up in an orphanage in Arkansas; she was the only person I knew who was like me: unwanted on some level. There was a shorthand to our relationship.

Looking back I can say that I fairly wallowed in my grief. For days my waking thought, and my last thought of the day were "Grandma's dead."

How is this an uplifting story of birth or transformation, you ask? Well, something happened on January 31, which happened to be day 19 of my cycle, since I had also gotten the undeniable signal of another month not pregnant on the day of my grandmother's death.

But on January 31, desperate to feel something--anything other than grief-- I reached out to the only person who could lift me from the depths. My husband had waited patiently for me to find my way back to life, and on that day, hopelessly too late for getting pregnant, I reached for him in the way that I hoped would lift us both up. It was a cry for comfort and for hope. It was a baby-step back to our marriage, our son, my work, our life.

Plainly put, a miracle happened that day. That miracle was our daughter, my lovely WonderGirl. I call her my miracle because women don't get pregnant on day 19. Trust me, I worked in family planning for ten years. Two weeks later I stood in the lab at work and did a pregnancy test out of habit, certain that it would again disappoint me. But I saw that lovely dot, faint at first, then dark blue: unmistakable.

My daughter is now fifteen; strong, wise,outspoken, independent, bold, articulate, brave. All the things I loved and admired about my beloved grandmother, the woman she never met on this earth and shares no DNA with. It's as if my grandmother, knowing that she could not be with me forever, sent me an ambassador from above to teach me and learn from me on this journey. I joke to my daughter that she and great-grandma crossed paths long enough to high-five as she was coming down and grandma was going up. Some day when she is a little older I will tell her this story.
i always knew i wanted to be a mother. i remember when i was pregnant with my daughter lots of people told me that it "would change my life" and then "you might say you know, but you don't know until it finally happens." i knew they were right. little prepares you for that moment when you actually become a mother. i grew tired of hearing it. every parent told me the same thing. and then one friend said this: "you've never been in love until you have that child in your arms."

how true. not that i wasn't in love (or that i'm not still in love) with my husband; but my God... you don't ever get to feel that kind of emotion until that baby is in your arms.

and suddenly, you get a glimpse into how God must feel about us.

my daughter is my joy... because she created a clear picture of just who God is.

three years after she was born my grandmother died. i was pregnant with my son at the time... very pregnant in fact. so pregnant that i never went to see her when she became sick. i stayed home from work the day she died and 12 hours after she went to live with God my water broke.

my grandmother knew that i was going to have a son and what his name would be. her dying wish was that my mother would come to be with me as soon as my water broke. so at 1:00 in the morning, after holding my grandmom's hand earlier that day as she took her last breath, my mother got into her car and drove the 4 hours to the hospital to be with me.

when he was born, after a horrible delivery, my mother brought him to me, all cleaned up and beautiful. "they passed on the way." she told me and then lifted up his little blue cap to show me the red fuzz that covered his head. grandmom was a red-head.

my son is my peace... a glimpse into how God is with us no matter the circumstance whether in birth or death or any moment in between.

that is the real blessing of children; and for that matter the blessing of being a mommy: suddenly God enters into your life in a whole new way, an unexplainable, miraculous way.

isaiah wrote "oh that you would rend open the heavens and come down" and it became a text for advent... preparation for an unexplainable, miraculous birth that broke open the divide between God and us.

may your children grant you a glimpse through the miraculous into the divine
may you be granted a safe and easy labor
may Christ be with you in every push
and may you hear the love of God in that first cry

God's peace,
cats

Homemade Baby Wipes recipe


In a 3 quart, cylindrical Rubbermaid container combine:

2 cups of warm water

1 ½ Tablespoons of liquid baby soap (I liked to use an all natural soap)

1 ½ Tablespoons of baby oil

A few drops of Tea Tree Oil (optional)

Mix thoroughly. Cut a Big Roll of Bounty paper towels in half using a sharp knife. (Bounty is the only brand that works for this.) Remove the cardboard center tube. Place one of the half rolls into the container. Put the lid on and turn it upside down to soak up the mixture. Use by pulling sheets through the center hole.


Note: I loved making these when my kids were little. They saved me money, but more importantly, I knew exactly what was going into them. The tea tree oil keeps it fresh. These don't keep as long without it.

May the LORD Bless & Keep You

For Reverend Mother and Reverend Baby:

Our children (now 13, 15, 17) have gone to sleep almost every night since birth after receiving the Aaronic Blessing from either me or my husband. Subversive scripture memorization. They grow up knowing it as well as they know their names (which are almost as long).

We've found other benefits too.

Child #2 (J.) had a terrible year in 4th grade. Teacher left after two weeks (to try to have her own baby), with the understanding that she would return in three months. J. patiently endured substitute teachers equipped with with lots of "worksheets" and little imagination for those three months.

Three months turned into four, then into five, etc. etc. She never returned. Terrible year for her too: lots of physical problems, disappointments. J. had different subs all year and spent lots of time in the principal's office because he likes ritual and he's a smart kid. He knew that if he got into trouble at least then he'd know what to expect. (Every sub had different rules and so for a kid who likes routine, it was hell.)

He survived 4th grade and over the summer, J. and I ran into Mrs. O. at the mall. She was happily pregnant. Mrs. O. and I talked, and as we were saying our good-byes, I asked J. if he had anything he'd like to tell Mrs. O. (I was thinking of something like "Have a good summer" or even "Good-bye!") But instead, J. placed his little hand on the top of Mrs. O's head (he's a tall kid) and said these words:

May the LORD bless you and keep you.
May the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
May the LORD lift his countenance upon you and grant you peace. Amen.


Wow.
They seem to be paying attention.

May this birth bring light and grace and peace to all of you in the Reverend Mother household.

ReverendBabyLibs

Before scrolling down or otherwise reading this post, be sure to select and write down one of each of the following:

an adjective
a Saint's name
a place
a number
a noun
a verb


[Ok, did you finish? Don't cheat. You'll need your selected words to finish the post. Ok, ready????? …. Here goes….]


The revgalblogpals and assorted others are ____________ (adjective) to announce the arrival of their newest member, reverendbaby ________________(Saint's Name). The reverendbaby was born in ______________________ (place) and weighs approximately ___________ (number) pounds. Mother, baby and ________________ (noun) are doing well. Revgalblogpals across the globe __________ (verb) thanks for the arrival of the reverendbaby and share our love across the blogosphere!

Blessings on the baby!
Blessings on your journey!
Blessings on you our own dear reverendmother!

Peace,
Susan Rose

The Room At The Top of the Stair

This is a song by the great folk songwriter John McCutcheon. He wrote it for his first born son, Will, but I think the beautiful sentiments about parenting transcend gender. When I listen to it in my car, I cry every time by the time I get to the third verse. Enjoy!

There’s a room in our house
At the top of the stair
It was empty at first
But we knew you’d be there
The dog got excited
The day that you came
I guess he thought you smelled weird
And I thought the same
But the cries and the changing
That came every night
Were changing me too
‘Til I thought that I might
Just stand in the doorway
For hours and stare
In that room at the top of the stair

There’s a room in our house
At the top of the stair
It was all yours for years
Then you had to share
Your calm world was burst
By this loud, little kid
Who mimicked and learned
Everything that you did
The games and adventures
The books and the plays
The hours of fantasy
Went on for days
And I watched in amazement
This most unlikely pair
In that room at the top of the stair

There’s a room in our house
At the top of the stair
One night it was empty
We called everywhere
All those demons and dangers
That lurk in your hearts
Slipped in through the door
And tore us apart
‘Til we found you at last
In another boy’s home
Safe and asleep
And forgetting to phone
And I lay awake lost
In a pure, grateful prayer
In that room at the top of the stair

There’s a room in our house
At the top of the stair
Where the door is shut tight
And the stereo blares
Your mother is worried
About your young ears
No one has seen
Your carpet in years
And the hole in the wall
That you made with your fist
When the anger of aging
Was too hard to resist
But the long light of love
Cast its shadow in there
In the room at the top of the stair

There’s a room in our house
At the top of the stair
Now the bed has clean sheets
And the floors are all bare
A presentable place
When folks come to stay
Your brother and you
Boxed and moved you away
To a duplex apartment
Just across town
Now I sit on the bed
As the memories rain down
There’s a hole in my heart
Where you’ll always be there
In that room at the top of the stair

On Children

from "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran


And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, "Speak to us of Children."

And he said:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.


Joyful prayers and blessings for you and this new little one! :-)

An Advent litany, for the last weeks of waiting

We wait in the darkness, expectantly, longingly, anxiously, thoughtfully
The darkness is our friend. In the darkness of the womb we have all been nurtured and protected. In the darkness of the womb, the Christ-child was made ready for the journey into light.
You are with us, O God, in darkness and light.

It is only in the darkness that we can see the splendour of the universe - blankets of stars, the solitary glowings of distant planets.
It was the darkness that allowed the Magi to find the star that guided them to where the Christ-child lay
You are with us, O God, in darkness and light.

In the darkness of night, desert peoples find relief from the cruel relentless heat of the sun.
In the blessed desert darkness, Mary and Joseph were able to flee with the infant Jesus to safely in Egypt.
You are with us, O God, in darkness and light.

In the darkness of sleep, we are soothed and restored , healed and renewed
In the darkness of sleep, dreams rise up. God spoke to Jacob and Joseph through dreams. God is speaking still.
You are with us, O God, in darkness and light.

Sometimes we remember in the darkness those who are near to our hearts –colleagues, partners, parents, children, neighbours, friends. We thank God for their presence and ask God to bless and protect them in all that they do
You are with us, O God, in darkness and light.

Sometimes in the darkness, our fears and concerns, our hopes and our visions rise to the surface.
We come face to face with ourselves and with the road that lies ahead of us. And in that same darkness we find companionship for the journey.
We know that you are with us, O God, yet we still await your coming. In the darkness that contains both our hopelessness and our expectancy, we watch for signs of God’s hope.

from the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand (adapted)

Another Life, Another Possibility

Blessings on your taking of the most magnificent of risks: bearing a child.

A Baby Blessingway

A Baby Blessingway

At your first Blessingway, we held space for you and prayed for you to grow into motherhood much as you had grown in pregnancy. We gave you tools to use in this journey in the stories we shared. We gave you something to hold onto in the song we created. We prayed you into being a mother much as we prayed C. into being birthed when we lit the candles and waited to see her beautiful face.

This time, you are already a mother, as now am I. The marks of motherhood have already begun to be cemented on our bodies. The love for our children cemented in our hearts and minds. Yet your role as mother is expanding...growing...getting deeper and wider as your family gets ready to expand with the birth of Gertie.

There is knowledge you now have about what happens after the birthing that is both comforting and frightening. You know what labor and delivery can do to your body. You know what havoc a new life in the house can create, even when it is a life you have wanted more than you have wanted anything in the world.

In this moment, in these coming days, both before and after Gertie arrives, if I could give you anything in the world I would give you space.
The perfect space in which to have this new daughter.
Space in which your body opens wide to deliver her.
Space to open up in your now family of three to make room for her presence and her life to come.
Space in your heart to love more than you ever thought you could.
Space with R. to grow into parenting both C. and this new joy.
An expansive space that holds all you need for both labor and delivery and the new ways the journey of motherhood, wifehood, womanhood, will unfold in the days, weeks, months and years ahead.

Much, much love my sister~
G

A Time of Hope and Promise

The Impossible Dream (lyrics by Joe Darion)
To dream the impossible dream

To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my [our] quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause

And I know if I'll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man [sic], scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star

RM and RB, birth is such a wonderful time, a time of hope and promise. IT is a time when anything is possible, when the world lies ahead. The impossible can be not only dreamt but done, the stars are there to be grabbed. RB, as your life intertwines with many others over the years, may you know the hope and promise that can never be defeated. RM, as you grow with RB, may you be reminded of that childhood time when we all believed that nothing was impossible. And may we all be willing to reach the unreachable star. Amen.

A Blessing from Gran

To reverendmother's child that she is carrying-
Blessings to you little one. Your birth will be celebrated near and far. Please know that you are already loved by so many. My blessing for you is that as you grow and take your place in this world that you may be comfortable with yourself, your body , your strengths and your weaknesses. May you always be up for a challenge and stretch yourself and as a result know the taste of sweet success and that you may not fear failure, but to learn and grow from all that you try and do. Being the little sister will hold many challenges but my prayer for you is that you will be true to yourself and be comfortable with how you are and not hold yourself in comparison with anyone else. Blessing to you little one. I look forward to knowing you; and from the things that I will learn from you. Love, Gran

The dance of life

A birthday wish for reverendmother and reverendbaby:

May God bless you and the circle of caring friends and family who love and support you. You have already begun this dance of life that you will forever share. You have already become sensitive to each other's movements and emotions; you already communicate in primal, life-giving ways. God bless you as you prepare for that moment when your eyes will meet for the first time and you will say "This is my mother" and "This is my child" Peace be upon you, now and always.

When our first child was born, I was filled with so many emotions and needed to capture them somehow, so I wrote my little boy a letter and sealed it in an envelope. I have done the same on every one of his birthdays and I've done the same for his brother. Each year in the letter I tell them how much I love them, how they have changed and grown and how very proud I am to be their mother.

The boys have never seen the letters, and to be honest, I'm not sure when they will see them. The moment hasn't come yet, but it will come, in God's time.

Blessings to you reverendmother and reverendbaby!!!

Lullaby from Home

A Celtic Blessing

Be the eye of God dwelling with you,
The foot of Christ in guidance with you,
The shower of the Spirit pouring on you,
Richly and generously.

God's peace be to you,
Jesus' peace be to you,
Spirit's peace be to you
and to your children,
Oh to you and to your children,
Each day and night
Of your portion in the world.

The compassing of the King of life be yours
The compassing of loving Christ be yours,
The compassing of Holy Spirit be yours
Unto the crown of the life eternal
Unto the crown of the life eternal.

My own blessing be with you,
The blessing of God be with you,
The blessing of Spirit be with you
And with your children,
With you and with your children.


Carmina Gadelica

Infant Joy

"Motherhood," by Elin Danielson-Gambogi
'I have no name;
I am but two days old.'
What shall I call thee?
'I happy am,
Joy is my name.'
Sweet joy befall thee!

Pretty joy!
Sweet joy, but two days old.
Sweet Joy I call thee:
Thou dost smile,
I sing the while;
Sweet joy befall thee!

--William Blake


May God enfold you and the Reverendbaby in a mothering embrace!

The One Who Knows


Time it was I had a dream
And you're that dream come true.
If I had the world to give
I'd give it all to you.
I'll take you to the mountains,
I will take you to the sea.
I'll show you how this life became a miracle to me.

You'll fly away, but take my hand until that day.
So when they ask how far love goes
When my job's done you'll be the one who knows.

All the things you treasure most
will be the hardest won.
I will watch you struggle long
before the answers come.
But I won't make it harder,
I'll be there to cheer you on.
I'll shine the light that guides you down
The road you're walking on.

You'll fly away, but take my hand until that day.
So when they ask how far love goes
When my job's done you'll be the one who knows.

Before the mountains call to you,
before you leave this home,
Wanna teach your heart to trust
As I will teach my own.
But sometimes I will ask the moon
Where it shined upon you last
And shake my head and laugh and say
It all went by so fast.

You'll fly away, but take my hand until that day.
So when they ask how far love goes
When my job's done you'll be the one who knows.

Dar Williams
(because you're the only person I know who likes song lyrics as much as I do!)

May your baby always have something to eat and someone to love!

Before I Was a Mom


I haven't posted anything yet, because I was trying to think of just the right words to say. I received the thoughts below from a good friend of mine earlier in the week. But I wanted to reflect on just one part of this poem.

When I was pregnant with our son, Jake, I was in a covenant group with one of my dear friends. He constantly asked me how I was doing...how I was feeling and how excited I was getting at the impending arrival of our first child.

I remember one of our conversations after Jake was born where Rick came up to me and asked, "So how does it feel to have your heart walking outside of your body?" At first that question took me back a little, then Rick continued, "My wife said that after she had our children she knew what it was like to have your heart outside of your body."

Words cannot describe what children do to your life. We all have heard or said many times, "It'll change your life." But more than that. When you give birth to a child a piece of you is outside of you walking, talking, experiencing life all over again. Cherish this time...for they grow up too fast. Enjoy the special quiet times with just you and RB...for those are the most precious times of your life.

God Bless you and your expanding family,

Carol

Before I was a Mom

Before I was a Mom, I slept as late as I wanted and never worried about how late I got into bed. I brushed my hair and my teeth everyday.

Before I was a Mom I cleaned my house each day.
I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom I had never been puked on. Pooped on. Spit on. Chewed on. Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom I never held down a screaming child so that doctors could do tests. Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin. I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put it down. I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt. I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much. I never knew that I could love someone so much. I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body. I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby. I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child. I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay. I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache, the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom. I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much before I was a Mom.

GRANDMA’S WISDOM FOR REVEREND MOTHER AND REVEREND BABY

Babies are pretty indestructible; designed to live.
My five all survived in spite of my ineptitude.

Babies are very smart.
Very, very early on they learn how to get parents to do what they want.
This easily becomes manipulation.

Babies come into the world with a lot of personality already formed.
In ways, they are all the same
But they can be very different, even with the same parents.

My children learned more from watching and listening to me
Than from the things I purposely tried to teach them.
This is reassuring, and also scary.
It is humiliating to see and hear your own worst faults being repeated in your kids.

I fairly well succeeded in avoiding the mistakes that I thought my parents made.
However, I unwittingly made brand new mistakes of my own.
I’m sure that my children are in the process of repeating this process.

Do the best you can do, and pray to God to fill in the blanks.

Cue the heroic music...

Whenever I read the word REVERENDBABY it comes out in my head like this:


Faster than a speeding rumor -
More powerful than a local presbytery -
Able to leap tall pulpits in a single bound

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Reverendbaby!

Yes, it’s Reverendbaby – strange visitor from another realm who came to earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mere mortals. Reverndbaby, who can change the course of mighty church policy, who can bend steel wills with her bare hands and excellent leadership initiatives, and who, disguised as Gertie Reverend, mild mannered preacher for a great metropolitan congregation, fights a never ending battle for Truth, Justice and the Righteous Way.


Welcome to the Justice League, Reverendbaby!

Incarnation

I've prayed over this for many days, and this is the piece of writing that keeps coming up. I guess because every baby is an incarnation, every birth is holy, and every mother makes a sacrifice - giving birth to let go.

Blessings in the days and weeks to come!



Before Jesus was his mother.
Before supper in the upper room, breakfast in the barn.

Before the Passover feast, a feeding in the trough,
And here, the altar of Earth, fair linens of hay and seed.

Before his cry, her cry.
Before his sweat of blood, her bleeding and tears.
Before his offering, hers.

Before the breaking of the body and death, the breaking of her body in birth.
Before the offering of the cup, the offering of her breast.
Before his blood, her blood,
And by her body and blood alone, his body and blood and whole human being.

The wise ones knelt to hear the woman's word in wonder.
Holding up the sacred child, her God in the form of a babe, she said
"Receive and let your hearts be healed and your lives be filled with Love,
for
This is my body,
This is my blood."

(Maria Sacerdota, by Alla Renee Bozarth
New Woman, New Church July 94 - May 95)

Circle of Friends

If we could all meet in person, we would. We'd bring casseroles to put in the oven and gifts wrapped in corny baby paper, featuring ducks and rabbits and pink ribbons. There'd be a big bowl of weird red punch, a deli plate, and jello salad. We'd all talk at once, sharing our own birth stories and random bits of advice. We'd have a lollipop tree, maybe, and many cups of tea, and a cake decorated with something silly.

Perhaps the women in the room who can sew without sticking the needle into very bad places would pull their chairs together to make a baby quilt. We would sing "This Old Man" to your belly. We'd watch you open baby presents and we would make inappropriate jokes about breast pumps. We'd put on the sound track to the Wizard of Oz and make you skip down the yellow brick road. The room would fill with laughter and chatter, and even the child still in your belly would feel the energy, the warmth, the love.

Instead, we meet in this virtual space, sharing photos and song lyrics and anecdotes. Some of us carry Bibles, others books of poetry or CD cases. We offer artwork, prayers, and a recipe for baby wipes. We light candles in the places where we are, scattered about the country, praying for this journey you are on, the sacred path of motherhood. We dance to the rhythm of your child's heartbeat. We sing you our own songs, weaving our own experiences and prayers into psalms. We offer feathers, and seashells, and rocks weathered by ocean waves.

In Navajo, anyone or anything that nurtures – the sheep, the hogans, an uncle, a friend – is called mother. In this space, we are all mothers, hoping to nurture you in this process, in this transforming time in your life. Together, we hold hands across a landscape that encompasses all of us, hoping to be with you as you release this child from the warm cave of your body into a world where hope and love are still viable, wonderful choices.

Where Did You Come From

Where did you come from, baby dear?
Out of everywhere, into here.

Where did you get your eyes so blue?
Out of the sky as I came through.

What makes the light in them sparkle and spin?
Some of the starry spikes left in.

Where did you get that little tear?
I found it waiting when I got here.

What makes your forehead so smooth and high?
A soft hand stroked it as I went by.

What makes your cheek like a warm white rose?
I saw something better than anyone knows.

Whence that three cornered smile of bliss?
Three angels gave me at once a kiss.

Where did you get this pearly ear?
God spoke, and it came out the hear.

Where did you get those arms and hands?
Love made itself into hooks and bands.

Feet, whence did you come, darling things?
From the same box as the cherubs wings.

How did they all just come to be you?
God thought about me, and so I grew.

But how did you come to us, you dear?
God thought about you, and so I am here.

George MacDonald


Dear ReverendBaby,

Hi. My name is Sam, and I was a reverendbaby too, but now I'm a reverendtoddler. This whole church thing that our moms like so much is okay. You'll get used to everyone gushing over you and passing you around. If you play your cards right you might make some good grown-up friends, like I have at my mommy's church. Anyway, welcome to the world. It's a really cool place to be. As mommy always tells me, you're gonna have a really good life. God loves you!

Your friend,

Sam

So many births we await...

Blessings to reverend mother, who will be reborn as the mother of two and as the mother of the new one; blessings to a father who will similarly be reborn; blessings to a child who will be reborn as a sibling, and an older one at that, and as a firstborn; and blessings to the child whose birth will carry all these other births upon its shoulders.

A blessing for reverendbaby

There are times when the miles don't matter, but I suspect that when we hear of your arrival that cold, wide Atlantic ocean will feel way too big. I'll long to meet you and cuddle you, and tell your mummy what a star she is, and how privileged I feel to have been a spectator of your journey together towards your birth...I'll be sad that I can't really see you in all your newborn perfection, and that these blessings can only be delivered via the internet.
When my last baby was born 13 years ago, our family didn't even own a computer ... now each member has their own, and I've made so many friends I'll probably never meet in person. I wonder what changes there will be by the time you are a teenager, little one!
Whatever changes come, though, you'll know yourself loved by two very special parents, and wrapped round by the prayers of lots of friends in many lands.

This is the prayer I would say, were I able to hold you myself It's written by Kate McIlhagga, who was part of the Iona Community, off the shore of Scotland,- so nearer to my home than to yours...
Enjoy the feeling of being held safely in your mummy's arms, while beyond them, God holds both of you.

As she cups her hand
around your head
little one
may God hold and keep you.

As she rocks you
in her arms
little one
may Christ shield you
and encompass you.

As she bends to kiss your cheek
little one
may the Spirit bless you
and encourage you.
Loving God,

who trusted Your only Son to the care of a human mother, and allowed your Godself to be incarnate within the flesh of humanity. Be with the reverendmother and reverendbaby in these last days of waiting--soothe the agitations, ease the discomfort, and bring them safely to delivery and the joys of the new family you are creating in their household, to be part of the new family you are creating among humankind.

We ask this in the name of the Son who is coming among us.

Amen.

A Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, in a Kingdom that sprawled over oceans, countries and continents, there was a great gathering of the fairies of the land. They came from all over as fast as their little wings could carry them. Some of the fairies were beautiful and others quiet sweet. Each was very unique in their own right. They loved the Queen of their land with all of their hearts and would not have missed this great gathering for anything in the world. They were very protective of their Queen because she carried within her, under her very heart, the next new Princess of the land. They were already quiet smitten with Princess #1. The beautiful little cherub faced Princess was near and dear to them all but they had not know their beloved Queen when first Princess's blessing way was held. But this time, things would be quiet different.

Such excitement over a child that they had not even seen! Would she be blue eyed? Would she be blonde? Would she favor her Sister? Questions about this new little one flew from the fairies little mouths almost as fast as their beating wings! They held their blessings close to their hearts as they each waited their turn to bless this new life.

One by one they came forward and gently placed their hands upon the Queen. They whispered their blessings upon this child who had already stolen their hearts. Health, long life, peace, super powers and all natures of blessings were heaped out upon this little one. Finally, the last little fairy stood before the Queen. She was late to the party but that was not unusual. She clutched her pearl of a blessing tight as her filmy green wings held her aloft. She closed her eyes and touched the new princess through the skin of her mother and whispered, *My blessing for you is contentment. For in contentment, you will find everything else that you need in this big world.* Her blessing whispered...her job fulfilled...the little fairy looked around her. Yes, contentment...the very thing that she felt in the company of all of this royalty...all of this enchantment.

Young Mary

a poem by Madeleine L'Engle

I know not all of that which I contain.
I'm small; I'm young; I fear the pain.
All is surprise: I am to be a mother.
That Holy Thing within me and no other
is Heaven's King whose lovely Love will reign.
My pain, his gaining my eternal gain
my fragile body holds Creation's Light;
its smallness shelters God's unbounded might.
The angel came and gave, did not explain.
I know not all of that which I contain.

...because every pregnancy is an incarnation. blessings & peace to you, reverendmother.

Family Wishes

ReverendMother

We are so excited our family is growing again. We hope the delivery goes well and easy ....... we can't wait to meet the ReverendBaby2. I know MaDear will call us when the "little angel" arrives.

We love you, Kathy & Kirk

Family of Four

I have been trying to come up with something profound, something prophetic.
Lacking that I searched for something funny, something with that right mix of giggle and clever.
Still struggling I dabbled in bad poetry and then considered plagiarism.
Nothing.

Here’s what I have got:

RM, I hereby give you permission to ask for help. Sure, other women leave the hospital with their triplets and head right to the gym making a quick stop to act as Discovery Toy consultant at the party they arranged during contractions... or so they would have us think. But you are different. You do not have to prove yourself to ‘them’ or anyone else. Need someone to take C to the playground – ask. Would love it if someone would just stop by with some take-out – ask. Not gonna do those dishes in the sink no way, no how – fine.

C, from one older sister to another, please enjoy teaching your new playmate new words and how to hug… gently. Please skip the lessons on make-up, hair cutting and eating play-dough.
I only know you a little bit but I am sure of this:
You are going to be a GREAT big sister.

To all: Enjoy the moment. It is usually easier said than done (enjoy 2am screamfests, are you kidding me?) but we all now how relatively fast these times pass us by.

Congratulations.
May you know the presence of God during this most Holy of times.

Peace,
Will Smama

Little One Lullaby



Nestled in the womb,
Do you know, ReverendBaby,
Soon you'll be
In new light
Breathing life, Little One?

Love prepares to hold
You in arms, ReverendBaby
Soon to sing
Lullabies
Rock-a-bye, Little One.

Each day faithful prayers
Guide your way, ReverendBaby.
Soon the fresh
Waters flow--
Baptized in hope, Little One.

And so we wait with joy
For your birth, ReverendBaby!
Prepare your heart
For dance and song
All life long, Little One!

Sometimes there just aren't words


Blessings to you RM and to the Reverendbaby. This is Maya, the baby that I get to hold most often. When I do, I think of you and say a prayer.

Love

"I had no idea," I told my husband while my legs still shook from the delivery, "that I could fall so completely and totally in love so quickly."

God's peace and blessings be upon you and your family abundantly as you prepare to welcome this little one into the world.

A Prophet?


Every new born baby is a potential prophet.
~RD Laing, British Psychiatrist

Deep Peace

Deep peace I breathe into you,
O weariness, here:
O ache, here!
Deep peace, a soft white dove to you;
Deep peace, a quiet rain to you;
Deep peace, an ebbing wave to you!
Deep peace, red wind of the east from you;
Deep peace, grey wind of the west to you;
Deep peace, dark wind of the north from you;
Deep peace, blue wind of the south to you!
Deep peace, pure red of the flame to you;
Deep peace, pure white of the moon to you;
Deep peace, pure green of the grass to you;
Deep peace, pure brown of the earth to you;
Deep peace, pure grey of the dew to you,
Deep peace, pure blue of the sky to you!
Deep peace of the running wave to you,
Deep peace of the flowing air to you,
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you,
Deep peace of the sleeping stones to you!
Deep peace of the Yellow Shepherd to you,
Deep peace of the Wandering Shepherdess to you,
Deep peace of the Flock of Stars to you,
Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you,
Deep peace of the heart of Mary to you.

Finally, also this prayer: God of many names, and mystery beyond our naming, bless Reverend Mother, R, C and Reverend Baby and all that they hold dear. Keep them healthy and safe.

--Mamala

grandbabies


as you prepare for the birth of your precious child, i would like to give you a Grandmother's perspective.

actually, that's 'Rev. Grandma Dr.' according to my daughter. she says that the 'rev' is from God and that is the most important thing ... the 'dr' is from man, and that's ok ... but the 'grandma' is more important.

but i digress ... this is not about me me me.

there is nothing sweeter than a newborn grandbaby. to see your daughter's face as she lifts that precious bundle up to be held by grandma for the first time. the pride. the tears. the sweetness. a grandmother can only remember the time many years before when she too held a child up to the generation before to receive the blessing.

i think of Mary. the Bible does not tell us about her return home to her mother ... or even to Elizabeth, her beloved cousin. how did she feel when she held that Child up to be cuddled for the first time by her family. she KNEW He was the Saviour. she knew He was their Saviour.

i think of Simeon ... and Anna ... as they too held that newborn.

as you lift this precious new child up to receive the blessing and that first, precious kiss on the forehead, may you remember the myriads of mothers, and grandmothers, who have preceeded you.

it is a precious, precious picture, is it not?

every blessing on you and your sweet new one.

A Little Blessing

I struggled with what to write here, being that I am not a mother, and do not know you well. But last Sunday I baptized a beautiful baby girl, and baptisms are still new enough to me that I feel the love and weight of the words as I look into those small faces. So, I decided to share with a you a couple of pieces of our baptismal liturgy as a blessing on the birth and life of your new baby.

"I will establish my covenant between me and you,
and your offspring after you throughout their generations,
for an everlasting covenant,
to be God to you and to your offspring after you."
~ Genesis 17:7

Reverendbaby,
For you Jesus Christ came into the world,
for you he died, and for you he conquered death.
All this he did for you little one,
though you know nothing of it yet.
We love because God first loved us.

Oh little feet where will you go?


We are praying for you before we know your name. We are dreaming about you and for you in that way that women of wisdom and hope do so well. We are praying for your mother's safety and comfort and strength.

I was abandoned at birth. I have never had the privilege of looking into my mothers eyes. I hope that on the day of your birth you will look deeply into the eyes of the one that gives birth and you will find strength deep in those eyes all the days of your precious life. How blessed are you!

Oh precious little one. My prayer for you is that you will grow from this day on with the sense of the blessings poured upon you. That you will ever know your true identity: The Beloved Child of God.

What anointing is poured upon you with these blessings and wise words of women who share this journey with the one who gives you life.

Your first breath will speak the name Yahweh as you gasp to breathe it all in! Oh where will your feet take you? What difference will the touch of your hand make?

You are wondrously made by a generous God and gifted to a gracious and gentle Mother and a blessing to a community of faith.

May your life be blessed with laughter and wonder and the fullness of our God.

Tammy Jo