Making It Special

We live in a culture so fast paced that we forget to take the time to honor and celebrate the transitions of life. When we take time to give thanks and celebrate, we can begin to make changes that will positively affect our family and ultimately the community we live in. When we begin to recognize transitions if life with rituals that enhance and enrich our lives by acknowledging the changes and growth that we, and those close to us experience, we learn to listen to ourselves. Therekrista-rob-calvin is a human need for ritual and ceremonial. Blessing Ways and all ceremonies mark turning points, growth and change. When we acknowledge the importance of these changes, we deepen our sense of self and discover a new understanding of what makes life meaningful.

Christian Blessing Way

Suggestions

Warn each participant ahead of time that no horror stories are to be allowed that would upset the new mom or make her fearful. Or better yet, ask each person what she loved most about each of her births.

Invited the mother’s priest or pastor, so he/she could bless the people present, the house/room to birth in, the mother and baby.

Start with introductions and have each participant tell what their relationship with the mom is. This may turn into a wonderful time of reminiscing and everyone could share a story about how they first met the mom or how she has touched that person in some way.

Spent a few minutes telling about what the bible says about childbirth and the curse and then on what Isaiah teaches about blessings. Most of the women will probably believe that God had cursed the woman to have pain and suffering during birth.

Have devotionals on God’s gracious provision for women during pregnancy, labour and birth. Each person could read encouraging Scripture verses written in calligraphy each has brought for the mother.

Have a prayer circle for pregnant women in which each mother present speaks a blessing on the woman and baby and a blessing for the birth. Have each one write the blessing down so that it could be a keepsake for the mom and baby. This could also be a time when each woman could tell what she loved most or learned most from her birth, ensuring no horror stories are shared. The event might even be healing for women who have wounds from their own births. It would be a true Blessing Way, God’s way.

A basket decorated and filled with pretty notepapers, each of which had a character trait or other “hope” listed it on it. Each woman at the Blessing Way picks a notepaper, and that was *her* thing to pray about. We went around the circle that day and each prayed for the thing written on her notepaper. Take the notepaper home and put it where it is easily seen and pray for that child to grow in that area.

Write a song that can be sung to the tune of a common nursery song. Keep the paper on which the words were written for the baby book.

Gather around the new mother to lay hands on her, proclaim blessings over her, pray for her, and lift her up to the Lord.

Pass around a pretty journal in which we were all instructed to write a prayer of blessing and/or advice to the new parents. Or give pretty notepapers on which to write a prayer and then they were given to the mom for the baby book.

You could the do a foot washing/massage/polish the toes pampering for the mother. What a wonderful way for each person to show respect for the mother, a powerful symbol of God’s love, and of her importance as a new mother. Alternatively, offers of service to the mom like a massage, a facial or housekeeping after the baby’s birth.

Make a Belly Mask with her closest friend helping her. A wonderful keepsake to capture your pregnant body’s dimensions, it is also an incredibly wonderful art form and an awesome reminder of God’s powerful gift of pregnancy.

Another suggestion is to have her open her gifts, something to pamper the mother rather than gifts for the baby. Suggestions could include candles, flaxseed sox, lotions, mug with biscotti and teas to gift certificates for Victoria Secrets and a pedicure.

Have the mom list 25 traits that she hoped this baby would have and put each trait onto really pretty cards. Pass around the cards and have the ladies pick one to pray for. Then go around and pray for her labor and birth and for the traits. This can be so powerful because often the ladies picked the traits that were meaningful to them and they prayed so specifically. Have them all agree to take the card home and place it in a place so they’ll remember to continue praying for this baby.

Finish up with desert and socializing.

Have sign-up sheets for bringing meals after the baby and for a labor prayer chain too.

Long after the baby clothes are outgrown and the swings and strollers are sold at a garage sale, the blessings and prayers will continue! God is so good!

Other Ideas

Each woman that attends brings a bead, a seed, a flower, and a candle. They make a throne for the mother to be, and they ritually cleanse her feet massaging them with oil and soaking in herbal footbath. Meanwhile each attendant starts braiding the mother’s hair and putting the flowers they brought into her hair or wreath. They tell her why they choose that flower. Next they give her the seed, which she puts into a pouch, and they tell her their wishes for growth of her family. Then each women puts the candle they brought on to an altar for the mother to light during labor for strength usually the altar is adorned with a cast of the momma’s belly. Now the beads are strung on a necklace for momma to wear during labor.

Light a candle that will later burn during the birth.

Make a Belly Mask with her closest friend helping her. A wonderful keepsake to capture your pregnant body’s dimensions, it is also an incredibly wonderful art form.

Each person brings two beads, one for the baby and one for mom. A necklace is then made for the mother and a bracelet for the baby.

Groom the woman of honor (which is pretty typical of most Blessing Ways). Comb her hair and give her a footbath with rose petal – lavender water, and massage her hands.

Using a Henna Body Art Kit you can pamper the mother in a unique way. Using wonderful temporary tattoo art on her belly (and wherever she would like) to celebrate her pregnancy and growing tummy. For several mothers, this is a powerful visual aid during labour as she can focus on her own strength as she watches her tummy, as well as the wonderful bonds she has with those who celebrated her pregnancy with her.

Uplift her with good stories, encouragement, and praise, and give her gifts of love such as poems, handmade items and such.

Massage and bathe mom’s feet in corn meal and brush her hair while going around the circle telling her positive affirmations about her birth.

Another suggestion is to cut up beet dyed eggs and as this is done each person says what trait she would like for that to represent for the mother, and then we fed each other the eggs, fed each other the positive traits.

Start a tradition! Decorate a beautiful basket and fill it with goodies for the new mom to pamper herself with after the babies were born. From then on, when each one has a baby in your family the invitations would include instructions to bring a special gift for mom to pamper herself after the baby was born. The same basket would be filled and presented to the new mom, who would take it home and keep it until the next Blessing Way. What a wonderful tradition to help us to focus on the joy of motherhood.

Conclude by standing in a circle and connect each person with beautiful yarn. In turn tie a piece to each wrist and cut it from the circle. The women are to wear it until the baby is born. It is a beautiful reminder of the circle of love and support around the mother and baby.

References

The Blessing Ways by Miriam Faith Heise Specifically on Christian Blessing Ways. “The succeeding stories, examples, and suggestions, were designed for Christian communion…” She covers many areas and even includes gift ideas, sample of an invitation and recipes for teas and oils.

Blessing Ways by Evonne Smulders: Birth Issues magazine, ASAC. Spring 1996, page 26.

 

Books

Blessing God’s Way by Doran Richards (we highly recommend)

Seasons of Change by Suzanne Arms

Birthing From Within by Pam England and Rob Horowitz

The Natural Pregnancy Book by Aviva Jill Romm

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