Monday, October 27, 2014

An Intimate Mother's Blessing Ceremony

Hi All! This is the post you've been waiting for... and I've been waiting for!

  DISCLAIMER: There are LOTS of pictures. You've been warned!

What is a Mother's Blessing? It was first called a 'blessingway' by the Navajo nation who created a ceremony to usher pregnant women into motherhood. According to thebump.com "A mother's blessing is meant to inspire and encourage the expectant mom just before she gives birth to baby".

Here's how this happened. I have never planned or taken part in a Mother's Blessing before, but I had heard of them and I was intrigued. I have a mama tribe- it's a group of women who all met and/or birthed at the same birth center, and have grown close over the last 2 years of our children's lives. Many of these women are on their way to become mothers for the second time! That was the case here. My dear friend Sharon is pregnant with her second child. Sharon is not your typical woman or high-strung mother.. she is soft-spoken, relaxed, gentle, and extremely caring. If I have a runny nose, she shows up with soup and snacks. When I was recovering, she brought an entire care package complete with gifts for the hubs and baby as well. Anyone who knows Sharon loves and adores her.

A couple weeks ago, I got a call from her hubby who wanted to see if we had anything planned to celebrate her before the new baby came. Since Sharon is not the baby shower type, we knew what was just right for her spiritual, laid back, hippie self. I told him to give me the night to talk to my mommy friends and I would get back to him. And sure thing, everyone was on board.

Michelle handled all of the food arrangements and money. Krisann took care of most of the decor. I planned the ceremony, location, and the logistics with her hubby. We decided to make it a surprise, since she usually figures things out (that's the investigator in her). And guess what!?! It worked.

We decided to spend a little money on great food, a professional photographer to document the event, and a henna artist. The BEST decisions we ever made. Here's how our Mother's Blessing went down...

First, let's start with details....








Sharon's arrival at the house to her friends waiting for her!




We started with a few pictures together after the "surprise" of Sharon arriving.



Then we moved to food. Oh, the food...We had flatbread pizzas, bruchetta, salad, fruit, nuts, meats, cheeses, chocolates, sparking water (WITH edible flowers!) and wine. LOTS of wine (courtesy of Private Pour.... review to come soon!). It was a heavenly feast!





During our feasting, the henna artist started her masterpiece on Sharon's belly while we talked birth stories and laughed together. And don't worry, we fed her.




When we had our fill, we started the ceremony, which we held outside under the stars. What a beautiful night it was! And because Sharon and I share the same faith, I put a lot of Jesus into the ceremony :).

As each woman stepped outside, we greeted them with a hand washing and the phrase "let your burdens wash away and bring in with you love and support".


Once we were all seated, we began the candle lighting. We had asked each woman beforehand to bring with them a pillar candle and something to say about/to Sharon. As we went around the circle, each woman lit her candle and spoke into Sharon's heart. We laughed and cried together!

            



 (Sidenote: these candles will go back home with each guest and they will light it when Sharon is laboring to remind us to think and pray for her!)

After the candle ceremony, each woman was asked to pick up a stone and a pen from the table and write one word on the stone that she wished for Sharon's labor. We then shared what our word was and why, and placed the stones into a glass vase for Sharon to take home.






The next part was just fun for us all. We filled a cup with warm tea and passed it around the circle. As each woman took a sip, she said "I am strong. I am powerful. I am beautiful". Throughout the evening we all found that we needed this nice little break from our busy lives, and the reminder that we are all of these things. It was neat to watch each woman's eyes as she recited it!







As a symbol of our unity, we then wrapped yarn around each woman's wrist to create a circle- a circle of support and friendship. 1 Peter 3:8 says "Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble". We also had a few of the


,m    women recite meaningful poems during this time.





Once we were all connected, we snipped the yarn and each tied it around our wrists. This little bracelet is also a reminder to continue to pray for Sharon as her birth approaches.


And to finish the night, we all laid hands on Sharon and prayed. The ceremony was created to move from love for Sharon to hopes for her birth, and finished with uniting us all as friends and mothers.



Oh, and throughout the ceremony we all paid a quick visit (literally 45 seconds) to the henna artist to each get our own little henna creation!


Once the ceremony was over and hugs were given (and a great speech from the guest of honor), we headed inside for dessert! Let me tell you, these mamas can PARTY. Just kidding, we were all tired by 9, but we pushed through!

As Sharon headed home, we hope that she left feeling loved, peaceful and ready for the journey ahead. We hope she feels supported and confident that she is not alone.


And to the ladies who attended, thank you for all of your help and thoughtfulness. We could not have pulled this off without your amazing food, participation, time, and words. I know we all left feeling more connected. And floaty and dreamy!

If you're interested in having or throwing a Mother's Blessing, feel free to contact me! The great thing about these ceremonies is that they can really be whatever you want. Spiritual or not, long or short, serious or light-hearted. As long as the mother-to-be leaves feeling peaceful, supported, and united with her loved ones, you have accomplished your goal.

Thanks for hanging in there with this LONG post! I hope you enjoyed it.

For awesome photography, check out Jenn at ishootpeopleaz.com.

For creative henna, visit www.hennabypurvi.com

For private wine parties and tastings, email Michelle at michelle@privatepour.com

And for the fabulous homemade dreamcatcher, visit Moonlit Lace on Facebook or Instagram!