Friday, October 17, 2008

Celebration of Motherhood

In my very first post I mentioned about organizing Celebrations of Motherhood for pregnant ladies at our church. Last weekend we had another one, and the mother-to-be suggested that I do a blog specifically for ideas and comments from other ladies. I don't know that I have enough information to do a whole blog just on that, but I would like to use this one to share my ideas and hopefully, gain some from our readers. I have broadened my list of ideas just from doing them, but still need more ideas as the list of preggos keeps growing.

What is a Celebration of Motherhood? It's a time where ladies join together to encourage, support and minister to the lady who will be entering motherhood again or perhaps the first time. We have had such a blessed time gathering to do this. They just keep getting better in their own ways, but it not only blesses the mother-to-be, but also, all of us who share with her. Here are some of our ideas. I do try to plan it according to the mothers likes and enjoyments, so since we are all different, each Celebration is different in its content.
Typically, we do the Celebration before the baby arrives, but in the case of the mother below, we had it after the baby was born due to complications towards the end. We always try to have a flower arrangement (I prefer fresh from my own garden) and candles depending on the time of year as seen in the pictures below.
We start out with an introduction of what the purpose of a Celebration is (ministering, sharing and uplifting one another, especially the mother-to-be. Also, I like to read scripture to start us out such as Romans 12:3-? and Galatians 6:10). For two of them I had a lady light candles while another lady shared some scripture. Matt. 5:14 -16 is a good one for this.

We allow daughters to be there as long as they are not a distraction. This is a great time for the young girls to learn what women should be doing according to the scriptures.

These pictures are all of ladies sharing. We generally share advice, a story related to motherhood or something that has always been special to you as a mom. Then we also share scripture with the mother. One that will encourage her and edify her.

I forgot to mention that before we start anything, we eat. I usually ask ladies, that I know who will be there, to bring something snacky. Then we have recently started having cake. This last one I did was a keeper and enjoyed by all. Think creatively and make something that the mother-to-be will really enjoy. We also had one that was cupcakes in the shape of a butterfly with a baby made out of frosting or something, nestled in the middle. Very cute, wish I could find the picture of that one.

The next part is my favorite as I feel so humbled to be able to do it. We wash the mothers feet. This, for some reason, does not take place in churches anymore, and I think that it is too bad. This truly is a humbling act, and I'm sure makes the mother feel like she really has sisters that would do anything for her. We have read our scriptures to her at this time while the ladies take turns washing her feet, or we have also sang during this time. I really like the singing as long as I have enough songs planned. Also, I always have a bowl of flower petals right there close to drop into the water. It's especially cute when the little girls drop petals in. And, I give a good foot massage when everyone is done. But we also have had another lady bring her own hand made ointment and also rub into the mother's feet. What a great way to share what God has given us in talents and gifts to bless another sister. Here are some pics. from that.

I also really like having the husband write something about his wife that I have one of the ladies read. This is always touching to the mom-to-be. I have also had the children, if she already has some, write something for their mom. The picture below is one of my favorites as I asked the oldest daughter of the mom to read what her three brothers, one sister, and herself wrote for their mom. She was so moved that somebody else had to read while she sat there and cried. How blessed the mom is to have a daughter that would be so sensitive that the blessing her mom is to her would cause her to be emotional.
What a special time all of this is for our sister. I also try to plan something that would be more down the lines of something that would truly bless them. If I don't know the sister very well, this is when I really rely on the Lord speaking to me on what I should do. If it's a first time mom, we do give gifts. The following are some ideas that we have done with pictures.

We have done fun and cute skits. This one was quite funny . The arms are from another lady who obviously can't see what she is doing. They bathed a baby, got the baby dressed, put the baby in the sling, and is getting her makeup on for the day in this picture.

At this Celebration, this mom was expecting her 6th child. What a blessing! We all brought in store bought and home canned goods, pasta, toilet paper, etc. Some of the items had little poems that went with them that were bits of advice that had the name of the item in it such as, "Use your "noodle" when your children get bored. Quiet time must not be ignored".

This one we had an added bonus. The daughter brought some of the mom's old fancy dresses and the younger girls did a fashion show. Was a cute idea and made for some good pics.

We have also done gifts for first time mom and put a slide show together with pictures of the husband and wife up to that point with a song that the Lord gave one of the ladies about the blessing of a baby.
At the end of each Celebration we gather around the mother, lay hands on her and pray over her. This is indeed a special time for us. What a blessing knowing that your sisters are lifting you up to the Father that all will go smoothly with your pregnancy and labor.

And to wrap this post up, I would like to leave you with some pictures of the wonderful ladies that I have been honored to organize Celebrations for. I may not have known some of them very well before hand, but after serving in the way that we do during these gatherings, we feel as though we are family now. I love you all!

Now we must not forget the ladies to come. I have two more ladies both due in March I think. So, having said that, please share with me some of your ideas. Anything else that would be uplifting to sisters in the Lord and for a pregnant lady just ready to hold that precious little one. Hope you will all send me some ideas to work with! I also just have to include my first belly picture taken at the last Celebration we had. I'm honored to be in the pregnant stages with these two wonderful ladies. It's such a blessing going through it together with those you love the most!

Barefoot and Pregnant!


Deborah said...

That is the most amazing thing. I wish someone had done that for me when I was pregnant with my last son. I think is is such a beautiful concept and I love that your church participates. Since I have little family it would have been such a blessing for me.

Hope you don't mind if I keep reading. I saw your comment on another blog and hopped over. I'm new to this thing myself so I don't have many readers and only a handful of blogs I keep up with so far. I'm already finding it addictive!

E. Tyler Rowan said...

There is nothing you can do that you aren't already doing!

As I read through the ways you bless these women, the way you make God the centre of it all, I am ashamed at the baby showers I've attended (and that have been given me) - where it's all about gifts.

I've only ever planned one baby shower, and that was the only I've attended where we prayed for the mother.

The image of washing her feet, laying hands on her and blessing her, and sharing scriptures and words of wisdom fills my eyes with tears - it's so beautiful!

God has given you a precious gift. My only suggestion would be to get 3 or so other women to team up with you in planning your celebrations. That way, when you need a rest (when your baby won't let you sleep more than two hours running) you know that no one will be overlooked.

Tina said...

It really is a blessing to all of us. I too would've liked to have had that kind of celebration to look back on. I know that as you continue to do all things as 'unto the Lord' He will bless it. I love the picture of you with Jen and Cassie. =D