Saturday, January 24, 2009

Mother Blessing...if you don't care for gushing, disregard!

This Friday evening was my Mother Blessing! It was such a special and nurturing time, I was really blown over by the honesty and love and thoughtfulness that went into making it special!
When we all had gathered, we enjoyed some delicious chili and cornbread and my mom's famous spinach, strawberry and goat cheese salad. I enjoyed it SO much *blush*, that I had to take my piece of cake home to eat the next day. (Jennifer, it was so delicious, I caught myself mourning the fact that I'd only brought one home with me instead of two, haha! )

Then, I was ordered into a comfy recliner and had my feet soaked in a hot basin with an aromatic herbal bath. Ahhhhh.

Everyone in the room shared beautiful words of affirmation and encouragement for me and this birth, and as they did, they placed a bead in a bowl for my birth necklace. Each one shared why they chose the bead they did, along with a scripture or birth poem or blessing. Even my 4yo daughter shared a bead she'd picked. They were all so unique, and so precious, and I, of course, cried buckets. I needed to hear every word that was shared.

Jenny sharing words of encouragement,
me looking ugly when I cry, lol!

We shared some letters and words of labor blessing sent from friends who live too far away to come, and the symbolism and love they expressed was really touching. (Yes, I cried. Of course I cried!) It was a humbling experience to have everyone share their encouragement and love for me so openly. Not something I'm used to, but it blessed me so deeply, I'm very glad they did!

We all announced ourselves around the room in relation to our lineage of motherhood. "I, Ashley, daughter of Donna, daughter of Linda, daughter of Faye". It actually gave me beautiful shivers to think about it; even as we're all markedly different from our mothers and grandmothers, we all pass down a line of motherhood, whether they be blood mothers or the ones who patiently (or impatiently) nurtured us. Love it or hate it, we're all inextricably tied to womanhood, all the way back to the first woman who walked the soft black earth. It was an amazing thought. There has never been a human who didn't come from a mother. As we announced ourselves, we fastened a ribbon the the arm of our neighbor, showing how connected we are.

All the women (and girl!) wrote a blessing on a cloth banner for me to have during labor. <3>I loved having everyone's unique way of expressing themselves and their heart collected in such a visual way. Looking at it is really encouraging and comforting; every women there has a way of bringing my spirit strength and peace in a way that the next couldn't possibly do. Every woman's unique light and strength and spiritual gifting holds something that I deeply need...if that's not how the body of Christ was meant to be, then I don't know what is.

Jubliee's blessing about the Eshet Chayil, the woman of valor

More than anything, it reminded me that we're all precious pieces of a crazy quilt that uniquely warms the world. Sometimes, we're juxtaposed in ways that show our similarities, sometimes, our contrasting qualities bring out the beauty in one another. All together, we are STRONG, we are comforting, we are brilliant and beautiful, we are tough and practical. It made me cry (lots of) happy tears. Even though birth is a uniquely alone experience in the inward focus of the moment, the strength that we draw from (all in our own unique situations) comes from a lifetime of love from others and from our Father who has the gentle and fierce heart of a Mother. That is what pulls us through our tunnels towards the light.

All the collective beads for my birth necklace

The ladies!
Me and Cara

Life table, with "a few of my favorite things"

One of the many beautiful things I was given:
a pregnancy book filled with birth quotes and scriptures!


  1. ash, i'm so glad you were so deeply and dearly blessed on your special night <3 i'm glad i could 'participate' in some small way from afar. seeing my card & bead & prayer pictured here brought tears to me eyes! LOVE YOU!

  2. what beautiful day! i'm so glad for you.