Recently I had the honor of co-hosting a baby shower for a dear friend. Little c was over the top...she loves a party, especially when it involves lots of pink. She was a great help and inspiration and we enjoyed each other's company in our preparations. (Well, most of the time anyway!)
We made our first batch of cake pops together....
We displayed them in a pair of vintage English urns that I borrowed from my shop inventory.
We made a banner and a big tissue paper flower to decorate our fireplace.....
We made heart shaped cucumber, basil and cream cheese tea sandwiches and decorated them with a tiny bit of impatien blossom. (Yes, impatiens, like pansies, are edible!)
And we made tiny little heart shaped pimento cheese bites...
I have made several hats and one pair of the knitted Mary Jane shoes before but this was my first ever sweater. I found the free crochet pattern on line and I added some details of my own. Our guest of honor received several beautiful handmade gifts and I could tell, she really appreciated them.
Other friends planned the games and contributed homemade cupcakes and layer cakes, yummy cookies and beautiful fresh fruit and veg. I noticed that sharing the responsibilities increased my joy...and not just because I had less work to do but because it was more fun to plot and plan together. Often I find that my own creativity is unleashed when I am around other creative folks.
c and I had a wonderful time decorating the house and fixing the food but the most fun of all was filling the party favor bags. Our idea for the favors took some time to gel but eventually, inspired by a big bag of colorful beads we found in our basement craft area, we came up with these:
Each bag contains a white votive candle and a prayer litany rolled into a scroll, secured by a simple prayer bracelet. My friend Greta introduced me to the idea of giving white candles at baby showers...to be lit during the birth. I love this idea! The bag of beads we found was left over from a Prayer Bead Meditation I led for a group of women a few years ago and so we thought, why not also give our guests a prayer bracelet?
I spent some time researching prayers for labor and birth but in the end I wrote my own. I asked our guest of honor for permission to share it here. She graciously agreed.
Actually, this is what she said which I thought was sweet and funny:
"Feel free to use our names! And don't forget to mention that one of the prizes for the shower games was a dozen fresh eggs. That was so incredibly cool and I think the world should know."
We did offer one dozen of our eggs as a game prize and my hens would be proud to know that their eggs were immediately snatched up.
Feel free to use the litany yourself, I only ask that if you add it to your own blog or print it on paper, please attribute authorship to me and provide my blog address, www.readinclover.com. I thank you and your karma will too. :)
A Prayer Bead Litany for the birth of Liv and Elijah's daughter....
We ask your blessing on Liv, a new mother, as she enters into this unknown and sacred experience of childbirth. Connect her with the ancient knowledge of her sisters who have come before her. Help her to embrace her strength. Help her to embrace her power. Help her to surrender to her bodies own Wisdom. Fill her heart with joy at the anticipation of this most divine labor, now beginning to unfold for her.
"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous hand."
We ask your blessing on Elijah, a new father, as he emotionally and spiritually labors with Liv and lovingly supports her in her physical labor. Fill Elijah with stamina and a peace filled divine energy that he might share his strength with and bring Your Presence to Liv. Connect Elijah to the wisdom of all his brothers who have come before him. Allow him to share deeply with Liv this most sacred experience of labor and childbirth, now beginning to unfold for him.
"The Lord gives strength to his people, the Lord blesses his people with peace."
We ask your blessing on this child, a new daughter. Divinely guide her transition from the womb of her mother into the tender and welcoming embrace of her mother, her father and all the others waiting for her. Throughout her unique birth experience, cradle her in surrender and beauty. Allow your Peace to surround her, as she moves from the warmth, support and darkness of the womb towards the Light of your Creation, bringing your Light into the world by her very Presence.
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
We ask your blessing on the medical professionals and caregivers charged with tending Liv and Elijah and their daughter. Help them remember the sacredness of this experience. Help them to remember the uniqueness of each birth. Give each of them the heart of a midwife, mindful of the body, mindful of the spirit, and most mindful that they are witnessing a miracle. Bless their minds, hands, and spirits well as they expertly care for this family, so beloved to us.
"This is the Lord's doing, and it is wonderful to see!"
We ask your blessing on each of us, the family and friends of Liv and Elijah. Help us support them in labor and childbirth through our prayer and meditations. We pray with great joy and anticipation and thanksgiving for the soon to be new life in our midst. We pray for Liv as laborer, in this ancient and sacred rite. We pray Elijah as supporter and advocate. We pray for the doctors, nurses and midwives in their call to the medical profession and as witnesses to the miracle of birth. Lord, hear our prayer.
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace."
We give thanks for the miracle of birth, the Holy Cycle of Life and for the divinity and humanity of your Living Creation.
"Now all glory to God, who is able, through God's mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think."
We bless this birth!
(Here I actually included a birth blessing written by someone else but I do not have permission, yet, to include that.)