Blessed in the Fruit of Thy Womb

I don’t know if there is a plethora of books out there about the spiritual sides of miscarriage and infant loss.  I haven’t checked.  But when this one fell into my lap and I was given the opportunity to review it, I jumped.

Losing a baby, at any stage, is tough.  It feels lonely, although I must say, I was touched and surprised by the out pouring of love and support.  I think part of the lonely is the feeling of emptiness, because it’s quite literal.

Blessed is the Fruit of Thy Womb made me stop for a moment a reflect on the fact that we aren’t alone.  Mary knows, full well, the sadness of loss.

We are only human; who better to turn to for help and support than the woman who gave her only son for us? Peace comes in knowing She is mourning and holding you while She joyously welcomes your child home. —Sonia in Minnesota

Redemption was given to us in the most human way, so that, no matter our suffering, we know it’s relatable.  If you’ve lost a child, be it an early miscarriage, still birth, or a fully grown child, you aren’t alone.  Mary lived through it, as well.  Cling to her and she will shower her love onto you.

This book walks you through the rosary – Mary’s prayer!- and offers step-by-step reflections and anecdotes.  Heidi’s story is far more complicated and heart  breaking than my own, but she willingly opens her heart to her readers.  Her candid retelling of her personal story, as well as those of various contributors, reminds us that we aren’t on this path alone.  Tragically, there is a tribe of understanding women out there and this book serves as a hug from each and every one of them, as well as Or Lady herself.

No matter how long a child lives, it is an incredibly beautiful and important thing to participate with your spouse in the creation of new life. The kind of love that led to the creation of your child can also carry your child and yourself to heaven with the grace of a happy death.

It’s easy for us to wallow when we are burdened by a cross.  I love that Heidi challenges the reader, with each mystery, to step beyond yourself and pray for others.  At the end of each reflection, is a suggestion to pray for another mother – the one who just found out she’s expecting or the one who will deliver her little one today.  Whatever it may be, it serves as a reminder that motherhood and prayer connect us all and we should never forget one another.

Prayer carries us through the hard times.  The rosary is Mary’s gift to us and Heidi uses this gift to remind us that Mary hold our lost children now.  They’re home.  And now, with Mary, they pray for us here.

Streamline the Chaos

Our days have been crazy lately.  Nothing earth shattering or different than any other family of active kids.  You know how it is: calendars filled with more activities than hours, a car filled with wrappers and ziplock bags, because you’re basically living out of it, a to-do list longer than your toddler is tall.

Last Tuesday was a day of all days.  We had school runs, homeschool catch-up (that’s perpetual), regular school pick up, late pick up, baseball games, and birthday parties.  My house was sporting its favorite “Tornado Chic” look.  I wasn’t sure how to pull it all of, along with the expected level of birthday happy.IMG_7631

Birthday’s here are special, but nothing earth shattering – family comes by for cakes and ice cream and possibly a light meal, depending on the timing and schedule.

I knew we’d all be at the ball field right at the height of the dinner hour, so I really felt like a meal of some sort was in order.

Add “Cook meal for 20” to the to do list.

We have gluten free eaters and I have *never* purchased a cake before.  I generally bake two (with Bella’s help!), one regular, one GF.  And the birthday boy wanted cupcakes for his whole baseball team!

Add “Bake and decorate two cakes and a dozen and a half cupcakes.” to the to do list.

Remember “Tornado Chic”?  Must remedy.  Bathroom can’t smell toxic.  Check.

Then I had an epiphany.  I threw all pinterest to the wind.  Guys.

I ordered cupcake from the sweet local bakery.  (Buy Local!  Shop Small!)

I was able to get cupcakes for the entire baseball team AND our families AND some were gluten free.  All I had to do was lift the phone and then have my husband pick them up.  WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG FOR THIS GENIUS??

Dinner.  Still looming.  The plan was pizzas, but then my mom pointed out that it was taco Tuesday!  Fifty empanadas to go, please.  (Support Handmade!  Eat Local!)

Paper plates.  A few beers.  A party that cleans up with a couple trash bags.  It was magic.

With a little help and elbow grease, we assuaged the “Tornado Chic”, but no one went inside anyway, because the evening was gorgeous.

Pinterest is overrated, guys.  The mommy wars of party perfection aren’t worth the stress.  Life is going to be crazy.  But if I don’t intentionally find the joys, streamline to ebb the storms, and embrace this wild ride, then the only real crazy is me.

I’m also embracing “Tornado Chic”.  Who’s with me?  Maybe I could start a Pinterest board.

(My shirt is from Brick House in the City, Earrings from Happy Nest Home Goods, Necklace from Say it with Your Heart)