Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April Showers Bring May Babies

This month has been full of baby celebrations, and I have loved every minute. I think until we started to get gifts here and there, I didn't feel like any of this was real. With my stomach being the size that it is, I'm not sure when I expected that 'realness' to kick in, but alas, it did. I don't know that I've ever felt so loved and humbled with how gracious and supportive everyone has been for us. No thank you note, text, hug, or gift seems adequate enough to express my gratitude. I love you all tremendously.

This first picture is from a shower hosted by some of my best girlfriends. I hate that I didn't snag more pictures throughout the day, but I loved that I was so fully present and just soaked it all in. Sometimes that is way better. ;) The food was amazing, the decor was beautiful, and being encouraged and loved on by so many women who have been significant in my life over the last few years was priceless. 

Some of you will remember that back in September, I went to Kenya for a medical mission trip with these beauties:

This trip was so incredibly significant for me, as I felt like I finally saw the fruit of all the counseling I'd been going through, and more fully stepped into who I was created to be. And what was so powerful was that I was actually pregnant on this trip, and had no idea. But it seemed significant that I feel truly free and full before transitioning into those next 9 months. Months that would require lots of resolve, courage, selflessness, and humility. 

This past weekend, our group gathered together to enjoy each other in the mountains, and to take a little bit of time to celebrate Baby West. It was nothing short of amazing, and I left being filled up in hundreds of ways that I'd never expect. 

On the night of the baby shower, everything was centered around the concept of a 'Blessingway' which is an old Navajo ceremony which celebrates a woman's passage into motherhood. The focus is on loving and nurturing the mother, and 'filling her cup' so that she has more love to pour out. 

The first thing that happened was the girls made me a crown of flowers, and had me walk through this tunnel. Each had been praying for a specific word to speak over me as I walked through this next transition in my life. 

Another thing that they did was they each wrote out specific words or prayers or encouragement for me on these pieces of paper, creating a banner that could be hung in the baby's room. Each of them went around and shared what they wrote, and why they wanted to encourage me in that specific way. The picture below is what the finished product looked like. 

Another thing they did was they each gave me a bead, symbolizing what they were praying for me throughout this next season. The hope was that I'd have this strand of unique beads to keep with me as a reminder of their love of me, and all the prayers they are praying for our precious daughter. 

Morning sunrise and coffee overlooking the mountains. 

If you have been a part of any of these celebrations in any way, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. They've all been so encouraging and powerful to me, and I truly can't thank you enough. No flower, note, card, gift, or bead has gone unnoticed, and these keepsakes will be with us for many years to come. 

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