Monday, July 18, 2011

My Pre-Birth Celebration; a time of Preparation, Prayer and Praise!

On Sunday I had a lovely gathering of close friends and family who have been very encouraging and supportive during this pregnancy. Some couldn't make it for a variety of reasons (like my friend DONNA who WAS GIVING BIRTH TO HER FIRST SON ZEPHANIAH SIMCHA! How awesome!!! Congrats to Donna and Keiran and the girls and welcome to the world litte man! Praise Yah for a safe and much quicker labour).
He now shares a birthday with my twin sisters
(who turned 30 this weekend!!! Happy birthday my twinnies!!!)
He also shares a birthday with my friend Mon - a big shout out to you and hope your day was special too!

It was such a lovely encouraging time to share and I felt truly blessed!
I've had baby blessings in the past which are less of a baby shower and more of a time to reflect and rejoice prayerfully and scripturally.
This time round, the theme was
'Preparation, Prayer and Praise!'
I began preparing the night before by putting up my birthing banner (dodgy pic but you get the idea!)...

...and baking and then began bright and early baking on Sunday too!
Scones in the oven...
All the kiddos tried their best to help!
Zippi rolling out some of the scone mix...

Stass was so helpful making slices and icing and just being great (she was gracious even when I was grumpy and had to aplogise for being a cranky pants! It is such a blessing to live and learn how to walk in His ways. We are so far from perfect and yet our children can still be gracious towards us; another great life + spiritual lesson!)...

Ethi was master orange-juice squeezer...

and Liji helped by washing celery and peeling carrots...

By the time everyone had arrived, the table looked like this:

I prepared almost everything myself.
On the Menu:
* Homemade hommus
* Homemade Sweet Chilli cream cheese dip (cream cheese made the night before by extracting the whey from yoghurt - thanks Sumi for the suggestion re sweet chilli sauce!!!)
* Celery + Carrot sticks
* Rice Crackers
* 2 batches of Easy Chocolate Coconut Crunch (made by Stass)
* 1 batch of Homemade Plain Scones with cream (which I couldn't whip properly! lol and jam)
* 1 batch of Homemade Craisin Scones
*  Cashews
* Homemade Pear Butter Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
* 2 batches of Homemade Macaroons (gluten free)
* 1 packet of gluten free crips (store bought)
* Brie cheese
* Gluten free brownies (we had someone who was coeliac so important to have gluten free stuff!)
* Pam kindly brought along some cupcakes which one of her daughters had made
* Drinks were water, tea + coffee (Brett bought a great big urn which was helpful so everyone could serve themselves!)
* Freshly squeezed orange juice and
* Punch which I made using pear juice, low chemical lemonade (ie without 211), fresh mint and craisins
We committed the time to Yah in prayer and we began fellowshipping and eating and chatting together around the table...

My lovely midwife Hazel was there even though she had been up since 1am and had not slept after delivering Donna's precious little one.
Thanks for coming Hazel!

Brett had taken the boyos and Zipster out for the afternoon so I could just have some 'big girl' time.
I really wanted Stass to stay and invited others with daughters around that same age to come too.
One of the reasons for this is that I think we don't do a great job in our western culture of passing on a postivie attitude towards birth to our next generation. I think alot of young girls grow up not having had any experience with birth apart from what they have seen in the movies which really isn't a great thing! I want my daughters to grow up to know that it is a truly special time in a woman's life. That it is a time of joy and that even the Scriptures talk about it being a temporarily painful state but that it will pass and give way to a time of rejoicing and new life. Stass was present at the pre-birth celebration I had for Zippi also. I want Stass (and Zippi as she grows) to hear other women encouraging me and sharing scriptures. I want her to hear other women praying for me and our bubba in the lead up to birth.
These are little gifts of preparation I feel privilleged to be able to share with the next generation.

I am so blessed that Stass not only wanted to stay but she wanted to help and really enjoyed our 'big girl' time together!

I quickly whipped up THIS LITTLE FIND A WORD for the children to do if they wanted to (and adults! lol!) which they seemed to enjoy... 

Then we went around the table and shared verses that Yah had given to different people as an encouragement to my heart...
 My beautiful Lori who reminded me what our baby's name means.
She then read from Psalm 127:3-5 and Ezekiel 3:9
Such strengthening words!

and precious Naomi read from Psalm 62:5-8 and had the word 'sign' come to her as we prayed later...

I also wanted to share and read some of the verses aloud that Yah had been using to strengthen, encourage and prepare my heart with during this pregnancy...

My lovely SIL Dannii came (and my MIL) which was very special for both me and Stass...

The gorgeous Jas made this beautiful hanging to go near baby E's change table area.
Inside each sock is a scroll with a verse of scripture or a letter for either our family, for me or for baby E.
I was very touched by what Jas shared.

She gave me a beautiful scripture from Malachi 2:15
"Has not the one God made you? You belong to Him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring".

She also gave the following verses for our family:
Psalm 128:1-4 (which was our marriage psalm!)
Psalm 127:3
Psalm 103:17

These for Baby E:
Proverbs 6:20-23
Isaiah 66:13
Psalm 22:10
Isaiah 64:8
Isaiah 43:1-3 (which is one Yah had given me for labour)

And these for me:
Proverbs 31:10-12,25-30
John 16:21
Deuteronomy 28:2,4
Exodus 1:19

The letters she included were especially touching.
Thanks also to Katie who sent a lovely card but couldn't make it. You were missed! Hope you are well now mate :)

My lovely Hazel shared from Psalm 71 which contains this very moving verse,

"For you have been my hope, Soverign LORD
my confidence since my youth.
From birth I have relied on you;
you brought me forth from my mother's womb,
I will ever praise you..."

Elisa shared several scriptures from Isaiah, Proverbs and Ezekiel.

The one that stands out to me most was about how Yah is our Shepherd and we are the sheep of His flock. Later on (photos below) we sang some songs together and one of them had these words in the chorus, "For He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His Hand..." and then "The LORD is my Shepherd"! Here He is speaking to me through the verses and the songs that He is my beautiful Shepherd who takes such good care of His little lambs.

Neen also shared some beautiful scriptures from Psalm 145 (which has so much meaning to me!), and Proverbs 16:4. She also reminded me that Yah has made this little one first and foremost for Him! Such a good and humbling reminder isn't it?

We enjoyed a time of prayer together...

and then Stass, Lori and I introduced the song "Everlasting Arms" which I wrote during this pregnancy. It was very special to have them both singing along with me.
Others joined in too which was so lovely!

We also sang "Come Let Us Worship and Bow Down" and...

..."Psalm 23" the Michael Olson version (which is the version of the woman 'Temple' who sings during her labour. You can watch her singing it HERE. We have purchased her and her bubby singing it on iTunes.)

Cute candid snaps Stass and Miss Annabelle took together!

My beautiful friends Amanda and Pam...

Me and Loz...

the arvo winding up with more heart chats...

and cuddles (a special thanks to Neen and Annabelle for taking the 2 hour each way drive to make it!)

and me with the lovely Elisa...

Some also felt to contribute towards us being able to buy THE NEW 'CABOO' CARRIER WHICH WAS PREVIOUSLY CALLED THE 'CLOSE' CARRIER. Thank you all so much - it was a real blessing to us!!!
We were able to put in our pre-order yesterday at FRANGIPANI BABY.COM.AU WHICH IS OWNED AND OPERATED BY THE LOVELY MEREDITH. If you need a sling or pouch, Ergo, Mei Tai, Hugabub or any other kind of baby carrier, do youself a favour and check out her website!!!

Thank you to those who couldn't make it but who said they would be thinking of us or praying for us.
It was a casual affair but it was one that was filled with Yah's presence and I really delighted in the company of these women and young girls for the afternoon.
It's a special time that will remain in my heart always.

More to come another time,


Christine said...

looks like a lovely time Lus! so sorry we missed it; but we'll be seeing you all very soon hopefully!

lusi said...

Woohooo! Can't wait!
L x

Andi said...

Oh Lusi, I just love all the photos' I am sorry I have been on much, missed so much of every one's life....
Great times...

Enid said...

how wonderful..I had been prayiing for you as well....!!

lusi said...

Thank you Enid and Andi!
Much love!!!

singing mama said...

Looks like a beautiful time Lusi!! So glad you were able to have this special time of celebrating baby E!!! Luv Donna

lusi said...

Thanks lovely Donna! How are you going? Sending our love to you all!
Love Lus x

caz1975 said...

Glad you had such a lovely afternoon Lusi, i'm sorry I couldn't make it. I think it was definately the right dcision in the end as Sunday proved to be a super emotional day, still early days for me at the moment i'm afraid.

lusi said...

Hi Carolyn,
Was thinking of you too on Sunday and totally understood. Am hoping that God's comfort is swift during this time.
Love Lus x

Sumara said...

Looks beautiful Lus, so sorry I couldn't make it.

Love you lots. xoxoxo.

lusi said...

It was SO LOVELY to catch up this past week mate! So sorry my back was so bad :-( totally understood about Sunday; no probs. Love to you all,
Lus x

kathy said...

Looks like you had an amazing time! So glad you got to spend this time focused on baby E :) sorry I couldn't get there :(

lusi said...

Thanks Kathy! Yah's timing is perfect though- you had a busy early morning that day as it was!!!! Hope you are doing well :-)
Love Lus x

Peterson Party said...

What a lovely time spent together with close friends :) You were very ambitious with all of your food preparations. Good thing you have so many cute helpers! Will you allow Stass to witness this baby's birth? Ella watched my sister give birth this past March. Arin would have, but she was still a bit sleepy and not in the mood. Ella still talks about it :) I am planning to birth in a birthing center rather than at home, so they will probably miss this birth - maybe they'll be included in the next one :)

Moira said...

Looks like you had a blessed time with family and friends! What a beautiful table! Wonderful photos thank for sharing!
YHVH bless your labor, delivery and your coming addition with Shalom,

lusi said...

Hi cara! Yes I was very glad of my special little helpers!
How special for Ella that she was able to witness the miracle of birth with you recently. We have asked a family member to be here to help the children. Stassi especially has asked to be present and has a number of things she wants to do during birth (read scriptures to me, do a special worship dance near the pool, be in charge of putting on our birth music). The boys have brainstormed ideas too about what they want to do but we also wanted to have someone here who would be willing to take them for a walk or a drive depending on how they were feeling. It was important to us to have that as an option of course for zippi too. They have all watched my birth videos though and we've talked LOTS about what 'might' happen when the time comes so hoping that will help and that they will enjoy seeing their new sibling born into the world! Yah will take care of it all on the day/night! How are you feeling? Hope all is well!

Thank you so much Moira!!!

Much love to you both,
Lusi x

Melinda (Simply Smitten) said...

That sounds like a truly joyful afternoon, surrounded by all of that love and friendship. I found pregnancy to be an amazing experience, it seemed everyday I was shocked all over again when I realized that I had new life growing inside me! You'd think by the third pregnancy this would have worn off... happily, it never did! :)

lusi said...

Hi Melinda :)
It really really was just that! A beautifully joy-filled afternoon!
And I really understand what you mean by the amazing experience that pregnancy is; I feel the same way and marvel daily at the miracle of life growing inside me even at our 5th pregnancy! A very blessed journey :)
Love to you,
Lusi x


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