New Baby

A Piece of Quiet

I have been a very lax correspondent.  It has been weeks since anyone has posted anything here.  The days have been long, and quiet moments (and sleep) have been in very short supply.  The house and farm are coming along and I promise I’ll get some pictures up soon.

Right now the house is up on jacks, having her sills replaced.  Our fantastic contractor very sensitively transplanted antique barn beams to our foundation.  It was a very sweet, thoughtful, loving thing to do.  And it is a lovely surprise.  Everything is being carefully dismantled and set aside to await their final fate.  Most materials will be re-purposed for the house or projects around the farm – a greenhouse, chicken tractors, a wendy house, repairs to the milkhouse… Or whatever else we determine we need.  The rescued bricks from the unused chimney may be laid out for a patio.  An unused stone foundation from an original barn will be used as a retaining wall for terraces around the house.  That is going to be gorgeous!

The pigs are growing like topsy, and the goats are a delight.  Eight new gals arrived on our farm several days ago, and three of them are giving the loveliest milk ever – and plenty of it.  Which means, of course, that I need to get moving and make some cheeses and yoghurts from the surplus while we work on getting our dairy licensed to sell milk to our CSA members.

Meanwhile, we are still living in our little house.  And that means traveling back and forth every day for farm chores.  Early mornings, late nights.  And Joséphine still wakes to nurse in the night.  Thankfully she drifts right back off to sleep.

But it is those precious intermissions throughout the day that provide me with what our Sophie calls “a piece of quiet”.  A chance to drink her (Josie) in, to delight in our other children, to absorb all that is going on, and to reflect on how terribly blessed we are.

My St. Benedict crucifix:: A first plaything for each of the last three children

Dependence. Trust. Love, unconditional.

 

I hope you are well.  Leave me a message to let me know how your family is keeping.

Isn’t she lovely?

Isn’t she pretty
Truly the angel’s best
Boy, I’m so happy
We have been heaven blessed
I can’t believe what God has done
Through us he’s given life to one
But isn’t she lovely made from love

 

Saint Brigid’s Blessing

Barmbrack in the oven and candles being made can only mean that it is the Feast of St. Brigid.

Long-time readers will remember how special she is to our family.  She is my spiritual midwife; and she watches over our babes with her prayerful attention.  She has been my constant companion through sleepless nights with new babes, children who are ill, and worrisome moments during my pregnancies.

This blessing sums up what I wish for my children.

St. Brigid’s Blessing

St. Brigid doll available from CatholicFolkToys.com

Through her holy intercession
With our Father in Heaven,
May St. Brigid bless you and make you
Generous in your giving,
Pleasant in your greeting,
Honest in your speaking,
Loyal in your loving,
Clear in your thinking,
Strong in your working,
And joyful in your living
And when it’s time
For your homecoming,
May there be peace in
Your passing and a warm
Welcome in heaven.

~Amen


Blessed Feast to you and yours!

Thank Heaven

For wonderful friends.  They have blessed me much more than I deserve.  I wanted to share with you all some beautiful gifts sent to me by my friend Mary when Joséphine arrived.  She knows a whole lot about precious little girls (and precious grown girls now).  To the left is a close-up of the embroidered teddy that adorns the bodice of sweet pink one-piece that exactly fits Josie.

And below is the most magical little bag and blankie set ever – just covered in little fairies.  *LOVE*

And thank you, Mary for understanding my crazy life.  And my early onset dementia.  I wish I could sprinkle this thank-you with sparkly fairy glitter.  If you’ll just close your eyes and imagine that – and a warm hug, too…

theotokos

Toward Beauty in 2011:: A Resolution

This year I want to do something new. Several somethings new. And rather than publish a litany of resolutions, perhaps it would be better, and more realistic, to share them – and implement them – over time, possibly the whole year.

One of those things is to rely more heavily on my heavenly family to help me with this most important ministry to my family, my magnum opus as a dear friend has so aptly named it. I was gifted with a headstrong, perfectionist personality. And also with a very full, imperfect life. The two battle mightily with each other and do the work of forming me into a more beautiful creation. Like a piece of metal at the Master’s forge. Though I rather think of my self more as a silver serving bowl than a gleaming sword. Empty, and waiting to be filled with good things for others to be nourished by.

So today, on the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, I thought it appropriate to enlist her help. She is first among the disciples, and was given, at the foot of the cross, to be the mother of all. Who better, then, to beg help from? I found this beautiful prayer of consecration about one week before Joséphine was born, when I was experiencing terrible fear about her impending birth. It is contained in a tiny little book I bought at the Abbey, compiled by Fr. Francis Coomes.

This act of consecration can be made for any child of any age, though originally intended for a baby. We will be using it for all eight of our living children. I hope that you will be inspired to do the same::

Holy Mary, Mother of God and mother of all the faithful, I place my little child [NAME] under your motherly protection. To you I completely consecrate my child, body and soul. Take him/her under your care and keep him always. Protect him in his infancy and keep him sound in body and mind. Guard his youth and keep his heart pure, his thoughts ever holy and directed to God and the things of God. Protect him always throughout life – in his joys and sorrows, in his successes and failures, in his dealings with others. Always and in all things be a true mother to him, Mary, and preserve him. I commend him entirely to you.

Remember, Mother Mary, that through this act of consecration, he becomes in a special way, your child as well as mine: guard him and keep him as your very own. Amen.

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