I hope you can be a part of my virtual mama blessing!
With the holiday season rapidly approaching, I also wanted to get a jump on inviting you all to my virtual mama blessing; Jaymz and I can begin to collect your words of blessing before everyone gets too busy with holiday preparations and celebrations. If you're able to participate in the mama blessing, please take a moment to fill out the "RSVP" form below before December 31st so we have a few weeks to process the submissions before we welcome the arrival of our new family member.
What's a mama blessing, anyway?
Since I can't have you all over for a proper mama blessing ceremony, here are the ways you can participate in surrounding our family with love and support during this special time (choose to do as many as you'd like!):
1. Share a few words of encouragement, a favorite poem, song, or inspirational story in the web form at the bottom of this post. Feel free to include links (to a relevant blog post or video, perhaps) if you so wish. A kind note from you is such a great gift to me!
2. Create a birth blessing flag (also known as a birthing flag or mother blessing flag) and mail it to me. (Please let me know if you're planning to make a flag by filling out the web form below.) Blessing flags make a wonderful addition to the birthing space which is both beautiful and full of positive energy collected from everyone who made them. Since we're planning a second home birth, we're taking time now to prepare the room in our home where I plan to labor and give birth, and part of our preparation will be stringing up blessing flags in the room so I can focus on them while I'm in labor. Blessing flags look much like prayer flags: an assortment of colors, styles, and messages all strung together to make a cohesive unit.
Making a blessing flag is simple: choose an inspirational word, phrase, quote, image, or symbol (or simply a soothing geometric pattern) and transfer it onto a piece of cotton cloth. You can write, draw, paint, or sew your design directly onto the fabric. A quick way to do this is to use fabric paint, a bleach pen (remember to protect your clothing!), or a simple fabric marker to draw or write directly onto the cloth. You could get a little fancier with your blessing flag and try freezer paper stenciling, a simple iron-on applique (the flags won't likely need to be washed, so sewing the applique is not entirely necessary), or transferring a crayon drawing onto your flag. If you're feeling really crafty, you can try embroidering the flag or making a flag-shaped quilt piece. There are tons of options, and it doesn't have to be elaborate—please indulge your creative side and have fun when making your blessing flag! (And feel free to make more than one, if you're so inspired.)
Flags should be approximately 8.5 inches tall by 5.5 inches wide, or about the size of half a sheet of standard-sized paper. Important: please leave the top 1 inch blank, so I will have room to sew it onto the cord to hang it.
If you're in need of a little creative inspiration, check out these links:
- Browse some examples of birth blessing flags.
- Some common themes in birth imagery include blooming flowers, flowing lines and curves, bodies of water, trees which grow strong in both directions (with roots and branches both visible), ocean waves, spirals (fractals, golden ratio), and celestial bodies.
- I've collected some of my favorite birth affirmations in this pinterest board. Several of the pins link to longer lists of birth quotes and affirmations, for even more ideas.
- If you're going for a more universal message on your blessing flag, I made a board of (non-birth-related) inspirational quotes and images.
- I've also compiled some my favorite photographs of beautiful things found in nature, to ignite your artistic side.
(If you want to make a flag to send, but you don't have my address, please make sure to fill out the form below and check the appropriate box!)
3. If you want to contribute a blessing flag to our birth space, but you're unable to for whatever reason, Jaymz has offered to transcribe your words of encouragement to a flag he'll create here at home. I'd really love to have your blessings crafted with your own hands, but I completely understand that's not always possible. Feel free to draw upon the creative inspiration resources above for ideas, and then fill out the web form at the bottom of this post accordingly.
4. If you're planning on visiting our home sometime before December 31st (local folks and relatives alike!), we should have some simple birth blessing flag making supplies available for your creative pleasure. I hope you'll avail yourself of them and make a flag while you're here!
5. If you're not much for writing a note, and you're not really feeling the whole blessing flag thing, but you'd still like to do something for our family to show us how much you care, we would be more than happy for you to gift us a traditional "baby shower" gift from our Amazon baby registry.
If you have any questions, please feel free to send me an email anytime (and I'll do my best to get back to you promptly): firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope you will all join in on this celebration!
Please fill out the form below to "RSVP" to my mama blessing! (The form in its entirety is not visible on this page, but you should be able to scroll down to see all the fields and click the "Submit" button. If you're having trouble, try opening the form separately.)