‘Twas the Night Before the Shower…

by Kaitlyn Clare Elizabeth Mason

A behind the scenes peek at what happens the night before a Mary Garden Shower for a woman in a crisis pregnancy!

 

‘Twas the night before the baby shower, and no one was awake

Except a happy gift wrapper and a woman across town baking a cake

The Mother in waiting did not have a clue

That so many people were coming together to celebrate baby & her, too

Tissue paper was fluffed and stuffed, the cards were all filled out

This baby now would surely have its needs met, no doubt

Packages had shipped in from cities far away

All for the celebration that would be held that next day

Thanks be to God for this new life about to be born!

And thanks be to God for the celebration that next morn!

 

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As a chapter leader at our church’s Mary Garden Showers ministry, I have the special privilege of getting some final details together the night before a baby shower. With all of the wrapping paper and gift bags, it feels like Christmas at our house!

Our last shower was just a few days ago, and I wanted to share these snapshots of what preparing for a Mary Garden Shower has looked like in our home & at our parish.  As we were getting ready for this particular shower, my daughter and I noticed a shadow of Mary’s statue on our bedroom wall – a beautiful reminder of Mary’s presence in our lives and in the work of this ministry!

 

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This is no ordinary baby shower!  This is a carefully crafted blessing, provided for a Mother experiencing a crisis pregnancy, who is in need of love & support.  We connect women with carefully chosen sponsor groups to walk alongside them throughout their pregnancies.  There is no judgement, no pressure, and no requirement on the part of the Mother – other than that she is experiencing a crisis pregnancy and in need of love & support.

This ministry has been SO blessed to receive support from our parish community.  We have also connected with lots of other local groups and organizations to put together beautiful baby showers for the Mothers & families we serve.

 

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For our April shower at our Charlotte, NC chapter for Candice and her baby girl, we received lots of clothing items from The Whimsical Wardrobe consignment shop in Cornelius, NC.

We connected with a local baker who is generous enough to donate of her time, talent, and treasure to this ministry!  Her cake was phenomenal and no one wanted to cut into it because it was so gorgeous!

We received an adorable Minnie Mouse diaper cake from The Joy Womb Project.

We also received gifts from friends at The Catholic Company, including a lovely baby shower guest book.

And we received some amazing handcrafted gifts from a group of young girls who are homeschooled together and love to crochet!

Additional gifts arrived from people at our parish, from our sponsor group Talk About Adoption, and from all over.  I am especially in awe of how God is working through this ministry every time gifts come in from other states.

 

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Here’s our message to the Mother that we wrote out in her baby shower guest book the night before the shower (book pictured above):

 

When I found out you were having a baby, my first thoughts were…

…that God has a plan for your life! “For I know the plans I have for you – says the Lord – plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

…that God knows & loves your baby! “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart for my holy purpose.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

…that you & your child are precious gifts! “You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am wonderfully made, wonderful are your works! My very self you know. My bones are not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, fashioned in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw me unformed; in your book all are written down; my days were shaped before one came to be. How precious are your designs, O God!” (Psalm 139:13-17)

 

With the funding we have received, our ministry is able to provide images / plaques of Mary & Jesus to each Mother showered.  We also provide a framed copy of the Motherhood reflection by Cardinal Joseph Mindszetsky that appears on our ministry homepage here.  As a new and exciting addition to our ministry’s mission in this Year of Mercy, we are including a Divine Mercy image for Mothers as well!

 

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Here’s our message to the Mother that we write out the night before the shower and place in the bag with these gifts from Mary Garden Showers (card pictured above):

 

Dear Candice,

Congratulations! We’re so excited to be able to celebrate with you during this special time! Know that we are praying for you and your family as you anticipate the arrival of your baby girl!

We hope that you never forget the beauty and worth of being a Mother. So we’d like to give you this Motherhood poem to keep in your home. We’d also like to give you this image of Mary & Jesus. Reflecting on Mary’s Motherhood to her Son, Jesus really helps me get through my days! I keep a similar image in our kitchen, and when things are challenging, I remember what Mary endured watching her Son suffer & die.  I often think to myself, “If she can get through that, I can get through this!!!”

We hope you enjoy your baby shower!

Love, Kaitlyn & Serena

“All the flowers He has created are lovely.” – St. Therese of Lisieux

 

If you have been supporting this ministry through prayers, gifts, or attending showers in person when you’re able, THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts!!!  Your support is truly making a difference in the lives of the women & families that we serve.

Contact us via our website at marygardenshowers.org to receive brochures for your parish, or let us know if you’d like information about starting a chapter and we’d be happy to send you a copy of our Handbook!

There are SO many women out there who need and deserve to be loved and supported in the midst of difficult pregnancies.  Bring the Christmas spirit of giving to your home and to your parish all year round – and live out this Year of Mercy with us – one party at a time!

 

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Copyright 2016 Kaitlyn Mason.  All photos copyright 2016 Kaitlyn Mason. All rights reserved. Images created with Canva.

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