MGS Ministry Update 8.4.16 – A Garden for Mary!!!
by Kaitlyn Clare Elizabeth Mason
My husband caught me off guard at the dinner table the other night. He said, “Kaitlyn, what’s your absolute favorite thing to do?”
“Would ‘serve God’ be too vague?” I asked, looking for an easy out.
“Yes,” he shot back.
He knew I wasn’t going to say that I love to mop the floors or take long walks on the beach. I’m more of a medium-beach-walk kinda’ girl. Long walks near high tide have left me wondering if I’ll have to swim back home with sharks…
“Okay, well if I had to pick just one, I’d say reading books to our kids,” since this for me is the mark of a day well spent. Quickly realizing that this didn’t include my incredible husband, I added another of my favorite things, “And I love hanging out with you!”
Then I started to list a whole bunch of things that I love to do with my husband and kids and things I like to do when I get some time by myself.
“Kaitlyn’s favorite things!” he said, in his best Oprah voice. “Okay fine,” I said, “what are your favorite things??” We then went around the supper table and each said our favorite things.
My husband loves running, reading, building things, and being with family. “I love to do art!” our older daughter said with a huge smile. “Padadohs!” said our little girl eagerly with a mouth stuffed full of potatoes.
Then we all jumped on the bed, had a pillow fight, danced with curtains, and sang “My Favorite Things” during a thunderstorm. Kidding.
But this did get me thinking.
I do have several favorite things in life. And as I mulled over these thoughts for the next few days, I realized another of my most favorite things: connecting with and hearing back from Mothers we’ve showered through Mary Garden Showers.
Every time we receive a call, a text, an email, a photo, or a birth announcement from a Mother we’ve served, I realize that God is awesome. He is connecting people and truly creating a support network among His Church. What a blessing that He would choose to work through this ministry!
Mary Garden Showers celebrated our first baby shower a year and a half ago. To date, 15 Mothers and 16 children have been placed within our care.
We never share photographs or baby information publicly unless we have permission from the Mothers, but there are little infants out there, and now little children who’ve celebrated their first birthdays that were showered through Mary Garden Showers.
They are still reading the books you sent. They are still wearing the clothes you brought to their showers. They are still being rocked to sleep in the bassinets you provided for their families. They are still snug and safe in the carseats you purchased for them.
Their Mothers still have prayer reflections and plaques of Mary & Jesus in their homes to remind them daily of their dignity and worth as Mothers. And it is our hope that these women also know that they have someone – or several people now – who they can call or text or email for support when things are tough.
This is not just about distributing material stuff and it never was. This is about changing hearts, and changing lives. This is about bringing women into the loving embrace of the Church. The whole Church – the body of Christ. This is about bringing women home – even if only for a few hours on some Sunday afternoon at their baby shower.
Some of the Mothers we’ve showered weren’t even sure they had it in them to carry their baby to term. But Christ reached out to them. Through your love and support, women have reconsidered life for their children. And life has been victorious. We are witnesses of this victory! Some of the Mothers we’ve served have not heard the word “congratulations!” much during pregnancy – until they connected with loving sponsor groups, Mary Garden Showers volunteers, and baby shower guests.
We’ve shared cake together, shared laughs together, and shared hope together.
We are cultivators. Cultivating a culture of life. Encouraging new lives to be brought into the world. We are cultivating a garden of new little lives. Because “all the flowers He has created are lovely,” says St. Therese of Lisieux, and we want to see them all bloom and grow forever!
We want to celebrate every single life that enters this world. Because every life deserves a celebration!
We are tending to a garden. A garden for our Mother Mary. One she can present with joy to Jesus, saying, “Look, my Child! Your children have not forgotten how to tend to a garden. Look at the beautiful life that is being cultivated and celebrated and cared for on earth!”
Everything we give to Mary she gives to her Son. And so we entrust the work of the Mary Garden Showers ministry into Mary’s loving care. We turn to her, asking for her to pray for us and with us as we say rosaries and Memorares. We ask her to look after the Mothers and children and families we have the privilege of serving through these Mary Garden Showers celebrations.
She looks after them as only a Mother can.
We wait in hope for the seeds that we are planting in our culture to bloom and grow into a culture of life and into a beautiful garden for Mary.
“That’s the kind of garden Mary likes best!” a woman once told me.
And this is why we do what we do.
Please join us this month in celebrating with Asia and her son Tobias, and Kelly and her twin boys! More information can be found at marygardenshowers.org. Thanks for celebrating with us!!!
P.S. God is merciful and He loves you! Pass it on…