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Advent, Momma Mary, and the {Slightly Messy} Art of Offering It Up

As Advent comes to a close, for me it has not been without a fair amount of spiritual introspection and reflection of the Blessed Mother’s final weeks and hours leading up to the Christ Child’s birth. 

A wonderful priest once gave a talk to our parish MOMs group, explaining how the entire world mirrors and embraces Mary’s advent of Jesus’ birth – our wait is somewhat like those final weeks of anticipation – filled with excitement, preparedness, but also a spiritual cleaning of house. In a particular way, the world is in a perpetual state of that third trimester, awaiting the return of Jesus in a way that parallels Mary’s wait. 

Like the body is with impending labor, we know not the day or the hour when He will arrive. 

Two years ago, after six pregnancies and six live births, we lost our first little – Baby Gertie – to miscarriage. We would go on to lose two more littles – January 2015 and again in February 2016 – whom we would name Michael Christopher and Sarah Olivia

Though finding out we were pregnant in May 2016 should have been a joyous occasion, it was met with a considerable deflated family spirit. Deep down, we knew God knew them more than we did and we called on them each evening in our prayers. Perhaps God knew we needed our own family prayer warriors in heaven. Even with our losses, we were quick to share the news and to ask for prayers, regardless of the outcome. I’ll be honest, as we lost one little after another, it became harder to share that news – the excitement turned to cautious reservation and the request for prayers felt more like a mandate from God than a joyous family and Facebook announcement. Yet, here we were – again – letting friends and family know we were expecting – again – and asking for prayers – again. 

My sweet Josie

The toughest pain of losing our littles wasn’t my own, but rather coming home from a doctor’s appointment to see my sweet Josie’s face crumple and the words “we probably don’t get to keep this one, either.” That broke my heart. She was four and five years old when we lost Gertie, Michael, and Sarah. Her little heart had taken on suffering at such a young age and it was hard for her to process why God would call these souls back to Himself. 

Upon hearing her words, I immediately told her that we needed to pray, but it was looking like we might get to see this baby this side of heaven. Her eyes lit up like a little Christmas tree and that was the last I heard her speak about her sadness of the loss of the other littles. 

Each pregnancy milestone was met with the same anticipation we see in Advent. Each blood test for hcg and progesterone, each ultrasound, finding out we were having a girl making our birth order girl, boy, girl, boy, girl, boy, girl {are you laughing? Isn’t God hilarious?!} each doppler check, glucose test, etc. – it was all kept in daily family prayer. Each visit with Dr. K that went well {which was all of them}, I treated myself to some beautiful roses at my favorite wholesale florist down the street.

This was how we broke the news to the kids that we would be welcoming a baby girl.

Each week was one foot in front of the other. 

Each week my anxiety lessened a bit more – until I finally just gave the rest to God. 

Here, You can have this – whatever happens is whatever You will for our family.

My pregnancy, in some ways, has become this strange journey of so much pain, and yet so much gratitude. Each pain is an opportunity to offer it up for someone else – each kick is a reminder that she is alive, each karate kick to my kidneys is a reminder that I am getting close to the end of this pregnancy. šŸ˜‰ It is with God’s blessing that we pray we will be able to meet her in person and welcome her into our family. We have been waiting in perpetual Advent since 2014 to lavish love on Baby Emmie. 

As I write this, I now turn to you, friends, and ask for your prayer intentions – that I may offer up for you between now and when she is born. 

You see, I am 35 weeks pregnant, have never made it past 38 weeks, and have a history of rapid labors – 3.5 hours was my first and longest labor and they became progressively shorter, #4 was born in the car due to my precipitous labor. #5 and #6 were even shorter labors, both well shy of a half hour of active labor. 

Where most gals can ask for prayer intentions to focus on during labor, my experience is different. Praying for your intentions now and offering up the impending wicked fast labor is my personal twist on offering it up for others. 

It would be my honor to be able to offer up the Braxton Hicks contractions I’ve been having for months now as well as my impending labor for you. 

So, if you would, please comment below with your intentions.

If it’s private, simply put “for a special private intention.”

God knows your intention and your heart, and that is good enough for me.

Sweet Emmaleine Rose, who the tech says looks like our youngest daughter, Josie. We shall soon find out!

Kreitzer kiddos

 

About Martina Kreitzer

Martina is a cradle Catholic, wife to Neil, and mother to six kiddos here {and three in heaven}ā€“ 4/96-6/12. She decided to homeschool the kiddos in 2010 after many years in public schools. She is the creator of Catholic Sistas which focuses on a feminine perspective of the Catholic Faith. The website was the result of an existing camaraderie by the contributors in a Catholic womenā€™s group she created. She is also a Seal of Approval evaluator for the Catholic Writers Guild. Lest you think she spends all her time online, Martina has enjoyed getting out into the community by serving on the Pastoral Council from 2010-2013. She is constantly on the lookout to make her parish as welcoming as the small town she grew up in East Texas. This task is not easy given that St. William is the largest parish in the Austin diocese, serving well over twenty thousand parishioners. She loves Jesus, coffee, bacon, chocolate, photography, more bacon, evangelizing, and the company of those unafraid to use their sense of humor.

  • Charity S - Oh Martina, prayers for you as you welcome your little one. My boys who are 7 and 9, are sure all the sisters they have are waiting in heaven. I know your pain and reservation of making any announcement. My prayer is just to accept God’s will and bear my cross with Joy, because I know one day it will make sense.December 23, 2016 – 6:45 amReplyCancel

  • Mary - Prayers for you! We had our second child, a girl a little over a week ago and going through pregnancy during Advent is definitely an experience that I’ll treasure! Your family and pregnancy will be in my prayers for sure!!December 23, 2016 – 8:45 amReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - For my friend Laura who fights the battle with depression.

    Thank you Martina! Prayers for you and a safe delivery and healthy baby!December 23, 2016 – 10:40 amReplyCancel

  • Raissa - For private family intentions.December 27, 2016 – 6:32 pmReplyCancel

  • Susan - For a special private intention, thank you. May God wrap His loving arms around you all.December 28, 2016 – 10:25 amReplyCancel

  • Maggie - My special intentionDecember 28, 2016 – 1:51 pmReplyCancel

  • Frances - For our sweet little Martin, 3, enduring the effects of his incurable congenital heart defect.December 29, 2016 – 7:24 amReplyCancel

  • Kate P - For a special intention. . . thank you and I am praying for you and the dear little one in return.December 29, 2016 – 5:41 pmReplyCancel

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