Friday, August 26, 2011

Cha de Bebé (Baby Tea, aka Baby Shower)

A couple of weeks ago, the lovely ladies at the Lisbon church threw a shower for me and Baby Three-peat. We really didn't need much in the way of baby items -- thanks to hand-me-downs from teammates, a friend in the States, and my sister, we have all the baby gear and more than enough clothes for this little one. So, although we're unable to reuse all of our own baby things since they're buried in a storage unit in Nashville, we are well-equipped for at least the first few months of life with this new one. Still, I was touched by the desire of the women of the church to celebrate a new life by giving gifts and offering blessings. Most people brought diapers, wipes, baby bath gel, and other consumable-type items. So, now we are well-stocked in that department as well, and I won't have to use my cloth diapers for at least the first few weeks, which will make life a little easier in the beginning!

They always start off the baby showers with a short devotional. Diana led the devo, using Psalm 121 (reprinted below in its entirety) as her text. It's always been one of my favorite Psalms (how did she know?), but it seems especially applicable at this time in my life -- getting ready to welcome a third little one to our family, wondering how I'm going to juggle it all, looking ahead to several more months of transition and unsettledness...

Psalm 121 ~
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
   where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
   the Maker of heaven and earth.  3 He will not let your foot slip—
   he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
   will neither slumber nor sleep.
 5 The LORD watches over you—
   the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
   nor the moon by night.
 7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
   he will watch over your life;
8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
   both now and forevermore.

Diana then invited the other ladies to chime in with their own words of blessing, advice, or encouragement. And then it was time for presents! They usually play a game where the mama-to-be has to guess the giver and sometimes what is inside before she opens it. If she guesses wrong, she gets her face (and sometimes her belly -- lucky me, I was wearing a dress!) painted with make-up. At first, they were disappointed because no one remembered to bring any make-up, but then one of the young ladies dug around in her purse and pulled out a tube of the brightest, reddest lipstick I think I've ever seen! So, I was not to be spared that embarrassment!

After all the presents had been opened, it was time for refreshments. I had prepared (with the help of our Portuguese teacher) a few words of thanks to say to all the ladies. I practiced it a couple of times at home just so I was comfortable with the pronunciation, and I thought I would be fine. However, I was not prepared to become so emotional when I started talking. I barely got through my little speech with all my blubbering. Dang pregnancy hormones! After I was finally done, they all practically piled on me with hugs and encouragement! Feeling the love and support of family in Jesus is truly a wonderful, beautiful thing!

Here are a few pictures from the afternoon:

Just before opening presents -- thanks to Angelina for loaning me this super-cute and amazingly comfortable maternity dress. I want to live in it for the rest of my pregnancy!
Inês painting my face

All finished!
A few of the presents, and some of the party favors.
Group photo

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