spiritual practices with newborns: cleaning

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | June 16, 2014

Yellow-stained diapers are hanging outside on the deck, bleaching in the sun. Pump parts are drying on the kitchen counter. A rolled heap of wet mattress cover and crib sheet waits on the floor in front of the washing machine. Burp cloths are draped across couches and chairs. (And as I type this one-handed while…


spiritual practices with newborns: feeding

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | June 11, 2014

With a summer baby we slip into bed while the sun is setting behind the hill and we wake up when the sky is already bathed with light. And still we haven’t slept a solid stretch. Because all night he is nursing. All day and all night and all the hours in what feels like…


spiritual practices with newborns: a new series

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | June 9, 2014

Here we go again! Settling into Newborn Land… It’s a strange place to live. Everyone keeps odd hours. Crying is common. Spit-up and strange smells are expected. Nothing is ever clean. But it’s a sweet place to stay, too. Newborn neck nuzzles and curled froggy legs. Milky breath and fuzzy fine hair. Sleepy smiles and…

statue of pregnant Mary

Mary of the Third Trimester

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | December 5, 2012

I wonder how she felt in the final weeks. Whether she was tired of carrying, exhausted from the extra weight and the swollen ankles and the restless nights and the ceaseless kicks. Or whether she loved wondering about the mystery of this babe, watching the strange, sudden stretch of skin across her stomach, limbs pushing…


one year a christian

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | October 11, 2012

One whole trip around the sun. That’s how long he’s been a Christian. A year ago we gathered with old and new friends, family from near and far. My mother and I dressed my six-week old son in the baptismal gown that four generations of my family have worn. And a young deacon, an-almost priest we met as…


40 weeks: God’s womb & mine

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | June 6, 2012

The baby is nine and a half months old. I could say I don’t know where the time flew, but I do. Newborn blur, life with two littles, the months when he stopped sleeping, the months when we started moving. Since his arrival on this spinning planet, we’ve been whirling fast. But the nine month…


top 10 spiritual lessons from newborns

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | December 7, 2011

To be perfectly honest, the days of newbornhood – while amazing and awe-inspiring and full of love for a sweet new soul – have not been for me a time of deep connection to God. My foggy head would spin with a swirl of nursing and diaper changes and laundry and sleep. Some days I…


Complicated Joy

By Katie Cassady | November 28, 2022 |
pregnancy complicated joy

For all of the beauty found in celebrating the liturgical year, I find that marking milestones by these holy seasons and rituals has a tendency to make whatever experience that much more intense and emotional for me. Pregnancy announcements during Advent—potent. Witnessing conversion and Baptism at Easter Vigil—stick a fork in me. Gifts of selflessness…


Time, transitions, and beginnings: your turn

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | September 9, 2022 |

This week on Mothering Spirit Vanesa’s essay invited us to reflect on the shifting experience of time through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Kayla’s prayer helped us to bless the beginnings and transitions in our callings as parents. Resources to keep reflecting For prayer during pregnancy, check out our e-books of Prayers for Pregnancy and Prayers for Birth. Exciting news: we’ve got…


As A Mother Comforts Her Child

By Vanesa Zuleta Goldberg | September 5, 2022 |

I was not excited when I found out I was pregnant. In fact, I remember staring at the five pregnancy tests in our tiny apartment in Texas trying very unsuccessfully to not fall in a panic attack. All I could think as I saw that plus sign in front of me was, “I can’t do…


how to pray with baby: in peaceful moments

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | August 6, 2014 |

The last in the series on how to pray with baby: all day long, up all night, in fussy moments, and in peaceful moments. Holding To pray: The Lord, your God, who goes before you, is the one who will fight for you, just as he acted with you before your very eyes in Egypt,…


how to pray with baby: for fussy moments

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | August 4, 2014 |

Wondering how to be more mindful with a new baby in your life? Check out two more ways to pray – all day long and up all night – and the complete series on spiritual practices with newborns. Crying To pray: O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,    and you have healed me.  O Lord,…


how to pray with baby: up all night

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | August 1, 2014 |

Continuing with the practical side of spiritual practices with newborns, here is the 2nd in this series of simple ways to pray while caring for a baby: all day long, up all night, in fussy moments, and in peaceful moments.  Waking up at night To pray: I rise before dawn and cry for help; I put my…


how to pray with baby: all day long

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | July 28, 2014 |

For those of you drowning in diapers and midnight feedings, I’ve compiled a list of short Scripture verses and quick prayer practices that you can do while caring for baby. All day long. Up all night. For fussy moments. For peaceful moments.  . . . Feeding To pray: Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord,…


spiritual practices with newborns: healing

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | July 24, 2014 |

Mommy, I just want to hug you around your scars! His sky blue eyes flash. His brows furrow. The cheerful animals plastered across his summer pajamas – a grinning monkey and laughing elephant atop a fire engine – smile up at me in stark contrast to the glare on his face. For weeks he’s been…


spiritual practices with newborns: holding

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | July 16, 2014 |

Be still and know that I am God. Your hands have held things that terrified you. Your first set of car keys. A boy’s sweaty palm. The college admission letter. Cold cans of beer. A brand-new passport. All gripped by fingers that trembled, knowing the weight of what might come next, the thrill as well…


spiritual practices with newborn: beholding

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | July 10, 2014 |

He gazes at me, steel blue eyes searching. He gazes. And gazes. Sometimes so intently, for so long, that I have to work to hold my own gaze steady, to meet his eyes with mine. This is part of the (happy) work of having a newborn. Watching them. Watching them change in front of your…


spiritual practices with newborns: accepting help

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | July 7, 2014 |

I thought I knew something about accepting help when a newborn arrives. But then last Sunday’s I wonder why my stomach hurts… turned into maybe we should go to urgent care? to that appendix needs to come out stat and the surgeon is waiting for you in the operating room. Nothing like an emergency appendectomy…


spiritual practices with newborns: comforting

By Laura Kelly Fanucci | June 19, 2014 |

As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you… Isaiah 66:13 The poor babe is sick. Gift of a cold from his big brothers, generously passed along a week after they finished hacking and sniffling and crying for us all night long. Neither of them were ever sick so small, and it breaks…