Tucked in my mailbox today, so that my other mail was insignificant, was a brown envelope. It was bulkier than I expected it to be, and it was all I could do to wait until I had carried my ten thousand pound load into the house before ripping into it.

Imagine my surprise, fathom my delight, share my euphoria when inside the brown envelope was not one, not two, but THREE books!

Oh blissful summer days, when I have naught to do but bury myself in their covers! (And you know better too, right?) Oh dear, dear woman who sent me these prized gifts, complete with bookmarks and three – THREE – miraculous medals.

I would like to curl up and read the first of these books – Prayerfully Expecting: A Nine-Month Novena for Mothers-to-Be – but, as she warned me, it’s not the sort of book you just jet through. Oh yes, I’ve perused it. I promptly planted that toddler on the trampoline and myself in a lawn chair, the music of laughter and counting and chatter filling my ears as my eyes danced over blessing from Pope John Paul II and the forward by Mother Teresa.

Oh wow. And I got it as a brown envelope in the mail, this little missive from heaven. I couldn’t help but tear up a bit, thinking of my two very special patrons being involved in this book that landed in my lap quite by…accident? No, not quite. By Providence!

It’s so well-timed, God, how you send me these little prods and prompts and hugs. I’ve been trying to get back on track with my prayers and not quite pulling out my hair as I deal with the changes that life shoots out at me – in my body, in my family’s schedule, in my approach to the day. And here is such a unique approach to this special time with Baby2 – taking the nine months and cherishing them, giving them back to you in prayer.

I’m starting on month six, just like I should this week, but I’m missing out on the others (and catching up, from what I’ve glanced, is no easy thing to do). But oh, my friends, mark this down on your list for your pregnant friends (whether they’re pregnant with their first or their next!) and as a gift for those getting-everything-at-the-shower types that you must know.

Thanks, Donna-Marie, for sharing this gift of yourself with me and for inspiring me to do the same.