by Sarah Brangwynne & Sasha Rose Oxnard
Traditionally, the Orthodox Church has appointed forty days of rest and seclusion after childbirth for mothers to recover from the rigors of birth and get to know their new babies. In the modern world, it can be difficult to understand how to use this time to the fullest in the way it was intended. The authors of A Sacred Beginning - a therapist and a family physician who are both mothers themselves - come to the rescue with a resource that addresses the spiritual, emotional, and physical aspects of a mother's recovery from birth and embarkation on her new life. Whether you are preparing to birth your first baby or your tenth, you will find in this book a wealth of spiritual food, comfort, encouragement, and sound advice to guide you, one postpartum day at a time.
About the Authors:
Sarah Brangwynne is an Orthodox Christian, wife, mother, and psychotherapist. She received her M.A. in Expressive Therapy and Mental Health Counseling from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA and is a licensed professional counselor and board-certified dance/movement therapist specializing in reproductive mental health and holistic wellness. In addition to her professional training, she became a mother in 2010 and credits her children as being her most enlightening and demanding teachers. Sarah enjoys learning, cooking, crafting, the arts, exploring the natural world, and sharing about living a Christian life. A native of New Hampshire, Sarah lived, studied, and worked along the North and Southeastern United States, the West Indies, and Germany. Sarah lives with her husband and children, along with their dog and five hens, in the Northeastern US. This is her first book.
Sasha Rose Oxnard is an Orthodox Christian and a mom. She also happens to be a family doctor practicing prenatal care and pediatrics, as well as a wife, friend, daughter, amateur gardener, blogger, and lover of music, dance, art, animals, nature, and all things playful. With this book she adds writer to the list. Sasha writes a blog for AFM on trying to raise children to love God and their Faith (Shepherding Our Little Flock). She has lived and worked in the US, UK, Brazil, and Mozambique. She currently lives, works, and prays in New England with her husband, four small children, a dog, two cats, and five chickens.
Praise for A Sacred Beginning
"A Sacred Beginning is the comforting and experienced friend I wish I’d had as a brand-new mom. Both honest and insightful, this beautiful book will help you find profound meaning in those 40 sacred days after your baby is born." -Molly Sabourin, author and podcaster for Ancient Faith Ministries
"This sensitive, practical book answers a great pastoral need within the Church, and it will be not only a comfort but a lifeline for many Christian women during the tender days of early motherhood." -Laura S. Jansson, mother, doula and author of Fertile Ground: A Pilgrimage Through Pregnancy
"A Sacred Beginning is the book I wish I had as a new mother. Those first 40 days are truly sacred - and exhausting - and this book feels like a friend that keeps vigil with you in the wee morning hours and guides you in the right direction when you’re not sure which way is up. A mother pours so much of herself into nourishing her babe during those early days and this book is the spiritual nourishment she needs to refill the well." -Sylvia Leontaritis, author of the blog Adventures of an Orthodox Mom
"A Sacred Beginning serves as a doula to the new mother’s soul: holding her up and encouraging her; while also strengthening her resolve and gently pushing her to do the hard work set before her. Sarah Brangwynne and Sasha Rose write from depths of insight garnered by experience. In their work as a therapist and a family physician, as well as in their personal lives, they have walked these 40 days time and again, holding each other (and others) up along the way. Through these pages the authors reach out to embrace their reader, bolstering her climb up the ladder of divine ascent; soaking her in the wisdom of the Church fathers and the Scriptures; and fortifying her with whispers of camaraderie." -Kristina Wenger, educator, podcaster, co-author of Tending the Garden of Our Hearts
"Bringing the words of the Fathers together with the wisdom of seasoned motherhood and of sound medical input, these meditations would be valuable and beneficial to mothers at any time, but they are carefully crafted to transform the beautiful little 40-day post-partum season into a time, not of distance or isolation from the Holy Church, but of spiritual retreat and contemplation." -Elissa Bjeletich, podcaster and author, Tending the Garden of Our Hearts
Page Length: 376 pages
Author: Kopyttseva, Natalia Mikhailovna
This book is the ideal companion to the previously published Champion of Good: The Life of Father Ilarion (Holy Trinity Publications, Jordanville, 2011). All who have already encountered Father Ilarion through his life will be equally engaged by his words. Those who meet him first through his preaching will want to go on to read his life. Together, they convey a potent message of the possibilities that open to the human soul that turns to God with singleness of mind and humility. The sermons are grouped by subjects. One index lists the sermons in church calendar order and the other index lists the sermons in chronological order for those who wish to see what was preached in an historical context.
Copyright Holy Trinity Monastery
In the style of his beloved podcast, Fr. Barnabas Powell offers reflections for each workday of the year to inspire us to live out our faith in the real world every day. Read these brief, pithy thoughts for a shot of encouragement to live each day as Orthodox on Purpose.
Page Length: 272 pages
Throughout Scripture and patristic writings, Christians are consistently enjoined to give thanks to God in all things. But it can be easy to forget to give thanks on a daily basis, especially in times of trial. This journal contains an inspiring quotation for each day of the year, plus space to record brief thanksgivings for three years in a row. With a consistent practice of giving specific thanks to God each day of the year, you will see your life transformed.
Author: Nicole M. Roccas
Paperback: 376 pages
Dimensions: 6 x 9 inches
by Brandi Willis Schreiber
The Orthodox Church's reverence for Mary the Mother of God can be a stumbling block for converts, and a fulfilling relationship with her can prove elusive for converts and lifelong Orthodox Christians alike. In this deeply personal but beautifully universal memoir, Brandi Willis Schreiber relates her own quest to know and love the Virgin Mary and to incorporate her as a vital participant in her spiritual life. Brandi's sparkling, vulnerable account invites the reader to join her in this quest.
About the Author: Brandi Willis Schreiber is a published author of poetry, nonfiction, and award-winning fiction. A longtime native of West Texas, she writes between two horizons, where the visible expanse of the Texas plains and the invisible expanse of the human heart and faith meet. A convert to Orthodoxy, she holds an M.A. in English with an emphasis in creative writing and poetry and a B.A. in English Language and Literature, both from Texas Tech University. This is her first full-length book of creative nonfiction.
Praise for A Long Walk with Mary
"For some of us, love of the Theotokos comes easily; but for some of us (like Brandi Schreiber and myself) it's a slow, uncertain process. This beautifully-written book describes what it's like to begin to trust her, and bring her our most heartfelt needs. We then find that, just as Jesus said, she is now the Mother of us all." -Frederica Mathewes-Green
"Brandi Willis Schreiber's delicate prose invites the reader into the beautiful, everyday interactions and experiences in which, when one listens prayerfully, God and His Saints whisper to us." -Elissa Bjeletich, author of Tending the Garden of Our Hearts
"In this earthy and evocative spiritual memoir, Brandi Willis Schreiber traces the deepening of her relationship with St. Mary, the Theotokos. Through the stories of her relationships - with the nurturing earth, the parents who gave her birth, maternal strangers, and the growing child who is to make the writer herself a mother - Brandi follows a path into the heart of the Mother of God. As she hikes, drives, reads, reflects and prays her way closer in, she brings us along with her, inviting us to make Mary more our Mother, too. This book - enchanting and tender, readable and relatable - will be balm to those beginning their own search for the Theotokos." -Laura S. Jansson, author of Fertile Ground: A Pilgrimage Through Pregnancy
Author: Brandi Willis Schreiber
Paperback: 208 pages
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 inches