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
Paperback: 96 pages
In this book over three hundred sayings of Orthodox saints from twelve different countries are collected. Their words express spiritual experience tested by the ages. Their words contain many answers about what happens with us and those near to us. The saints show that divine righteousness is joined to our everyday life. This righteousness of God has transfigured millions of people around the world, and has brought many of them to holiness and perfection.
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
Author: Kopyttseva, Natalia Mikhailovna
In Father I saw a person who lived for God…. In all life’s situations, Fr Ilarion maintained a grace-imbued state of spirit, the fruits of which were love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and the other virtues that made it impossible to be near him and not feel glad just to be alive.
Many lovers of literature are familiar, through Dostoyevsky’s works, with the concept of the Russian "Staretz," or spiritual elder. This biography offers a vivid portrayal of an authentic Staretz of our own day, Father Ilarion—a monk of the renowned Glinsk hermitage in modern-day Ukraine, who spent much of his life as a parish priest in a village in the Novgorod region of Russia. His life offers a vision of a simple Christian life in the contemporary world that will captivate the reader and awaken or rekindle a desire to live a life centered on the love of God and neighbour rather than on the pursuit of material wealth.
It also presents unique insights into the Orthodox Church in Russia under communism and in the immediate post-communist period, demonstrating how the Faith was kept alive after the closure of so many churches and monasteries and the exile or execution of clergy and believers. The account of the life of the Glinsk hermitage is particularly detailed. With many first hand contributions from Father Ilarion’s spiritual children, this history also provides a glimpse into contemporary Russian culture and religious perspectives.
The book includes an eight page glossy photo insert.
Copyright Holy Trinity Publications
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