The Wonder of a Child!

By Mandy Cloninger

Luna’s first yoga class, Mommy & Me Yoga, with Lisa, my favorite yoga instructor! Yoga has been a big part of Luna’s life, in utero, in the living room and helping us both learn to breathe together!

“A mark for every breath you took, every blink, every sleepy yawn. One for every time you sucked your thumb, waved hello, closed your eyes and slept in the most perfect darkness. One for every dream you dreamed within me.

It isn’t pretty any more. That’s ok. It was your home. It’s where I first grew to love you, where I lay my hand as I dreamed about who you were and who would you be. It held you until my arms could, and for that I will always find something beautiful in it.”


My prenatal yoga instructor Amee shared this meditation, and as she read, “It’s where I first grew to love you…” I sucked in a deep breath, touched my belly and a couple crocodile tears rushed down my face. The maternal energy and connection between mind, body and spirit was so palpable. My growing child was twirling and flipping around inside me. My hand resting on my expanding belly has become a common occurrence now, and I send light and love with each stroke.

Amee asked us to put one hand on our heart and one on our belly. The words in my mind were, this is where I first grew to love you. In this tiny yoga space, I was connecting to my physical sense of you, my intense mental and emotional connection to you. The abundant maternal energy in the place, and the amazing spiritual experience of growing you and becoming a mother, deeply moved me to a place of wonder, and I thank God for the opportunity to be a mother to you.

Author’s note: I wrote this reflection when I was pregnant with my daughter, Luna, and today is her fourth birthday! I also shared and included it in Hyde Park United Methodist Church’s 2017 Advent Devotional, Wonder, which I served as editor.

Published by mcloninger

Mandy Cloninger, CFRE, is a nonprofit thought leader, charismatic spokesperson, and a results-driven executive. With 20 years of experience raising hundreds of millions of dollars, cultivating transformational relationships with diverse constituencies, she has built capacity, scale, and scope in higher education, health care, and community-based nonprofits. She is passionate about social justice and humanitarian work internationally and at home. Mandy Cloninger is also a writer, public speaker, leader and faith seeker. Her journey and travels often bring inspiration to write, think and dream new dreams. Mercy & Meadows is a writing project inspired by a camping and hiking trip to Yellowstone National Park in 2021.

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