Wonderfully Made is dedicated to encouraging women and their families along their journeys of faith, motherhood, marriage, and special needs. We believe wholeheartedly that you and your precious children are wonderfully made by God and look forward to walking the journey with you. "You formed my inmost being; You knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise You, because I am wonderfully made." {Psalm 139}

Goals for my first blog conference {I’m going to Allume!}

I'm going to #Allume! Can't wait to meet some of my favorite bloggers and fellow #allumenewbies in person in just a few short days!

Last summer, when the Lord first laid Wonderfully Made on my heart, I knew nothing about blogging. I only knew I was being called to share our story and that blogging was the avenue God presented for that purpose.

I stumbled my way through the first few months, writing what was on my heart, but feeling it was being lost somewhere in cyberspace. It was around that time, I came across this post from my friend Aprille at Beautiful In His Time. That post changed everything for me. It connected me with Aprille who has become one of my very dearest friends, it brought me into a community of like-hearted women who were facing the same types of challenges our family was facing as we tried to navigate the tumultuous waters of special needs, and, as I explored Aprille’s blog more, it introduced me to Allume.

So much of blogging for me is about letting go and revealing my true self, which is not always an easy thing to do. It can be hard to put yourself out there, to share your story vulnerably, and to invite others in to what oftentimes feels like a messy life. But Allume is centered on sharing your journey through both the beauty and the brokenness of life, and that is what makes it so special.

So, this year, after lots of planning and saving, Aprille and I decided to attend the conference together, and I could not be more excited!

Going into this week, she encouraged me to think about my goals for Allume, so I sat down yesterday afternoon and thought about why this conference matters so much to me. Why I saved up for a year to attend. And why I made it a priority in the midst of a chaotic, messy life.

So, here are my whys, my goals for Allume, friends:

Connecting: In the summer of 2013, the Lord laid Wonderfully Made on my heart. What I didn’t realize at the time was that He was leading me to much more than just sharing our story. He was leading me to community. Being a special needs mom can feel lonely, but blogging offers a space where like-hearted souls can gather no matter where they live and share their journeys together. Allume offers the opportunity to sit down and share a cup of coffee with many of these like-hearted souls in person and that is pretty amazing.

Learning: There’s so much to learn about blogging and I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to learn from the Allume presenters, speakers, and attendees. I am looking forward to learning more about writing and blogging from women I deeply admire and respect.

Worshiping: As my steadfast readers (bless you, you are loved, you are awesome) know, going to church has been difficult for our family. About a year ago, after lots of meltdowns, followed by lots of prayer and discussion, we decided to take a break from church and to instead focus on meeting our children’s needs as a family. As beneficial as that decision has been for our family during this season of life, I am really looking forward to worshiping alongside other mothers, sisters, and friends in Christ this week.

How about you, friends? Have you been to a blog conference before? What was your experience like? Allume friends, I can’t wait to meet you in person! I’ll be the big, pregnant mama waddling from event to event :) See you soon!

How to Let Go of Mommy Guilt and Embrace the Awesome Mom You Are

As moms, we are masters at guilt tripping ourselves. We hone in on all the things we could have done and should have done differently. The next time you feel a guilt-trip coming on, remember these 3 important things...

One day last week, Kristen had an epic poopy diaper (you know the kind I’m talking about, mamas) and by the time I realized she needed a change, her little bottom was red. So, the next day, I decided to let her go diaper free and heal.

That afternoon, I laid her down for a nap until a couple of hours later she woke up, saying “Mommy! I went tee tee!”

I had a facepalm moment when I realized my mistake and saw that both she and the bed were soaked. I lifted her from her crib, took off her wet clothes, put them in the wash, and popped her in a warm bath.

Shortly thereafter, her brother came home from school and the afternoon was a flurry of snacks, activities, and play.

That night, when I laid her down in her crib, I kissed her forehead, told her I loved her, and it wasn’t until I sat down at my computer after both of the kids were asleep that it hit me – I had forgotten to change her sheets.

Immediately, I went into mommy-guilt hyper-question mode: Why didn’t I change the sheets right after I got her out of bed? How could I have forgotten? Should my husband and I go in and change the crib now? Should we wake her up? How could I be so thoughtless?? 

Followed by the inevitable negative thought that we’ve all felt too many times: I’m a terrible mother.

As moms, we are masters at guilt tripping ourselves. We hone in on all the things we could have done and should have done differently. The next time you feel a guilt-trip coming on, remember these 3 important things...

I sat down and thought about this recently and wondered how things would feel if, instead of feeling guilty, we gave ourselves some grace. What if we thought these things instead:

I make mistakes and so does everyone else. I think all too often we think other moms aren’t making mistakes, which makes us feel down on ourselves and sends us downward spiraling into a guilt trip. So, let me say this, mama – if you’ve done it, someone else has, too. You’re not alone. You’re human. We all are! We all make mistakes, forget to do things, and say and do things we later regret. The best we can do is to focus on this next point…

I love my child. You do. You love your child deeply and in a way that no one else ever has or ever will. You roll out of bed and plant your feet on the ground each day committing yourself to that love. You believe in your children, no matter what and that makes you pretty darn awesome…

I am awesome. Say this one out loud because you are! You are awesome. You love and care for your children, while also maintaining a household, juggling carpool, working hard for your family, mending boo boos, and encouraging your children through each stage of life. You are an awesome mom.

As moms, we are masters at guilt tripping ourselves. We hone in on all the things we could have done and should have done differently. We analyze our parenting and constantly worry if we are making the right choices, the wrong choices, or somewhere in between. The truth is, though, motherhood doesn’t come with a manual, nor does being human! Sometimes we forget. Sometimes we make mistakes. But we are all doing our very best each day and that is what matters most.

Encouragement for the Pregnant Special Needs Mom

Having a special needs child can be overwhelming. Being pregnant while caring for them even moreso. Here are 5 great  tips for special needs moms when they are expecting! | beautifulinhistime.com & wonderfully-made.net

This post is part of 31 Days of Supporting the Special Needs Family, a blog series filled with hope and encouragement, compassion and understanding for special needs families and their loved ones, hosted by Beautiful In His Time. To read the post in its entirety, and to read more great posts in this series, please visit www.beautifulinhistime.com. Thank you and God bless!

Having a special needs child can be overwhelming. Being pregnant while caring for them even more so. Visit Beautiful In His Time today for 5 great tips for special needs moms who are expecting!

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