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, your precious children, and your own unique journeys 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}

31 Days: Autumn Embers

Autumn Embers @ Wonderfully Made #write31days

Autumn leaves rustle and memories float like ghosts in my mind.

I’m a child again, cold hands wrapped around a cider-filled mug and life is full and safe and warm.

Fall bike rides through our neighborhood; warm crackling fires; toasted marshmallows hung over hot embers on twigs gathered from the yard.

My friends and I play teacher and schoolhouse and pioneers. We travel the Oregon Trail and live off the land in our imaginations and isn’t that what childhood is all about?

Daddy comes home just before dark and I can still feel the wool of his suit, scratchy and wonderful against my cheek as I hug him when he comes through the door; mom makes dinner and we all wrap close around the kitchen table saying grace and eating food ’til our bellies are filled to the brim. Never hungry. Never without. Not then.

Prayers and stories and lullabies. Bubble baths, stuffed animals, and PJs. Blankets and stars and sunrises.

31 Days: Art That Speaks To Your Heart

31 Days: Art that speaks to your heart | Wonderfully Made

As our family was prepping for a garage sale one year, I discovered a small piece of pottery my sister had made at school in one of the boxes of ‘for sale’ items. When I asked why it had been placed in the box, my question was met with a “well…” We have laughed about it in years since, as families do with awkward moments like that, but the message that moment conveyed was clear: art isn’t art unless it meets a certain expectation.

Now, as an adult, I am discovering that I am not alone in this experience. I am also learning that deep down we all need art, and not just paintings hanging on our walls from great artists, but our art – our words, our creations, our brushstrokes – because the process of creating art offers a window into our souls.

Do you feel like there’s an artist within you who is waiting to break free; to rise, breathe fresh air, and spread her wings, but lies dormant because of fear? Fear that her work may be lesser than and therefore not enough?

So often, I think we let ourselves live lives that are safe because we are terrified that revealing our true selves will result in loneliness. That the parts of our pasts and our presents that are considered “ugly” will not yield beauty, but rather isolation.

So, how do we overcome this fear? I think we do so by first identifying art that speaks to our hearts.

When you close your eyes and think of art, what do you see? When you think of poetry, a novel, or a piece of music, what writers, storytellers, or composers come to mind? What movies, films, or photographs make you feel understood and connected to others?

This is where we start.

Maybe you have already discovered your inner artist, but don’t trust your instincts. Maybe you’re in the middle of a project, but are having doubts. Maybe you need encouragement to live the creative life God has called you to live, but don’t know where to turn. If so, I’m so glad you’re here because you’re not alone. Here is another soul who faces these same questions, who wants to branch out into new things, who believes God has a plan for a life of creative Christianity, but sometimes, many times, wonders exactly what that means and what others will think of her.

We’re here at this table together, friend. And maybe we’ll paint or write or pray or listen, but it’s all art. It’s all part of the grand masterpiece of His design and we are part of it. We are the brushstrokes, the captured moments, the words on a page smudged with tears that say You too? Heavens be praised, I’m not the only one.

Let’s make art. Let’s get messy and find sunshine in the rain. Let’s capture moments that speak to our souls and connect with others seeking to do the same. Let’s draw and paint and write. Let’s doodle and scribble and make a holy mess because that’s where God is. He’s in it all.

31 Days: Words Matter

Words Matter | Wonderfully Made

Jack had just turned three when I took him to the pediatrician for his annual check up, a few months prior to receiving his autism diagnosis.

The days were long and the nights were short and I remember tired eyes meeting mine when I looked in the mirror.

While we waited for the doctor, a nurse came in to take Jack’s vitals. As I coaxed Jack through the process, she looked at me and asked, “Are you a teacher?”

When I told her no, she said, “Really? You’ve missed your calling. When your children get a little older, you should really consider becoming a teacher.”

I was blown away by such kind words from a complete stranger. Did she know how much I needed to hear them?

Three years later, this September, I walked into my first class as a graduate student, studying to become a special education teacher. And when I look in the mirror I no longer see someone who is exhausted, but, rather, exhilarated.

Our words matter, friends.

They have the power to hurt and the power to heal. Let’s choose to heal. Let’s choose to encourage others around us. To be kind and loving and open to the Voice in our hearts that says Love one another as I have loved you.


This post is part of a series: 31 Days of Honoring Your Soul. To read more, please click here. Thank you for being here, friend!

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