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}

Welcome Baby Connor!

Two Sundays ago, I walked into our family room and told Jeff I was feeling nauseous. I grabbed a ginger ale from the fridge, sat on the couch, and began sipping slowly while Jeff and Jack played and Kristen snoozed peacefully in her room.

A few minutes later, I went back to our bedroom, laid down, turned on Netflix, and my water broke! Though this was my third baby, both Jack and Kristen were emergency c-sections delivered well before their due dates, so I had never gone into labor or had the experience of my water breaking and was totally surprised! In truth, I had prayed to have that experience. I really wanted to know what it was like, so it was really neat that it actually happened :)

When I realized it was the real deal and our baby boy would be arriving soon, I called my doctor, told Jeff what had happened and then ran to the shower where I hung out while he got us packed for the hospital and we waited for a friend to arrive to watch the kids. The whole thing really was hilarious, every time I would try to leave the shower to help Jeff pack, I’d have another contraction, which brought another wave of fluid along – sorry for the fellas reading this. Ladies, you’ll understand ;) So, when our friend arrived, we grabbed a stack of towels and off to the hospital we went!

We arrived around 8:30pm and at 10:32pm, our baby boy was born! The whole procedure went so well. In fact, the entire surgery lasted only 30 minutes from front to back. It was amazing! The atmosphere was calm and controlled, and I felt so safe. There were so many special moments I felt I was able to fully enjoy with Connor’s birth because while my water breaking made it more urgent to get to the hospital, it wasn’t an emergency. So everything was much calmer than my previous deliveries.

I will never forget his booming cry when he was brought into the world and the soft silence that followed when he was brought to me right away so I could hold and kiss him. I’ll never forget how Jeff was given the experience of cutting the cord for the first time or when we were all brought to a calm space right after surgery where Connor and I were able to lay skin-to-skin and nurse for the first time.

The whole experience was so special. And the next day, Connor slept, which meant I got to watch the rise and fall of his little chest, listen to the soft, sweet sounds that only a newborn can make, and to rest too, which was such a gift.

And he has surprised me and filled me up in such a profound way. For much of my pregnancy, I was sick, juggling dozens of monthly appointments for our family and, if I’m being honest, worried about how a new baby would affect our family balance. But he has changed everything for the better. He has awed me by his gentle, calm, and peaceful nature; his ability to sleep through anything – and I mean anything; and he has made me fall in love with my family and being a mom again. Because I had been in a dry spell. I felt sort of lost as a mom, wondering about my purpose, trying to figure out where I really fit in the world of motherhood.

Connor rekindled my passion for motherhood. He has made me see that sometimes we have to be brave and trust that all will be well. That God hears all the longings of our hearts and bears each in mind as He brings us down a new path. He’s made me see the tremendous progress Jack has made. Because, friends, I don’t yet have words to describe just how incredible he’s been. When I find the words, I will dedicate a post to the subject because he’s made me so proud. He also has made me see that Kristen, while very mature for her age, is a two-year-old and needs to be given the space and grace to be two. To throw a tantrum every now and then and to process what it means to become a big sister, while also being applauded for being such a loving one. He has made me see anew just how much my husband loves our family and how he always goes the extra mile to support both my and our children’s needs.

Connor really is the piece that was missing in our family puzzle. He has deepened our love, made us see things in one another we might not otherwise have seen, and brought us even closer together than we were before.

He is a true gift and our family is so blessed by him. Welcome, Connor. You are so loved!

Connor Birth Announcement 2

Project Advent Tree 2014 Finale: ‘Take courage; be stouthearted, wait for the Lord’

Advent is a season of waiting. Waiting for Christmas. Waiting for His coming. Waiting for a miracle.

Yesterday morning, after the festivities of Christmas had come to a close and our children were calm and quiet, I held their tiny hands and asked them to pray with me. They closed their bright blue eyes and bowed their heads, hand in hand. Jack began by thanking the Lord for many things. Kristen remained quiet, listening.

When it was my turn, I took a deep breath and said, “Lord, we boldly ask you to answer the prayers of family and friends who have adorned our tree with their prayers. No prayer is too great or small for Your greatness.”

Together, we said, “Amen.” We believe.

It takes bravery to share the deepest longings of your hearts not only with the Lord but with a family you may have never met. It takes bravery to trust in His goodness even when it feels as though all is lost. It takes bravery to ask for a miracle...Project Advent Tree 2014 Finale at wonderfully-made.net

We believe in the power of prayer.

We believe in the power of His greatness.

We believe in the power of bravery.

It takes bravery to share the deepest longings of your hearts not only with the Lord but with a family you may have never met. It takes bravery to trust in His goodness even when it feels as though all is lost. It takes bravery to ask for a miracle.

Each of you who participated in this year’s Advent Tree taught us that. Your prayers were so brave, so genuine, and so trusting that this is the verse we are carrying in our hearts into the New Year:

“Wait for the Lord, take courage; be stouthearted, wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:14 

Thank you for entrusting us with your prayers and for giving us the honor of praying for you this Advent Season. You are a blessing.

Continue to wait for the Lord with courage, dear friends. And remember always, that no prayer is too great or small for His greatness.

Project Advent Tree + Ornaments 4 Orphans

Project Advent Tree + Ornaments 4 Orphans graphic

This October, I had the pleasure of meeting the founders of Ornaments 4 Orphans at Allume and, in addition to your beautiful prayers, we felt that these ornaments and the precious children they represent belonged on our Advent Tree this year.

Each ornament is handcrafted by artisans in East Africa and all proceeds benefit their families and orphaned children in their communities.

The ornaments themselves are beautiful, but even more beautiful are the lives they represent. Would you consider praying for these children and their communities this Advent Season?

You can learn more about Ornaments 4 Orphans and/or purchase your own set of ornaments here!

hanging ornaments

And, as always, we want your prayers, friends. We want to pray for you and yours this Advent Season and are blessed by each and every prayer that adorns our tree. To submit a prayer to the Advent Tree, please read the instructions below!

Project Advent Tree 2014

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