A God-sized Dream


Jack picks up his bowl of spaghetti and dumps it on his head.

“Jack,” I say calmly. “Are you supposed to put spaghetti on your head or in your tummy?”

He stares at me blankly.

“In your tummy buddy, in your tummy,” I answer. “Come on. Let’s clean this up together.”

Jack pulls spaghetti from his hair and the floor, and piles it on the kitchen counter. I scoop it up and empty it in the sink.

“No! No! Spaghetti does NOT go in the sink! Put the noodles back in the bowl Mommy!” he screams.

I breathe.

“It’s ok, buddy. Those noodles are dirty. I’ll get you some new noodles. How about that?” I grab the tongs from the counter, scoop fresh noodles from the sieve, and put them in his bowl. I smile. “Here ya go!”

“No! No! NO! Put the noodles back in the bowl! Noodles back in the bowl! Noodles back in the bowl!” Like a dusty record, Jack’s thoughts stick, his words repeat.

I stand over the sink, look at the soggy noodles in the drain, and silently curse their existence.

Frantic, Jack grabs a step stool and climbs to fish the noodles out of the drain.

“Jack, just take a deep breath buddy.”

“No! Nooo! Noodles BACK IN THE BOWL! Noodles BACK IN THE BOWL!”

I try to follow my own advice and draw in a deep breath, but my lungs only fill with frustration and exhale hot, stale air.

Jack begins to flail and scream. I coax him to a safe space where he can yell and kick without hurting himself.

I return to the sink and think somewhere tangled in this mess of noodles and autism and heartache is my dream. The one in which my son lives without torment, communicates effectively, and whose anxiety is alleviated.

I wait for my dream to surface from the spaghetti in my sink.

No dream. Just noodles and screaming from the next room.

When Jack finally calms down and settles in for the night I sit down and write.

Furiously clicking at the keys, words pour from my mind through my fingers. My heart flickers.

Maybe this is the God-sized dream.

This drive to write, to share, to bring words to the surface from noodles and autism and heartache.

This undying urge to bring something into the world that is what God desires.

This constant seeking to find Him in the fray.

This passion for finding a life of pain and tears and exhaustion wonderfully made by God.


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Mary Ann

Yes…keep writing! This must be unbelievably hard. I feel for you. And I’ll pray that the silver lining will grow larger than the cloud.

This blog will help others. You’ll see.
Love and prayers, Mary Ann

    Katie Emanuel {Wonderfully Made}

    Thank you so much, Mary Ann! You are such an inspiration and I so appreciate your words of encouragement and prayers. Blessings to you and yours!


This is so perfectly written — to give us a real insight into what autism is, what it looks and sounds and feels like…thank you so much for the journey you are describing for all of us to be sensitized. And I think Jack CHOSE YOU to be his mommy because you are so totally wonderfully made yourself.

    Katie Emanuel {Wonderfully Made}

    Oh Cathy! Thank you! Your support means so much to me. You are an amazing mom, so loving and understanding of all children and the unique gifts they bring. I’m so thankful God brought you into my life!


    This arlitce went ahead and made my day.

Kevin Holtsberry

Let me echo the sentiments above and encourage you to keep at it. I am sure it is comforting and inspiring to a great many and informative in important ways to others. Your family will be in our hearts and prayers as you continue this journey.

    Katie Emanuel {Wonderfully Made}

    Kevin, I am so humbled by your thoughtful words of encouragement and support! Thank you so much for your prayers. Blessings to you and yours!

Courtney Jewett

Katie, I always enjoy seeing you all at the doctor’s office. I am so glad you gave me the address to your blog. I hope you continue to write as I am sure it is comforting to you as well as inspiring and knowledgable to others. Jack is such a loveable little boy, he brings a smile to my face whenever I see him and he has touched my heart. I dont know you that well, but from what I can see and have read, you are an amazing mother! God couldn’t have chosen a better one for Jack and Kristen. :)

    Katie Emanuel {Wonderfully Made}

    Oh Courtney, thank you! You have an amazing gift with children and their families, and it shines through in all you do. It was such a joy to see you today. Things always go smoothly with your help and we appreciate you so much! Thank you for visiting the blog. We are so happy to have you!

Anna @This Perfect Mess

Hi Katie! I found you through Tuesdays Unwrapped!

I love this post, you are a beautiful, beautiful writer. Thank you so much for sharing your struggles, your hopes and your heart. :)

    Katie Emanuel {Wonderfully Made}

    Hi Anna! Welcome to Wonderfully Made! Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement! I just read “My Baby’s Smile” from your blog and it made my heart melt – you put feelings into words so beautifully.