Our Extra Special Valentine’s

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It never ceases to amaze me the moments that come around when navigating a new journey.  Especially experiencing all the emotions that come with it.  This week was one of those times where I felt like time just stood still and I was truly in the moment faced with another eye-opening and sobering experience.  Tuesday was Valentine’s Day, a holiday that I am not that fond of because to me, you should be expressing Love to your husband or wife everyday like it is Valentine’s Day.  This Valentine’s Day though changed my mind about what it means in my life and proved to be an extra special day for my husband and I.

Wyatt had his very first Valentine’s Day Party at his School and we were invited to join in!  Wyatt is in a Special Education classroom that has 2 special education aides and 1 special education teacher.  These ladies are a blessing and I can’t express how much I just love them and how they love my son on a daily basis.  The other children in Wyatt’s class are like him and have a diagnosis of Autism.  We were given the opportunity to not only partake in our son’s day, but in their day as well!  My husband and I were the only two parents that made it to the party.  Many parents are not as lucky as we are.  Many work during the day and probably don’t have as  much flexibility in their work schedules to take time off for special events like these.  It was all the more reason for us to take this experience in and just love on all these kiddos!  I felt really honored to be there.

During the party we sat with everyone during snack and got an inside look at therapy in action.  Wyatt and his peers receive a modified more flexible version of ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) Therapy which is a therapy that has proven to be the best for children with Autism.  During the day Wyatt and his peers are asked to request for what they want repetitively so that they develop speech and develop other areas of everyday functioning.  It is designed to help these amazing kiddos find their voice.

I became very emotional watching as Wyatt and his peers worked SO hard to sit through snack, request, and “interact.”  During the time we were there for his party I was amazed and just filled with pure love and joy watching these kids work hard and manage all the sensory input that was being thrown at them.  At times it became very overwhelming for some, while others, like Wyatt were oblivious and in their own world.  As a parent I experienced a variety of emotions watching this all unfold.  Sadness, heartbreak, joy, pride, but, most of all LOVE.

I can’t help but think about how much we as “typical” human beings take for granted in our everyday lives.  The ability to do everyday tasks at ease as well as just experience the world around us at ease.  Those with developmental and physical disabilities don’t experience that.  Everything is work for them.  Which makes them extra-ordinary and in my eyes the most amazing Human beings.

Valentine’s Day for me will never be the same again and this is why.  I had NO IDEA the plan God had for me when we were faced with the diagnosis of Autism with Wyatt.  I still have no clue what the full plan is, but it is slowly coming into formation.  My love and admiration for those with special needs is growing and it has started because of my son.  Every year on Valentine’s Day it is my goal to make these extra special kiddos feel extra special love, I am not sure what that will look like, but I am sure God has a plan for it.  My definition for Valentine’s  Day has changed in my mind.  Yes, it is for showing your significant other love on that day, but I think for me, it will be about having many extra special valentine’s not only just my son, but for his peers as well.

 

Live Wonderfully Made!

-Carolyn

Soldier On Momma…

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Sitting in a diner with my coffee refilled for the fifth time, (yes I drink that much), I am depleted to say the least with my eyes puffy from crying myself to sleep the night before.  This journey is not what I planned.  Another rough patch we are experiencing in our special needs parenting journey.  The pain, the anger, and lack of knowing what the right thing to do comes flooding back in and yet I keep soldiering on, because that is what us Momma’s do right?  We pick ourselves back up and keep walking through the messes.  We continue to go on with our day regardless of the fact that we haven’t showered, done our hair in days or did that workout that we told ourselves we were going to do the day before.  We get up and go to work during the day or at night and then come home to laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, meal planning, and the role of supportive wife on top of all that.

Someday’s I get it right and someday’s I don’t.  This week I did not.  Navigating the world my son lives in and how he experiences it still is an adjustment.  The increased withdrawing, meltdowns, and lack of connection this week has broken my heart.  I am continuing to learn daily what works for him and what doesn’t.   I am not even a year into his diagnosis so what do I expect?  Perfection?  NO!  Of Course I can’t.  I just have to keep going, keep learning, keep pushing, because that is what WE do as Momma’s!  We soldier on!

I know there is another Momma out there reading this who is feeling depleted.  Feeling like the weight of the world and her family is on her shoulder’s.  I say to you and myself, “Keep Soldiering on Momma!”  Regardless of the circumstances, regardless of the fact that you just can’t seem to get it all right….know that you CAN make it!  We have to make it!  Being a soldiering Momma is not easy but it is definitely worth it!  You are enough, you are loved, I believe in you, and so does God!  Below I wanted to share some verses that I have leaned on this week to help push me through and keep soldiering on.  I hope that you can read these and feel the love of God empowering you to continue to be the best Momma to those littles just like you always have been!  I am calling these my “Soldier On Momma Verses”

 

Soldier On Momma Verses:

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”                   -James 1:12 NIV

“I can do all this through Him who gives me strength” -Philippians 4:13

“Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.” – 1 Chronicles 16:11

 

True Meaning of Live Wonderfully Made

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When I first put together this blog, I had a different idea of what it was going to be.  The phrase “Wonderfully Made” comes from my Life Bible verse that I live by.  It is something that I have strived to come to peace with.  Finding oneself & being comfortable in your own skin is so challenging, but I have found that with God’s help, it becomes not only an adventure, but also an awakening.  Last year was a year for me to become strong and truly comfortable in my own skin.  What I quickly realized was, that was only the beginning of the journey.  God has had some different plans.  This year has brought new challenges that I needed to be physically strong for, but I found I need some work on the emotional and faith strength.  No one has it all together, but honestly a year ago I thought “Hey I am doing pretty good!!”  I find humor in that because I look at things now and that is not what I am saying!  Right now I am saying, “I am a mess!”  Living Wonderfully Made is not only about the physical part of life, but I have been learning it is about being your “Authentic Self.”  It is about incorporating your whole life including the passions that maybe you sometimes ignore or don’t leave time for.  It is about being unapologetically you!  No excuses, no masks, just TRUE Authenticity!

So what I want this blog to be about is a search for a more authentic self in all capacities. I will be chronicling my journey and I hope to highlight the journey of others as well.  My life and every messy part of it will be a topic.  Transparent and honest about myself as a mom to a special needs child, a woman, a wife, and everything else in between.  Sharing my passion for words and my reality is nothing new to me.  The one thing I have recently promised to myself at the dawn of this New Year is to pursue my passions, pull myself out of the intense darkness I have been feeling and shock the world with light.  You know, no pressure.  I hope that in reading my words that you too, will pursue a Life Wonderfully Made.  The one that God has intended for you.  So….Shall we start?

-Live Wonderfully Made,

Carolyn Decker, xoxo