Embracing This Special Life
Learning to Flourish as a Mother of a Child with Special Needs
There is a unique struggle to keep your faith in God’s goodness and His plan while juggling the appointments, stress, grief and loneliness that few people understand, unless they too are a Christian special needs mother.
Embracing This Special Life will help you:
◊ View the special needs parenting journey from a biblical perspective
◊ Release expectations, negative thoughts, and emotions that are not healthy for you or your family
◊ Embrace God, yourself, your children, this special needs journey, and life itself to its fullest
This practical and encouraging book will guide you toward spiritual victory and renewed purpose in your special needs parenting journey.
About the Author
Jenn Soehnlin is the mother of two boys who are precious blessings and who both have special needs. Her heart is to share encouragement and God’s truths with moms who are also traveling the special needs parenting journey. When she’s not busy taking her lads to yet another appointment, she can be found snuggling with her boys (hubby included), curled up with a good book, enjoying a walk through nature, writing, or blogging at www.embracing.life.
Read an Excerpt
One early summer day my husband suggested we take the boys on a vacation to the beach. Inside I cringed. It sounded terrible. I envisioned chasing two little boys, ages two and four, both with speech and gross motor delays and sensory processing disorder around a beach. Oh yeah, and they both freak out if they get water in their faces. Did my dear husband realize there’d be a lot of water to get in little faces at the beach and the pool?
I thought he was crazy, and I told him so. But I also told him he worked hard for our family, and if this is what he wanted to do with his hard-earned money, then I’d honor his desire for a family vacation.
But, praise the Lord, it was a glorious vacation! The boys had a blast. Never had we seen such excitement on those little faces. “Where are we going?” my husband would ask the boys as we put on swimsuits and gathered our towels and sand toys. “Da beee!” my four-year-old son would exclaim, wiggling and doing his awkward yet charming interpretation of swimming strokes. This child who used to be terrified of water, was soon courageously jumping into the pool into his daddy’s arms. And my younger son added three words to his sparse vocabulary and learned to accept water splashed into his face without a meltdown, huge victories in our book. Huge.
My husband and I marveled at the excitement. We hadn’t experienced such joy in a long time. We knew this was a gift from God. An opportunity to enjoy our family, the progress our children were making with all the hard work and the never-ending therapies we were doing. A time to just rest and be a family.
On the last day of our trip, the thought of packing up our belongings and heading back to our house, the appointments, and the mountain of laundry gave me a panic attack.
My chest felt tight and my heart pounded. Tears streamed down my face and I couldn’t catch my breath. My husband suggested I go out to the beach and spend some time by myself. I went gladly, eager to process this overwhelming anxiety with God.
I listened to the waves crash on the shore, tasted my warm salty tears. I didn’t even know what to pray about. I expected more silence from God.
Never have I been more thankful to be proven wrong. He whispered one word that broke the silence and banished the anxiety and grief that had gripped my heart for so long.
Embrace what? I wondered.
And for the next hour or so, God revealed area after area of my life that I needed to embrace. I wish I had written in at all down at the time, but I don’t think my pen would have flown across the pages fast enough. I was convicted. Encouraged. Loved by the God of the universe.
He would gently remind me of something I needed to embrace fully in my life. Something that I needed to not only accept, but cherish. My role as a mother. My husband and his personality. My children. Their progress. Their personalities. This special-needs journey. Myself. And most importantly, God. My perspective was transformed to the biblical, rather than the worldly way of doing things that I’d been trying to do unsuccessfully for years.
I don’t know how long I spent on the beach, tears rolling down my cheeks, anxious thoughts stilling, transformation unfolding in my heart. A couple hours at least. I probably could have spent longer, but it started to rain and I headed back toward our lovely beach condo where my family and a renewed purpose were waiting for me.
For the first time in a long time I felt alive and happy and at peace.
I began to live with the intention of embracing this special life I had been given.
Ready to embrace this special life and find victory in your special needs parenting journey?