Honesty – Reposted with Permission from Dalas at Crunchy Lutheran Mommy

So many people have told me that what they love most about my blog, Crunchy Lutheran Mommy, is my honesty.  That’s why I haven’t been posting much lately… I haven’t wanted to be honest, not on the blog, not anywhere.  And now I feel like I’m in a Dr. Suess rhyme all of a sudden… sigh.  I still have lots of drafts backlogged in my files.  For nearly a month I neglected my weekly pregnancy posts.  I haven’t wanted to take a belly picture because that would mean I’d need to smile for it, and I don’t feel like I can give you an honest smile today.  Or any of the days I might have had time to put up a quick post.

Every time I see someone outside of my own home (which isn’t very often as you might imagine) I get the same reaction “You look so exhausted!”  Here I am trying so hard to put on a joyful, Christ-filled, my-cup-overfloweth countenance and every single person can see right through it.  So much for being a model pastor’s wife, right?  But that’s the truth.  Exhaustion is my truth right now.  Every tiny little activity is exhausting.  Serving my children is exhausting.  Enjoying my children is exhausting.

Every once in a while my Dad asks me “Do you feel like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew yet?”  That’s been his concern this whole adoption, and sometimes it still comes up.  For months I have been saying no, but the question is starting to haunt me like a bad jingle I can’t get out of my head.  And I don’t even have any cutesy music to go with it.  I’m struggling right now.  That’s the only honest thing I have to say, and I hate to say it.  I hate to say it because the last thing I want is a slew of comments or messages or phone calls from people asking me if I’m ok or asking how they can help.  Just my pride talking?  Probably.

Prayer is good, but I know we’re covered in that already, without even having to ask.  So why even post?  Why not just say, we’re going through a tough transition time and I need to take a blogging break?  Why not run away?  I certainly feel like running, but running isn’t going to help me or anyone.  What might help though, is being honest, putting my weaknesses out there for the world and letting ya’ll know I am far from perfect.

It might help other adoptive families have realistic expectations for when they get home.  Did you know that the norm is actually to experience some level of post-adoption depression?  It’s very much like post-partum blues and depression, but even more common for both adoptive moms and dads, and even more complicated because of the deep sadness that naturally accompanies the reality of adopting a hurting child.  Adoption is all about loss.  We don’t like to talk about it much, just like we don’t want to talk about how redemption is all about the cross.  But the one is a living icon of the other, and the picture is poignant.

When we baptize our babies we dress them up in these beautiful white gowns and take family pictures and have a big reception and celebrate it.  Some families remember their baptisms every year (I know we do!) and we linger on the promises and the miracles that have been given to us in our gift of baptism.  But what we don’t see with our eyes as the pastor pours clear, sparkling water over that sweet child’s head is…  the blood, the death.  Because as much as baptism is about new life it is first about death, the death of the person being baptized, the gruesome death of Jesus on the cross.  There is a saying that as Christians we do not need to fear death because we have already died.  We died the death of Christ during our baptism, which means death has no hold over us – just as it had no hold over the God of the Universe.  And there, in the loss and only through that loss comes the beauty and the promise of true, abundant life.

Adoption is also about loss.  Life for these children only comes by means of very deep loss.  Everything that was their life has to die, everything that was meant to have been theirs, that should have been theirs was taken from them.  Only through that reality, can they begin a new life.  But the child isn’t the only one who loses something, the family also experiences loss.  In the end, it will be a blessing to us all.  But right now?  Wow is it hard.  We had a lovely little family.  Two perfectly healthy, bright, beautiful children – a boy and a girl.  Sweet, sheltered, secure little ones… not a real care in the world.  And then we took a hammer to all of that.  We shattered our perfect little family and we changed it forever.

Now we’re a family of broken pieces and broken hearts.  A family where half of our children still don’t understand what it means to have a Mommy and a Daddy.  I overheard my four year old daughter telling a lady the other day that the nannies dropped Hope in her crib when she was in the orphanage.  We try to not talk about things like that in front of her, but she hears and remembers everything.  There is so much her little mind is trying to process: abuse, abandonment, neglect, pain… crushing pain.  Things I never intentionally would have introduced to my four and two year olds, but now they are living those realities second hand by watching us as we try to help their brother and sister heal.

They were away from their home for two months; that was hard for them.  Neither of them have been as secure since that trip.  We spend hours a week in therapy, hospitals, referrals and appointments.  Time I could have been reading stories or making fun crafts or teaching them how to bake.  And us?  We’re exhausted emotionally, physically and spiritually from all of it.  Suddenly we are a family with trauma, a family in need of an incredible amount of healing.  Overnight we went from having it all together to picking up the pieces.  Did we choose this?  Sort of, but not really.  Were we expecting it to be hard, even this hard?  Of course.  But just because trauma doesn’t always come without announcing itself doesn’t mean it isn’t just as traumatic when it finally walks through your front door and decides to live with you for a while.

Adoption is hard.  It is inherently loss, not just for the adoptive children, but for everyone in the child’s life.  Beautiful, lovely, miraculous things come from adoption.  But we do a disservice to adoptive families and their children when we overlook where that beauty came from. It came from ashes, ashes that are blown into a home, leaving the family to clean up the great mess that follows.  It’s not pity that I, or any adoptive parent, needs.  It’s prayer.  Understanding.  Support.  We need to know that if we don’t make that phone call or we don’t send that thank you note or if we never reach out for help it’s not because we don’t care about you.  It’s because our families have just been broken, and it’s taking all of our energy and strength to pick up all the pieces.

Sometimes we need you to reach out to us because we can’t reach out ourselves, but other times we just need space.  Sometimes we need respite, other times we just need a meal we didn’t have to cook ourselves.  Sometimes we need to sit and talk with someone who understands, and other times we just need people to stop asking how it’s going.  But most of all we need huge heaping doses of grace and mercy and love.  We need to know that the people in our lives are going to see our crazy, depressed, angry emotional roller coasters and they’re going to love us anyway.

(Just as a side note, if you are a family member or friend of an adoptive parent and you’re wondering why we aren’t asking for help, it’s probably because, especially when our children came from hard places, the kind of help we need is so specific that it would be difficult or impossible to just ask for a simple hand on something.  And if we tried to ask we would either come off as ungrateful or unreasonable or both.  Unfortunately, there are just situations where there is no real help that can be given without a logistical brainstorm involved.  Our children’s needs and our new family dynamics make simple things, like bringing in outside help, much more complicated.)

So here’s to honesty.  Here’s to dispelling the myth that adoptive families are superheroes that don’t need anyone’s help.  Here’s to coming out and saying that just because we signed up for this doesn’t mean we will always have our act together, and just because we “chose” these children doesn’t mean we can’t have a bad day, or week or month… or even year. We are just like you, and just like any family, when trauma kicks off its old, muddy shoes and decides to stay a while… we’re going to struggle.  And we are.

May the Lord, in His mercy, turn our sorrow to joy and our tears to laughter.  May He bring the dawn quickly and banish the darkness from our midst.  May He orchestrate the beauty from the ashes, and give us inclination to focus on neither, but rather to seek His face in this and in every season. Amen.

~~~~~

Dalas is a mother to four with another on the way. She is seriously passionate about motherhood, adoption, being “crunchy” (a fancy way of describing how she keeps her family healthy) and her Lutheran faith. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter and on her blog, Crunchy Lutheran Mommy. You can read her original Honesty post here.

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National Adoption Month Series: Donna’s Story

Parenthood is an amazing adventure. It is a road riddled with twists and turns and unexpected bumps. It’s also a journey filled with wonder, grace, and joy.

Pat and I never intended to have six children. When we were first married and talked about how many children we would have, I wanted four. Pat wanted two. In the end, we did both. Our first three sons arrived the conventional way. Our next three children arrived through the miracle of adoption.

My older boys were in their early teens when Pat and I became foster parents. One beautiful June evening, we were asked to open our home to a three year old girl and a seven month old boy, both of whom had the chicken pox. A few hours later, Patty arrived clutching a much-loved doll. She had big, brown eyes and a fearful, but beautiful smile. Anthony came into my arms and snuggled into my heart. A few years later, a judge made official the adoption that took place in our hearts that night. We had four sons and one daughter.

Shortly after Patty and Anthony’s adoption, we learned that their birth mother was expecting another child. We agreed to accept this child also. While my boys wondered who would have to share their room and Patty and I wondered if this baby would be another boy or if Patty would have to share her princess status, my husband wondered if we were nuts. When we received the phone call that a baby boy had arrived; I laughed and said, “We needed another one of those.”  We picked Connor up from the hospital when he was just three days old. 

Adoptive parents never really know for sure exactly what we are getting into, but birth parents don’t either. There are days in the lives of every parent when you want to tear your hair out and cry, “This is not what I signed up for!” I have been picking up Legos for 29 years. I have finally graduated out of car seats. I have slept in hospital beds with my arms wrapped around a sick child. I’ve worried when they’ve come home late. I’ve attended hundreds of parent-teacher conferences and countless holiday performances. I’ve lent my son an earring. I’ve overseen enough homework assignments to fill a library. I’ve had pool water spit in my face and baby spit-up on my shoulders. I’ve been blessed with tadpoles and dandelions crushed in a chubby fist. At one point we had one son in the Navy, two sons in college, and our baby in day care. I can bore you to tears telling you about my kids’ accomplishments. I am fiercely protective of them and want only the best for them.

We do not know a lot about our children’s birth mother, but this one thing I do know, she loved her children. She loved her children enough to give them life and we are so grateful she did. Our children, all of them, have enriched our lives far beyond what anyone could have told us.

~~~~~

Donna is a wife of 34 years to Pat and blessed with quite a lot – 5 sons, 1 daughter, a daughter-in-law, a dog and a cat, a house, a bunch of furniture, and a garage filled with everything but a car. You can follow her on the blog, HoliMess, where she shares about noticing God in the midst of our daily life through crafts, recipes, devotions, comforting words, and encouragement.

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A Changed Life: What I took Home from #Allume

In addition to a large box of books, notepads, keepsakes and trinkets that I had to hike ten blocks in the hot, South Carolina sun and find a UPS office to ship home for $27, I boarded my 6 am flight home to Portland, Oregon with so much more. A head exploding with new information, thoughts and ideas to write about, a heart full of new contacts and friends and their warm stories. And a body weary from the hustle and bustle that only a cross-country trip for five days at a blogging conference with hundreds of other women can produce.

I got the chance to meet some of my favorite bloggers, authors and speakers, listen in on some amazing, life-changing sessions and keynote lectures. Nearly all day long for three days I was able to engage in deep and heart-wrenching conversations with new acquaintances from all over the world and in every sort of walk of life and circumstance. I made business connections and networked with big names in Christian literary agencies and publishing companies and spoke with several remarkable philanthropic organizations that aid and serve people in varying cultures living through a multitude of tragic events and conditions. And I shared a tiny room with three women I had never met before, who, by the end of the conference have become dear and hopefully, life-long friends.

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Of course I had my expectations and preconceived notions of what Allume was going to be like. Some were unrealistic or just wishful thinking that didn’t come true. Others were fears and apprehensions that for the most part were relieved and overcome. I forced myself to get out of my comfort zone and work up the courage to talk with complete strangers about my writing and the Made to Mother Project, exchanged business cards and asked for social media follows. I pushed away the initial feelings of envy and competition to really listen to other writers, authors and “mommy bloggers,” and I ignored the “not good enough” thoughts that nagged at my soul as I listened to the wisdom of those who have gone before me and have twice (or six times) the platform or book deals that I have. I learned to encourage and cheer on others, practice TRUE hospitality in many different forms, and to change my default mindset from one of of categorizing and comparisons to blessing and reassuring others. Finally, I came away from Allume with the new mantra to trust Him with this calling I have received, to write the story that was assigned to me, work my own patch of land that He has allotted and to repeat, repeat, repeat.

Allume seriously changed my life last week. It reconnected and uplifted my faith in Christ and it gave me the motivation and help to adjust my self-talk and trust God more with my tiny little microphone IN HIS TIME. And, on a completely different note, it gave me a front-row, inside look at the SOUTH. And, wow, I fell in love with that part of our country! I drank gallons of sweet tea, consumed plates of grits; I adored the “y’alls” and drawls and simply cherished the downright, sweet southern hospitality of everyone I met there. And I will be back. Soon.

In the meantime, I have resolved to take a little time off from my crazy obsession of blogging, promotion and social media to rethink, reevaluate and refocus myself. Countless Allume speakers convicted me to spend more authentic time with my family and community, and realign my writing priorities and future so they fall UNDER my first priority as a wife, mom and friend. That being said, as November quickly approaches and with it a big month of sharing adoption stories here at M2M, you are going to see fewer personal posts and less participation in linkups and promotions. I want my family to know that they are the most important job I have; I want more of others and less of me, and I want God to receive ALL the glory through the continuing work of the Made to Mother Project. So, thank you, Allume, for an amazing week of self-reflection and transformation to live more intentionally, love bigger and embrace true hospitality!

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5 Things My #Allume Roomies Should Know About Me

This is getting real. I am going to #Allume this week…in 2 days, 6 hours and 23 minutes to be exact. I am leaving my three kids with my husband in the middle of the week to get on a plane and fly across the country to Greenville, SC for the Allume Conference for four whole days. I still can’t believe it. I am excited. I am nervous. I just might throw up.

Allume is this amazing community of Christian women who write, blog or aspire to. They hold a conference each fall to refresh, encourage and spur on women writers through inspirational speakers, fellowship gatherings and skills workshops. And this year, I GET TO GO! I first heard about Allume last winter when I began this crazy blogging journey. I knew it would be good for me to attend a blogging conference and there were three that I was mulling over. I finally settled on Allume mostly because of Sarah Mae, a blogging hero of mine.

I went shopping last week for new clothes, jewelry and a new purse so I can attempt to fit in with all the gorgeous, stylish and professional women that I know are coming. I’m packing my husband’s laptop (mine is being sent away for warranty repair), several notepads and pens, blog and book business cards and (gulp) a M2M book proposal that I have been working tirelessly on for an interview with a literary agent. Please cross your fingers, toes and whatever else you can that I don’t blow this!

So, now for the real question you are wondering about…why am I posting about this??? Well, in addition to gearing up for next week’s adoption month series and preparing for my trip, I have nothing else ready to post, nor do I have the time to promote it this week. Also, a couple weeks ago, one of my conference roommates that I haven’t yet met in person wrote a post on her blog about a few things we should know about her. She then challenged us to do the same and last week, Allume echoed that challenge, so here goes. To Aprille at Beautiful in His Time, Katie from Wonderfully Made and Jennifer from Jennifer’s Life Between:

1. Even though a test I took in high school said I am an extrovert, I can be really shy, awkward and self-depreciating at first. But get me talking and watch out, I might dominate the conversation. I am getting better at asking reciprocating and insightful questions, but if I’m a little hesitant, don’t give up on me. And if I talk too much, please feel free to tell me to shut up or take a breath and then talk about yourself.

2. Sometimes I talk, shout and laugh in my sleep. Sorry. BUT, I’m super nervous and we probably will be going to sleep very late every night anyway, which hopefully will help me sleep so deeply…or restlessly because I am so nervous. Either way, hopefully I won’t have time to sleep-talk.

3. Next to all the scheduled events and my aforementioned interview with a literary agent, I have no plans and know no one there. As such, I’m extremely nervous about striking up conversations with complete strangers and terribly afraid of having no one to talk to and sit with, so please include me on anything that you can!

4. I’m not much of a dress-up, hair and make-up, fancy person like I used to be when I was younger. In fact, since I had children and became a SAHM, I am pretty sad to say that I have gotten frumpy and not super stylish. I am trying to fix this, though, perhaps a little too forcefully as I went shopping last week literally just for this conference. So, any styling tips and shameless compliments would be much appreciated!

5. If I could pick ONE post from M2M that is my all-time, must-read favorite it would have to be: When Good Enough Just Isn’t and Living a Simpler Life. Okay, yes, I know that’s two. I just couldn’t help myself. Enjoy!

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When ‘Good Enough’ Just…Isn’t

As a writer (and probably every other profession out there), we are always looking for the next, big thing. That next, super-popular post gone viral, our 15 minutes of fame, or a new, original and undiscovered idea. And when we have it, we revel and bask in the glory, for a moment, that we have produced something quality, worthwhile and meaningful. Until the light fades and our public moves on to something newer, better or flashier. And we are left, once again, to frantically search and grasp for that next thrill, that next great idea; something that will be good enough to get the attention of the masses…again.

Every time this happen on this crazy wheel of blogging, I ask myself, what if I’m not good enough? What if I cannot come up with something else? What if eventually those great ideas and posts just run dry? What if I can never achieve that NEXT thing? What if…?

As a blogger, I compete with hundreds of thousands of other writers and websites for my readers’ attention. I’m up against very talented women who blog about family, crafts, homeschooling, marriage, Christian living, recipes, and on and on and on. Even so, I like to consider myself in a smaller niche of writers where I won’t post the healthiest and tastiest crock pot recipe, the best tips and tricks on being an organized, homeschooling SAHM, or the most beautiful, pinterest-ready image featuring my amazingly inspiring words of wisdom about godly parenting and marriage. And unless I think it is absolutely something my readers cannot live without, you won’t find shamelessly promoted affiliate links or randomly advertised products within my content.

I consider Made to Mother a ministry….a nonmoney-making space where woman can feel refreshed or encouraged in their trials and triumphs of motherhood by reading about other’s similar stories or sharing their own. But, despite this resolve, I still have to compete with the many, many, MANY other bloggers out there who want the same readers’ attention. And I admit, I dream of the day when I have thousands of hits a day on my site, so many entries for stories that I have to turn some away and even more comments, likes and followers than I can keep up with. Granted, I am not there yet, but I think that for only having started M2M seven months ago, it is doing fairly well. Still, those “what ifs” are always in the back of my mind and I am consistently forced to lay this blog and its future at the feet of the One who has orchestrated and placed a writing burden on my heart.

So, when I feel that I am not good enough, that Made to Mother is not good enough, I remind myself that He IS and I trust that He will guide both as long as He sees fit.

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My Review of 4 of the eBooks/Resources in the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle

This is your last chance to order! The sale ends TONIGHT, April 28th at 9pm PST. Don’t leave it to the last minute, get this AMAZING bundle of ebooks, right here RIGHT NOW!
You get over $850 worth of ebooks on motherhood, homemaking, marriage, food and recipes, homeschooling, health and wellness, blogging and working from home and SO MUCH MORE for an unbelievable price! PLUS, an additional $200 worth of extra goodies, including A Free 10-pack of DaySpring Cards, $15 Store Credit + Free Art Print at Hope Ink, 3 eyeshadows from Redeeming Beauty Minerals, a Free 2-month online membership to Fit2B Studio, 90-day site membership at List PlanIt and 2 months at One a Month Meals.

Buy it in Kindle form for only $39.97 here or get it in PDF for just $27.97 here!!!

Here are four great titles in the bundle, which I am proud to review and put my stamp of M2M Approval on:

FaithLeaps: The Christian Mom’s Guide by Alyssa Avant

This is a great how-to guide to turn your passion and calling into a work-from-home reality. Ms. Avant begins by telling us her own story of her struggle to step out of her comfort zone in her ministry career and trust God to meet her family’s financial needs while pursuing her passions of blogging, writing and speaking. She begins with a tutorial of how to first recognize your calling and hone it into a pursuable passion using your gifts and learned skills. Then, she provides great insight on how to balance your time, define priorities and scheduling, choosing the audience you should target, building structure and relaying your message through a tiered marketing plan and branding. All of it is summed up by taking a look at the financial piece of working from home and the freedom of leaving it in God’s hands while still making it a priority to give back to Him and working to be debt free. Finally, she concludes with your need to surround yourself with relationships (accountability partners, mentors and prayer team.
What I found personally most profound is her statement that, as a mother working from home, the idea of balance is misguided and false. There is no such thing and it requires a lot of flexibility. Of course I knew this, but to hear it from another blogger and writer is very encouraging an validating. I also needed the reminder to be okay with childish interruptions during the day and make a priority to stop and PLAY sometimes, so I don’t get tunnel vision. FaithLeaps provides a wealth of resources, scriptures and suggested links for even more info for work-at-home moms. I highly recommend this ebook for anyone struggling out there with the pressure to “get a real job” or wrestling with the desire and calling to pursue their passions while still being a full-time mom.

The Cherished Home: Protecting What’s Important by Mary Clendenin

Being a good mom and wife takes intentionality. This ebook begins by reminding us that if we are not intentional, we can get bogged down by stress in a stay-at-home rut. Our calling to be nurturing, loving and fun moms and wives requires constant self-examination, simplifying our life and revaluating our vision…the WHY behind the WHAT…and most importantly, keeping our eyes on Jesus, our rock of stability. From there, Ms. Clendenin gives us a checklist of the things we need to make a priority in order to give our family the best of ourselves: self care, cultivating our marriage, tending our home environment and serving in the community.
The rest of the ebook is a gigantic  encyclopedia of how to make the ordinary things at home be extraordinary. She offers really great suggestions of things to add to your family traditions…kindness jars, love letters, individual family member dates, bedtime routines, birthdays and holidays, chores and a litany of great “little things” ideas. It includes many printables as well for home and health and food recipes to try and concludes with a long list of other books, links and resources to add even more ideas. I think this ebook is a great source of encouragement and definitely a must-have for every mom needing fresh ideas so that we can leave a legacy for our children to grow up and cherish their own homes!

Character Badges by Caroline Allen

Not so much an ebook as a mommy resource, but I absolutely love this take on a sticker/performance chart for my littles. It basically puts together what every busy mom and dad want in a character quality-emphasized chart that we would search for on Pinterest, but neatly and concisely combined with everything you will need to make it successful. Included with the colorful printable badges and monthly charts for obedience, disobedience and consequences and flashcards with character qualities and easy-to-understand definitions, is a very well-written manual including diagrams and tips and tricks to help you use this tool successfully in parenting kids ages 5 and up. They start you off with 12 categories in both the obedience and disobedience charts (10 are given/defined in the program and 2 are left empty for you to add other specific ones important to your family). Three checks in each good quality results in a badge they get to wear all day long (cuteness!) And there is room on the charts to receive each category badge three times so you can always add your own rewards as they rack up badges, which I love. The disobedience chart is a little different in that, depending on the offense there may be a consequence every two or every single time they receive a check. And with each check they receive, the consequences, which you write or type in on the separate consequence chart, get more severe. But the nice thing here (since every family disciplines differently) is that you decide the consequences. To me, this fantastic parenting resource is worth the price of the bundle right there and I am so pleased to recommend it to you!

Breastfeeding Twins, Triplets and More! by Jennifer Fountain

Okay, so I don’t have twins or triplets, but I have a few family/friends who do. And frankly, I was completely fascinated with this title I just had to read it! In addition to being a very talented author, Ms. Fountain has put together a very informative and much needed resource guide for mothers expecting or currently bringing up multiples. She begins by telling her own heroic story of pregnancy, birth and newborn care as a first-time mom of three wee ones, including her struggles with breastfeeding. Wow, what a powerful story! Seriously, the whole book could just be about that! But, instead of just focusing on her story, she uses her experiences, both trials and triumphs, and her lessons learned to put together an amazing instruction manual for other moms of multiples. Coaching you from the day you have learned that you are expecting to the day you decide to wean, this book is terrific breastfeeding and the nursing advise for ANY newborn mother! Ms. Fountain is transparent about the challenges and tough realities of nursing multiples, but also weaves the positive, encouraging and good, practical advice for a mom to stick with it, even during the hardest of times. From everything including the human support you will need, to calories, vitamins, water and pumping equipment, she outlines an easy to read and practical guide every new mom needs to tackle breastfeeding. The care she put into the research and statistics is unbeatable and she also gives her readers a timeline of how to introduce nursing postdelivery, a sample schedule, suggested poses and even an example of costs for raising multiples. She offers a wide range of alternatives to breastfeeding that do not just include formula and other helpful hints, including small snippets of advices and stories from other moms of multiples. Not to mention a LITANY of other great resources! For a short, practical guide to breastfeeding, I highly recommend this ebook! Not just for multiples but for ALL nursing moms!

Get your entire summer vacation reading list now for one, low price, AND it makes an unbeatable Mother’s Day gift! No deliver time from Amazon, no going to multiple websites to purchase, no library waiting list; just dozens of fantastic, wholesome titles right at your fingertips! Check out just a taste of some of the books in the following themes:







 

But don’t wait, because in less than 12 hours this sale will be over and so will this fantastic bundle deal!

        

*Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. Please feel free to Read the fine print and the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.*

M2M is participating in the 2014 Ultimate Blog Party!

Ultimate Blog Party 2014

If you are visiting from the 2014 Ultimate Blog Party hosted by 5 Minutes for Moms, welcome! Please take your time and peruse some of the amazing, inspiring and encouraging stories of REAL moms that I post here on Made to Mother. They will make you laugh, cry and feel united with a spirit of motherhood camaraderie!

A Little About Me
I am a wife to Jonathan, my husband of nearly nine years and stay-at-home mommy to our three young children, Chloe, Adaya and Liam. I am also a birth mom to a teenage boy out there somewhere. You can read more about that here, and for ALL the messy details, you can order a copy of the book I wrote about it here.

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I love to write, it is like free (okay, cheap) therapy for me. I also love to read. And talk with my girlfriends. That is why I began Made to Mother; it kinda combines all three! I am passionate about helping other women share their stories so they can experience the freedom of putting their pasts, no matter how messy, on paper and then watching it become an encouragement to others.
You can find out more about my M2M Project here and I hope in addition to reading some of the other heart-warming stories I’ve posted, you will consider letting me share your story, too!

Here are just a few of my absolute favorite stories posted here:

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