Seven Years of Being Your Mom

Seven years ago you wanted out of my belly. I had imagined what my birth experience would be like with you, but when that day came it was nothing what I imagined. My birth story with you is much like your passionate personality!

I had my ideas of what being a mother would be like. I had perfect pictures of patience in my mind. We would laugh, hold hands, finger paint, and never would there be any yelling.

Well, my passionate redheaded son, I had no idea what my life would be like with you. To be honest, I struggle with guilt. I am not very patient, their hasn't been much finger painting, and there's been a lot more yelling than I knew I was capable of. 

The way I envisioned being a mother looked really nice, but it had no depth. 

I know you don't understand this now, but I want to write it to you because one day you will know what I am saying. One day you will fail, like I have. You will disappoint. You will feel shame. There will be days when you wonder how others can love you when you make awful mistakes.

And that's when you will remember me—on my knees, once again, asking you for forgiveness. 

I know our relationship has been bumpy, but without those bumps I would be a terrible mother. Those bumps are what we need. Those bumps remind us that we cannot walk this road alone. We need Jesus. He is the one who gives us all we need. When we fail, he will pick us up and conquer! When we lose our temper, He will be our patience. When we make bad choices, he gives us wisdom. 

The last seven years with you has brought so much joy to our family. You are quick to love others. When you see a homeless person on the street you would empty your jar of recycling money in a heartbeat and give your bed for them to sleep in. We have seen you care for your brothers and sister in a way that is beyond your years...you have learned to put others before yourself. I have learned so much from you.

I love you Vitali, you are only seven, but you have experienced so much life already. You are a gift to all of us. The day you made me a mother was the most amazing day of my life. 

Happy birthday!

The Jones

The last few nights have been full of the Jones. We have stayed up too late, past our "responsible" adult bed time. We told stories and laughed until tears filled our eyes. We reminisced about our dating years and early marriage years. We talked late into the night because we knew our time was precious, we only had so much of it.

We met Chris and Evie at a small Bible school in Michigan. Then we followed each other out to Missouri to begin our training as missionaries. Our plan was to reach an unreached people group and translate the Bible into an unwritten language. After four years of training, we knew God had a different plan for us when Elias was born. But Chris and Evie continued on, taking a piece of our hearts with them. As we listened to their stories and how life has changed for them over the last four years, we felt inspired by them. It has taken us many years to let go of a dream, the life we thought we would live. We are still learning to be present in the life God has planned out for us. I know that contentment will always be a challenge for me, but by God's good and perfect grace he reminds me that my life has value wherever I am. 

As we talked and laughed with each other my heart was full. I felt so proud of my friends, not because they have done everything perfect, but when life was really difficult they learned to value others more than themselves...a way I hope to live and teach my children.

© 2014 Natalie Falls