Beach Belly Flop

Elias flopped down on the sand, like a beached seal. His tongue hung out and his jaw open wide with laughter. His legs were stiff and his toes pointed. His arms were stretched behind him. He was balancing on his belly! 

I was sitting on our beach blanket watching from a distance and laughing with him. Groups of people walked by my son and couldn't help but laugh. They weren't laughing at him, they were delighting in him. Then they would look around to find his mother, and they would find me, laughing and cheering with each flop.

I have become more comfortable with people watching our family when we are in public. Sometimes Elias attracts attention when he is unhappy with his startling yelling. In those moments I have to do my best not to care what people think. I have to focus on what's best for my son, not what makes people feel comfortable. 

But other times, like this time, I watch my son share contagious joy with others. I watch him change people. Happy or unhappy, the way Elias expresses emotion stops people in their tracks. Sometimes he reminds people of how fun life is, and other times he reminds them that life can look a little messy, and that's okay. 

I never thought I would adjust to the stares. Some stares are more difficult than others, but they remind me that Elias is challenging how people live. When people stare they should also ask themselves the question…"should I flop on my belly like a seal and completely, with everything in me enjoy life right now?"

Baby To Boy

The night before I became a mother I ate a big piece of juicy steak, one large baked potato, salad, and a piece of apple pie. I sat at my in-laws dining room table with my thoughts taken over by the contractions that tightened around my belly. I had no idea how my life would change in just a few hours. A little baby that would bring me to tears of joy and tears of exhaustion. A baby that would turn into a boy and everything about him would be passionate.

I look down at this little boy that used to be my baby and I wonder how we've come this far. How we have loved, fought, and forgiven. How someone could drive me wild-in-love with them, and the next moment drive me crazy. 

Today is six years made up of small moments that have changed both of us. I am celebrating him and I am celebrating how he has made me love life more!

An Unexpected Summer

When the summer began I had expectations of how it would go. I planned on finishing my book as soon as possible, but life took a few unexpected turns and I had to set it aside.

I will never forget this summer. I have been awake early (with coffee), my heart desperate to find wisdom from the Lord. I have been reminded that my strength truly does come from God.

Last night I finished the last few touches of my book. I sat on my couch and read something that I forgot I had written…"How could I possibly go through the dark hours of another miscarriage? I fear pain and loss...there are some things I beg God to not let me go through again."

I read those words and felt the pain from my recent miscarriage, the miscarriage I had gone through just months after writing those words. I thought about the peace I have been given to trust in God's timing. I am so thankful that God is faithful. He holds me close and gives me rest. 

Last night I finished reading through the book. I am amazed at how I have changed and how I am still slow to change in other areas. I am reminded that life is a process.

This next week I will hand my book over to my editor, who also happens to be my husband. Sign up for the email list on the left side of the page (under "The Mural And The Maker") and I'll let you know when it's released!

© 2014 Natalie Falls