We Never Stop Becoming (Sheryl Falls)

My mother-in-law has walked through many journeys with me. She has known me as a shy little red-head to an out going mom. I have been so thankful for her sweet words when times have been difficult and her laughter when life is good. I can't thank her enough for the love she poured out on Aaron and now the love she pours out on Vitali and Elias.

I became a mother, was a daughter, and am now “Grama blue door”.  My desire as a young girl holding my baby doll always was to grow up and be a mommy and share my love with special needs children.  God has blessed me with both of my heart’s desires…three treasured sons, Joshua, Aaron, and Jony; a tender-hearted daughter-in-law, Natalie; and two grandsons, my love bug Vitali and my sweet little boy Elias.

I am at my best when being creative…sewing, finding new recipes to try (thanks for the inspiration, Natalie), developing my passion of photography, or putting on a hat and going on a snowman parade with my grandbabies.

From the first moments of feeling their life inside me, I have loved every aspect of being a mom...I walked alongside my sons during their first steps, and sang “Jesus Loves Me” out of tune while rocking them to sleep.

I nursed them through fevers and skinned knees, endured sleepless nights to comfort them, provided pots and pans to inspire their musical talents, dried many a tear from their cheeks, and hugged and kissed them lots and lots so they would feel love’s expressions.

I embarked on endless adventures with them with every book we read, felt a greater sadness than they did when disciplining them, cheered them on towards goals and homeruns, said please and thank you to them, was truthful bytelling them the shot would hurt, let them have the very last warm cookie we baked on a rainy day, made Bible stories come alive for them during Sunday school, reassured them when they trembled in fear, and helped them memorize the Scout Oath.

I was willing to say I was sorry so they could forgive me, opened their eyes to God’s wonders as we explored the world around us while homeschooling, never tired as we scooped up legos with our hands hundreds (yes, hundreds) of times, was kind so they experienced kindness, stopped along the path so they could pick up a stick or watch a caterpillar.

I agreed to marry them when they grew up knowing they would change their minds, fostered their creativity through paint, dress up, crayons, hammers and playdoh, showed them how to gently care for a puppy, hamster, fish, bunny, cockatiel, a snake, and enhanced their imagination as we traveled to the faraway land of pretend.

I included them on our struggles so they would recognize God’s provision, rejoiced with them in their accomplishments, taught them to be a gentleman, prayed together with them as they were baptized publicly committing their lives to Christ, instilled honesty and compassion in their hearts, guided them while they put the pieces back together when life seemed broken, rejoiced with them in their accomplishments, laid on their bed laughing as their little fingers tickled me, sat on that same bed as they grew and listened while they shared their dreams or talked of their vulnerabilities, encouraged them to be a reflection of their perfect Lord while depending on Him for their imperfections, stood in the driveway with anticipation as they walked away to continue their journey on their own while tears trailed down my cheeks; and still, I pray for each of them and my heart sometimes quietly aches, yet more abundantly, it overflows with joy, for whatever life is bringing their way.

I have learned throughout 29 years of motherhood…we will never finish a meal in one sitting, the love we have for our children has no bounds, we never stop “becoming” as a mother, our children will love us in spite of ourselves, and our Savior’s love for mothers will cover every shortcoming we may have.

Confession: Over the years-- loathing the words, “You’ll always be my baby”, yet speaking those same words to his son (although I’ve been told he said, “that’s different”), warms my heart and lovingly makes me smile, knowing that he now understands.  And someday… his brothers will, too.

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© 2014 Natalie Falls