I have been thinking for a while now, that I am awfully thankful for my mother-in-law. I feel led to share my gratitude in a meaningful way, yet while I sit here, thinking about how I would like to do so, I realize that she probably doesn’t even know that I write a blog.
This is because I am in many ways I feel like I am a unique blogger. I didn’t follow the advise of age old bloggers and authors to share my blog and book with every family member, friend and acquaintance I know to receive feedback and support. The Lord laid it upon my heart to write, but to make my way on my own. I felt very compelled not obligate anyone to read my writing. To read my post simply because you know me is not the support I crave. Rather I truly hope if you are reading my posts with any sense of regularity that you are doing it because there is something more for you here.
Most of those who know me and have read or will read my posts have only just discovered what I am doing. Other than my husband, I didn’t tell anyone I was writing until I had not only published a book, but obtained 4,000 followers on twitter. While my messages may be meant for some of those I know, they are not meant for everyone. The Lord makes it clear if I should share and then I do. Otherwise I try not to make a big deal out of what I am doing.
To be honest I am not even sure if my husband even reads what I write. I share each post with him, in hopes of showing that I am not online bashing him to strangers, but rather hoping that my love for him and devotion to God will shine through. Whether or not it does, I can’t say for sure. My husband has never indicated if he has or hasn’t read a post.
I feel like I am a unique blogger. Not because my topics or writing is truly unique, but because my methods are. Most blogs I follow either post daily, weekly, monthly or on set days of the week. I write when I feel led to write. There are not many days that the Lord does not lay a message upon my heart. There, however, are many days that the Lord says wait. Many days the message is upon my heart, I write most of it out then I can clearly feel the Lord saying to me: This post isn’t done, you have seen, experienced or felt something important to this message yet. Sometimes my readers may not be ready for the topic, or maybe I am not ready to share yet.
I have my twitter account set up to automatically thank every new follower for their follow. Included in this message is a link to both my blog and my book. I have often received support and encouragement from this method of connecting. The downfall is that I often receive message saying I’m sorry, I’m not interested in that as I am not married, divorced, widowed etc. While most of my posts are written around the marriage lessons the Lord lays upon my heart, I feel like most if not all of these lessons apply simply to Christian living, and often even just to self awareness and betterment.
Now the real reason we are here today, is because I am truly unspeakably thankful for my mother in law. Often we say thank you, but even when say “You cannot understand how much I truly appreciate you (or what you did)” the words do not always resonate. I know I have been thanked many times where I did not feel like it was meant, or meant very little to me. Often the words thank you become a habit, formed by good manners, etiquette, ingrained teaching from the times when were once young.
I often try to do things to show my gratitude because quite simply actions speak louder than words. I may say thank you, and in the next breath tease my mother in law about taking days off work, or my dog not liking her. Do these actions really show her how important she is to me? Or does this set the stage for her to feel unloved, unwanted or resentful towards me?
I will pick up a candy or soda for my husband that I know he likes when I go to the grocery store. I text my mother-in-law to see if she needs anything from the store. When I am knitting or crocheting, I am more likely to gift my hard work to someone than to keep it for me. Holidays and birthdays have always been special days to me. I go out of my way to do something special for those around me- usually something craftsy, artsy and unique.
I certainly hope, that as our relationship has progressed, that my mother-in-law knows that I am teasing. Can I be sure? No. Do I know how she truly feels about me? Absolutely not. Even if I asked I may only hear what I would like to hear rather than the truth.
I do however feel like we have a fairly honest relationship. There have been times in the last year, that even though it hurt she told me exactly what she thought and felt, or had heard. It was hard for me, but sometimes the hard things are eye openers. In fact I was afraid this had down unrepairable damage to our relationship.
I hope that like me, she doesn’t feel that way. I hope she knows that even though I may have cried, been scared to even talk to her at times, talked to my father-in-law instead, that she knows I respect her for that particularly hard time in our lives. We may not have always had the best relationship, (mostly on my part. I’ve failed in life in more than one way) but she has always gone above and beyond for me, my children and my husband.
When I met my husband, our daughter was six weeks old. I was embarrassed and horrified to meet his parents, what would they think of me for having a child (alone for 9 months or not) and here I was dating their son. Both of my in-laws however are beyond amazing. They have loved and cared for our daughter as if she were truly their first born grandchild.
I feared when we had our second child that everyone would love him more. But the Lord has blessed me and both of my children have relationships with their grandparents that I could have only dreamed of. In fact even though our daughter knows she has a different “maker” ( as she says it), if you were to ask her where she got her brown eyes from she would tell you her mimi. She currently can’t wait another year or two until mimi retires so that she can have “week-overs” instead of sleep-overs.
Every time my trucks broke down, I’ve had a bill I couldn’t pay, I’ve been stressed beyond belief or I’ve had to visit the emergency room, either for me or the children my mother in law has been there ready and willing to help.
I even can recall a time when our son was about 3 or 4 months old that my husband and daughter were very sick with a stomach virus. I came home early from work to care for them. A few short hours later I found myself trying to clean up my vomiting two year old daughter, while also sitting on the toilet and vomiting into our daughters princess potty. Then my son wakes up needing changed and fed. I tried to wake my husband up to help, but he was too weak.
The next thing I know my mother-in-law is in the bathroom with me, bathing our daughter. This alone is awfully heroic, but did I mention it was around 2 in the morning? Then she takes our son home with her and keeps him over night.
I cannot think of a time my mother-in-law hasn’t been there for me or our family. Truly she is a great woman. Both my mom and my biological mother have left this earth, and I am proud to say my mother-in-law is the mother figure in my life.
My hope for today, is that you are thankful. Thankful for the little things, thankful for the big things. I pray that you will show that you are thankful. Thank God for the blessings, and the people who have blessed you, but then thank the person by showing them how much they mean to you. We can never know for sure when it will be our time to leave this earth, and it would be a shame if you didn’t share your true feelings before then, don’t leave them guessing where your heart is.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18