Her only grand-daughter, our daughter Nicole, pregnant in this picture with her grandmother.
This is a different Mother's Day post. This post is dedicated to Mothers-in-law, the women who brought our precious husbands into the world.
I am calling it my Ruth and Naomi post, because a young mother friend of mine is diving into the book of Ruth.
As she talked about what she was learning from the book of Ruth, we both shared our thoughts about mothers-in-law. I can now speak from both sides: one, I still have a mother-in-law, and two, I am now The Mother-in-law to two beautiful, young ladies and one young man.
I expressed to her what a bad rap mothers-in-law receive. I also expressed to her how I hated people telling me that "once you have a daughter you have her for life, but with a son you only have him until he has a wife." Now how unfair is that! Why is it that I have to lose five sons? Why can't I gain five daughters?
As I opened my Bible to read the commentary on Ruth, this is what I read...
"When someone says, "Let me tell you about my mother-in-law," we expect some kind of negative statement or humorous anecdote because, the mother-in-law caricature has been a standard centerpiece of ridicule or comedy. The book of Ruth, however, tells a different story. Ruth loved her mother-in-law, Naomi."
My mother-in-law turns 99 in June. She has been my mother-in-law for 34 years. I am married to her only son. She didn't lose her son when I married him, she gained another daughter. My husband didn't abandon his mother either. He has always called and talked to her daily, except when we were out of the country, for the last 34 years. She has ALWAYS asked about me. She will also ask about each of our six children, their spouses and now her great-grandchildren.
Until recently, she could have told you in detail what was going on in each of their lives.
She has always known when they were playing a sport, if they won or lost, what position they played and the name of their team. She has followed their daily lives. Even as they became adults, she has continued to keep up with their lives.
As a mother-in-law, she has always supported me as my husband's wife and children's mother. She has ALWAYS told me what a good job I am doing, both as a wife and mother. Her precious cards fill my memory box. I have treated her with the same love and respect. I have never said, "she is your mother, that is your family, you take care of them." I shop for her special gifts for Christmas, birthday and mother's day. One day she called and said, "Janette I am looking around my house and all I see is you!" She started telling me all that was in her view were things I had bought her. Then she said, "I love you and I don't want you working so hard." That has always been her saying to me, "Janette, don't work so hard." No, we haven't seen eye to eye on everything, and yes, she has stood her ground on what she didn't like. Recently she was upset with me because I love my husband's hair grey and she wants it dyed. She let us know her displeasure (she still dyes hers!)
Even though we are very different women, we are the ones who share one important person...my husband, her son.
We also haven't shared similar interests, but we share our faith and walk with the Lord.
She prays for me.
I will never hold the place in my husband's heart that belongs to his mom.
SHE was the one who gave him birth.
SHE was the one who instilled in him his values, his belief system and many qualities that drew me to him.
SHE is the one to whom he said, "Mom, I want to marry you."... just like all little boys tell their mom at one time or another in their childhood. At that time, they couldn't imagine living without this woman, their mom.
SHE is the one who was there when he first laughed, when he took his first step and when he fell in love with me.
SHE is the one who kissed his boo-boos.
SHE is the one who pondered things in her heart that the Lord told her about her son.
SHE is the one who celebrated his successes and dried his tears from his failures.
I will never hold the memories she has of her son and the years she raised him. She will never have the part of his heart that he has given to me, BUT in no way is she less important. In no way, should she be tossed aside, or given the leftovers, just because he married me. I pray she has never felt that I did that.
(My mother-in-law spent her last Christmas at our house in 2012. She was still traveling to see us for every event, until she turned 98!!!)
Naomi set an example for us mother-in-laws. First, love the Lord your God will all your heart, and allow His love to flow from you for your daughter-in-laws. Ruth teaches us the blessings of honoring your mother-in-law. God chose these women to be in the lineage of Jesus, because of one daughter-in-law's love for her mother-in-law. May I learn from each of these women.
Happy Mother's Day