Today is my mother-in-law's birthday. She is sixty-one years old today. She has been a part of my life for the past 21 years or so. She and my father-in-law opened up their home to me when I was a wandering teenager who was too broke to afford ramen noodles on my grocery store salary. She proposed marriage to me in the place of her son twenty years ago. (That's a funny story. I'll have to share it here one day.) She has rocked my babies, shared funny stories of my husband's childhood, and has come to the rescue at a moment's notice without a thought of hesitation when I was too sick to take care of myself, much less my littles. She has always been careful to not cross any boundaries created by marriage and has made it clear that she loves me as much as she loves her own children. She has encouraged me through so many years of terrible two's and has always supported me as a mother.
Have we never had any problems? Well, no. We have. But, that was more the result of my immaturity and insecurity than anything to do with her. That is so far in the past that it's nothing more than an afterthought now.
I love her. For so many reasons. I love her because she raised the man who was born to love me. I love her because she has this wonderful laugh. I love her because she has fought hard for her family over the years and will be ready to fight again in an instant if need be. I love her because she places very little value in material things of this world. I love her because she makes it clear exactly where I fit into the equation- I am her family!
One day, I will be someone's mother-in-law. My prayer is that I can love them with the same passion that my mother-in-law offers me. I pray that I will be able to follow her example, and never cross the sacred lines between a husband and his wife with my opinions and judgements. I pray that my lap is always big enough to hold all the grandchildren that my kids can give me. I pray that my laugh will forever be ingrained in the minds and hearts of my littles and their families. I pray that I will always have the God-given strength to stand and fight against whatever may threaten to harm my family. I pray that I will remember to encourage my kids and their spouses on their journeys as parents and be quick with words of admiration and praise. I pray that they will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that they are loved well by me.
Happy Birthday, Marie!
May you be abundantly blessed today and all of your tomorrows! I love you. And I am so glad to be a part of your family.
"For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." Galatians 5:13
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness," Galatians 5:22
"Finally, all of you, have a unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do no repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing." 1Peter 3:8-9
"Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children's children-" Deuteronomy 4:9