Thursday, May 17, 2012

To My Mother-in-Law

Carol,
This is long overdue, but thank you. Thank you for 10 years (14 if you count our courtship) of love and support for me, my marriage and my role as mother of half your grandchildren. I hear stories from so many friends about their tenuous relationships with their mothers-in-law and it makes me even more grateful for your graciousness in the role.

Since the moment I met you, I have always felt warmth--that you were interested in knowing me, but without ever coming across as intrusive. When I ask for your counsel, you are caring, thoughtful and intent on sharing with me--but you are gifted at the art of not overstepping boundaries or offering unsolicited advice that might come across as judgmental, pushy or condescending. (I wish I knew how you pull that off so artfully!)

You are encouraging--but not in an insincere, overly sentimental or mushy way. I believe you.

I think of you as another mother--who thankfully hasn't ever had to scold or punish me. You bless our family with generosity with your time and your resources. I will forever be marked by your faithful daily visitation during my 2 months of hospitalization with the triplets. I appreciate your being so gracious as to invite my family of origin to participate in family holidays with yours.

When we became engaged I remember being told how you and your mother-in-law had been praying for me for 30+ years. I think I am most appreciative of that.

You and I are similar in some respects and very different in others. Thank you for never making me feel like my way was any less effective than yours. The irony is, much like the point of yesterday's post, your respectfulness and encouragement makes me want to please you much more than pushiness or demands ever would.

I am only beginning to imagine what it must be like to raise up a boy--to pray for and work diligently to protect his heart--then watch it be handed over to someone you barely know. Thank you for trusting God and for trusting me to love your precious only son. I adore your 41 year old boy and I am grateful to you for the loving way God used you to shape his heart.

I can't imagine how hard you must have to pray to bite your tongue sometimes and put up with me--but it is noticed and deeply appreciated. I hope one day when R & P are married to follow the example you have so beautifully set for me.

With love,
Jennifer

11 comments:

Meredith said...

Hi. I came across your blog through another blog, and so on. This one def caught my eye. My husband and I have been together 14 yrs, married for almost 8 of those. We were high school sweethearts! Anyway, I had only wished and hope to have a mother-in-law like yours. Mine is completely opposite and has yet to acknowledge me as a wife and mother to her son and grandchildren. However, the love that MY parents have shown my family the love and support of 1000 parents, so I have accepted the way things are. You are so lucky!
I'm an amateur blogger and don't have much posted, but my site is
bennettstories.blogspot.com

Lisa said...

I am so thankful for you that you have that wonderful relationship. Unfortunately, I do not my mother-in-law's acceptance, much less her love. Since the death of my mom in February, the lack of her love is so very glaring. But I do believe that God can change anything with prayer, so pray I do! And if nothing else, I know that God is working in me to prepare me to be the mother-in-law to my son's wife (many years down the road) that I always wished to have. Blessings to you!

Cuz I'm the mama! said...

Beautifully written and I'm sure she will appreciate hearing from your heart. These can be difficult relationships and it's awesome you have such a special one with her.

Love Being A Nonny said...

I too do not have the love I would like to have from my MIL. But I do so love her son and thank her for the man she raised. I want to be the MIL to my two DIL's that you described here. I strive for that. I pray for that. I trust God for that. After all, they have my two precious sons. Thank you for this post JenMoM.

JMom said...

Oh, how some of your comments sting my heart for you. I know from the experiences of close friends how hurtful this relationship can be & how very blessed I am to have Carol. (Recent situations friends are in are actually what prompted me to pause and be express gratitude to her.)
Praying tonight for those of you that have posted...and that we may all learn from the relationships we maintain how to be intentional about loving our children and their spouses one day.

dee said...

I hope one day my daughters-in-law will feel these same emotions for me. What a blessing! My daughter's fiance gave me a Mother's Day card this year; and in it said, "Thank you for always treating me as one of your own." That definitely touched the heart of this future mother-in-law!

Amy said...

Just Beautiful! Thank you for sharing your letter to Carol with us.

Lindsay said...

Wow! That was beautifully written, as always. You and I are incredibly lucky to have such wonderful MILs. Your words described my MIL exactly. She is a truly graceful and wonderful woman of God. What a blessing you and I both have in our MILs.

Beth/Mom2TwoVikings said...

Aw, Jen. Good job - mom-in-laws get a bad rap. Glad you've been blessed by one of the good ones! :)

Vicky said...

What a great post!

My mom passed away when I was a teenager. I often pray that the Lord will bless me with a great mother-in-law one day when I get married.

Denice said...

You are blessed! My mother-in-law is wonderful, too. I don't take that for granted. Thanks for sharing about yours.