Thursday, March 22, 2007

Ode to my Mother-in-Law

Everyone is familiar with mother-in-law jokes. You know, the stuff that folks laugh at on sit-coms and other places. If you believe the jokes, mothers-in-law make outlaws look good, and the only thing worse is a trip to the dentist for a root canal, without any drugs. Well, I want everyone to know that my mother-in-law is NOTHING like the women you hear about in the jokes!

My mother-in-law is an amazing woman! She raised five children, a good part of it as a single mother! Each of her children graduated from college and are successful, kind people. Yes, of course I'm biased, but it is true.

The real reason my mother-in-law is an amazing woman, though, has less to do with what she has accomplished (which is noteworthy, indeed) and more to do with her heart. While we are very different people, my mother-in-law loves me just the way I am. It is difficult to put into words, but oh so precious in my heart.

Probably the biggest difference between me and my mother-in-law is that she plans ahead, and I don't. It isn't that I don't want to, I just don't get around to it. My mother-in-law is organized the way I want to be, but never quite seem to achieve. She is ready and prepared for almost everything, almost always. I, on the other hand, am rarely ready for anything, ever. I'm usually tieing up loose ends to the very last minute, with all the chaos and confusion it brings.

Here is where the amazing part comes in; my mother-law loves me anyway. She could look down her nose at the woman her son married and wonder why I don't shape up and fly right. She could let me know, either bluntly or subtly, that she wasn't sure I qualified to raise her grandchildren. Instead, she tells me she thinks I'm doing a great job! She encourages me and helps me grow. It is a gift I treasure and a blessing I thank Jesus for almost every day. It is such a gift, I had to share it! I have a wonderful mother-in-law!