I always had this idea that if and when I married life would be perfect. It was all there in my head; every little detail. Needless to say not one bit of what I imagined can be found in my life today. haha
I love my husband dearly and my three children are blessings indeed. Even on those days when we are not all in one accord. Family can be such a blessing. I know too though what a nightmare it can be. In-laws can make life hard and vice versa. Talk about trying to stay in one accord – it seems simply impossible. And in some instances. the negativity goes beyond my family. My in-laws are good people – they live quite far away though and money is always an issue – relationships on all fronts too are not just strained but broken. And in need of a repair that only the Lord can provide.
That said I have been studying, reading, the Book of Ruth, commentaries and anything else i can get my hands on to try to repair or just build again, a new “family”. Now I have seen some of the movies, heard the jokes and nightmare stories about in-laws and I never thought it was true. Not a bit of it. Unless they all just didn’t care…..Mine would be different. I would have an amazing family to show and share. I imagined they would be so well traveled; well read and so very witty. So none of that is the case with my current in-laws. Time to put the dream to rest and find those gems within the family that we have.
And that can be a real struggle. As I try to determine how to move forward; how to better things for all of us, I had the chance to read Related by Chance, Family by Choice. With lots of scripture throughout each chapter and many references to the Biblical story of Ruth and Naomi – there is much wisdom within these pages. Written by what I am sure is a lovely lady and three lovely daughters in law it is fraught with wisdom for those who have a less than perfect place with their in-laws. There is the perspective of the wives and that of the mothers. Together there are ideas and prayers; suggestions and ideas for how to make family so much more. Even those like my own who are truly hard to love (and see me as the same I am sure).
I have my faults and I try to stay honest a bout my walk with the Lord. I try to remember that our extended family is not made up of follows of Him; not all are mature in their faith. Some days I know I am not showing His light. Especially when I am not showing the love. I pray for Him to give me His eyes and His heart for those who I find so impossible to love. Truth. Love. Both are desperately needed in the world today. And in a way that is not hateful and demeaning but full of true and honest concern for another.
How do we begin? Especially with those who already have a history of bad relationships; people full of anger and animosity. When one is just that unpleasant to be around how do you show love and concern? When problems arise; when folks talk at and about you…I do believe this is where the Holy Spirit MUST lead us. We must remember, as is said often within this book, that this is his mother. We love him – his family is where he came from – his roots and his heritage. His ways good and bad stem from his family. And like it or not we must learn to seek out the good within all things.
I always planned for a perfect, amazing, inspiring mother in law; instead she is a tired and very sick woman. Overweight, full of anger at the world and at her family. There is much history there. I do believe she feels the need to be needed and knowing that her life is one in which she needs more than she can give there is much resentment there. My husband does so very much for her, with not a word of thanks. It breaks my heart although I refuse to show it; that my husband can be so abused by his own family – his desire to love them, to see them saved and safe – its overwhelming to me. But that is my husband – giving and kind and gentle – not loud, not a fighter. He is a peacemaker. And that can be great when there are no difficulties But when problems arise – there is an elephant in the room – unlike him I am a hunter of elephants. And I fear I am not graceful or as gentle as i could be when I go into battle 😛
I would love to see things change within our family. Although we see them rarely to begin with perhaps that can change. Perhaps we can step – happy feet – one at a time into a place where perhaps they will find joy in their grandchildren. Maybe a bit of peace within our home. Ah to be able to see them and not dread their visits because truth be told, they come, and I write the date of their departure on the calendar. Not their arrival. Its not how we want it to be. So with some excellent suggestions from writer Deb DeArmond, and a lot of prayer- i mean ALOT – I am hopeful that He shall begin to move more and more within our families. That we may see Him and show Him.
One winner will receive:
- A $200 SpaFinder gift card (perfect for a pampering day of bonding)
- Related by Chance, Family by Choice by Deb DeArmond (2 copies)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 30th. Winner will be announced December 2nd at Deb’s blog.