First, I have to start this post by telling you that I have had the best sandwich in the world: The Marlboro Man Sandwich by Pioneer Woman. You must eat this ASAP! It is sooo good. If you don’t know who The Pioneer Woman is, you just have to click on over and find out for yourself. Oh, and try her Corn Casserole too. Mmm mmm mmm! Seriously, this woman is my hero!
Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, I can go on to write about what I intended to write about in the first place. My mother-in-law.
Bean and I spent Labor Day weekend with my mother-in-law while Hubby, the boys, and my father-in-law camped. You hear so many of those mother-in-law jokes where the mother-in-law is portrayed as stupid or bitchy. You hear of so many folks who complain about their mother-in-law and the way she treats them badly. You will never won’t usually hear me complain like that about my mother-in-law.
Because my mother-in-law (hereby called MIL because I am getting to lazy to keep typing it all out) is a wonderful lady. She is kind to me and treats me like one of her own children. She is almost always willing to lend me a helping hand unless it’s when I’ve called her a few times to come and watch my kids so I can go out with my husband for the evening and she won’t do it and I get really angry about it. She has taught me so much in the eight years that I’ve been married to her son. She taught me to sew and gave me her beloved sewing machine. She taught me to can vegetables. She got me interested in cross stitch and crochet. She tried to teach me to crochet once but I wasn’t interested at the time. Now that I’ve taught myself, she shared some of her crochet patterns with me this weekend. She has taught me to make a number of foods that I would have never tried nor been able to cook correctly if she hadn’t shown me how. Most of all, my MIL inspires me to be a better mother and wife and homemaker.
When I look around her home, it is furnished quite nicely but simply. Many of the things she has in her home have come from estate sales and yard sales and the rest have come from years of hard work to acquire them. The thing is, she doesn’t have to have new stuff. She is just as happy to reupholster an old sofa that she’s had for decades than if she went out and bought a new one. She also has wonderful taste in upholstery fabrics.
She always has a servant’s attitude toward her family. No matter how tired she may be, if her husband asks for her to do something for him (say get him a sandwich while he sits on the porch swing), her response is always “Sure, I’d be happy to do that for you.” Me? I’d say “Huh? Get up off your butt and fix your own sandwich. You’re a big boy and you know how it’s done. I didn’t take you to raise.” But not her, no sir.
When she woke up on Sunday morning and Bean was standing in her bed, waiting for me to come and pick her up, MIL picked her up and changed her diaper and took her downstairs and fed her some breakfast and then took her outside to swing in the porch swing so I could sleep in until 9:36. She was happy to do this for me because she remembers what it was like to have little children who wake up during the night even though she is almost 11 months old and should’ve outgrown this months ago.
She just flat does not complain or grumble about having to do for her family, even after all these years. After nearly 40 years of marriage. After years and years of sewing clothes for her children and driving to scouts and ball games and practice. After years of making sandwiches and lunches and dinners and cookies for bake sales. After years of washing sheets and changing beds and dusting furniture. After moving seventeen times for various job opportunities for her husband. After all the years of working in the garden and canning vegetables for weeks on end each summer so they have veggies for the winter months. After all these years, she is still happy to do it. I just cannot imagine. Seriously.
“Do all things without complaining and disputing…” Philippians 2:14
She does it, folks. And she inspires me to do the same. I hope one day, I can be like her. I hope that one day, I can have the servant’s heart that she portrays in everything she does. See, I often forget that God has given me this privilege to stay at home and nurture my children and my family and my home. I forget that what I do day in and day out is a blessing. I forget that this is an opportunity to serve Him by serving others. But not my MIL, she remembers it always. She is my inspiration today.