Thursday, March 6, 2014
I read it all the time.. Today she wrote a blog that goes right along with my last one. I think she shares some excellent wisdom. I pray she doesn't mind me copying it here:
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
HOW TO BE A TERRIBLE DAUGHTER-IN-LAW
My mother-in-law and I are very thankful to have a good relationship. We've been told many times that we are blessed to have such a good relationship, and I agree. I'm blessed to respect my mother-in-law and have the privilege of being involved in biblical counseling and women's ministry opportunities at my church alongside her. I call her with theological, parenting, and domestic questions ('how exactly do I cut up this darn squash" and "why doesn't my taco meat turn out as awesome as yours??").
My mother-in-law with her famous orange sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving.
I know that there are many of you out there who have awful in-law relationships. Maybe your husband's parents are unbelievers and are involved in all sorts of behaviors you disapprove of. Maybe your mother-in-law is super critical of everything you do or clingy towards her son. Maybe you have multiple mothers-in-law as a result of remarriages in your husband's family. I get that relationships are complex and tricky sometimes. So yes, many of you have difficult mothers-in-law. However, it is also true that many of your mothers-in-law have difficult daughters-in-law.
What my mother-in-law and I don't often talk about - don't like to talk about, actually, because it's all in the past - is that our current happy situation has not always been the case. Today I'd like to share with you from some of my mistakes. Fellow DILs...you cannot control how your mother-in-law behaves or thinks about you. But as a mother of all boys who will one day "lose" my sons to girls, I am starting to realize that is it hard to be a mother-in-law of a girl and there are many things we can do to make it easier. But if you would like to persist in making it difficult, here are a few sure-fire ways to mess it up:
Stay away from them at all costs.
I understand that when you first get married, there's a period of time during which you and your husband are attempting to figure out how to establish your own new household. You need to figure out how to leave and cleave. You need to work out how you will do holidays and birthdays and celebrations. You need to work out how you are going to balance working outside the home (one or both of you) with time together. But if you want to ruin your in-law relationship, just ignore your in-laws altogether. Refuse to attend family events. Create your own competing family events and demand that everyone else in the family choose sides.
Get offended at every piece of advice your MIL offers.
I know, I know...your MIL has a constant stream of advice. She wishes you wore more skirts. She thinks you should sweep your floors more often. She hates how you decorate. She's horrified at how you don't iron your husband's shirts and occasionally order take out instead of cooking a three course meal. She rolls her eyes at your children's behavior and comments about how she would have handled difficult parenting situations differently.
I think we women tend to get a little territorial when we sense any wisp of criticism coming from our in-laws. Maybe it's true that our MILs could tone down the advice or maybe stop offering it completely. But let's stop getting our feathers ruffled all the time and consider whether or not there is anything valuable we can learn. Do you need to sweep your floors more often? Are you lazy about housekeeping and cooking? Do you need some help with your parenting that a more experienced parent could help with? Is there any truth in the criticism you hear from your MIL? No matter how it is worded, it might actually be helpful if we could be humble enough to accept it. And when the advice is impossible to accept (because it's unbiblical or irrelevant), learn to acknowledge it graciously.
Criticize their family traditions, past times, beliefs, and habits.
Insist that your family traditions are the best way to celebrate. Engage in constant debate of areas in which your beliefs differ and look down your nose at their different ways of thinking. Nit-pick about how they go grocery shopping, keep house, dress, speak and relax. Haughtily dismiss the ways in which your in-laws chose to raise their children.
I love the advice that author Glennon Melton gives to daughters-in-law. Melton describes a mother's raising of her son as a lifelong weaving of an elaborate tapestry and then says this:
And daughters-in-law, notice the beauty of the rug that your mother-in-law spent a lifetime weaving. Remember that mostly, her pattern is firmly established, no need to suggest improvements. Be kinder than necessary, being mindful that the piece of art it took her a lifetime to weave, her masterpiece, she gave to you, to keep you warm at night. One day you’ll give your masterpiece away, too.
May I suggest that the way you approach your in-laws might actually be a huge relief to your husband? Although there are obviously situations in which your husband might be glad to stay away from his parents (physical abuse, etc), we need to remember that these people aren't just "your in-laws"; they are also "his parents". They are his mom and dad. He grew up with them, made memories with them, was taught values by them, and they have known him way longer than you have (at least until you are middle-aged...then you might be even). If there is tension between you and his parents and you are constantly complaining to him about his parents, there is a burden on your husband's shoulders that should not be there. Do him a favor and do your very best to maintain a happy, healthy and peaceful relationship with his family. Don't forget that God calls us to if possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. "All" includes your in-laws.
What about you? What mistakes have you made in forming relationships with your in-laws? And what helped you to change?
Saturday, March 1, 2014
I'm not saying he loves his mother MORE than he loves you but the honest truth is that he loved her first.
I am surprised at how rarely I find a young wife who grasps that learning about his mother - and the way he feels about her - is the core of discovering who your husband really is. And what he really thinks about the kind of wife and mother you are, or will be.
So then, let me begin by saying what I am NOT SAYING. I'm not saying imitate his mom, listen to his mom, let his mom be a third person in your marriage. Chances are he doesn't want you to be like his mom in any way.
But you cannot escape the reality that this little boy who grew up to be your husband got his first ideas about women, wives, and mothers from his mom. What was important to her? Do you know? Was it....Holidays? Dinner time? Birthdays? Keeping the house spotless? Getting good grades in school? Keeping up with the neighbors? Ask him. Did he like that she made a big deal about those things?
So then...say... your husband's mom always made a big deal out of birthdays.... and that made him feel loved and happy..... then you might understand why he feels slighted that you hardly remembered to acknowledge it.
Maybe he hated that she fussed so much... so you might understand why he gets annoyed that you do.
Ask him what he loved about his mom.
Ask him what he didn't love about his mom.
His answers will be a spotlight to his heart for you.
It's only KNOWLEDGE. It's just knowing stuff..
Knowledge is helpful...
But...take that KNOWLEDGE...AND - ask the Lord to give you WISDOM about how to use it. To become a wife who is truly "HOME" in her husband's life.
Let me know what happens.
Send me an email... email@example.com
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Sometimes you are just too tired to keep trying.. you get weary of being hit with wave after wave after wave. You just want the storm to still for a few minutes. You just want someone else to hold you up when you feel like you're going under.
This man didn't want to die. He wanted to live. But he just DIDN'T HAVE THE STRENGTH TO KEEP HIMSELF ALIVE ANYMORE. So he decided to give up. And he waited to sink. At that moment he heard a Voice which told him to NOT GIVE UP. This heavenly Voice was enough to give him the courage to try for just a little while more - and then he was rescued. (Or his story wouldn't have been in the Reader's Digest.. DUH)
Dear weary wedded woman,
Why do you think He is causing your eyes to read this blog today?
It's a voice from heaven saying, "DON'T GIVE UP... GIVE IT SOME MORE TIME. Help is on the way!!"
Mrs. Older, has been in circumstances throughout my ever increasingly long life when my strength ran out before the problem did. And in quiet desperation I looked up. And cried to God. And somehow... I did not go under. He rescued me. Somehow... help came. Not only was I rescued but I was HEALED - and continue to be healed - of all the after effects of the storm. It didn't happen in one second... sometimes He healed me in stages.. but.. HE HEALED ME. He rescued me.
I used to feel like I needed to have more complicated answers to such complicated questions people asked me about.. friends struggled with like depression, betrayal, sickness, finances, family problems. Behind the scenes, people are in desperate pain. Life has hit them hard. And today may be the day that someone will stop trying. Maybe you are that someone? You are tired. And want to give up. On God. And on the hope that He will EVER still the storm. Why do you think He is causing your eyes to read this blog today? It's His Voice saying, "Don't. Give. Up. Help is on the way."
He will rescue you. He will.
Who convinced you that God isn't faithful? Not God.
Who convinced you that God couldn't change things? Not God.
Who convinced you that God doesn't care about you? Not God.
Who convinced you that God doesn't have the power to deliver you? Not God.
1 Peter 5:7 instructs: "Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you". You don't just cast one worry, one time and it's over. No. It's a constant and continuous and daily CASTING on Him. Not on your pastor, or counselor, or small group leader. But on JESUS.
What's the thing - or things - that causes you to be so exhausted that you want to give up?
Name it.... and then tell Jesus you are putting it on Him.
BECAUSE.. HE CARES FOR AND ABOUT YOU.
I can't make you believe me.
I can only pray that you will.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
1- DON'T FOCUS ON TOMORROW MORE THAN YOU FOCUS ON TODAY: Try to bring your thoughts back to.. TODAY. Don't let your mind wander to the problems waiting at work on Monday, or bills that are due next week, or whether or not your husband is going to keep his promises for tomorrow. You are wasting all that God has given you today. NEWS FLASH: You may not see tomorrow.
2- DON'T FOCUS ON YESTERDAY MORE THAN YOU FOCUS ON TODAY: What you did yesterday is over.. What you did wrong and what you did right. Some of us focus so much on how GOOD YESTERDAY WAS.. that today always pales in comparison. OR maybe you just cannot GET OVER something you or 'Mr. Husband" did on a particular yesterday... that it haunts you and ruins today. You CAN "take your thoughts captive" with God's help. The eternal battle begins in your mind... your enemy ruins your thoughts before he ruins your life. Stop thinking about yesterday. IT IS GONE.
3. FOCUS ON EVERY SMALL BLESSING AND BE THANKFUL. I know you know this in your brain... but... let me ask you: are you able to walk when you want to go somewhere? Can you get up and walk to the refrigerator, to the mail box, to the shower? Some people reading this cannot. And their whole life would be changed if they could just........walk. They would give EVERYTHING THEY HAVE just to be able to walk on their own. Do you take walking for granted? You shouldn't. Do you take seeing, or breathing without help for granted? You shouldn't. Are you fighting for your life against Stage Four Cancer? If you aren't. then you have so much to be thankful for? Do you have more than enough food to eat? Do you have more than enough money to buy food? Do you live somewhere where you can actually just walk in a store and buy all the food you want? You have MUCH to be thankful for. So BE THANKFUL. This involves using your mouth and thanking God for things like... eyesight, and lack of hunger, and good health. People all over the world would consider themselves RICH BEYOND RICH if they had 1/4 of what we all take for granted. Don't assume you deserve it. It's a blessing.
4- GIVE YOUR HUSBAND A BREAK. Really, honey, grow up a little and understand that sometimes life is not fair, and sometimes people do stuff, and sometimes you just have to let it go. Let. IT. Go. Whatever he did. Whatever he didn't do. Yes, it's not fair. Yes, he is getting away with it. Yes, you've been wronged. Yes, you are right. DON'T THINK ABOUT IT FOR JUST ONE DAY. JUST ONE DAY. Let it float in to the air of forgetfulness and forgiveness... Sorta like.. no.. EXACTLY LIKE.. God does with your failure.
5- DO SOMETHING YOU WANT TO DO INSTEAD OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE TO DO. You will not finish all those "have to do" chores today. You will not. You are not going to be awarded The "Wife and Mother Who Most Closely Resembles A Marine Drill Sargent Award." They stopped giving that award in 423 B.C. So cross a couple of things off the list and just do something you WANT to do. It doesn't have to be an EVENT. But really... most of us work all week at a job where we HAVE TO DO THINGS. Take some time today to just have fun. Let your kids take a breath and play. And your sweet husband also.
6- SING TO GOD. You read it correctly. Sing a song or worship to God, The Almighty One. Open your mouth. And sing something, and sing it FROM YOUR HEART to the ONE WHO SEES YOUR HEART. This is not just gooblygok nonsense. This IS AN ESSENTIAL PART of a HAPPY DAY. Sing to the One who invented singing, sing to the One who invented Music, Sing to the One who Sings over you. Sing. Sing. Sing. Sing. YES... SING!
7- SAY SOMETHING LOVING TO THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU. Yes.. I mean this too. Tell your husband that you love him. Actually OPEN YOUR MOUTH, and say it with conviction. Or tell him that you appreciate something he does, or something about him, or something. And do the same for your children... and your family. AND DO NOT SAY IT EXPECTING THEM TO SAY SOMETHING BACK. JUST SAY IT.
Well, let me know how that works.
It will work.
BTW... my editor is encouraging me to
Thanks so much,