for your warm and wonderful welcome to Bobby and Bonnie this week! Dear Readers, your encouragement is powerful and motivating. I pray there is someone in your life cheering you on, just as you are doing for me.
You can find excerpts of Bobby and Bonnie's antics under the tab above and in the December 13, 2014 post, "Bobby and Bonnie Go to Sunday School". To enjoy and share Bobby and Bonnie's latest adventures, take advantage of a button on the right to order your copy of Life with Bobby and Bonnie today.
PLEASE REMEMBER: Each 2 books sold will pay for 1 book to be given to an at risk kid. Now, on with today's post ...
If you've stopped by for even a few visits, you've probably figured out that I'm crazy about my kids. Like most moms, I think mine are the brightest, the most talented, just absolutely the best. We're moms, that's how we're supposed to feel, right? We revel in their accomplishments, comfort in challenges, but sometimes it's hard for us to step back and accept them as adults.
Our daughter has lots of laurels that we can boast of, and believe me, we do! This holiday season gave me a reminder, a new insight into the woman of strength she has grown into.
Mary's in-laws are a family of men. Her husband was one of three sons. Tragically, her mother-in-law went to the Lord over ten years ago, and one of the brothers lost his life in a motorcycle accident a few years back. Mary, and now her daughters, try to infuse some of the softer, more gracious side of life into this family of men as much as they can.
The in-law family Christmas gathering revolved around the visit of the oldest son from Wisconsin. Since Mary's father-in-law lives on a farm over an hour from their home, a good old-fashioned family sleepover was planned. They've done this before, no problem, right? It's just one night. Except a stray cousin and the man down the road got roped in. Ok, there's plenty of floor space and blankets for all.
All of that may have worked until the baby got sick. Not quite a year old, it was her first experience of convulsive vomiting followed by diarrhea. Oh yuck! A houseful of men and a sick baby...doesn't sound like a good time to me, how about you?
Mary's been in this extended family for fifteen years, becoming very tolerant, and continuing to work at nurturing the tough guys. I've known that for a while. I wouldn't have known about this incident (in my small brain, I call it her "holiday from hell", pardon my French), except our oldest granddaughter loves to share.
Listening to the story from Annalyn, I was at first so frustrated for her mother I could barely see straight. Then I realized Mary hadn't complained a bit. She had reached down into the strength inside that had been steadily growing, sucked it up, and moved on. Now, that's something to be proud of in my daughter!
I'm so blessed that Mary is not the only strong woman in my family. Another relative of my generation was treated unkindly by her mother-in-law for over thirty years. Family gatherings were peppered with her mother-in-law's criticisms and caddy remarks. It seemed she took any opportunity to belittle this dear woman. Over the years, I marveled that she never rebutted or returned the same kind of unkindness.
When my relative's father-in-law passed away, her mother-in-law totally changed attitude, demeanor and interactions. Gradually, the two of them started building a new and improved relationship. When the mother-in-law's health began to decline, and dementia started setting in, it was my relative who stepped up to the plate.
For the last few years, my has relative demonstrated not only tolerance, but compassion and devotion, borne out of an inner strength that had been been brewing under a seemingly complacent exterior.
I don't know about you, but my gratitude for amazing people like these women is only surpassed by what I have to learn from them. So far, they have taught me that it's never too late to learn tolerance, and the Lord provides strength for us when and how we need it.
Are there people in your life who have surprised you with strength, tolerance and forgiveness at just the right time? What else have you learned from them?
31 Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.