We never had much to do with in-laws when I was growing up. My mother's mom died when she was three and her father went missing. We found him residing in England and he died before we were able to meet him.
We lived in Sudbury, three hours away from my father's parents and only on rare occasions did we visit. Today three hours isn't much, roads, vehicles and transportation have improved immensely. Back then, most roads were like goat trails long and narrow, windy and bumpy, and mostly, full of pot holes. The cars didn't travel very fast and it took several hours to arrive at a determined destination.
At some point my family moved to the Kitchener Waterloo and that's were I fell in love with a young farmer. We were married and decided to live with his mother and younger sister on the family farm. My husband's father had died and he had taken over the farming duties, while his mother still owned the farm. He had cattle, pigs, chickens, horses to take care of and crops to sow in the ground and this would be quite difficult to manage from another residence.
I have often wondered if God didn't placed me smack dab in the middle of all this to teach me some hard lessons. It has taken a life time of living and learning to be able to look back and realize all this. My mother-in-law was an amazing woman and very disciplined. She had to be farming is not an easy life. We shared our times of struggles and misunderstandings and she express being very thankful that we always came through it being friends.
I know I didn't always live up to her expectations as a daughter, mother and wife but I always felt she supported me. Know matter what went on, she always would lend a hand and now of course I follow these same examples for my daughter-in-law. My own mother had taught me at an early age to never say something you will regret. I have always put this into practice. Well, in today's world, Dr. Phil might say these are suppressed emotions. It is actually biblical to be wise and think carefully before you speak.
The story I really want to tell, one day our oldest son said. "Mom this is the kind of family I want someday when I'm married and have children of my own."
This all began with my husband's oldest sister. She was married before us and her husband was an only child. Whenever there were family celebrations, birthdays, Mother's day and holidays like Christmas, we would all be together including her in-laws. Whether here on the farm, or at my sister-in-law's home her in-laws were always included in our family gatherings.
When my husband's youngest sister married we were already practicing what just came natural. Whenever there were family celebrations her in-laws were just automatically included. Not just her husband's parents but his sister, brother, uncles, cousins and grandparents. She had married into this amazing family that were so very close and for all of us, to be included together well, let me just say, we had loads of fun.
God has taken some of our family members home, my mother-in-law has passed on and some of the others. As extended family decreases, it increases in another way. It has been a remarkable journey. But, had we been a family of exclusion, we would never have gotten to know and love all these wonderful and amazing people. I know and safely speak for all, we have treasured memories of every moment spent together.
To say the least, this family tradition continues. The oldest sister's children are now married and they too have included the in-laws at birthday, Christening, Christmas and Mother's day celebrations.
This Sunday, God has granted the desire of our son's heart. For the first time, our son will be having his in-laws and all of us together at his home for his son, our grandson's first birthday and Christening. What a legacy to pass on to the next generation.
Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like a precious ointment.........
.......for there the Lord has commanded the blessing, even life forevermore. Psalm 133.
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