"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

As It Should Be

Having married off both of my sons to wonderful women last year and now marrying off my daughter in a few months to a wonderful young man, I only thought it appropriate and required to read Annie Chapman’s book The Mother in Law Dance. Though a good read for any mother who finds herself with a new in-law, it’s especially intended for mothers and daughters-in-law.

Here’s how the book begins: The candles are lit, the room glows with a soft yellow hue, the groom, the pastor, and the wedding party are in place at the altar. As all eyes eagerly watch the closed door at the chapel’s entrance, suddenly the air is changed from the sweet stillness of anticipation to the first notes of the beautiful music chosen for the wedding processional. As the doors swing open, the bride’s heart races at the sound of the melodic cue to make that long-awaited, slow walk down the aisle of matrimony. But as the song plays, the lovely bride does not realize that she is not the only lady in the room who has been cued by the music. Her mother-in-law-to-be is also called to respond to the melody. While the young woman in white moves gracefully with the music toward her chosen one, the song calls the mother of the groom to graciously step to the side. In reality, the wedding processional is not just for the bride, it is also a cue for a lifelong dance to begin for two special women in one man’s life.

Life is certainly about transition – and this one is key to future years of healthy family function. I certainly haven’t mastered the mother-in-law thing yet, but I’m working on it. I’ve seen a measure of success, I think, but I’ve also had my failures.

As I look back over years of praying for my children’s future spouses, I see the faithfulness of God’s hand: not that He formed the spouses into what I wanted, but that He molded my prayers to fit my children’s needs. I bow to such a wise God.

Both of my son’s wives are wonderful and caring individuals who continue to make me feel a part of their husband’s lives. Whereas guys don’t do a lot of emailing or calling, I hear from the girls often as they send newsy notes, calls or emails updating me on the latest. I appreciate that so much in them.

But yesterday I was hit with what I would call my first real test. I received a call from Kristin about 4:20 telling me that Robert was sick and they were on their way to the hospital. As far as I’m concerned, anytime blood is involved, there’s a need for concern. Sandy told me that if I wanted to go, he wanted me to leave quickly to make it before dark. I was set on go. But of course, I knew what I had to do. I called and asked the newlyweds if they wanted me to come. And at this point, the answer was no. And as much as I wanted to be there, I knew their answer was the right one – and I rested in it.

But my sweet daughter-in-love knew this mother’s heart. She texted me constantly, giving me the moment by moment plays. She even sent pictures of Robert lying in the hospital bed! And then a sweet one of him resting peacefully after the meds had kicked in. At 9:00 she texted to say all was well and that they were leaving to go home. And to think that he didn’t even need his mama.

So much changes when our adult children fall in love and marry. But it’s indeed for the good and just as God would have it. And quite frankly, as I would have it, too.

Thank you, sweet girls, for loving my sons. I bless you both.


Patti said...

I appreciate you taking the time to gain knowledge to help your relationship with your dgtrs-in-love during this time of transition in your lives. That alone speaks volumes of love to them and your sons. Marriage is a life altering step for everyone involved. Patrick and I read books to help us get ready for marriage. I did not think about books for the parents. I wonder how different my relationship with my mother in law would be if we had read the book you mentioned. Patrick was the first child and maternal grandchild to get married. It has been a rough ride with the in-laws --maybe God will be allowed to fix it one day.


Julie said...

Once again, you have given me words of wisdom...I'm buying the book today!

Robert said...

I'm Alive!!! It was ruff stuff, but my wifey made me jello.

We're moving tomorrow, so pray for us. Love Ya.