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Monday, January 17, 2011

Communication and underwear

In contrast to this picture, the snow is gently falling and it's so beautiful outside right now. All the kids are sleeping, not soundly though, they all have fevers ! Nothing else along with it, except Paisley sounds a little croupy, so I rubbed Vick's on her chest and after warming a burp cloth over the woodstove, placed that on her chest as well. I can't tell you why I do that EXCEPT IT'S WHAT MY MOTHER DID!! And I remember that warm feeling of being cared for.

I got a lot done today because of everyone being so down and out. Much TV was watched and much fruit was eaten by the children. Annie and I painted her cabinets today, just the primer. Tomorrow the final coat will go on......"Antique White", (doesn't that sound pretty)? On Saturday we painted her home the most peaceful CELERY GREEN color....it's lovely. My friend Angie posted this on my facebook wall tonight and it cracked me up:

"Did she tell you i stopped in on Saturday? she is sooo adorable!! she insisted on taking me on a tour (even though we had never met before. =)) she was so proud & happy & excited! telling me why she choose "green paint & not tan...heavens..not tan!" =) such a sweet sweet lady. i'm sure you ALL cannot wait until she is moved in!"

And that about sums it up!! She and we are so excited for MOVE IN DAY!! It's been a long time coming and the date has been pushed back so many times, (as often happens with extensive renovations)! WE HOPE THAT ON HER 72ND BIRTHDAY she will be in there, that would be February 6th!

Found a beautiful brand new kitchen sink for her today, (from craigslist) it's beige porcelain and will go so nicely with everything else. I have to drive to Philadelphia to get it, but it's a steal of a deal.

Tonight we talked about churning our own butter and looked for a butter churner on ebay. This makes me happy. I'm weird.


I am not foolish enough to believe it will always be easy with her here. On the contrary, I am foolish enough to TRUST AND BELIEVE that we WILL HAVE GRACE for whatever may come our way. Just tonight as we were painting side by side I told her that she doesn't have to be afraid of getting sick, that God will help us deal with that if it happens. She said that all her life she has prayed that if she gets sick she would "go in the wink of an eye" and not be on a sick bed for years. I pray too that God would grant her humble request. And up until then I pray her days will be SO FULL OF JOY that she will forget the pain and suffering that has been hers so much of her life. Someday I will do an interview with her and you will know more the BEAUTIFUL WOMAN SHE IS.

And yes, she is my Mother-in-Law, but WHO AM I to not extend love to her and welcome her onto our property? THIS IS NOT THE CASE FOR MANY AND THAT IS FINE. If you cannot stand your Mother-in-law, at least THANK GOD that she birthed & raised your husband, (and if you can't stand your husband, well, I can't help you there)!!!!


COMMUNICATION WILL BE THE KEY, (AND IS THE KEY) TO ANY HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP!!

Tonight I told her that I don't want to feel like she is watching me to see if I'm working or not, (working hard is highly valued in the Amish culture). There may be days that we all stay in our pj's and the dishes don't get done and the boys have no underwear or socks and I don't do laundry even because of that. I will probably sunbathe more in one Summer then she ever did in her entire life and my garden will have weeds in it. Three days a week I will probably have a friend here and that's just the way we roll.

She so graciously told me how it use to be when she took care of, (lived with) her Mother-in-law. She told me stories of the way it was, (lack of privacy, trying to gain approval, gossip and slander, etc.) and promised to me that it will never be that way. The thing that is different here is I respectfully say it how it is....I hope I can continue that when things come up with sharing this property and such.

We have concluded that RULE #1: no just walking into one another's home. CALL FIRST and if they don't answer then that means it's not a good time. The children too will know Grammie's phone number an WILL CALL BEFORE VISITING. "I don't want to feel like I can't walk around in my underwear for fear that you'll walk right in" I said to her, (and for the record I don't walk around like that, BUT IF I WANTED TO I could do so freely). "Oh, Amen to that" she replied!!!

So, we start there and pray for GRACE TO FACE whatever may come our way! I can honestly say to you that I don't really care about myself, (at this moment) truly I WANT HER HAPPINESS!!!! Now, ask me this 3 years, (or 3 months) from now and I'll let you know how we're doin' on that one!!!


"He will also send you rain
for the seed you sow in the ground,
and the food that comes from the land will be
rich and plentiful.
In that day your cattle
will graze in broad meadows."

Isaiah 30:23

*pictures taken from last October....a double rainbow over the carriage house!*

7 comments:

Kara Stoltzfus said...

what a sweet little lady.
it was so nice visiting with you all the other week and seeing her spunk and her heart for her family.
you are blessed!

Kara Stoltzfus said...

every now & then i just want to say , "hey Mama!".
she is known as Mama, even to me!

Jena said...

what a grace my friend, and a blessing. praying that communication is always open and possible.

The lady of the house... said...

Kara~you do JUST THAT. To all the children that come here, she is known as Grammie, (even at church). And to adults she is known as Mama! She would love it!

Kevin said...

What a tremendous attitude to have! I can tell you from my perspective, as a child, having my Grandfather live with us was one of the most rewarding things that happened in my childhood!

The lady of the house... said...

Thank you Kevin for those words. This is our hope for our children as well.

Fan said...

It is now nearly 25 years that I have lived next-door to my mother-in-law. And it's just like you said, Janelle, Grace has been there for each day throughout those years. Two main reasons I believe our arrangement has been successful:

#1 Carl never played his wife against his mother or visa versa. He made it clear early on that he is there for his widowed mother, but his wife and children are his first and primary responsibility and love. If I ever had an issue that I felt needed to be addressed (and we did have some of those) I talked to him and he in turn talked to his mom. She never knew the issue was mine. He protected me in that way and she still thinks I'm just about the nicest person she ever met!

#2 When they were young, our children were NEVER allowed to go inside Grandma's house without permission. (I can't believe I did this, but I would discipline them as an act of disobedience if I found out they put their little tootsies over the threshold without asking! As a grandmother myself now, I think I would have a problem with my daughter-in-law being so ridiculously strict, but in my case, Carl's mom thought it was her boy's idea, not mine!) The result of this rule was that my children always saw it as a special treat to be allowed to go next door and it didn't become commonplace or leave grandma feeling like a "babysitter."

Long-winded comment, I know! You'll do great, Janelle!