To Mrs. Willis With Love

mom

My mother in love went home to be with the Lord this past May. She was an amazing woman and it’s honestly still hard to believe that she’s no longer with us but I know she’s partying with the angels. She was an awesome cook, baker and decorator. If they threw parties in Heaven, I know she’d hook Jesus up with the most beautiful spread made with all the fixings. My MIL was full of many talents! When I thought about starting to write in my blog again, several topics and ideas came to mind. I started thinking about everything that’s happened over the past seven months and my MIL came to mind. I dedicate this post to you, Margaret Lee Willis, forever in my heart.

Dear Mrs. Willis,

I sit here tonight thinking of you. I smile at the thought of your smile. I can picture you cooking and decorating the house for the countless parties we hosted. I see you sitting on the couch singing to our daughter Elyssa and finding pure joy in every minute that you got to spend with her. You took your role as a mother and a grandmother very seriously and I’ve always admired and respected that about you.

Though it’s easy to allow myself to be sad that your no longer here, I choose to rejoice instead. I rejoice because you’re no longer in pain. I rejoice because you’re rejoicing with the angels and spending time with our Savior. I rejoice because you raised an amazing man who is the best husband and father and for that I am forever grateful. I rejoice because the Lord will give us the grace to carry on your legacy.

I wanted to say thank you for loving me. Thank you for showing me how to throw a fabulous party! From Rebecca’s Sweet 16, to countless birthday parties and even 3rd Sunday Family Dinners.Thank you for throwing us the biggest and best engagement party. Thank you for making my Tea Party Baby Shower so elegant and unique. Thank you for being so excited when Elyssa was born and for being there to help whenever we called. Thank you for being a woman of faith, a true Proverbs 31 Woman. You were a blessing to me and so many others and I thank God for the time that he blessed us with you. Because I know Jesus, I will see you again and until that day, I’ll just say, see you later.

With Love
Joanna

8 Tips For Improving Your Relationship With Your In Laws

It’s Marriage Monday! I wanted to post two articles that I found helpful regarding marriage. Marriage has its challenging moments and one challenging component can be getting to know you’re in laws and adjusting to the way they do things. Intent.com posted an article of 8 helpful tips to improve your relationship with you’re in laws, check it out. Whether the relationship with your in-laws is great or could use some improving, here are some tips that may help:

  1. Spouse comes first. The Bible even talks about this one. A person will leave their mother and father and cleave to their spouse. When you get married, it’s time to grow up and leave your parents. This doesn’t mean you emotionally kick them to the curb or cut all ties, but you do need to establish your own family. By putting your spouse first, you are choosing the adult role of being a husband or wife over the role of being a child in your parent’s family.
  2. Set boundaries. There are many things that happen in marriage that are none of your parent’s business. If you run to mom or dad any time you have a fight with your spouse, how are you going to learn to handle life with your spouse on your own? Avoid sharing the household secrets with your parents. Discuss with your spouse what topics and areas of your life are off limits to others.
  3. Establish ground rules. Much like the previous point, setting clear ground rules for handling extended family will improve your marriage.
    • When do you and your spouse have exclusive time for each other?
    • When do you spend time with your extended family?
    • When do you involve your parents/in-laws in decision-making?
    • Where should you discuss your marital conflicts: in private or in front of your in-laws?
  4. Recognize the culture. Our culture and upbringing plays a major role in how we do marriage. Recognize the cultural aspects of your spouse’s upbringing. One client I’ve worked with handled it this way: In her upbringing, the women did all the cooking and cleaning up at mealtimes. So when they shared a meal with her parents, he stayed out of the way. However, when her parents weren’t around, he stepped up and helped out or took care of it himself.
  5. Don’t criticize your spouse’s relationship with their parents. Nothing can raise a spouse’s defenses faster than criticism. Seek to understand more about their relationship rather than criticize, as this can lead to bitterness and resentment.
  6. Be polite. This doesn’t mean you have to change your personality to please your in-laws, simply respect rules and traditions that are important to the older generation. Being polite and respectful with in-laws will go a long way in improving the relationship. Not only with your in-laws, but your spouse as well.
  7. Develop code words. My wife and I have pretty good relationships with each other’s parents. Even so, there are still times when they drive us a bit crazy. We’ve developed some code words that we use to lighten the mood between us whenever in-laws are getting too annoying. Have fun with this one but remember to remain respectful. Derogatory code words could only cause more problems.
  8. Spend time with your in-laws. Develop a better relationship with your in-laws by doing things together. Find out what they enjoy and try joining them. This could be shopping, playing golf, cards, whatever. You may find you have more in common than you thought.

http://www.intent.com/blog/2009/03/03/8-tips-improving-your-relationship-laws

Learning to Get Along With Your Monster In Law

Ok ok, she’s not a monster, I was just joking. I saw a commercial for the movie, “Monster In Law” while writing this and I thought the movie was really funny. Obviously the movie is a bit exaggerated but some can relate to having a difficult relationship with their in law. With Mother’s Day approaching this weekend, I thought it would be appropriate to write about some of the struggles people face in regard to developing a relationship with their mother in law.  Les Dawson writes ” I can always tell when the mother in law’s coming to stay; the mice throw themselves on the traps.” The quote is a funny perspective because many people feel this way but mother in laws are really a blessing. It’s important to get to know your mother in love, appreciate her for who she is and love her dispute your differences.

Shout out to my mother in law. I love you and I’m enjoying getting to know. Thank you and Mr. Willis for raising such an awesome son. God bless you and Happy Mother’s Day!!!

Here are a few tips on how to get to know and get along with your mother in law:

  1. PRAY! Seek God about your relationship with your mother in law and ask the Holy Ghost to give you understanding, patience and a perfect love walk as you get to know the other important lady in his life, his mom.
  2.  Ask your husband who his mother is as a person so that you can identify with her on a more personal level. 
  3. If unkind, judgmental or sarcastic remarks are made by your mother in law, to your face or behind your back, make a conscious decision to calmly and respectfully address them (if need be) and then forgive immediately. Every silly comment does not deserve a response but every hurtful statement has to be forgiven immediately so that bitterness does not dig roots in your heart.
  4. If your mother in law is a little too attached to her son, speak to your hubby about it and let him address the need for space and boundaries with her. Our rule is, you deal with your parents and I deal with mine. It’s easier to address tough topics with our own parents. If it appears that your mother in law is having a difficult time letting go of her son, try your best to show compassion and empathy as she adjusts to her new distant relationship with him.
  5. Always speak to your mother in law respectfully, no matter how intense the conversation may get. It’s okay to speak your mind and remain firm on a topic but don’t allow your flesh to get out of control. 
  6. Try to spend one on one time with your mother in law, at least every other month if possible, by going to lunch or out for coffee etc. This will cultivate your relationship and help you two to get comfortable around each other and to know each other without a crowd of people being around.
  7. Don’t try to compete with your mother in law. Let the mom be the mom and you remember that you’re the wife that he loves and can’t live without. You won’t be able to cook every dish exactly how she cooks it but that’s ok. You can ask her to teach you a few things, that way your spending time together and your hubby will be happy about that. If you entertain a competitive spirit there will always be issues.
  8. Send your mother in law nice emails, texts, cards in the mail or just pick up the phone and call her every now and then to show her that you were thinking of her.
  9. Be helpful towards her, join her in her world. If she likes to garden, offer to come over and assist her in her garden. If she likes to cook, volunteer to assist her with the cooking for the next family dinner.
  10. No matter what be yourself. Always behave respectfully but don’t allow fear of acceptance to stop you from being who you are. People can see right through people who are fake and no one likes a fake person. Your mother in love may not love the way you dress, wear your hair etc but as long as you are kind, respectful and classy, that’s really all that matters.
  11. Learn to compromise regarding holidays and birthdays. Mothers love their children a lot and sometimes they have a hard time sharing them with the other set of family members. Plan ahead regarding what houses you plan to visit on what holidays and make your intentions known. Don’t allow yourself to get bullied into doing things you know you don’t have the time, energy or resources to do.
  12. No matter how frustrated or upset you may become with your mother in law, don’t criticize her or speak bad about her to others. Make sure the Lord would be pleased with everything that you say about her.  Keep your heart right towards her no matter what.
  13. If/when you encounter a disagreement with your mother in law, calmly and respectfully tell your husband your concerns during  a time that things are not tense in the home so that he is able to hear what you have to say and help you two develop a solution together. 
  14. Learn to say no thank you in a sweet tone. Sometimes your mother in law will want you two to come over numerous times a week to have dinner, hangout or handle business for her. Try your best to assist her with the things that she needs but learn to not feel obligated to say yes every time she makes a request.
  15. Learn to laugh together and enjoy each other’s company. Figure out what you two have in common or what light topics are safe to discuss. Once you two start to become more comfortable around each other, you will look forward to spending more time with together. You two are family until death do you part, so make it a peaceful ride!

1 Cor 13 is known as the love chapter. It is an awesome reminder of how our love walk is supposed to be. Please read the verses below and allow the Holy Ghost speak to you concerning the areas that you need to continue to grow and develop in concerning your love walk towards your mother in law.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (Amplified Bible)

4Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.

    5It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

    6It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

    7Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].