Who needs two mothers? I did. And I’ll bet you do, too. Each taught me so much and each lesson was unique to the woman involved. My mother’s been gone for 20 years. How good of God to create this bonus plan-the woman who raised the man of my dreams is a gift in my life. “Wait! Stop!” I hear you cry. “Isn’t that your mother-in-law?”
The woman who nurtured a boy into the man of God I’ve loved for 45 years is one of the great gifts I got in this package deal when we married at age 19. When you do the math, she’s been my back-up-mama for 70% of my life.
Even if you are not as close as my mother-in-law and I, it’s a great time to let her know you appreciate her. Maybe even today.
After all, without her, you might have married Ernie. You remember Ernie, don’t you? So, let her know you are grateful for the role she played in the life of your man.
Here are a few tips to bless her.
Plan a special mother-in-law daughter-in-law day. What would she enjoy? Pedicures and lunch at a favorite spot? A trip to a local public garden? Tea at that cute antique shop?
Matching her interests with your plans communicates your care and interest in her.
Write her a note or card.
Handwritten notes, not emails, were the favored way to share heartfelt sentiments among the generations before ours. The surprise of a card in the mailbox is a fun way to let her know she’s special to you.
Whether she lives across town or across the country—everybody loves real mail. Get your kids to sign some “to my Nana” cards, too. She’ll display them proudly for her friends to see when they visit.
Thank her for the special man her son is.
Motherhood sometimes goes unacknowledged—especially for boy mamas. Men may be less aware of the impact Mom had in his life and forget to express their appreciation. She invested her life and energy in raising him—and then had to hand him off when he was just becoming the man she’d envisioned all those years.
Tell her what you appreciate most about him. Be specific about the qualities and characteristics as husband, father and friend she helped build. Share some examples that will make her button-busting proud.
Ask for her advice.
When you ask someone to share their insights and ideas, you are acknowledging they’ve done a good job.
What tips might she be able to offer you about being a great wife? What suggestions does she have in dealing with your rebellious teenage daughter?
Cards and gifts are expected on the official Mother’s Day. They’re often given as a duty that must be performed. But choosing a random day to celebrate her is special. Let your mother-in-law know how much credit she deserves in your happiness.
Someday, if not already, you too may be part of some young woman’s package deal. Remember what you sow, the Word says, you will reap.
Sow your seeds for a bumper crop of blessing today.
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Deb DeArmond is an expert in the fields of communication, relationship, and conflict resolution. Deb’s work focuses on marriage and family. Her books include: Related by Chance, Family by Choice (Kregel, November 2013). Abingdon Press released I Choose You Today: 31 Choices to Make Love Last (June 2015) and Don’t Go to Bed Angry: Stay Up and Fight (June 2016). Learn more at debdearmond.com
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