“Two Special Women In One Man’s Life”

Since the beginning of time loving brides and grooms have had the privilege of picking out their life partners. However, it’s a different story for the groom’s mother when she becomes partners fused together with her daughter in law after the “I Do’s.”  Mother in-laws have shared that at first they find their new role was a daunting challenge especially if she wasn’t consulted or didn’t give her consent. But it’s a challenge that can be overcome the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship is without question is like a complicated dance.

Yet, by the very nature of the relationship, the two are expected to immediately move freely and beautifully in synchronized harmony. Rarely is this connectedness and closeness realized overnight. He does, She does but what about you, the mother of the groom can you take her? The candles are lit, the room grows 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.

How true it is that so much changes for a family when the adult children fall in love and marry. Suddenly that are new members who, by decree of law and circumstance, are expected to be embraced and included into the fold. By all means, the challenge is a daunting one, especially for mother-in-laws and daughter-in-laws. The daughter-in-law who may have chosen to join with her husband in holy matrimony has to face the challenge of being joined in holy matrimony has to face the challenge of being joined in a holy alliance with the rest of his family. By the sheer nature of the relationship she is expected to melt into a household of family members that are often unfamiliar and at times very different from her family of origin.

The reality is that every holiday, every special occasion, even the continuance for the coming generations pivot on the choice to unite families through marriage. Whether the parents-in-law or the adult children realize it or not, the choices that are made are life-altering for the entire family. For most parents, the grace to love and enfold those new family members by law is a mere continuum of the parental love they enjoy with own kids. However, there are those situations that may require an attitude adjustment. What does a parent do when their child’s preference of a mate is contrary to their personality or taste?  Or what if the offspring ventures outside of their culture, social class, or religion? Is is possible to accept and even cherish the chosen one when they are an unnatural fit? And what about the daughter-in-law? What is she supposed to do when she’s thrust into a new family that may already established traditions, modes of interactions, and common activities that perhaps she doesn’t readily accept or enjoy? She, along with her mother-in-law, can find comfort in knowing that they are not the first to venture out on that sometimes slippery dance floor.

My friend Jane had always dreamed of the day when she would fully embrace a daughter-in-law with the same energy and vitality  with which she loved her own daughter. The two of them always had best of times, they could shop-till-they-dropped with the best of them. Their home was full of the two of them laughter and talking throughout the house when they were together. To Jane’s thinking, adding a daughter-in-law simply ment one more girl with whom to chum around. However Jane’s daughter-in-law was not like Jane’s daughter. She didn’t readily laugh a lot, and she seemed to always isolate herself from the rest of the family. For instance, when the other women were in the kitchen preparing the meal for a family gathering Jane’s daughter in law would sit all alone in the living room quietly leafing through a magazine.

I asked, Jane if she encouraged her to join them and her answer demonstrated the patient wisdom she possessed. Jane replied,  “No.”  As much as I would love for her to feel comfortable being with me and the rest of my  family, I’ve decided to give her space enough to choose whether she stays in the living room or comes into the kitchen. For too long, she’s had someone telling her what to do, and when she didn’t do it fast enough, she was punished. Jane didn’t want to be another person demanding to have their way.

Jane went on to say, I love her and I believe in time she will feel that love. Until then, I will continue to be patient and understanding. “She’s a wonderful wife to my son and that’s all she owes me.” My friend Jane might have selected a different life-partner  for her son when Jane found out that her son was marrying a woman who had a bad life and had been previously married to a man who beat her and her child but instead she decided to love, respect and except her daughter in law the results were amazing.

 Jane learned valuable lessons over the past few years as she has invested into her daughter-in-law. The two women have since grown amazingly close and continue to do so. Jane’s  understanding and kindness has been instrumental in healing hurts of a lovely young women. Jane did it right, and she has reaped the joyous benefits of her choices.  As you establish a rhythm of love and grace, you’ll find that you and your daughter-in-law/ mother-in-law can dance a loving and joyful dance too!

The Wubbolus World OF Grandmothers

Margaret Mead wrote: “The closet friends I have made all through my life have been people who grew up close to a loved and loving grandmother or grandfather.”

In part, she attributed the strong bond between grandchildren and grandparents to the fact that they are united against a “common enemy” the parents.

 It begins to dawn on new grandmothers before that wonderful bundle of joy is brought home from the hospital that this grandmother business can be much more complicated that they had ever imagined.

 When a baby is born, so is a grandmother and that is the beginning of a new love story fresh from heaven. There is nothing for a grandmother to do except love her grandchildren. As days and months follow grandmothers soon learn they can love their grandchildren fiercely, with a passion that can make them hunger for them when they are out of range.

Grandmothers know that their own children love but can they trust them to baby sit? That is an interesting question, isn’t it? You might assume automatically that all grandparents are natural baby sitters but that is not the case in many families.

 Sometimes grandmothers feel like they are auditioning for the role of the” baby sitter grandmother.” Even though your children love you that doesn’t mean that they can trust you with their new bundle of joy. Does that shock you? After all, you are full of motherly wisdom and all that expertise you gained through your years of motherhood. You know how to hold a new-born properly, you are capable of changing their diaper and you know all the ends and outs of bottle feeding. Wait, wasn’t that stomach-down or is it stomach-up just what Dr. Spock advise? 

A wise grandmother will get rid of her’ ” know it all attitude” and ask her little of bundle from heaven parents how they want their child or children cared for and follow their requests because it’s what is best for your grandchild and if your children are happy with you and trusting you then you will have all the Grandmother time you need and that makes for a happy family. 

However with that being said, I suggest that you learn how to pronounce all the tongue twister words in “The Cat In The Hat” books before your grandchild is born. I am recommending this base on an experience that I had while reading to my oldest grandson when he was three or four. He blurted out to me these words to me ” you can’t read very good”, so I don’t want you to read to me any more.

Needless to say I felt crushed but after thinking about it a few seconds I had to agree with him. At the time I didn’t realize I was trying to read made up words by the author Theodor Geisel known as Dr. Seuss. This kind of unexpected situation is not listed in any grandparenting book, so I decided I better get the word out to other grandmothers, so they can be better prepared because there is nothing we enjoy more than our hugs and our reading time with our grandchildren. Is there?

 If you can’t figure out how to pronounce some of the words in your grandchildren tongue twister books ask one of your seasoned grandmothers chances are they have already been through the ranks and will be more than glade to save you from being crushed when your grandchild tells you not to read to them cause you don’t read so good. Welcome to the Wubbolus World of Grandmothers and The Wubbolous World of Dr. Seuss.

Consecrate Your Relationship

A relationship is always far more than we imagine or expect it to be. It is more than an a living arrangement, more than being together in a social arrangement, more than the bright-colored kite tail of romance.

It is the coming together of two persons whose spirits participate with one another, beautifully and painfully, in the inexorable  process of their individual becoming.

Whether it is clearly visible or not, every relationship has a higher power than itself alone, a meaning that goes beyond the conventions of love and romance, and attaches the two people in it to a destiny that has roots in the past, and wings in the future.

This purpose is to shape us individually into the highest and best versions of ourselves and to change, if only some tiny way, the essential character of the reality we have entered here by being born. To know this is to believe that whatever occurs between you such as the petty dramas and traumas, the life shaping tragedies is honing you for your unique participation in the human stream. It is to accept that the person you love has come into your life for a reason that goes beyond the satisfactions of the moment or even your personal future to reach into the web beyond time.

What you do here together, how well and how beautifully you do it, has implications not only for how cozily you sit together in your rocking chairs in your old age, but also for every other living being. We are all participants in the process of creating a species and a world that hums with  peace and is informed by love. This is our highest heritage, and when we sanctify our relationships, the difficulties and insults they contain will be instantly diminished and what will stand in their place is the overwhelming presence of real love.

Sanctifying your relationship means seeing it not as an act of self-indulgence, but as an offering of love that you deliver up with joy to the fulfilment of its higher meaning. This entails not only an attitude of acceptance but also two behaviors: making speech and keeping silence.

It means verbally acknowledging this higher truth to one another: “Thank you for being the instrument for the  discovery of my purpose,” I know we have come together for an important reason.” I love you for being my way to see the holiness of life.”

 At times it also means keeping the silence in your heart, which is a thanksgiving of this higher purpose,or engaging together in a practice of meditation, which is a walking together in spirit, a prayer that your purpose together is revealed.You love is a stitch in the fabric of the All. To see it as such is to place your relationship in the ultimate perspective and to receive from it the ultimate joy.

We all need the paths of our lives to be marked out so that we can be reminded of the quality of our lives and the beauty of our loves. We dignify and consecrate our relationships when we set them apart from the ordinary ritual. Personal rituals provide a reference not only for the value we place upon our relationships, but also for the value we ask be conferred upon them.

Relationship ceremonies say that, this day is not like all other days, this person is not like all the other people; this love is not like all other loves. Not only in our hearts but also in our actions, we intend it to be a union of meaning, with allegiance to a valuable mission. The consecration of your relationship is a creative and deeply private affair.

Set aside for a special time to acknowledge your union, your wedding anniversary perhaps; choose a specific place to honor it; and create your own private ceremony. Light candles, say words, play music. Consecrating your relationship is the sign. repeated and beautiful, that you choose to view your relationship as holy, as no mistake, and that you intend, through it and with your beloved as your witness, always to live it to the highest of its purpose.

Stella’s Honeymoon On Hamburgers, Milkshakes And Love

Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known.

After Stella graduated from high school, she couldn’t afford college, so she went to nurse’s training school at the general hospital in her home town.

One day one of her patient’s son told her he was really crazy about her friend Betty, who was working on the ward with her, and asked if she could get him a date.

She said, “I’ll try. Betty said, Okay, but that she would not go out on a single date. “So he asked two guys, and I Stella asked another girl, and they went on a triple date. On the day of the date Stella had spent all afternoon at the beach sun bathing, she was red as a beet, her hair was a mess, and she really didn’t want to go.

At the last-minute Stella managed to pull herself together anyway and as she was walking down the stairs she saw the three guys sitting there, and she said to her friend, “Look at the hick; I’ll bet I get stuck with him.” And she did. She knew that he didn’t have any money. They wanted to stop for a hamburger, french fries and a milkshake, and he just frankly told her. “I can’t afford it.” Somehow or other that seemed honest to her. She said, ” Let’s just sit in the car and talk.” And talk they did. They talked themselves right into love and marriage. The next day she called him, they decided they wanted to see each other again and made plans to have lunch together.

When Dave went to the hospital to pick her up and unfortunately Stella wasn’t there. Dave waited for her longer that day than he had waited for anybody in his life. He wasn’t mad, he was disgusted  and wrote Stella off. After all no one did that to him, so he went back to work. 

Three days later Stella called him and explained to him that she had to attend a nurses luncheon and had left a note for Betty to give to him and Betty forgot to. Dave accepted her apology. Dave and Stella had the next Thursday off. He suggested that they go to Turkey Run State Park, which is about sixty miles from Indianapolis. That day turned out to be one of the most idyllic days of their lives.

Friday he took Stella out to the farm to meet his parents and on Saturday they spent the day with Stella’s parents. That was when her mother said to Dave, “I hope you’re not thinking about marrying my daughter, because you’ll marry her over my dead body!’  

He told her, “If I can find us a minister, we’re getting married tomorrow and no you wouldn’t die and she didn’t die!  He went out and found the same minister that had married his parents twenty-five years earlier. He pulled the minister right out of the revival meeting. His mother was an avid gardener, and had what seemed like thousands of gladiolas in full bloom.  His mother cut practically al of those glads, and the house was absolutely gorgeous with flowers everywhere they looked.

So they were married with their parents, grandparents, two best friends, his brother as his best man, and her four sisters and that was the wedding party. After the wedding ceremony Dave had twenty dollars in his pocket and borrowed forty dollars from his dad for the honeymoon, but in the rush and excitement of the wedding, he forgot to get it. They where half way to Lake Shafer on their honeymoon when they discovered that he only had a twenty in his wallet. 

So they honeymoon on twenty dollars. They found a motel for three dollars a night. They discovered a beautiful garden overlooking Lake Shafer and if they ate at the soda fountain they could order a hamburger, french fries and milkshake for seventy-five cents. So their honeymoon was for three-days and nights and they spent Dave’s twenty dollars. When they returned home Dave gave his father in law the forty dollars back.

Stella and Dave have had fifty-seven years of marriage, and never once regretted their short courtship and honeymoon on hamburgers, milkshakes and love. Stella worked as a nurse for twenty years and Dave became a doctor and they had four children but every Saturday night was hamburger, french fire and milkshake night.

Stella and Dave’s love story carries us from the excitement and anticipation of courtship to the deep connection of lifelong commitment, their story just goes to show that love is found in the most unexpected of places and in the shortest amount of time. And if you’re wondering yes this is a true story love story.

What Does Your Favorite Flowers Reveal About You?

It’s amazing how the mere sight of a flower arrangement is proven to elevate mood, intensify you immune system and even help you make friends by revving your sociability! And because every bouquet has its own personality the one you’re drawn to says unique things about yours! Here are a few of our favorite flowers and what they reveal about us.

If you love Rose Bouquets you’re a detail-oriented go-getter! It’s no wonder that the rose is a symbol of exquisite beauty.

The geometric pattern created by its petals forms the “golden ratio” the mathematical term for near perfect symmetry that shows up in everything from the curves of certain seashells to the famously precise proportions of the Parthenon.

Rose lovers zero in on this ideal aesthetic because you’re visually sensitive and detail-oriented, relentlessly pursuing your own idea of perfection both your personal and work lives.

Are you drawn to bright Golden Sunflowers and summers? If so you are friendly and charming! Their bright golden color embodies the hope of summer all year-long.

                                                                                                 Indeed, if one sunflower is like a smile, an entire arrangement of them is more like pure laughter something you need in your life and something your charming personality immediately brings out in others.

 You are full of zest, you attract friends and admirers as easily as your favorite flowers attract the warm rays of the sun.

Maybe you prefer a bouquet of Wildflowers you’re a dreamer! It requires an artistic eye to put together a beautiful bouquet of wildflowers to take disparate blooms, each with its own size, shape and color, and create a stunning whole.

Even if you don’t arrange them yourself, simply appreciating a bouquet of wildflowers implies you’re a creative idealist seeing value and potential in everything from a kernel of an idea in a work presentation to the curl of a wild petal in a roadside bloom.

Tulip lovers are poised and classy Like elegant champagne flutes. Slender tulips exude sophistication and quiet elegance.You don’t need a riot of showy blossoms in your bouquet because you instinctively prefer understatement.

You’re always thoughtful and ever serene. Focused on family, friends and the peaceful moments you spend tending to treasured projects like a bed of tulips in your garden that’ll soon become a beautiful bouquet.

 Orchid lovers… you are a chic mystery!

Because the orchid makes such a dramatic solo statement, a bouquet of the exotic beauties are relatively rare and so are your sophisticated sensibilities.

Just like the striking flower you love, you’re unique and exude a refined beauty. Another similarity between you and this bouquet is that there’s a certain mystique about you others can’t help but admire.

Herbs or Succulents…You’re a trendy thinker! If rather than classic petals, you prefer the soft green hues of herb or succulent-infused bouquets, you’re likely a nontraditional thinker, but never a slave to them. You are deep and well read, you have a talent for dealing with problems from many perspective and finding beauty in places others may over look.

Stargazer flowers are so loved and admired that they have been given a host of meanings and various kinds of symbolic importance.

Throughout the world, these lovely flowers are popular for nearly any occasion. They are favorite flowers of gardeners and florists use millions of them each year.

Do  you keep a bouquet of Stargazer flowers around to brighten up your day?  It is written that Stargazer flower lovers are vibrant, pretty and subtle. Stargazer flowers say to someone, such as a significant other I am thinking of you and missing you.

Flowers have meanings associated with them and, that there are flowers befitting specific occasions? Flowers are a part of the most important occasions in our lives. They are conspicuously present on birthdays, funerals, graduations, weddings, and many more occasions.

It is impossible for any person to be completely unaware of flower meanings.

Everyone knows that a red rose stands for romantic love and that one does not send yellow roses to anyone in mourning.

Most people do not consider flower meanings before gifting flowers. Similarly, people who receive flowers may not know their meaning and hence miss the underlying message. Know which flower stands as the national flower of what country?  Some flowers are symbolic of wealth, prosperity and fortune. While other flowers are of friendship, splendid beauty and anticipation.

The flower in this photo is called a “Anthurium” and it represents happiness and abundance to the person it is given to. Anthurim flower lovers are the life of the party and spread joy every where they go. Anthurium flowers represents happiness and abundance.

Hoop It Up With Your Grandkids

Are you wondering how to get your grandchildren moving, spark their imaginations, and make the evening so much fun, they’ll want to come back next week?

I just read a list of activities suggested for grandparents by Grandparents.com and I have added a few comments of my own to their list. I hope you enjoy reading a little granny humor today!

  •  Balloon volleyball ! Players bat a balloon back and forth, using part of their bodies, keeping it from hitting the ground. To make it harder, add more balloons. We do that in our house and the kids get a big kick out of it. Jesse likes to lay on a balloon and try to make it pop. What can I say?
  • Indoor safari! Hide stuffed animals around your house before your grandkids get there; then have your junior explorers search for wild game. Are you kidding me? I’m still finding stuffed animals that they stashed around the house from last Christmas it’s always an endless safari hunt in our house! But it does sound like a fun activity. Doesn’t it?
  • Time machine! Scan old family photos, like childhood pictures of your grandkids’ parents, on your computer. Print them out and let the kids create funny captions or stories. Can you see the humor in all the funny things that grandkids could do to photos of their parents. I sure can!
  • Karaoke! To make it even more fun, you sing along to your grandkids’ favorite songs and see if they can tackle tunes from your era. I don’t know about you but my grandkids always ask that I don’t sing. According to my grandson Jeremy I can’t sing or read so good! The funny thing about what he said it is he is true. I do struggle with some of the tongue twisters from “The Cat In The Hat.” Have you tried reading or singing some of the Cat In The Hat stuff? I can’t be the only grandmother with issues about it!
  • Game night! Not video games teach them classic games they don’t know, like jacks, marbles, or pick up sticks. Well I can tell we aren’t going to be playing any of these games in our house for a few years, because Jesse is only two years old and he’s not going to coöperate with us on this one. But we can play cars and trucks even if he tries to take mine away from me.
  • Gotta Dance! Teach the kids your favorite ballroom dance  since Dancing with the Stars, it’s cool again. I suggest you check with their parents first on this one. Not everyone thinks Dancing with the Stars is cool, if you know what I mean?
  • Hula-Hoop it up! You try it too. The kids will love watching you give it a whirl. This sounds like a blast from the past doesn’t it? Just make sure your hips are in alignment before you hula hoop it up!
  • Take it on the road! museums, aquariums, and zoos around the country are offering families the opportunity to sleep over night among the dinosaurs, dolphins, and deer. Call and find out if your local institutions offer this option. And as always, clear it with the parents. That sounds awesome doesn’t it? But if you want to save gas, time and money just go in their bedrooms most grandkids rooms are full of stuffed animals that their grandparents bought for them and with just a little imagination it’s like being at in a zoo. Isn’t it? 
  • Say Cheese! Snap photos with a digital camera all evening. Print the pictures while the kids sleep, then have them assemble sleepover scrapbooks to take home in the morning. And don’t forget to make one for  yourself. It’s sure to be one of your most treasured possessions! I love this idea I’m going to try it. How about you?

After reading this list I am saying to myself; How’s that going to work out for grandparents? The reason is these activities are suggested between dinner time and bed time. I don’t know about you but we make it a point to create a claim atmosphere in order to create the desire in them to them to go to sleep.

I know my son and daughter-in-law would not appreciate me playing balloon volleyball with my grandson’s just before bedtime. I suggest doing these activities in the morning so they’ll get tired out and you can all take a nap after lunch. That sounds good doesn’t it? After all there is nothing like a good old-fashioned nap. Is there? Just remember what ever you do to hoop it up with your grandkids have a blast doing it! So long for now from a Granny in Training!

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Do You Hear What I Hear? has always been one of my favorite Christmas Carols. I love the soft, gentle notes as they draw out the words:” Do you hear what I hear?” I melt as the violins respond: “A song, a song high above the trees with a voice as big as the sea.” I love this Carol because it is about listening, hearing the sounds of night. The words challenge the heart to hear and know truth. The theme calls us to recognize that moment when truth manifests itself before us. My friend Jane and her husband Bob told me a story about listening. I’m so inspired by it that I want to share it with you. 

Jane was happy to share with me about the wisdom she gleaned from a man who mentored his children in a quiet time each day. His example stressed the importance of sitting quietly, listening to what he called the song of the heart. How many of us listen? How many of us teach our children and grandchildren to stop and listen?

A few years ago Jane and Bob initiated a rest time with their grandchildren. Each year, they go spend time in the summer with them. Following the hectic morning activities, they usually set aside a time in the afternoon to rest. They call it their quiet time, Bob told me that he wished he could have told me that they started having quite time for noble reasons, but he confessed it was out necessity. He started doing it when he found himself tired and needing to regain some strength, he did it for himself. Now it has become a tradition.

Jane and Bob’s story, includes a message for us to take to heart. During an extended visit, she decided to try a quiet time with her grandchildren. After she picked them up at school, she parked the car underneath an oak tree, rolled the window down, and told them, “Now we are going to so something really fun. We are going to have quiet time and listen.”

Expectantly their faces lighted up in anticipation. She explained the plan, and wouldn’t you know it, as soon as she stopped talking, a train went by. They listened. They clearly heard the whistle, the wheels as they clattered on the track, the sounds of the cars clanging together. The children were amazed and excited. When quiet time was over, they had much to talk about.

The next day they tried it again. This time they heard a bird signing and leaves rustling as the wind blew through the trees. About two days later, Jennifer, age four, awoke, Jennifer explained, “I miss my mommy.” Jane asked her what could be done.  “I need a quiet time for a few minutes,” Jennifer replied, “so I can miss her.”

Jane left the room. A few minutes later, Jennifer came down the hall. “I’m done,” she said. Something happened in those few minutes. In the way of a child, Jennifer listened to the song of her heart and was comforted. Perhaps she thought of her mom and her favorite memory. Maybe she cried and sucked her thumb or sang her favorite song. We don’t what transpired in those precious moments, but we like to think that she heard a still, small whisper from a loving God who said, “It is OK. I am here.”

Jane and I enjoy connecting a quiet time to a time of listening to the song of our hearts. We like the results that happen when we encourage our grandchildren to stop and listen, to regather and recenter when they have a need. We are looking forward to adopting and expanding on ways to spend quiet time with them in the future. Jane has four grandchildren and I have two and one on the way. That’s seven children that we can be quiet and listen with. Do you hear what I hear?