How to Be a “True Christian” Mother-in-Law

Over time, a family with four sons develops a unique tone, a guy-culture with a certain decibel level and a distinct way of doing life. As a mother of some now-married sons, it has been a joy to welcome other women into this circle, women who love my sons well and have also opened their hearts to me.

Of course, the messy flip side of this blessing is the requirement that I acknowledge and appreciate another woman’s way of doing things—important things like parenting my grandchildren, feeding a family, and managing a home. Just as I have prayed for twenty-five years for grace to be a good mother, I am now trusting for grace to be a good mother-in-law. Wisdom for this challenge flows in abundance from one of Paul’s lists in the book of Romans.  Some translators have labeled Romans 12:9-21 “Marks of the True Christian.” I can’t think of any better advice for women striving to be good Christian mothers-in-law.

“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.” (Romans 12:9)

In the same spirit as Paul’s command to “let love be genuine,” Amy Carmichael prayed:

“Love through me, Love of God.
Make me like Thy clear air
Through which, unhindered, colors pass
As though it were not there.


I’m teaming up with Desiring God today to share more of Paul’s admonitions from Romans 12 and how they have applied to my life as a mother-in-law-in-training. I hope you’ll join me there to continue reading!

Rejoicing in hope,

Michele Morin

Photo by Khongor Ganbold on Unsplash

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December Musings — 2016

Turning the last page of 2016, I’m reminded of all its gifts, chief among them this favorite guy, and our rowdy and much-loved family.

Thank you, friends, for the encouragement you have brought to this year, for your own inspiring books and blog posts, and for the hospitality of a warm welcome into your life — and your inbox!

On the Nightstand

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For Christmas of 2015, my oldest son and his wife gave me Amy Carmichael’s Edges of His Ways, arranged in daily devotional readings.  This book has been my companion throughout 2016, and I’ve been thankful for the daily reminder that no matter how much I study, regardless of how long I walk with God, and even in light of God’s incredible self-revelation in the person of Christ and in the wonders of His creation, “these are the mere edges of His ways,” (Job 26:14).  Always, always there is more to be known in this following life.

 

 On the Blog

 

The most-read piece at Living Our Days for the month of December was my review of A.W. Tozer’s From Heavena compilation of Tozer’s sermons and excerpts from his written material for the Christmas season.  Our family has been dipping into this wisdom as part of our Advent devotions, and almost every day, there’s another glorious “Ah Ha!” moment around the dining room table.  Here’s one example:

“We live between two mighty events — that of His incarnation, death, and resurrection, and that of His ultimate appearing and the glorification of those He died to save.  This is the interim time for the saints — but it is not a vacuum.  He has given us much to do, and He asks for our faithfulness.”

For the month of December, the SheLoves community has been writing and thinking about the word “Pause.”  My offering (click here to read it!) was centered on the notion of pausing in the in-between, honoring the sinewy watchfulness of those who waited for a Messiah in the days between the Testaments while staying present to the wonder of Word made flesh in our every day living.  Words spoken into that long ago in-between also resonate for today’s waiting:  “Nothing shall be impossible.  God is with us.”

Then, one morning I received an e-mail notification that my blog post was being featured over at Deeply Rooted.  This is a community of women called to purpose, on purpose, by God, and I was honored that they shared my thoughts on prayer, Sometimes Instead of Bread, I Ask God for Stones.

Just for Joy

I’m hoping that many of you will join me in the journey through C.S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces.  

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Lewis has been referred to as an “armchair theologian,” and we all know that he was a masterful storyteller, a combination which makes for a rich reading experience.  On January 5, I’ll be posting a reading schedule and an invitation to link your own thoughts and blog posts about the book in a book discussion that will take us into the early weeks of March.

The best part of an on-line group is that our meetings won’t have to be cancelled for inclement weather!

Having passed the Winter Solstice, those of us in the Northern Hemisphere are now heading toward the light.  I pray that this is your heart’s condition, regardless of circumstances, and I’m looking forward to sharing more words of Truth and Light together in 2017.

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Join me over at Leigh Kramer’s place to read a collection of musings from a wide and varied selection of writers!  Happy 2017!

If you enjoy reading Living Our Days, subscribe to get regular Bible studies and book reviews delivered to your inbox.  Just enter your e-mail address in the box at the top of this page.

I link-up with a number of blogging  communities on a regular basis.  They are listed in the left sidebar by day of the week.  I hope that you will take a moment to enjoy reading the work of some of these fine writers and thinkers.

September Musings – 2016

If my sons are reading the Amazon reviews of Sugar-free Gummy Bears out loud together and laughing hysterically, should I be grateful that they are reading and laughing together — or should I snarl and hand them each a reprimand and a text book?  Such are the dilemmas of the back-to-homeschooling experience here in the Morin compound, a journey of satisfying progress on some days — and grinding tedium on other days.
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September has also been a month of parties starting with volleyball and a cookout on Labor Day, and continuing with an “end of summer” bash, and then the adorable grand boy’s second birthday party — and my 54th.

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A sink full of tomatoes on their way to becoming spaghetti sauce

 

Pulled pork sandwiches, Frito pie, batches of cookies, whoopie pies, and huge brownies have kept me busy in the kitchen, while the garden continues to produce tomatoes at an alarming rate —  I’ve canned over fifty quarts of tomatoes and spaghetti sauce this month.

On the Nightstand . . .

In Edges of His Ways, Amy Carmichael described her view of “the shining way on the water” — always a thing of beauty at sunrise or sunset — or even in the moonlight:

“There may be a hundred people on the shore, and yet every one sees the path beginning where he or she stands.  I shall never forget my astonishment when I saw this for the first time . . . [and] it’s like that with the Bible.  When you are reading, you will find a path that leads you from that place straight to the heart of God and the desires of God.”

I’d love to know what you’ve been reading, and where it is leading you.

On the Blog . . .

September has been an encouraging month with fun opportunities to guest post at SheLoves Magazine and to share my story in an interview with Cheryl Smith at Homespun Devotions.

The post with the most readers in September was my review of Gerald Peterman and Andrew Schmutzer’s fine work on the theology of suffering:  Between Pain and Grace.

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A September highlight for me was the Revive Our Hearts’ simulcast prayer event for women.   On Friday evening, September 23, hundreds of thousands of women gathered in thousands of locations around the world to seek the Lord together, and some of us were here in Maine!   We prayed in small groups and asked ourselves hard questions like this one inspired by the prophet Jeremiah:

Where are the wailing women today?

Thus says the Lord of hosts:

“Consider and call for the mourning women,
That they may come;
And send for skillful wailing women,
That they may come.
Let them make haste
And take up a wailing for us,
That our eyes may run with tears,
And our eyelids gush with water.  (Jeremiah 9:17-18)

And this one:  Do I have any excuse at all for not bringing the eight most important people in my life before God by name each day?

It was a challenge to be joined in purpose with the prayer and worship of others. (Sorry, but when we were supposed to be closing our eyes, I just had to watch as the camera panned the crowd at the True Woman conference in Indiana.) I was challenged to intercede more broadly and with greater risk and faith, and was also inspired by the work and words of Blair Linne, a spoken word artist and pastor’s wife from the Washington, D.C. area.  I hope you’ll click here to enjoy a sample of her work.

Thank you for reading and for so often adding your thoughts to mine in your comments.  In community, we are sharpened.  We share the comfort with which we have been comforted, and together we “seek the peace of the city” where we have been placed in the providence of God.

Every blessing to you,

Michele

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If you enjoy reading Living Our Days, subscribe to get regular Bible studies and book reviews delivered to your inbox.  Just enter your e-mail address in the box at the top of this page.

I link-up with a number of blogging  communities on a regular basis.  They are listed in the left sidebar by day of the week.  I hope that you will take a moment to enjoy reading the work of some of these fine writers and thinkers.

Musings — July 2016

July has been a month of gatherings, and nothing is more precious to me than the gift of my patient husband and our family.  To celebrate Independence Day we all trekked to our favorite State Park on Lake St. George for a daylong picnic and swim, and then off to the fireworks.  We’ve relished a Saturday at the ocean, an evening around the fire pit with s’mores and starlight, and a lovely opportunity to babysit the adorable grand boy.

You, readers, are a further source of inspiration, and many of you are fellow bloggers who regularly offer up your words, sometimes wondering if anyone is out there reading.  This month your messages of encouragement to me have shown up at just the right time — just like the ravens who served as messengers with God’s provision in the Old Testament (I Kings 17:4-6; Genesis 8:6,7).

Thank You to My Ravens

When your words land
Like downy feathers,
When they  nourish like bread and meat,
I find strength to make my way to the Brook,
To drink deeply,
To be refreshed where God has placed me.

So, dear Ravens, when you have been tossed out of your Ark,
Sent forth from your cherished place of safety
To take wing over some flooded and desolate place,

Fly.

Keep going to and fro over the waters,
And know this:

Although your mission may not be clear —
No fresh-growing olive leaf in sight for you to pluck
As evidence of your flight —
Someone waits for you.
Some God-loved but wingless soul,
Uncertain about life and food,
Body and clothes,
Some watching, Word-starved worrier
Will consider your carefree flight,
Will hear Spirit-wind in your timely fluttering,
Will cease her empty striving,
Will seek His kingdom and do the Word of the Lord —
Because you took flight.

Book Talk

I’m enjoying some reading this summer that will not be showing up on the blog, and there’s nothing like a book that happens to be an old friend.  This includes working my way slowly through Madeleine L’Engle’s Walking on Water, a section at a time, sometimes re-reading, always encouraged.  I’m also discovering Amy Carmichael’s Edges of His Ways.  It has been a delightful thing to cut back to one book review per week on the blog!

Life at Home

I am two thirds of the way through my commitment to the summer job, and all is well.  It appears that everyone is surviving quite nicely without me standing constantly in the hypotenuse of the sink-stove-fridge-triangle.

 

Reading, writing, and studying time have been a bit hard to come by, so I resurrected a few older posts for the blog in the month of July.

Our big vegetable garden has been a steady presence in my life for the past couple of decades, and, of course, that has not changed. It’s nearly time for canning to begin.

The patient husband and I are persevering in our journey through the Bible out loud together, and this is a steady source of inspiration.

Living Our Days

The most-read post for July was a meditation on Psalm 142 and David’s Prayer from the Cave.   I am happy to report that the most-read book review was based on Marjorie Maddox’s beautiful collection of poetry entitled Yes. No. None of the Above.  

I’m not sure that I had a favorite post this month, but certainly the most challenging for me to write was my review of Makoto Fujimura’s Silence and Beauty.   Essentially, the task was to write a book review about a book . . . that had been written about another book (Shusako Endo’s Silence).

Coming up in the month of August, I’m delighted to be sharing a post via She Loves Magazine about my friend in Australia, Bev Murrill.  She has a teaching, counseling, and humanitarian ministry to women and children in Africa, and, although we have never met in person, I have been challenged by her heart of compassion.

I’d love to know what is challenging you this summer.   Are there people in your life who show you the love of Christ, who show up like ravens with messages of provision and encouragement?

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Subscribe to get regular Bible studies and book reviews from Living Our Days delivered to your inbox.  Just enter your e-mail address in the box at the top of this page.

I’ll be linking this post with Leigh Kramer‘s great community of  month-end encouragement.  I hope you’ll join me there!

Also,  I link-up with a number of blogging  communities on a regular basis.  They are listed in the left sidebar by day of the week.  I hope that you will take a moment to enjoy reading the work of some of these fine writers and thinkers.