Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lessons from a Swedish Mother-in-Law

A generation passed quickly before our eyes. Dan's mother died July 20, 2009. Dan's dad left us on February 7, 2010.

My heart praises God that I never related to mother-in-law jokes as my mom-in-love was just that--a mom I loved. I write this in tribute to her and to our God.

I learned a lot about love from my Swedish mother-in-law. When she said, "Do you want more mashed potatoes?" she wasn't asking a question. She was making a statement as she scooped more potatoes on top of the ones I had yet to eat. That was mom--no matter how much you had, she wanted to give you more.

So like Jesus. He wants to give us over and above what we ask for or imagine. He piles our plates with His blessings and then He piles on some more. Let's make sure we enjoy it all--even the ones we never expected.

I was blessed with a wonderful mother-in-law. She loved me when I wasn't loveable. She accepted me when I was rejected. She encouraged me when I was discouraged.

So like Jesus. He loves us, accepts us, and encourages us through the worst of our days. He tells us over and over, "I love you. You are mine. Do not be discouraged." Don't miss times listening to the Lord and His Voice of encouragement to you.

The sweetest memory I have of my Swedish mom happened 39 years ago. We sat in church together. I was a new and insecure bride. During the service she gently took my hand and held it. Such a simple gesture. I'll never forget its impact. I felt her love for me and the love of Christ that lived in her.

So like Jesus. Scripture assures us His Hands are holding ours. My favorite is Isaiah 41:13, "For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, 'Do not fear; I will help you.'"

The days of eating Mom's mashed potatoes, hearing her encouraging words, and holding her hands have come to an end. I thank the Lord for Grace Miller's life. Her legacy lives on as I pile on the potatoes, seek to encourage, and look for a hand to hold while never forgeting the One Who puts portions on my plate, soothes my soul, and holds my hands as I journey through life.

May your plates overflow, your souls be soothed, and your hands held by the One who loves you more than any human ever could.

Splashes of Serenity to you, dear friend,


  1. Coming from a Sweedish heritage, I enjoyed your blog. God truly pours on the blessings--many times we don't even recognize them. Bless you for sharing such good thoughts!

  2. Elaine, how beautiful! And how very much like Aunt Grace. Such a wonderful tribute to her. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts...


  3. Elaine - I could so identify with this having had a dear and loving Swedish mother-in-law as well. She loved me as the daughter she never had and I was truly blessed. Thanks for sharing and reminding me of God's Hands holding mine no matter what I am enduring.



I would love hearing from you! Thanks for sharing!