August 26, 2013

Our New In-Laws and the 9 Nanas Quietly Love Others

Yesterday my husband and I returned home from Newport Beach, California, after seeing my son marry his sweetheart.  (Aren't they cute?)  It was a wonderful whirlwind weekend of good food and sunshine.  With our rainy Atlanta summer starting to wear on me, this switch was welcome.  The sweetest part of it was meeting our new family-- the family behind my son's new wife.

I must admit that I was worried about meeting her family.  I had spoken to her mom on the phone and she seemed really nice.  But my insecurities kept whispering in my ear that they wouldn't like us or that it would be awkward.  Instead they pulled me in-- all of us in, hugged us and made us feel at home and like the family we were to be.  One soon-to-be in-law even called me 'beautiful Melanie.'  Repeatedly!  Wow.

They made us feel comfortable enough to just walk in their home without knocking.  Or help ourselves to something in the kitchen, which was constantly full of yummy food.  Or go to use the restroom without politely asking.  They made us feel like it was our home and we felt comfortable in it.  Even when we spilled water on the beautiful sofa and dropped food on the floor.

After our children married, with this prelude of welcome and acceptance, we felt like family.  In the course of just 2 days together, we were no more strangers but now 'family' and felt like it!  It was amazing!

There was nothing dramatic in their actions-- just lots of love.  For us.  We were the family behind the man their daughter was marrying and that was enough to treat us like family.  It was amazing. 

Today I read a wonderful article about a group of women doing similar quiet acts of love.  They emulated the love they saw in their parents and broadened it to serve individuals in need in their community.  I couldn't help but link the two-- my experience with this kind family and the women of the article.  Read about the women here:  9 Women Quietly Serve Others

In my scripture reading this morning, I read that if we have a strong relationship with our Father in Heaven, we won't have the disposition to do evil, but we will want to do good.
Verses in Mosiah 4 read:
  • 11 And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have atasted of his love, and have received a bremission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own cnothingness, and his dgoodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of ehumility, fcalling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing gsteadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel.
  •  12 And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the alove of God, and always bretain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the cknowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true.
  •  13 And ye will not have a amind to injure one another, but to live bpeaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due.
  •  14 And ye will not suffer your achildren that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye bsuffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and cquarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the devil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.
  •  15 But ye will ateach them to bwalk in the ways of truth and csoberness; ye will teach them to dlove one another, and to serve one another.
  •  16 And also, ye yourselves will asuccor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the bbeggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.
  •  17 Perhaps thou shalt asay: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—
  •  18 But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.
  •  19 For behold, are we not all abeggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?
  •  20 And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a aremission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; he has poured out his bSpirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with cjoy, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was your joy.
  •  21 And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to aimpart of the substance that ye have one to another.
Seems like a good relationship with our God cures a lot in our interactions with others and certainly makes us kinder to others.  Clearly these wonderful people-- my new family and these 9 kind women-- have that relationship with God.  You can see it easily in how they well treat others. 

I'm grateful to this kind family, my new in-laws, for making us feel loved and that we belonged.  Now as I watch my son and his new wife make a life together, I know behind them there are two loving supportive families-- ours and hers.  I know because they loved and supported us over a glorious weekend.