Monday, June 7, 2010

Being graceful and patient

I got a situation.
I ask you to read this with a light heart, but I need to vent. I need to let it all out and work it out in my head how I am going to deal with the situation gracefully and patiently.
Not easy.
So most of you are aware that Jason has gone to Australia two weeks ahead of us and the kids and I are staying with my in laws. You see where this is going, don't you?
Please don't get me wrong. I love my in laws, we get along fine, but I think living there is not ideal. The house is really small and MIL is a bit of a clean freak. I have three kids, they are loud, messy, like any other kid. I do have to nag them a lot in the morning when we are getting ready for school, but what parent doesn't? (If you are reading this is going 'I don't have to nag' please share your secrets!!)
Anyways, MIL is hard to live with. She won't say things to my face, but she will tell the kids to tell me things when I am standing right there. Not just that, I keep getting "if it was me" or "if it was my children" speech on and on and on. And I seriously don't mean just a little speech... the WHOLE time we are there, she does not stop complaining or comparing my kids to hers (her youngest being nearly 30 - my hubby!) and just being a pain for the sake of being a pain. I think she keeps talking to hear the sound of her own voice, or maybe she feels that she needs to do that? If things are not done the way she wants them done, watch out. I am so upset because of it, I honestly don't know what to do to make it better. I am trying really hard to think ahead to avoid unpleasant comments, but it's a losing battle my friends.
That was my vent post.
Now, how am I going to deal with her gracefully and patiently? How am I going to go on and NOT explode and be angry at her or say things I don't mean?
To be perfectly honest, I have no idea. It is so hard to bite my tongue and not say anything when I really feel like telling her to butt out!
So far I have done well. Apart from telling her to stop judging one of my friends, someone she does not even know - and I did it nicely. But I am really upset this morning. It's only 9am and already I feel like I can't take it anymore - I still have 13 days there! I am glad I go to work and the kids have school. Otherwise I don't think things would turn out okay.
As I type this, a verse comes to mind:
"You have heard what it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. 'But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn his the other also; and if anyone would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you. You have heard that it was said. 'You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy'. But I say to you 'Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" Matthew 5:38-45
Let me just say this: She is not my enemy. As I said, we do get along, I just think we're having a 'own space" collision. I am in her space and she is in mine.
I think Jesus was aware of how difficult it was to 'turn the other cheek' when he said those words. It's one of the hardest things to do - because in our own minds - we're being wronged. I am doing everything I can to avoid the complaints and rambling, but no matter what I do, I still get them. I think it's so unfair and it does not make it any better to have someone in the background criticising every single thing I do. It's very hard to let go and not be upset or annoyed by it not to mention the unspoken tension.
I am really working hard on this one. Be gracious and patient. Turn the other cheek and agree with things even when I really want to scream and hide. I know it's not for long, I know I have the power to make things or break things. Given the circumstances, I do not have an option but be like Jesus and practice my patience. A whole lot.

holy experience

It's actually tuesday here. But here we go:

21. Chocolate cheesecake

22. Friends who let me borrow their car!

23. Karaoke! So much fun

24. Kid's tv channels (it's been so wet around here, and grandma's house is small)

25. Safe flights

26. new crafts on my to do list

27. Cough syrup and honey

28. Our new car in Australia

29. Jason's new cell phone - I can call him

30. Phone cards - i won't cost in laws a cent for the overseas calls!


  1. Dear Roberta,

    You didn't ask for my advice, but I did have a few thoughts for you. Did you ever think that your MIL may be reacting because her son and his family are moving far away? Maybe she doesn't even realize that she is acting weird - she is just sad and it is coming out like this. I'm not saying that you aren't justified in feeling stressed. I have been in your shoes and I know how hard it is. The best advice I could give to you is try to understand how she might be feeling and look for ways to bless her. Think of things that would make her happy. Make the goal of your day to keep your kids happy and bless your MIL's day. Maybe that will make the days go by faster. I will be praying for you!

  2. I agree with Benay, there is a possibility that she doesn't realize that she's being the way she is and won't know unless you bring it up. If it were me, I would say something to her and let her know what I'm feeling. If you choose this path, make sure to use a lot of "I" statements, such as "I feel like you are..." instead of "You are..." Having your thoughts ready will help prevent any outbursts that could turn out nasty. Good luck with whatever you choose, I know how tough that kind of situation can be.