~~for my mother-in-law~~
Her smile is real and her words are encouraging. She is the best of the best when it comes to mother-in-laws. She has a true love for the Lord, an acute sensitivity to others, and an innate, yet cultivated love for people.
But the best part of all, the most challenging to me— is that she genuinely shares in the joy of every soul around her. No friend is less a friend. No life experience or life event is lesser in her eyes. If her daughter has a baby, she is rejoicing. If her friend’s daughter has a baby…she is equally rejoicing.
When I got married her eyes glistened with unshed tears, she held onto my hands and prayed for me. Rejoicing on the day of this life event, and yet months later–still rejoicing. She calls it magical, the best of days. She is still sharing in my joy. I am her new daughter.
And if your friend got married, she would do the same for your friend. Sharing in the joy. Making it her own, grasping your friend’s hands and praying, “Lord, bless this day! Bless this life!” When her beautiful grand-baby is born….she is exploding with joy. But then, if any baby is born…she is exploding with joy and a Congratulations card is on the way.
She doesn’t even need a life-event to spread her joy. Today is National Coffee Day and she asked if I wanted to go. Of course, I did. The laughter was over-flowing. What joy it is to be around Joy. Massive blended coffee drinks are handed to us. Laughter ensues.
We both hope we don’t drop the massive beverages. I’m holding mine with two hands. I can’t lose its tastiness to the parking lot or on the Walmart tiles. We are still laughing as we try to block out how many calories we are in-taking just by sipping on all this goodness. But oh well. Happiness upon happiness embraces us on a simple day.
Later in the afternoon, she hands me a pink envelope with words too kind written on the face of it. I am not the new and improved Mrs. Fedorko. How can you improve on something that is already so full of godly character, so full of joy? I strive to share and show the joy that she owns for everyone.
Inside the envelope is a card. I am already smiling. How can I not? I have the best of the best when it comes to mother-in-laws. She thanks me for the good time. I mean, I was her partner in indulgence after all. Large drinks at Dutch Bros should be illegal. But they aren’t and she provides me with a small gift for the next time I indulge in the delightful beverage. She is giving and she is happiness. She is full of joy and it overflows everywhere.
So, as I grow up in the next hour, the next day, the next year….I hope I can cultivate a real joy for others in all their life triumphs and successes. I hope that my joy is real for them. I pray that I rejoice alongside my friends in the wedding days, the baby days, the training up a child days, the empty nest days, the grandchildren days. I pray that I rejoice with and for my friends. I hope that I am Joy. I hope that I will share and spread what my mother-in-law has so succinctly portrayed in her life—real joy for life, real joy for others, real joy altogether.