Two of my favorite moms are my sister-in-laws, Abby and Emily. These ladies are part of my life by their connection to my brother and my husband, but I am happy to say they are part of my life as two of my closest friends.
It is a joy to watch these young moms in action. And even though I walk a little bit before them in terms of life experience, in many ways they are walking ahead of me in character as mothers especially.
Emily is Jason’s younger sister. She has Iris, 3 (turning four in October), and Asher who just turned 1 last March (on Emily’s birthday!). I have known Emily since she was 13, and what a delight to watch her walk through various seasons of life with such grace and dignity. She is walking in motherhood similarly. When I think of Em as a mom, two evidences of grace come to mind. First, Emily enjoys her children. She is always laughing at their latest antics, and has that sparkle in her eye anytime she sees, or speaks of her kiddos. It began in the hospital with IrisÂs birth. I have never seen a mother so euphoric! It will remain a precious memory for me seeing Emily rejoice profoundly, not just in her new role, but in her new baby. The second evidence of grace I see in Emily is that she has maintained an outward focus during the season of life that is accompanied by a temptation to be consumed with only “me and mine”. She organizes special “girls’ night out” throughout the year. She plans for close friends’ birthdays. When our friend Beth lived in Boston, Emily would coordinate a gathering of friends to greet her when she came back for a visit. Even just in normal conversation, Emily will focus on the other person by drawing them out and showing interest in their life, rather than make herself or her kids the centerpiece for discussion. I want to be like Emily in these things. I am grateful to God for her example.
Abby is my little brother’s wife, and mother to Jack, who just turned three, and Charli, who is one (just three weeks older than Asher). If I could use one defining word for Ab as a mother it would be contentment. Abby is the most content individual I have personally ever known. This results in a peace and rest of soul that is a comfort to be around. There have been numerous times when this contentment has shined through. When Jack was born, Ab had a c-section that didn’t heal properly. This made recovery much longer, and yet Ab did not complain at all. She graciously embraced the season with contentment and trust in God. After Charli was born, Ab and Jim were packing a house to move in with my parents while Jim worked very long hours on their newly purchased fixer-upper. Rather than grumble and complain, Abby did what needed to be done. She was content to move in with her in-laws, and continues to wait patiently for her own house, truly with no complaint. The reason the house has taken so long to fix-up has been due to the interruption of schedule by my grandmother and aunt coming from New Orleans last fall. My brother flew down several times to either get my grandmother, work on the house, or serve in various other ways that my parents were unable, taking him away from work on his own house (which was impossible to work on during winter months due to frozen ground). Abby did not complain about this shift of plans, but was fully supportive of Jimmy putting his efforts into serving my mom and dad, grandmother and aunt. More than not demand he work on her house, more than release him to do these things, Ab herself cared heroically for my grandmother in particular while my mom was caring for Aunt Cathy. Truly I am grateful for my precious sister in law who laid aside her life to serve others, in this case not just Jimmy, Jack, and Charli, but my grandmother as well. All of this with no complaint, but with peaceful contentment.
I love you little mammas! What a joy to watch and learn from you both.