A Jewish Proverb says "God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers" which offers a loving view of motherhood. However, that's not always how it is when "in-law" is added to a mother or father's name and the new family member is treated like an "out-law."
The ideal for any new family addition is to feel loved, wanted and included, however some relationship dynamics become strained, stressed and difficult when a son or daughter marries. It's those types of in-law relationships that become joke punch lines, comedy TV sitcoms and sometimes the stress separates families completely.
These two book reviews are about damaged and broken relationships between in-laws and moms and daughters and how they found healing and forgiveness.
"Related by Chance, Family by Choice," by Deb DeArmond, Kregel Publications, 2013, 208 Pages, 978-0825443251, $13.99
Typical in-law stereotypes are used for comedy sitcoms, funny movies and jokes, yet for many they caricaturize hurtful and sometimes bitter, broken or damaged in-law relationships. Online websites such as I Hate my In-laws encourage surfers to "sound off about your own in-laws," while little is said about loving in-law relationships in print or online.
Deb DeArmond hopes to change that with the release of Related by Chance, Family by Choice where she provides practical tools, tips and skills that change stereotypical mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationships into interactions of insightful understanding.
Deb, mother-in-law to three beautiful daughter-in-laws who call her "mother-in-love," shares the godly wisdom and insights from her own family that causes her to call her son's wives the "daughters of my heart." Trained as a "certified executive coach" in the corporate world in areas of leadership, communication, conflict resolution and relationship building adds to her expertise.
Chapters provide the "what" to do and end with resource sections that equip readers to put into practice what they have learned. Chapters also include self-assessment tests, a date to start, a plan of action and end with prayer. Some chapters include "quick tip" sheets.
The chapter on broken trust speaks to a critical issue in broken relationships with charts of, "I don't trust you, and you don't trust me" and a diagram of "trust busters." The specific words, statements and behavior coordinate with scriptures that reveal how trust is broken but also how to heal and start over.
This small book carries a huge message of renewal for those who suffer from hurtful and damaging in-law relationships.
"Journeys to Mother Love: Nine Women Tell Their Stories of Forgiveness & Healing," Compiled by Catherine Lawton, Cladach Publishing, 2012, 224 Pages, 978-0981892955, $12.99
Catherine Lawton compiled nine stories of healing, forgiveness and restoration in Journeys to Mother Love with nine short stories from four generations of women on "mother love." Stories portray the sometimes difficult journey of the "mother-child relationship" that result in:
- Inferiority and an inability to be the whole woman God created you to be until...
- Abortion and the path of self-forgiveness and healing...
- The cost of un-forgiveness for yourself or another...
- Inability to connect with or communicate with your mother...
- Coping with the significant personality shifts of Alzheimer's...
These short memoirs portray realistic struggles in journeys of healing and restoration in the lives of mom's and daughters that "touch every woman's heart." Readers will nod in appreciation of some stories, smile at others and a few will bring tears. However, the authenticity and reality of their struggles offer hope and encouragement for those who walk similar paths.
Midwest Book Reviews: April 2014
FaceBook: Gail Welborn