Sunday, December 09, 2007
Nurture or Nature?
My mother in law, Janice, died about six years ago. She was a wonderful person who loved Jesus with all her heart. She was a church secretary for many many years and much to my husbands dismay, as a young teen, drug him to every church event in sight.

Janice loved to cook. She loved recipes and making new things for her family. However, she seemed to have the curse that afflicts many in my husbands family. She was very very slow. Hubbies family rarely ate a meal before 9:00pm. This was a real source of amusement for all his friends.

Now, I don't want to make it sound like being slow is a bad thing. It is just very different from who I am. I like things done fast. As I have stated on this blog before, I am not a patient person.

My mother in law loved to shop. I hate it. She always looked impeccable and had on a nicely pressed outfit. I like jeans and a t-shirt. Her home was always neat and tidy, and mine, well, we won't even go there.

After Janice died my sister in law, Cheryl, and I went through her apartment and sorted through years of history and memories. We also found some other things that fascinated me.

My mother in law lived through the depression. Having done so she was a very thrifty person and saved anything she felt might be useful at another time. I found neatly folded paper bags stashed perfectly into many little hiding places. She also kept all of her plastic bags and had a way of folding them up perfectly into little balls to store that was almost an art form. I could never get my plastic bags like that no matter how hard I tried.

Now, lets move forward a few years to examine my beautiful 11 year old daughter.

She is the only one in the family that has reddish blonde hair (Auburn) and green eyes. Like her grandma Janice.

This girl loves to shop. She loves clothes and jewelery and could browse for hours. Her room is always perfect. She loves to organize and re-organize her closet to make it the most efficient closet it can possibly be. She is slow and methodical and gets mad at me when I tell her to just throw an item of clothing in the dryer for a few moments to get the wrinkles out. She would never think of such a thing. The iron is her friend. Her grandma loved to iron and, as far as I am concerned, was a champion at it.

Not to long ago I was looking for something in her room and came across a plastic bag that had lots of other plastic bags inside....rounded up into little perfect balls. Just like her Grandma used to do.

I asked my sweet girl why she did that. "It just made sense Mom, I can use them again". But how did you know how to get the bags into those perfect little balls? "I don't know mom, it just came natural I guess". Hmmm.

Sometimes when I watch Samantha I see Janice's mannerisms and I just can't believe how much they are alike.

Two Sunday's ago I walked into Samantha's room on Sunday morning to a sight that confirmed to me forever more that my mother in law is guiding my daughter's hands from heaven.

This is what I saw.

You see, she had this sweater she wanted to wear to church. She washed it Saturday night and figured it wouldn't have time to lay dry over night. So she fastened it to her ceiling fan (with a pillow case underneath to protect her garment of course) and let it twirl away all night to dry. It worked beautifully.

I never would have thought to do something like that. However, her grandma would have.

I am sure I will continue to marvel at the similarities between my girl and her grandma. How she can be so like her, even though she knew her for such a short time, I really don't understand. However, I count it as a blessing to have this small part of my mother in law still with us. I am sure she is looking down from heaven and is so pleased with her little granddaughter. This makes me smile.

How about your family? Do you see some of the same things in your children?

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  posted at 6:12 AM  

At 8:40 AM, Blogger missy said...

This is such a sweet post!

At 11:42 AM, Blogger LISA said...

Ahhh,that is so special.

At 2:54 PM, Blogger Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

that is too cute! now, how can I go about getting Samantha to come organize my closets?? they are the height of INefficiency!!

At 4:06 PM, Blogger Heidi @ GGIP said...

What a lovely story. i don't have much data yet, but I do think that things like this skip generations sometimes.

At 12:38 PM, Blogger Cakes said...

a great post.
I love seeing that stuff show up down the generations. Such great history.

At 5:25 AM, Blogger Lori said...

What a neat story. How lovely that you had such a wonderful mother-in-law. So sorry she left you all. Now, my mother-in-law is still with us. Wonderful lady? Hmmm, let's not go there!


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I am a spontaneous, out going, daughter of the King, who is married to a wonderful guy who is a quiet, shy, non-spontaneous, scientist who also loves the Lord. Truly a match made in heaven! We fight and argue, love and laugh, every single day. I am passionate about orphan care and love to tell our story to anyone who will listen. This blog is dedicated to that journey.

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