Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My Naomi

So who is your Naomi?

Mike and I are currently studying the book of Ruth in our nightly Bible study. For those of you not familiar with the beginning of the story, it goes something like this.

Naomi moved to a foreign country with her husband and two sons. The two sons marry foreign wives. The husband and both sons die. Naomi prepares to go back to her home country, and she tells her daughter-in-laws that since they are young and in good health, they should return to their families and find themselves other husbands. One daughter-in-law goes back to her family. The other one, Ruth, refuses to leave Naomi, and insists on traveling with Naomi back to Israel. Her words to Naomi are commonly used in wedding ceremonies all the time now, the famous quote about "whereever you go, I will go, your people will be my people, and your God my God".

At the end of the study on the first night, it asked us the question "who is someone you can call your Naomi".

Who in your life can you make that kind of committment to?

Well obviously, my husband, first and foremost.

I have written volumes and volumes about how much I love my husband, and our marriage, but this post is actually about someone else.

This post is about my mother-in-law, Dee, my Naomi.

She is amazing in so many ways that I cannot even begin to explain to you.

My Naomi listens to what I say. Not just polite conversation, nodding her head to pretend that she is listening. She LISTENS. The first year that Mike and I were together, long before we were married, Thanksgiving was approaching and I was telling her about a funny story from my childhood. My mother made "Thanksgiving out of a box", as the kids called it. She made instant mashed potatoes, a turkey that had a pop up timer to tell you when it was done, cranberry sauce still shaped like a can, pumpkin pie that has "libby's, libby's, libby's, on the label, label, label", and Stove Top dressing. I was telling Dee about this, and about how the first year I was in college, I went to Thanksgiving with a friend, because I could not afford to fly home. My friend's mother made homemade stuffing, and I felt let down because I missed the Stove Top dressing from my childhood. It was a story that was meant to be funny, a brief poking fun at myself for being so tied to a box mix that I didn't appreciate the work that went into the homemade stuffing.

We all laughed and went about our business. Thanksgiving day arrived, and we went to the big family dinner. They bring out all the food, Dee brings out the big pan of homemade stuffing that she makes every year. And then (and I still get teared up at this memory), she brings out a little saucepan of Stove Top dressing that she made for me. She made that just for me. She heard what I said in my story, she remembered somehow that it mattered to me, and she went out of her way to make a dish that only I wanted. That is how much she cared.

My Naomi thinks about us. She is constantly coming home from Wal-Mart with some piece of clothing that was on sale and in my size that she picks up for me. She cuts out recipes that she thinks I might want to try. She calls our house to let us know when a tv show is on that she thinks Mike or I might want to watch.

My Naomi takes care of us. If one of us is sick, she brings food over to the house. We live in an apartment next door to their house, and share a laundry room with them. If she happens into the laundry room when we have clothes that need to be moved through the process, she takes care of them for us. I can't count the number of times I have gone to go put clothes in the dryer and instead found a folded stack of clean clothes waiting to be taken home.

Like I said, I could go on for hours about all the wonderful ways that Dee has taken me in and made me one of her own. It was actually strange for me to type her name out during this post, and I only did it for clarification, because from the time I arrived here to be with Mike, she has made me a daughter. She is Mom to me. She took me under her wing, loved me, and been everything that a mother is supposed to be to me and Mike.

She is my Naomi.

But Ruth said,‘Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die— there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well,if even death parts me from you!’ Ruth 1:16-17


  1. What a lovely woman. I am so envious of your relationship with your MIL. She sounds very wonderful and thoughtful. I love that she made you stove top.

    My Naomi would have to be my dad, unless we're going for non-blood relations and assuming husband's are out, in which case, I'm not sure.

    If you spend TG with your MIL, give her a big hug for me and thank her for being so wonderful. I wish I had that kind of relationship with mine.

  2. That was a beautiful post. It warms my heart to know that people I are about are so wonderfully taken care of by others. It is all too rare in life that we come across these sort of people. Many blessings (and a pan of Stove Top) to you and all of your family on Thanksgiving this year! :o)

  3. I love that people like this, who love and care for others so much, still exist in the world.