Sunday, July 13, 2014

"Sister-in-Law"ing 101

One of my beautiful sisters-in-law left for Qatar last Thursday.
I am blessed with two sisters-in-law (hi pretty Ate Aimee!) and a sister-in-law-to-be (hihihi pretty Ate Kamyl!)
Ate Ann was the latest legal addition.
And yet she left us too soon.. :( (well good thing that it's not for good)
So I thought I would write a blog for one of my readers (haha), my very own, Ate Ann Rafinan-Medina.

How to be a Great Sister-in-Law

Ate Ann actually showed me that a "mere" sister-in-law could actually have a big impact in a family.
The following are the things she does that makes me think so.

1. Bond with your husband's family ...a lot!
       I look at Ate Ann, and I see someone who really
wants to get to know everyone of us more. She expressed this by really investing time to go with us to places, and even a lot of effort for us. 
       Even though it was out of her comfort zone, she initiated conversations and asked us about the important stuff. Well, she generally made each of us feel that she wants to get to know us because we are already her family. I feel her genuine concern for us, and of course, her appreciation of every little thing we do. This makes us more comfortable in being with her. To me, she became more than just a sister-in-law, she became a friend. She is someone I can have so much fun with, yet she is also someone I can talk about the more serious and more personal stuff. She's literally someone I've laughed and cried with!
2. Bring your husband closer to his own family
        Relationships, well at least the immature ones, tend to snatch away the individual from his/her own family too early in the relationship. The guy spends less time with his family, as he exerts more effort to please his girlfriend. The girl has reserved almost all her affection for her guy, leaving a scanty amount for her family. While this is very common in modern relationships, this is not true with  my Ate Ann and Kuya Pao. 
        Before Kuya Pao met Ate Ann, we were relatively close (if by close, you meant teasing each other all the time and fighting round the clock). But when Ate Ann came into the picture, she inspired me to know my brother deeper. She became a connection to my brother, because she's a lady whom I can relate to more. Our conversations made me know my brother better, and actually be excited to bond with them! Haha! More than that, Ate Ann encourages my brother to show appreciation to everyone of my family. She never kept my brother to herself. Rather, she inspired him to be even more thoughtful of us. (my kuya was already thoughtful before, but now, his thoughtfulness tripled! ha! amazing!)
3. Love your husband with all your heart
His family has loved him for 26 years, and it would be tormenting to see him end up with someone who does not care about him. Ate Ann? Oh after 5 years of being in a relationship with my kuya, her love and respect for him has become very tangible. My brother can be very crazy sometimes, and Ate Ann knows well how to tame the beast! :)) I am never worried that my brother would be mistreated by her. In fact, I am very excited because I see how she helps my brother to become a better person through her love!
Aww sweeeeet :))

4. Be part of the family's journey with God
Our family have gone through a lot of ups and downs and we recognize that it is God, only God, who gave us everything we needed to overcome. That's why, it is very precious to me to see my sister-in-law, also valuing that. She also personally wanted to experience what I, we, experience in God, without someone forcing her to do so. She knows that it was never about the religion, but about the relationship with God.  
We had our first Bible Study last week, and before Ate Ann left, she gave us the privilege of enjoying it with her. That, in my perspective, took our relationship a lot deeper than ever before. My friendship with my sister-in-law became something that has an eternal value in my heart! It's something which I think is worth more than gold. :')

To my Ate Ann, if you're reading this, I just wanna let you know that I appreciate you so much. You are more than the sister I've asked for since I was little! Hahaha! This is why I cannot bring myself to send a message on the day you left - I know that writing to you means I'd be bursting with tears. It's impossible to find someone like you, you already have a unique place in my heart. I will miss you a lot! Every time I will miss you, I will whisper a prayer for you... 'Cause I know that wherever you are right now, it is God who brought you there and He has a lot of lessons for you to learn there! Share mo na lang samin ha? Hehe I love you my Ate Ann!

"A wife of noble character who can find? 
She is worth far more than rubies. 
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. 
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life."
Proverbs 31:10-12 

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