Today my mother-in-law celebrates a special birthday! She's over from Norway to be with the fam and enjoy some time with her granddaughter, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to talk about a very special lady who is a great encouragement and inspiration to me.
Magni is one of those people who, once you've met, you never forget. She is an exuberant, bubbly, life-and-soul of the party kind of character with her norwegian accent and amazing baking (apple cake, fresh bread rolls, waffles... seriously good food!) She is adored by her sons, cherished by her daughters-in-law, a favourite with her granddaughter and appreciated by everyone who crosses her path (people who barely know her will always ask after her!!) Magni has this incredible ability to remember details about people which means that even if you've only met her once, you feel valued and loved. She is full of fun, full of stories, full of hospitality, but perhaps most importantly, full of the Lord...
Magni is one of those people who amazes me by her understanding of the world - everything is seen and viewed and weighed up in the light of her relationship with Jesus - no task is too big for him, no worry too insignificant - no thought, or decision, or area of life falls outside of the realm of her relationship with him. I am grateful for the way she prays for our family, for the way she has sacrificially and generously given her time and energy to us over the years, and for the way God has used her, in my life, to challenge me to commit everything to the Lord - no matter how big or small.
She has challenged me as well to be bold and unafraid about my relationship with Jesus. Magni will talk to anyone and everyone about him - she is not ashamed. And she doesn't come across as forced, or awkward, or strange when she seamlessly brings Jesus into any and every conversation... she is simply so grateful to him, that it seems natural to talk about him all the time!
Magni would want me to say she is a sinner saved by grace, she would want me to tell you she's not perfect, she'd want me to say she's made mistakes and that she doesn't love God as much as she wants to. She'd want me to tell you that, because she'd want to point to Jesus who turned her life around when she was in her early twenties. I love all that about her. I love her imperfections too, because they are real, and they are redeemed. I am so grateful to God for a mother-in-law who so consistantly, gently, humbly and lovingly points me to the Saviour.
Magni, you are such an inspiration to me for the way you love the Lord, serve your family, give time and energy to people and do it all with such joy and generosity.
Happy 60th birthday Magni; I thank God for you!