But I received an even sweeter "award" this week in the form of an email from my mother-in-law...and, by inference, my father-in-law as well.
Mom has read my blog - and shared it with Dad - for quite some time now and regularly responds with encouraging emails. But this one was different because, after commenting about some specific parts of my latest Weekly Wrap-Up and even saying she'd printed out the whole post because she enjoyed it so much, she wrote:
I just wanted to tell you that I think you are doing the best job of schooling your girls and the teachers' tots. They are having a wonderful experience. You are a Master Teacher.
Oh! These words brought me to tears when I first read them...and have done so every time since!
I've been part of the Hollenbeck family for a long time and felt embraced by them from the very beginning. In fact, their kindness and love have made me feel like an actual daughter, not "just" a daughter-in-law...and this despite the fact that we see some things from very different perspectives and can, thus, engage in rather intense debate now and then!
This unconditional acceptance has, perhaps, meant more to me than it would to some because of the difficulties I experienced in my own family. So, though I know my ultimate reward is simply to hear my Heavenly Father say, "Well done, good and faithful servant" (even if no one in this life ever agreed!), praise from Jeff's parents - my parents by marriage - especially in regards to my daughters and home education, which are probably the two things about which I am most passionate, means the world to me. It has deeply touched my heart.
Photo Credit: 7LM (http://www.flickr.com/photos/x7lmx/4432543957/)