In-Laws: A Gift that Comes with Marriage


I lost my mother last year. In the same year, I gained Pops and Debbie, my in-laws. My favorite gift of 2017 was the gift of the new family I inherited through marriage. I gained sisters, brothers and even a handsome nephew. They are a true blessing. Each member of my newly inherited family came with its own relationship: each one unique and fulfilling. Each one a gift, offering something unique and new.

In life, you choose your partner, but you don’t get to choose the people they come with. You don’t get to choose the packaged deal that follows the person you love. So what do you do? You pray to get a good one. You pray to not only meet the love of your life but also hit the in-law lottery as well.

Let me tell you, I hit the jackpot! These amazing individuals have blessed me in more ways than I probably deserve. They have welcomed me into their family with such love, grace, compassion, and joy. To be honest, I see a lot of my mom in my father & mother-in-law. Pops and Debbie are the kind of in-laws who love without hesitation, give without being asked, provide a compassionate spirit, and spread joy to those around them. They show up supporting us, all of the time, and without needing anything in return. Their love is a gift and it’s priceless.  


To all of the one-of-a-kind In-Laws, I say:

Thank you.

Thank you for loving us. Your love is a choice. Thank you for choosing to love us the way you love your own children.

Thank you for showing up, for supporting us, and for taking the time to ensure we are taken care of. It is appreciated more than we probably tell you.

Thank you for being a grandparent. Not just any grandparent but the kind that provides laughs, experiences, and love that will carry our children through life with happiness and fun memories. The kind of memories that are meaningful and will never be forgotten.

Thank you for letting me be myself. I know I probably do some things differently than you’d like but you always let me. You allow me to be myself and you love me for it. That is such a wonderful gift.

Thank you for your patience as I navigate marriage, motherhood, and life. You always allow me the compassion, advice, and time when I need it.

Most of all, thank you for being you: the wonderful gift that blesses our entire family. You provide the solid foundation that keeps this family grounded in love, joy, and faith.


If you are blessed with In-Laws that love you, support you and fill your life with joy, let them know. Tell them, and tell them often.



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Chelsea Ohlemiller
Wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea’s always had a way with words and a dramatic and energetic spirit. She is married to the love of her life, Justin. She’s the mother to a spunky and beautiful 7-year-old daughter named Hattie, an independent and rambunctious son who is 4, named Hutson and an adorable baby named Hyland. She is currently a University Supervisor for Anderson University and has a deep love of teaching and helping to inspire students. She is a Ball State graduate but an Indiana University Hoosier at heart. Chelsea loves writing and being apart of the IMB team. She also writes for her personal blog: Happiness, Hope & Harsh Realities.