About the Author

Deidra is a national speaker and the author of Every Little Thing: Making a World of Difference Right Where You Are, and One: Unity in a Divided World. Follow Deidra on Instagram @deidrariggs

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  1. Deidra,
    I love, love, love this! Just last year my mother-in-law stood next to me at the kitchen sink and showed me how to rinse out a turkey and remove all the yuckies, and pat it dry, stuff it with veggies, rub it with butter and seasoning and bake it golden. As I shopped before Thanksgiving this year I thought long and hard about her as I stood before the turkey case. We miss her so much this year, but I will never forget all the gifts she lavished on us. Teaching me how to prepare a turkey is just one of many, many.
    What a beautiful post. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, dear friend.

    • Today, as I spread olive oil and seasonings on our Thanksgiving turkey, I wondered what young woman would stand beside me at the sink one day, and what I might be able to share with her. These cycles of life are so precious and mysterious. My prayers are with you and your family this Thanksgiving.

    • I’m sure my husband is quite pleased with all of the cooking tips I received from his mom. I’ve come a long way in the 25 years since that first Thanksgiving! Whew!

  2. MARVELOUS story!
    I learned much from my mother-in-law. So few speak of MILs except as jokes that it is a beautiful and rare thing to read a piece like this. Thank you for this addition my Thanksgiving day as I am savoring much.

    • My mother-in-law has been a gift to me. She tells me that the relationship she had with her MIL was unpleasant, so she vowed to be better when her turn came. I count it a blessing that I have become the benefactor of that vow. One day I’ll have the chance to pay that forward.

  3. I adore you, Deidra! You are wise beyond words, and clearly you’ve always been a smart cookie! While we may never do Thanksgiving dinner together, I would love to sit with you over any meal (shoot…I’d settle for tea!) and soak up your wisdom!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Girlfriend, the feeling is mutual!
      And though we may never share a Thanksgiving dinner, I am sure that one day we will feast together at a magnificent banquet table!

  4. So often we get bogged down in the things we think we “can’t” or “don’t” do well. I love that you had the wisdom to remember what Thanksgiving is really about, swallow your pride, and offer to host Thanksgiving dinner.

    I am better at doing dishes & scrubbing a kitchen till it shines any day than preparing a feast, so this resonated with me.

    Thanks for sharing this story with us!

    • You’re right. It helps to know where our strengths lie. It sounds as if I could use a lesson from you on shining up a kitchen. ; )

  5. Oh, that is so precious! I felt the same way when cooking for my mother in law (aka: Betty Crocker) during the early years of our marriage. You are so wise to recognize what was truly important. What a sweet relationship with your mother-in-law! I am so blessed to have a wonderful relationship with my mother-in-law.

  6. I felt your pain, girl! 🙂 I am not a cook but right after we were married, I had my in-laws over to our tiny seminary apt. and cooked the best meal I knew how to. It turned out well, and they loved it. Since then, my hubby has taken up the kitchen and I do all the dishes. It works out great. And the in-laws? Yesterday, my MIL made a MAD Southern feast and I cleaned like a madwoman. 🙂

    • A Southern feast?!?! That makes my heart go all a-flutter!

      My husband cooked for most of the first part of our marriage and let me tell you, he is really good at it. He – of course – learned first hand from his mother.

  7. Loved hearing your story last Sunday and then reading it again here! What a happy memory! Hope your Thanksgiving was blessed, my friend!

  8. Deidra, I’m just getting home (and back online) after a Thanksgiving with a mother-in-law much like yours. This year I got to make the pies and it seemed like a huge step. 🙂 You said it so well–the best dish we can serve up is LOVE.

  9. What a beautiful memory. I remember being there with you, Nano and the rest of the family. Love definitely abounded. We are all so tremendously bleesed to have Nano as your MIL and our treasured family sister in Christ.

    Happy Thanksgiving Nano. You are loved so much.

    Happy Thanksgivng, Dee. You are a beautiful, loved and cherished daugher and DIL.
    Mom