Mom, Mom, can you talk a little softer? Mom, Mom . . . I am trying to watch my TV show. Mom, Mom, are all your friends hard of hearing? Can't you talk more softly? Mom, MOM, MOM, I am trying to watch my TV SHOW. CAN YOU GO SOMEWHERE ELSE TO TALK ON YOUR PHONE? Umm, please? I love you! 

To say the least, she didn't move but just seemed to get louder. I was like:

Why does she seem to always get on the phone when I am watching TV? Also, why does she seem to need to yell when she talks? And while we are on this same thought, why does she start watching TV when I am on the phone? Why does she start cooking and banging pots when I am on the phone or watching TV? Why does she not consider how noisy she is and that I am not used to this noise? Why does she not consider what I have given up for her to live with me? Why? Why? OK, just breathe Kris and God will get you through it . . . again.

So Lord, is this what it is going to be like forever? Will my relationship with my mom be a constant battle of who can be noisier? Who is right and who is wrong? Of who ate the last ice cream sandwich and forgot to buy more? Who is cooking and didn't call home to say they would be late? Who likes the thermostat at 69 and who likes it at 73? What is this, Lord? It's like I am married to my mother. Ugh.

Well, if you are reading this article I am sure you can probably relate to some degree. Two years ago my dad passed away from Alzheimer's and cancer. Not only did my mom spend the last 10 years taking care of him, but she had also helped to take care of her own mom who lived with us when I was young (until she passed). So between two marriages, her own mother's illness, kids and grandkids, my mom is used to taking care of people. She is used to noise and activity, chaos and craziness. Since my dad's death, my mom has struggled not feeling needed, not to mention the extreme loneliness widowhood brings. Sure, she has her church and some friends but it wasn't the same.

So after a year had passed, she decided to sell her home and move two hours west to live with me in my teeny, tiny, itsy, bitsy home. Did I say my home was small? She moved in knowing that we would have to come up with Option B. My house was simply too small to accommodate both of us and an office/ministry. We started to pray and ask God for our next step. Should we build on, and if so, how big? Should she buy her own home close by? Should we buy something together? Would we be able to survive living together? I mean, I was so used to being alone and she was so used to having people around her. I was so used to privacy and well, she didn't care if someone walked in on her. I was used to eating quick sandwiches while working on the computer. She preferred sit down dinners at the table, complete with a napkin and salad fork.

As the weeks rolled on, we would start to discover just how many differences there were between us. There would also be many, many days of tension. We were both having to give up things. We were both having to compromise. Could we learn to be happily married or be on our way toward a divorce? (LOL.) Is there something more to this new situation than what appears on the surface? I mean, yes, my mom doesn't want to live alone and well, I am single so it seems to be a perfect match. But what if God has something else in store? What if my new living situation is to help me grow individually and toward Christ?

Aw, come on Lord, seriously? Can't this just be me helping my mom not be lonely? Am I really supposed to be learning something from this? Lord, I don't want to learn anymore. I just want my mom to cook and clean and be my mom but at the same time give me my space and privacy. That sounds fair to me. Right, God?

But just like being married, it isn't a one-way relationship. I am finding out that this new living arrangement is so much more than having a roommate. God is calling me to the next step.