On a shelf in my living room sits a black-and-white photograph of a young girl taken in the early 1900s. Her hair is pulled back with an oversized bow peeking from behind the edges of her head. Her dress is typical of the times, with puffed sleeves and a brimming lace collar resting on her shoulders. She isn’t smiling, and she appears to be somewhat awkward, timid, and, I dare say, even afraid. This is a picture of Grandmother Anderson on her wedding day. She was 14 years old.
As I gaze at this amazing farmgirl who bore 12 children and miscarried 11 others, I am always drawn to her hands. Hanging uncomfortably at her side are hands that seem much too large for her petite frame. “Anderson hands,” my mother calls them. I surmise that God must have known this little lady would need a big heart and big hands to embrace all that life would send her way.
Like Grandmother Anderson, all mothers need big hearts and big hands. A mother’s hands grip the bed rail in pain in the delivery room and then gently caress a newborn for the first time.
Before long, those hands are changing diapers, washing bottoms and faces, cleaning spit-up, wiping tears, rocking sleepyheads, and placing babies in a crib.
Then they are holding a toddler’s chubby hand and grabbing him to keep him out of harm’s way.
Tossing a ball, preparing holiday dinners, setting a festive table, tying packages for birthday parties and Christmas presents.
Coloring and cutting out shapes in workbooks. Picking up leaves and bugs for collections.
Pushing a swing and letting go of a bike as a child first learns to peddle on his own.
Sewing party dresses and mending torn baseball jerseys, washing scraped knees, and spooning out medicine.
Holding the sweaty palm of an awkward adolescent while dancing around the den, tying the knot of a necktie, and pinning on a boutonniere for a first party.
Writing letters to children away at camp, or folding hands in prayer asking for the Lord’s protection while they are away.
Tightly grasping the steering wheel while chauffeuring children from one place to the next or gripping the seat as a teen learns how to drive.
Hands that wave goodbye as a son drives off to college and hands that adjust a cherished daughter’s wedding veil.
They embrace the child and then when the child is ready, she opens them and lets them go.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the women in our lives who have used their hands to shape and mold us into the women we are today. Happy Mother’s Day to all the women who are shaping and molding children’s lives still. You are someone’s hero.
As a mom, do you need some encouragement to know that you have the most important job on earth? Or, do you know a mom who needs to grasp the importance of her calling? Being a Great Mom, Raising Great Kids is a storehouse of stories, biblical principles, and practical application to give moms just the boost they need. Check it out! It even comes with a Bible Study Guide in the back for group or individual study.