“I’m hungry! Let’s pray.” Chase piped up as I set down napkins and silverware.
Both boys wiggled in their chairs at the dinner table. Trevor had just walked in the door, and he dropped his briefcase, hurriedly changed clothes, and joined us in the kitchen.
As the four of us clasped hands, my hubby of almost fourteen years thanked God and blessed the food. But in that moment, I had to gulp down surprise at the sheer size of the two hands in mine; one of them almost-ten year old Cole’s hand and one of them just-turned-eight Chase’s hand. No longer small or unsteady, their hands nearly filled up my palms, sturdy and growing and lump-in-the-throat-inducing.
Motherhood is highlighted by emotional, bittersweet milestones – the first time the baby smiles, rolls over, sits up, scoots across the carpet, and pulls up on his or her own. The day your daughter took her first wobbly steps. The first time your son stayed the night at Grandma and Grandpa’s. The first day of preschool. Reading their name across the top of a paper decorated with giant A-B-Cs, written for the first time by their petite hands.
When I brought our older son home nearly a decade ago, I had no idea that not only would I learn to love and depend on my spouse in new ways, but I would also learn to love and depend on my Heavenly Father in new ways. Through my newborn parent’s eyes, I suddenly understood His love for me more clearly because of my love for this precious new life He gave us.
I glimpsed snippets of His watchful care, how His Word guides and protects our hearts and lives, and noticed His hands – always there – strengthening, comforting, and leading. How I needed His hands to hold me up on the difficult days.
As the boys’ hands clasped mine at dinner, I squeezed tenderly, offering a quiet prayer of thanks for the hands-full decade God’s grace had seen us through. Remembering their smaller hands, and for His hands reaching out to steady us as we navigated baby steps, tantrums, questions, illnesses, problems, school work, worries, sibling rivalry, and so much more.
On Mother’s Day and each day of the year, don’t forget that God offers His word, His grace, and His hands to help us hold their hands through the beautiful, complicated landscape of parenthood.
“Because Your loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.”
– Psalm 63:3-4 (NKJV)
“Heavenly Father, thank You for offering Your hands to hold ours as we parent our children, love our spouses, and live for You. Thank You for daily grace and the blessing of holding our children’s hands as they grow….”
A Lamp, a Light, and a Writer