Using Our Hands
I recently went to a motherhood retreat. It was a beautiful day to spend discussing motherhood with some of the very best I know. A luxury to be honest. One of the most fulfilling parts of the day was when we were asked to examine our preceding day. Not simply in terms of what we did and where we went, but more specifically, in all the ways we used our hands.
It occurred to me during this self-examination of that particular Friday, that when I use my hands, I’m loving others. Before bed, I often try to think of one way in which I’ve connected with each of my children that day. It helps me see that even in the rush of our lives, there are blessed little moments that I can hold onto as I close my day. I started this when I was feeling like my kids had more of a cruise director as a mother than a momma. It helped me see that yes, I spend a whole lot of time asking them to hurry up or remember to do something or get in the car so we aren’t late. But, I also have connections in between which is where the real value of my day resides. The extra long talk at bedtime, the car trip with only one child in the car, the texting with my oldest, the dinnertime conversations, those sweet moments.
This task of examining my day by which I used my hands took this reflection to a new level. I’ve always known that when it comes to motherhood the minutia of a day can seem lovely or dreadful depending on my current perspective. But what I failed to realize was all the other people I was loving with my hands all day long. Some examples I found especially meaningful:
- Making breakfast – feeding those you love is one of life’s greatest ways to demonstrate love.
- Tying shoes – how many shoes have I tied as a momma? Soon enough there won’t be any.
- Exercise – loving myself, honoring my body.
- Hugging a friend – I always try to hug my friends when I see them and before we depart
- Picking up a child – when your youngest is still small enough to pick up and hold, do it!
- Driving – yes, even driving my family to their favorites activities is an act of love.
- Toasting – we often eat out on Friday nights and always toast at restaurants (don’t know why, we just do).
- Brushing hair – ponytails, braids, or ballet buns, at least 4 a day. While my oldest can do her own, she likes the time with me.
- Folding clothes – not exciting, but those little articles of clothing that are growing everyday won’t be here forever.
- Holding hands – with my husband or with my kids, nothing feels more like love than a warm hand.
- Tucking in – quite possibly the best parenting moment of all. I hope they never ask me to stop.
Take a minute at the end of the day to examine what today looked like for you. How many times did you use your hands in acts of love?