Family, Thanks Living

The weathered hands of motherhood

A handful of women convene in a small room.  Hearts exposed.  Raw and tender.  Burdened for children and grandchildren.

hands 2

My tear-filled eyes carefully scan the room.  I’m the youngest.

I wonder aloud does this, this mothering thing, ever get any easier?

A gentle, yet weathered response.  No.

Heads crowned with gray and faces marked with years of familiar experience softly nod in agreement.


My cowardly heart sinks.

This gets harder?

After an hour, our time together draws to a close.  Hands of age, strong yet delicate, embracing mine.

A seasoned and wisdom-filled woman prays aloud.

Petitions of a mother worn from countless wearisome roads traveled but strengthened by immeasurable victories won.

Battles fought with faithful courage on feeble knees.  Interceding without retreat until triumph arose.

Her courageous words rekindle the fire of motherhood in my soul.

holding hands 2

I have been chosen.  Selected and appointed.

A mother picked from among the many to nurture the lives of two boys.

For such a time as this.

May my hands one day embrace those of a younger mother, sharing courage.

Hands of hope.

Hands of motherhood.

And my multitudes this Monday are soaked in the deep and rewarding fountain of being chosen to mother…

Sharing mountaintop dreams with one son

While walking through valleys of fear with another

Tending to the hip injury of one child

While nurturing the heart wound of the other

Struggling through mothering trenches with victorious veterans

While holding tightly to the weathered hands of motherhood

12 thoughts on “The weathered hands of motherhood”

  1. Dear Cristal,,
    I read this remembering you had dedicated this year to working on your role of wife to your husband. Raising his children is one of your biggest tasks. I am grandmother of 5 and their mothers are not my daughters. I mothered their husbands. I tell you without a doubt that the grandchildren are who they are because of their mothers. These two daughters-in-law of mine shaped these little ones in character, manners, respect and intellect. My sons provided a secure, solid base from which each woman could mother, but they did the minute-by-minute work. Both my sons will tell anyone that their wives made their children the wonderful young men and women they are.

    The line I like best here was:
    Petitions of a mother worn from countless wearisome roads traveled but strengthened by immeasurable victories won.
    Women who have lived like you describe will pray like a warrior in battle. I have been with them, too. The pictures of the hands throughout your words make the post even more powerful. This is beautiful.

    Bless you,

    1. You are so kind, Dawn. Thank you for the encouragement. And I can also see God weaving a thread of “spiritual womanhood” through being a mother and wife. As I look to the seasoned women, I am inspired. And challeged.

      Blessings to you,

  2. “The art of mothering is to teach the art of living to children.”
    ~ Elaine Heffner

    Great message and images! Touching! God bless you!


    1. Thank you, Paulette, for sharing truth through that quote. It reminds me it’s more about what we do/how we live than what we say to our children.

      God bless you, too,

  3. I’m trying to catch up on what I missed over the busy Christmas season, but I didn’t expect this. This is so bittersweet and beautiful, Cristal. Yes, mothering is hands-down the hardest job of all, yet nothing can fill our cup quite like the love of a child. “For such a time as this.” Yes. Thank you for sharing your heart here. Lovely.

    1. Thank you for the encouragment, Jana. I am reminding myself daily (as we are dealing with some childhood struggles at the present) that it’s an honor to have been chosen to be a mother to these boys.

  4. I long to see the hands of Jesus… the hands that touched and healed, broke the loaves and fishes, raised the dead… but I realize that being His and loving with His love makes our hands the hands of Jesus to those around us. When I think of all the beautiful weathered hands that have held and comforted me these 56 years through sickness, and lonliness, in joy and in grief… I am in awe at all the beauty of all the warmth in each extended hand… I can see the scars in each one…

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