My Mother's Hands
T. Suzanne Eller

"Three things will last forever--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT)

She held out the soft white blanket scalloped in pink ribbon. "I'm not sure I want to give it to her," my mom said. The stitches were a bit looser than my mother's past handiwork, but I could see love in every crocheted inch.

I held her hands in my own. Her once slender fingers were bent and swollen at the joints. I imagined her holding the crochet needles and weaving the yarn in and out for hours, days, until the blanket was complete. It is an heirloom for her first great-grandchild, one created with pain and love.

I think I take my mother's hands for granted. They have caressed my cheek. They have made me wear a coat (even when I protested that I was a mother of three grown children). They have dialed the cell phone she loves, and hates, so she could talk to "her Suzie." Her hands have penned cards that showed up in my mailbox saying "I love you."

There's an old 70s song that says, "Time keeps on slipping, slipping, into the future." There is truth in those lyrics. I see the passage of time in my mother's hands. I also see it as moments pass into hours and then into days in a whirl. Life is always busy, like this month when the white board on the refrigerator lists church events, speaking engagements, dentist visits, showers and weddings and graduations, as well as other details like pay the bills, mow the lawn, clean the house.

Recently I realized that my mother was moving further down on that list. A week passed. A month flew by. The phone calls came. "Hey, Suz, just calling to say I miss you."

One day I received an e-mail from a friend. Her mom was sick. For the next few weeks I prayed, reading every update. One night I read the e-mail from my beautiful friend that expressed her love for her ailing mom, and prayer for strength to say goodbye. Suddenly it hit me how little time I actually devoted to my mother. I held the e-mail and wept. The next day I made a date with my mom. She was like a girl; she laughed on the phone as we made plans.

I pray that I have many more opportunities to hang out with my mom, but more than that I pray that I don't take her for granted.

Life most likely won't slow down. But as I devote time to worthwhile endeavors, I don't want to forget that in the grand scheme of things, holding my mother's hands is one of the most priceless investments I'll ever make.

Dear Father, thank You for my loved ones. Life gets so hectic, and sometimes it's hard to slow down long enough to show them how much I care. Please help me to slow down and recognize what is of little value so that I can invest in people with immense value. In Your precious Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

The Woman I Am Becoming by T. Suzanne Eller

The Mom I Want to be: Rising above Your Past to Give Your Kids a Great Future by T. Suzanne Eller

Visit Suzie’s blog where she will give away a copy of The Mom I Want to be: Rising above Your Past to Give Your Kids a Great Future, co-written by Suzie and her mom.

The Overwhelmed Woman's Guide to Caring for Aging Parents by Julie-Allyson Ieron

Application Steps:
Love tokens:
1. Write. Leave a note in an unexpected place.

2. Give. Spend time with no strings attached (help work in the garden, go to lunch, sit and chat).

3. Touch. Especially if your loved one is older or widowed and they are not touched in positive ways any more. (Massage their hands. Hold their hand. Touch their face or hair.)

4. Affirm. Tell them one encouraging thing that you believe about them.

Is there someone you need to spent more time with?

"The most important thing that should totally absorb our lives down here is the practice of real love. Why? Because love lasts. Love will be the only thing that matters in eternity." ~Jill Brisco, author of Love that Lasts.

Power Verses:
John 15:12b, "Love each other in the same way I have loved you." (NLT)

Matthew 6:21, "Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be." (NLT)

© 2010 by T. Suzanne Eller. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This morning's devotional has definitely struck a nerve. In most ways I feel closer to my mother-in-law than I do with my own mother. I can talk to my mother-in-law like a friend and not feel like I'm being judged. We can visit anytime with our pre-schooler son and know that they my husband's parents) embrace him and want to spend time with him.

Not so with my mother. I've been deeply hurt over the years, since I was a teenager. Initially, she would confide in my older sister, but not with me; leaving me feeling left out. Since I've been married, she had said some hurtful things over the telephone. Initially, I had not said anything, but it left me with feeling of hurt and resentment. Now, I put my foot down and hold her accountable...When we visit with our son, we feel like we're on pins & needles, because they're not used to having a little boy around ( they raised two girls and their first grandchildren were girls). We're on edge because they don't want our son roughing up their valuables. We're always on guard, restraining our son. In their point of view, children should be seen and not heard. I could go on and on.
I can not overlook the fact, however that, out of free-will, she has given me cookies and notes of encouragement from time to time.
I know, as an adult, I could makes steps to reach out to her...before she passes on. Right now, these suggestions feel so foreign to me, as my defensive walls have been stacked up so high.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you so much for this much needed message. i am my mothers care-giver & i need to remember to hold her hands & hug her more often. God bless your ministry!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a wonderful relationship with my mother. I also have a great relationship with her, but I do not spend as much time with her as I need too. Just this week, we we were making plans for the 4th of July, she wants us to come for lunch on Sunday, I want to go to the parade and hangout with my sister and her grandchild. My sister is widowed and her children do not take time with her. I am torn into what to do. I think this devotional came at the right time to make me think. Thanks Denise

Anonymous MelissaTaylor said...

"Life most likely won't slow down. But as I devote time to worthwhile endeavors, I don't want to forget that in the grand scheme of things, holding my mother's hands is one of the most priceless investments I'll ever make."

I couldn't agree more! Great message Suzie. Thanks so much for writing this and I pray that many mothers and daughters draw closer together and grasp the message of how important "today" is. Time goes too fast.

I miss my mom like crazy, but I am so thankful for our times being together. I'd give anything to hold her hands just one more time.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. I'm spending today with my mom and I need to remember to hold her hand and hug her. She is 80 and my dad is in a nursing home so she doesn't get the positive love she is used to.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this. Such an encouragement. I still have my mom and try to see her as much as possible. We aren't able to converse anymore due to her disablement but she smiles and nods. I hold her hands and stroke her hair and tell her I love her. I miss the other days when we talked and shared prayer requests but I can still love her and your devo gives me courage to go on. Thank you, Lord.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow.. this really hit home with me. I felt this way when my mom was suddenly sick and loosing her memory so quickly that .. time is never enough. I lost her over twenty six years and loved every second spent with her and still miss her so much today! I only hope that I have been the kind of mom to our two children that she was to me! Now that is real love passed on that no one can ever replace!

This was an encouragement to me this morning. You see, my maternal grandma went to be with the Lord just last week. My mom is really struggling, but one thing I know she is at peace with is the fact that she talked to her mother daily (usually multiple times!), and spent 2-3 days with her each week as she helped care for as she aged. While there were some tough times, she cherishes those moments. My mom talked to her mom daily at 6 a.m. and now she misses those conversations so much and feels so lost. I think it's time for me to roll myself out of bed and start calling my mom.


Anonymous Sandra said...

Wow, that was really a great one! Yes, what I wouldn't give to hold my mom's hand that "one more time", but it is not to be. As the saying goes, God had other plans and knowing she is there with HIM makes it a little easier to deal with, even after 10 years. Oh How I do miss her, she was so special to me. I pray others will realize before it's too late to take the time to hold their mom's hand too.
After all we only have ONE mom!

Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you for today's devotion. I lost my mother 15 years ago to breast cancer. We were not close at the time and I have lived with the regret of not having the chance to reconcile with her. I have since learned the value of forgiveness and wish that I could go back and show her my love and forgiveness. I pray that each of us doesn't take anyone in our lives for granted. Take that time, send that email, make that call because you don't know what tomorrow will bring.

tHey sweet ladies, I'm giving away 5 copies of The Mom I Want to Be over at my website - where I also take it a little deeper on what God has done with my relationship with my mom.

Blogger achildoftheking said...

This is an amazing post. I long for that kind of relationship with my parents and daughter. Lord, it's in Your hands. In Jesus' name, amen.

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