So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

Years ago, my hubby and I attended a marriage retreat. As part of the closing ceremony, each couple in attendance stood face-to-face while the presider read a prayer over everyone. First, each husband placed his hands face down upon his wife’s palms while the person praying called attention to the qualities and purpose of the husband’s hands in the marriage. Then we did a switcheroo and a prayer was said about the hands of a wife.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the place when the prayer ended. When you pause long enough to look at your spouse’s hands and consider the levity of all they bring to the relationship, the heart check runs deep. Even looking at your own hands and recognizing what you bring to the table is overwhelming. Turns out our hands might be a tad overlooked, all things instruments of love considered.

Because this exercise moved me at the cellular level, I wanted to write a similar prayer for mommas and their kiddos. I encourage all of you to take some time to stand face-to-face with your child and have someone pray these words over your hands. My kids are all adults, so I’m just going to change the tense.

I suppose we could say the prayer over our kids and vice versa, but this sentimental crying machine would never get past the first line. Kleenex is one of my spirit animals.

Here you go . . . 

A Momma’s Hands

These are the hands of your number one fan—hands that pressed you against my heart in ecstasy as I realized you were mine.

These are the hands that swaddled you, airplaned food into your mouth, tucked you in at night.

These are the hands that clip your helmet and steady the bike as you learn to take off without training wheels.

These are the hands that cook your favorite meals, wash stains from your clothes, sew buttons, and drive you where you need to go.

These are the hands that enjoy making you soup, scratching your back, placing a cold washcloth on your forehead when you’re sick.

These are the hands that love to write love notes to you and hide them in secret places.

These are the hands that long to love you up, wipe your tears, and clap like a fool for your victories.

These are the hands that journal about the special times shared, the sorrows and joys, hopes and dreams around having you as a child.

These are the hands that will let you go when the time is right and hug you tight when you come to visit.

These are the hands that will welcome all your friends, your significant other, and your children into a warm embrace.

These are the hands that will continue to fold in prayer each day as I thank God for your existence and plead for your protection, safety, and well-being all the days of your life.


A Child’s Hands

These are the hands of your number one fan. From the moment my fingers first curled around your pinky I knew you were my everything.

These are the hands that seemed so tiny at first but continue to grow stronger each day as I learn to tie my shoes, zip my jacket, color in the lines, swing a bat, play an instrument.

These are the hands that constantly tug on your pant leg or tap you on the back because I need you and only you can help me.

These are the hands that play all day and into the night because you’ve created a loving and safe space for me to grow up.

These are the hands that love to work alongside you as we build forts, bake cookies, dig in the sand, turn the pages of the books we read.

These are the hands that wave goodbye even though I’m secretly longing to hug you hello again.

These are the hands that will turn the ignition and take the wheel without fear because you’ve instilled so much confidence.

These are the hands that will comfort you when it’s time to let me go and I know your heart will worry and ache.

These are the hands that will pick up the cell phone to text or call just so you know how much I still love you.

These are the hands that will embrace you on my wedding day while I tell you how happy and in love I am.

These are the hands that will care for you when you can no longer care for yourself, hands that will hold you while I thank God for who you’ve been in my life.

Originally published on the author’s blog

Shelby Spear

A self-described sappy soul whisperer, sarcasm aficionado, and love enthusiast, Shelby is a mom of 3 Millennials writing about motherhood and life from her empty nest. She is the co-author of the book, How Are You Feeling, Momma? (You don't need to say, "I'm fine.") , and you can find her stories in print at Guideposts, around the web at sites like Her View From Home, For Every Mom, Parenting Teens & Tweens and on her blog shelbyspear.com.

Dear Preschool Teachers, I’m Going to Miss You So Much

In: Child, Motherhood
preschool teacher sitting with kids on her lap

Dear preschool teachers, There’s just no other way to say this— I’m going to miss you so much. You are the first adults outside of our family to spend your days with my children, and watching your relationship grow and develop this year has been the most bittersweet privilege. I’m going to miss the bright smiles that light up your faces every time my kids come bounding toward you on good days, and how tenderly you hold their little hands and guide them away from me on the tough ones. RELATED: Dear Preschool Graduate, I’m So Proud of You I’m...

Keep Reading

You’re Graduating From Kindergarten and the First Part of Your Life

In: Child, Motherhood
Mother, father, and little boy in graduation gown, color photo

To my little graduate:  I’m so proud of you. I used to think graduation ceremonies at this age were just a cute, end-of-the-year celebration. Now I see how much they really represent. I watched you in amazement this year. I saw all of your hard work. Not just academically but socially and emotionally as well. You learned to make friends without me there. You learned how to make your place in the world. You have learned to deal with disappointment, stand up for yourself, and the awkwardness of not being friends with everyone. You dealt with teasing because of your...

Keep Reading

He’s Outgrowing My Lap But He’ll Never Outgrow My Heart

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood

He’s five now—my baby, the third of my three children. I feel like I’ve taken the time to enjoy each stage, but no matter how much I try to savor, it still seems to go too fast. Like grains of sand slipping through my fingers—if I try to hold on too tightly, the years just seem to escape faster. We were sitting in church this morning. He had asked to sit in church with mom and dad instead of going to children’s Sunday school. And we let him. He’s gone from a squirmy toddler to a little boy who can...

Keep Reading

Dear Son, Don’t Ever Lose Your Helping Heart

In: Child, Kids
Young boy carrying two gallons of milk, color photo

When you carried two gallons of milk on our way out the door at Aldi, I smiled. You insisted to take them from my hands. You’re growing out of your shoes and shirts, and my prayer has always been that you’ll reach your full potential as a young boy growing into a young man.  You’ve always had a drive inside you that is seen big on the soccer field, and I pray you’ll always desire to work hard and serve strong wherever you are. RELATED: Let Us Raise Boys Who Have Respect Running Through Their Veins I pray you’ll work...

Keep Reading

9 is Changing Right Before My Eyes

In: Child, Tween
Girl sitting in car holding stuffed animal, color photo

“You are officially tall enough to ride without a booster seat,” our pediatrician tells my daughter after reviewing her measurements. It was her 9-year check-up, and she’d grown three inches in a year, landing at the 96th percentile for her age. She’d likely been tall enough for months, but I insisted we wait for her doctor’s confirmation, comforted by the imminent discussion on sitting safely sans booster. My girl gleefully melts into the car’s fabric and buckles her seatbelt, flashing a smile that showcases an assortment of adult and baby teeth. Reality hits me like an airbag in the face:...

Keep Reading

Goodbye To the Preschool Years

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Mother smiling with giggling preschool daughter, color photo

For me, personally, I feel as though this is the first gut-wrenching string I’m letting go of with my little girl.  Although when she started preschool I felt nervous and I missed her like mad, I knew I still had two weekdays with her as well as the weekend. It has been perfect—freedom and growth while at preschool—but still time for us.  School is on the horizon. The year of starting school has come quicker than I was prepared for. It has literally flashed before my eyes.  I have spent every day with my girls since they were born. Every...

Keep Reading

Don’t Ever Lose Your Sparkle, My Child

In: Child, Motherhood
Smiling little girl

I wish I could freeze this time, right where we are now. Right in this moment. Nothing is more bittersweet than seeing you grow.  People say time flies, and I didn’t really know how much it did fly until I had you. Until I held you in my arms for the very first time.  Since then, I have watched a little girl grow, right before my eyes. I watched her first steps. I heard her first words. I wiped her first tears. I held her hand the very first time. She grew. She keeps on growing. I see her smile...

Keep Reading

Dear Son, Will I Know You Tomorrow?

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Smiling boy

When you were a newborn, I knew you as well as it’s possible to know another human being. I was your everything; you were mine. I knew what each cry, each smile, each grasp intended. I anticipated your spit-up, your hunger, your fatigue. You grew into infancy, and we remained nearly as intimate: your laughs, your budding motor skills, and your newfound interest in toys were my complete delight. I was there with my camera to document the first time you sat up and played with toys on your own. I knew every single food you had eaten and its...

Keep Reading

Down Syndrome Does Not Define Her

In: Child, Motherhood
Infant in hospital bed, smiling, color photo

Riley’s story starts April 23, 2019. We had opted to get the 3-month scan and NIPT test with our third pregnancy just for the extra ultrasound. The tech brought in the maternal fetal medicine doctor, and he pointed out that there was an increased nuchal translucency measurement and that it was common with different trisomies. He suggested we have the materNit21 test to see which specific trisomy we were at high risk for. We opted for it. I got the call a few days later that the baby was at high risk for trisomy 21, otherwise known as Down syndrome....

Keep Reading

They Say Don’t Blink—But Kids Grow Up Anyway

In: Child, Motherhood
Mother and two sons

I sat in the parking lot, waiting for my oldest son to walk out of the building where he was completing his first evening at his first job. I sat there thinking back over the years and wondering where the time had gone. Once upon a time, I carried this human inside my body. I battled morning sickness and swollen ankles. I cried in the bathtub when I saw how deep the stretch marks were on my belly because I was growing this person inside of me. I remember the fear that made my heart seem to stop when the...

Keep Reading