Empty Hands Hold Miracles

We don’t really do a “back to school” since we “do school” year-round. It’s rather anticlimactic; there’s little to break the rhythm of lessons, meals, and chores. We have a lifestyle of learning and we certainly take breaks when needed, like during travel or PCS, or for holidays . . . but if we take too much time off, there is misbehavior and boredom.

But there is also burnout.

I get tired and irritable and selfish.

I start to focus on impossibilities.

We serve a God of possibilities.

Not having any time alone gets wearisome. I start to fantasize about exotic vacations, trips to the bathroom alone even.

Just when I’m at my wits’ end and contemplating public school, God shows up in the most unexpected places: Facebook, blog posts, the base chapel sermon with a guest chaplain, in my kids’ random, violent bear hugs that all but bruise me.

I have this family around me, constantly. They’re right there in front of me, gazing expectantly with big, long-lashed eyes.

I can *whoof* out their candles with a sharp word or thoughtless expression . . . or I can nurture those shy little flames of hope into blazing wildfires for the Kingdom.

When I start to desire to send them away–to public school, to play outside, to their rooms–do I stay selfish and go with my feelings? Or do I minister to my family, with God’s help?

And I realize my hands aren’t empty. It’s not so much that my hands are all that important. What I hold in my hands at any given moment can be miraculous if given Power. And it’s not as if the computer screen I bleed onto should have that much sway over my life.

The rod in Moses’ hands parted the seas. The slingshot in David’s hands destroyed the giant. The fishes and loaves in Jesus’ hands multiplied and fed the multitudes with leftovers.

When I truly empty my hands . . . when I put down the iPhone or iPad, stop typing on the keyboard, quit stirring the pot, let that dirty dish sit in the sink, allow that stinky sock to go another day . . .

God can use my hands for His glory.

I can hold a book while they snuggle {too} near for read alouds.

I can fold my hands and pray with and for each of them.

I can hold their little hands in mine as we thank God for all the many blessings in our family circle.

I can caress that soft blonde curl behind her ear while I gently instruct a difficult math lesson.

I can wipe away the tear from the embarrassment of that mistake. Again.

I can envelop him in a big hug.

I can teach her how to knead the bread dough just so.

I can guide her fingers into the scissors to cut out the pattern.

I can lift up she who has fallen.

When I hold my children in my hands, I am touching the miraculous. I am glimpsing God. Who knows what they will do for the Kingdom?

I can be the hands of Jesus to my children.

What’s in your hands?

It’s all about trust, control, acceptance. If I can’t accept love, how can I offer it?

If I continue to thirst and hunger, how can I lead my little ones to the Living Water?

We have nothing to give others without giving first to Jesus. He gives through us.

He’s writing stories through us.

In the end, we’ll all become stories. We, as moms, have great and terrible influence over the stories our children write for themselves.

In the end, we'll all become stories.

What story are you helping your children to write?


Back-to-school Encouragement For Moms

This post is a part of the Back-to-school Encouragement For Moms series. Be sure to check out the others posts to be encouraged!

back to school encouragement