5/26/14

You Have Your Hands Full

You have your hands full!

The baby was crying crocodile tears because she couldn't stand up in the grocery cart.  My three-year-old was trying to throw the box of mac 'n cheese out of the back while sitting on the bag of grapes.  My five-year-old had brought me a candy bar with begging eyes and I was trying to check out.

You have your hands full!  I wanted to look at the woman and say, "DUH!?!" 
Instead, I smiled embarrassingly.  I never knew what to say to people.

I read the most encouraging article and ever since it has changed the way I respond (either out loud or in my heart) when I hear those words:
You have your hands full.

In her article Motherhood is a Calling (And Where Your Children Rank), one of my favorite authors, (Rachel Jankovic from the Femina website) said:
 
When my little girl told me, “Your hands are full!” I was so thankful that she already knew what my answer would be. It was the same one that I always gave: “Yes they are—full of good things!”

Yes, our hands are full of crumbs, chores, and sleep-less nights. 
 
Our hands are also full of:

joy.
happiness.
laughter.
silliness.
crazy spider man costumes.
bouncy balls.
sweet kisses.
declarations of love.
naked baby dolls.
stained outfits.
cuddles.
and...
grace - oh so much grace!

We are not the only person that hears the woman at the grocery store say "You have your hands full!"  Our children are listening too.  If we sigh and acknowledge the statement with a tired, worn look, our children see that.  I would rather my children know that I see them as a blessing and a joy rather than an embarrassment. 

It takes patience to allow me to quietly pick up the box of mac 'n cheese and tell my three-year-old, "Thank you for helping me put things up here, but try to do it easy!" It takes strength from God to silently ignore the cries of my baby, who is upset because she is buckled in, but safe.  It takes a deep breath and reminders of my own need of grace to gently tell my five-year-old, "No candy today. We will have some fruit later."

When the woman at the grocery store tells me I have my hands full - may I strive to remember that they are - full of good things!




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Photo credit to AKP