I wrote this piece when our children were very young, and it appeared online in an e-zine that is now no longer published. Those early stay-at-home mom years were sweet and tender. But, quite honestly, they were also full of hard work and sometimes utter exhaustion. God always sent what we needed at just the right time. Be it a friend offering to help fold laundry, a family member surprising us with a cooked meal, or a kind word of encouragement from a dear sister in Christ. I pray I never forget those precious years or the angels of mercy sent my way.
It has been one of those days that young mothers have so often. The laundry is piled high, and I fear one of the babies may crawl into a pile and disappear. The unwashed dishes are stacked haphazardly. I know that the little one, trying to help, may soon cause some of those dishes to go crashing to the floor.
I walk from room to room, seeing many household tasks before me. From morning to night, my feet tread the same path. At the end of each day, I often feel as if I have made little progress.
As I open the refrigerator to fill drink cups, yet again, I see a familiar newspaper clipping amidst the colorful magnets plastered all over the door. The poem’s author is unknown, and I’ve read it many times before. But for some reason, today, those poignant words strike a chord.
I read of a mother’s tender reflections on hands once too busy to play, now hauntingly still. My eyes fill with tears, and I release a heavy sigh. Her words were what my weary soul needed to hear on this particular day.
Often my own hands are busy when my children ask me to play. I spend my days cleaning our home and caring for my babies. But in the busyness of daily chores, an important part often gets left out. I rarely set aside time to just play with my little ones.
It was no accident that poem caught my eye today. God, in His gracious mercy, had answered my earlier request for encouragement.
I know that as my children get older, they may not want to play board games, find hidden treasures, or go outside to chase butterflies. Time flies, and they will be grown with families of their own someday.
Much too soon, my arms will ache with loneliness. I will no longer be able to kiss the hurts away, play with their dollies and cars, and read the same stories over and over.
God gently reminded me to cherish this gift; this special day with my children.
“who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (ESV, 2 Cor. 1:4)