Mother Loads of Love | Weekly Photo Challenge: Love

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“Life began with waking up and loving my mother’s face.”
~ George Eliot

The Weekly Photo Challenge this week has a theme called “Love”.
I know—where do we begin, right? I’ve got other posts on love so I thought I’d focus on one particular type of love. Can you guess? These photos are just candid shots, some very poor images, but you cannot deny the very spirit of motherhood in them.

Sometimes love needs no explanation or definition. You just know it when you see it. Don’t you just see love in the photo above?

Now that my children are grown and in their twenties, trying to find their way, I do something I swore I would never do.
I worry.
If I let my mind wander and dwell it can flourish into a constant panic attack in my chest. I just have to push the “Stop” button sometimes. A lot of these thoughts can wander into places imagined, things that may never take place; but what of the real problems they face? Is there anything I can really do?

Hands Guide an Adventurous Walk

All three of my children are healthy, loving, and growing in wisdom. They are making good decisions as they face the realities of life. I thank God each day for them and turn my anxious thoughts into prayers. I wholeheartedly enjoy them.

I reminisce at their childhood. When they stumbled and got hurt I could scoop them up with heavy doses of mother-love and lots of band aids and everything was just fine. In fact, everything was just fine as long as they were in my hands, tucked safely in my arms. My arms could snug them tight and my hands could stroke and soothe. But then I learned the simultaneous joy and pain of motherhood.

And that was letting go …

Hands Let Go

First to preschool, then kindergarten, on and on.
My arms and hands were emptied of them and the thoughts would begin—are they okay? Will they get hurt? What if someone is mean to them?

As they grew out of physical harm the wounds of the heart kept my intuition on its toes. Once again, my touch could soothe. And each hurt pinched my own heart a bit. Still does. When you carry them inside you for those nine long months there is that strong bond of just “knowing”.

And I try not to worry. I try to pray. But I catch my hands, my arms. Empty. Where are they right this minute? Are they happy? Are they suffering? Is there anything I can do right this minute?

I thought about my grandmother, how she did this, standing there wringing her hands. My mom did, too.

Now I am doing it.

Why, oh why, oh why? This has just got to stop! And one day it did. While rocking my sweet grandson I figured it all out …

Arms of Love

The only time we feel our children are safe is when they are in our arms. When they are not we wring our hands. Our arms and hands must be wrapped around them, else worry never leaves us.

I remember the moment of their birth cradled first in my open hands, me all giddy, forgetting the horrific trauma of the prior moments! You’d think those moments would linger but no—our hands are full of a wonder so great the birth pangs slip easily from our memories as our hands and arms wrap around that gracious gift. And so it goes from the time they are born …

if they are not in our arms, we wring out hands. Our hands must, they must do something! Our arms, our hands hold the key to their safety, their wholeness, their existence, don’t they!

What are we to do with our empty hands? What should fill our hands when our children do not?

Why not assume a different position … and a difference perspective? Unclench and pry apart, then turn those wringing hands into peaceful palms together, then point them heavenward … in prayer.

Could it be for this very reason that hands folded together are prayer’s only adornment? I wonder that perhaps God knew mothers would need something useful to do with our hands when our little ones are grown and out in the great big world.

For in this simple gesture is the truest place where heaven does move earth, as a mother’s prayer is borne like no other. For those folded hands replace the empty hands and fill the heavens with songs whispering the best and highest we can do for our children—place them in the hands of the One who never sleeps and has His eye on them at all times.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Love

Other interpretations of the Weekly Photo Challenge that I like:

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11 Comments

  1. trishworth

     /  February 1, 2013

    This was fantastic. My children are also in their twenties, so you’ve encouraged me. Thanks.

    Reply
    • I’m glad it encouraged you. I think it’s a great encouragement for younger moms, too. I remember exactly when the thought came to me and I know you can relate. There is no feeling like the one when you hold your children, especially during those peaceful rocks in the rocker. Sometimes I’d focus on all the chaos they created instead of on those fleeting miraculous moments! I’m so glad I let things go most of the time and focus on that aspect of mothering. Having a grandchild gives us another wondrous opportunity!

      Reply
  2. You seem like an amazing mother. Warms my heart. I’m so honored you shared my entry on your blog. Thank you!!

    Reply
    • I’m no more amazing than any other mother out there. I just said what I think is in the heart of any mother. I really enjoyed your post about your mom and felt it appropriate for mine.
      Thanks for the visit and comments!

      Reply
    • I also thought it was neat someone else wrote about “mother love”. 🙂

      Reply
  3. This is beautiful! And the photos are, as well. I know just exactly how you feel.
    So glad you came by. It’s very nice to meet you.

    Reply
  4. You’ve made me speechless by reading this….

    Thanks for the pingback. Otherwise I would have missed this very moving post.

    May God always bless my mom, you, and all mother around the world….

    Reply
  5. Life itself, from its first signs of sprouting, growing up and then mellowing as it comes to terms with its environment , is such a wondrous and magical thing. As we become mindful of its present, we may learn to leave our past attachments and fears behind. We then gain the awareness that ” wrapping our arms around yesterday’s infant” may not serve our present.

    Loved the post and the pictures.

    Shakti

    Reply
  6. Beautiful and moving words and photos. Thank you so much!

    Reply
  7. That was really beautiful, and as a mom with grown children, I can really relate to this. There are days when I feel that it is so much harder to be a mom of adult kids then it was when they were little. Just as you said, I could hold them in my arms, and comfort them…and now, well, I still give them hugs, but it’s not the same. I spend many hours praying for them, that’s for sure!
    Thank you for sharing from your heart, and those precious pictures! God Bless you and your family!

    Reply

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