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Two hands God gave me are just enough

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 Do you ever wonder why we are given two hands?

Often times, as a mother and wife, it seems like I need six hands to do everything I do throughout the day. And honestly, that still probably wouldn’t be enough.

A few months ago at the supper table, I had a realization of why God gave me two hands.

Once I had everything ready and on the table, Jerry gave thanks for our meal and I began getting Emma her food and drink. Eventually, I was able to take my first bite and not long after that two things happened: one, Emma made an “ahhh” noise like one does after taking a drink, which has become her signal for “I want a drink,” and two, Jerry asked for me to get him a serving of broccoli from the bowl on the table.

So, there I sat holding Emma’s sippy cup up for her to get a drink with my right and dominant hand, while trying my best to scoop out a spoonful of broccoli for Jerry with my left hand. It was at that very moment that I realized why I have two hands. And while six hands would have been a great help at that time, two was all I needed and all I will ever need.

It was in that moment, that I realized just how truly needed I am in our family. Both our daughters completely rely on us, largely me since I stay home to care for them, to meet their basic needs. As a wife to Jerry, he depends on me to meet certain needs of his own as well. Most all of those needs are met by the work of my hands.

 

Nurture

Nurturing means to “care for and encourage the growth and development of.” This is by far one of the most important roles my hands play in raising our daughters. Every day, Emma learns a new word, a new gesture or a new emotion. We read books together and I use my hands to point out animals and objects. Emma knows our chickens as “Ca-Cas”, our cows as “Moos” and our horses as “Horsey.” She knows when I clap my hands, it’s a form of praise and she has done something good. As for our newborn Ila, right now, she needs gentle and loving hands to hold her and wrap her up letting her know she is safe and secure.

As a wife, it’s vital that I do my part in nurturing our marriage. We have grown so much in the nearly four years we have been married. We put God at the head of our marriage and have faith He will carry us through even the hardest of times.

The phrase “to lend a helping hand” couldn’t be more true in marriage, especially when you farm. A husband and wife are supposed to help each other, not tear each other down like most couples do these days. Some of the most enjoyable times in our marriage are just being on the farm with Jerry and fetching tools, holding a light or moving the truck. It’s those small gestures that mean so much.

At the end of a hard day, sometimes all you need is to hold each other’s hands and talk about the day’s events, a pat on the back or just to join hands in prayer. In doing so, we continually grow and develop in our marriage.

 

Nutrition

If there is one thing both Emma and Ila love, it’s to eat! I breastfed Emma and do so with Ila, literally providing the nutrition they needed from my body. Emma has been downing any and every type of solid food beginning when she was 6 months old. We have yet to find something she doesn’t like. I try my hardest to make sure she eats wholesome foods and most I prepare from scratch here at home. The joy I get from preparing a meal with my hands is something that is hard to explain. To plant, grow and harvest foods of our own and turn those into wholesome meals brings me great joy knowing I can provide an essential need for our family.

 

Support 

Every child needs some form of support.  Emma needed and Ila still needs support from my hands to support their head and neck as a newborn. As Emma got a few months older, she needed support from my hands to help her sit up. Later, she needed my hands to hold onto as she learned to walk across the room and to catch her when she fell. As long as I am on this Earth, our children will always have my hand to hold in good times and bad which is just a small gesture of how much I love and support them.

 

Discipline

I’ll be the first to admit, that we discipline Emma, and have done so since she was early enough to understand. And trust me, she understands. We do not put up with temper tantrums, fake crying or misbehaving. Occasionally, Emma will get a little pop on the bottom or the hand. We do this only because we love her so much and want her to grow up a respectable and well-behaved individual. Both my husband and I grew up this way and I think we turned out alright.

 

Love

My favorite job of all is making sure both Emma and Ila know they are loved. Whether that’s by holding their cheeks with my hands and giving them kisses on those precious and plump cheeks, or by getting all of Emma’s tickles while playing in the floor, they know they are loved and you can tell by the big cheesy smile Emma is always wearing and how content Ila is. There is such a thing as tender and loving hands and I think a child knows.

My hands aren’t pretty by any means, but they do what is necessary to provide for our family. 

They are calloused from farm and house work, but gentle enough to comfort our baby girls. My two hands are exactly what I need to prepare food for our family, provide abundant love for my daughter and husband and foster a nurturing home place.

One of my favorite crafts to make with the kids is salt dough ornaments. 

These are super easy to make and make for perfect homemade gifts. 

 

Salt Dough Ornaments 

1 c. all purpose flour

1/2 c. salt

1/2 c. warm water

Food coloring (optional)

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. In a small bowl, mix water and salt until salt is mostly dissolved. Add half the flour and mix together. Add the remaining flour and mix until a dough forms.

Mix in food coloring if you choose to use it. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and work until smooth. Roll the dough out about ½ inch thick and in the shape of a circle a few inches larger than the hand you are using. 

Lightly press down hand in the dough to create an impression and remove. Cut around the hand print in the shape you choose (a heart, mitten, etc.) and poke a hole where the string will go.

Place on a baking sheet and bake for one hour or until hardened. If you didn’t use food coloring, you can paint once it cools.  

 

Emily is a native of Lawrenceburg. She and her husband, Jerry, own and operate Beaver Creek Farm. For more recipes, farm stories and DIY projects, visit her blog at beavercreekblessed.com.