“Old” Hands Gave LIFE

See the source imageLittle children rub their grandparents hands with love. Teenagers sometimes make rude comments about “old people skin”. Such a comment was recently spoken by a random stranger to her friends about an elderly person next to her. The young girl was probably fortunate that it was in speedy-passing without us continuing to share space or she may have received a friendly one-minute dissertation about what goes into giving LIFE to others.

Of course God gives us LIFE. But those elderly hands clutching a shopping cart? The elderly hands shaking as they reach for the cold medicine alongside you at the market? They ensured many people experienced a good life on this earth.

“Old” hands aren’t old…they are alive with LIFE.

We must gently sensitize our increasingly desensitized youth about what their elders did with those aging hands they are quick to grimace at.

Those aging hands we see?

They lovingly caressed, nurtured and tended to babies; those babies grew to healthy adults by those hands;

Those hands cleaned toilets and dishes and floors…again and again and again to keep an orderly, neat home that others enjoyed;

They painted and wallpapered to make kids’ bedrooms fun, happy places;

They selected good food from markets, drove it home, washed it, chopped it, cooked it, stored it…feeding their families and bringing meals to others;

Those hands wiped away tears from their children’s cheeks…and from their own – shed for their children;

Those hands made birthday celebrations happen, brought sparkle and wonder to their family’s Christmases and took countless photographs marking the events to give their loved ones memories to fill their hearts in years to come;

Those hands tightly squeezed together… folded in prayer…leaned on a weary forehead…emphasizing their family’s endless needs before a Holy God;

Those aging hands are covered in service, servanthood, beauty, and LIFE that was given to countless people.

Years earlier, those aged hands were young, excited, newlywed hands.

And, they were once upon a time perfect little baby hands…

Let us respect the hands that gave their youth blessing others…

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Reminiscing During a Walk at the Park

I’ve been walking our local parks for years. I love them all (and we have several) for their individuality, but one close to my house has beauty, water and multiple sports fields that hold sentimental value to me.My son ran many-a-bases and threw countless pitches on the various baseball diamonds. My girls carried snack bags, watched movies on portable DVD players during the double-headers, sat on the swings and played pretend with the other sisters bored at their brothers’ baseball games. It might have registered 120* on the turf during my daughters’ lacrosse games, but we parents were also melting on the sidelines!

That was years ago and last night, I strolled alone through the very active and busy park, realizing that with every baseball and soccer game I was passing in stride, I was watching the next generation standing behind home plate.

Grandparents in their chairs, rooting on their grandkids.

Dads at first and third base yelling to their boys…

Mamas pushing and pulling strollers off to the side, rocking their youngest ones as sunset began.

Throughout my long two-hour walk, I grinned knowingly.

I was that Mama. My husband was that Dad, rounding them to home.Throughout my laps, I wiped tears from under my sunglasses. Wasn’t it just last week I was filling the cooler, packing the snacks, grabbing books and blankets? I strode past a long line of parked mini-vans and hatch-backs and trucks …  each stuffed with lawn chairs. Wasn’t I just driving my mini-van? I had mini-vans for 18 years and I loved them. They represented family life that I loved being immersed in. I can still see my kids running from the park playground into the side van door as the skies opened and torrential rain poured. Awesome giggles and real joy flowed from the back seats. Their eyes wide at the ominous clouds and shaking of thunder.

The echoes of their young laughter flooded my mind. It was a precious time before student loans and adult-jobs. My chest filled with the childhood freedom we all enjoyed together. A child’s oblivion of adult world problems… their purity… their frequent laughter… their lightness… it rubs off on the grown ups.

I was smiling at the thoughts, but wiped wetness from my cheeks again. These years are good too…really good. My twins are recent university grads. My baby duck just served the Lord for eight weeks and is finally back in the nest for the remainder of the summer before returning to her university. Even though they are young adults now, we still play games, watch movies, cheer on our Yankees (if you’re a Sox fan, we can still be friends :)), eat dinners together…these years are merely different. They too elicit special feelings and deep appreciation for all God has blessed me with as a Mama of three children. Those ‘free-years’ were just so much stinkin’ fun.

Picking up my pace, I walked far around the nasty, hissing geese…
Summer was painfully late arriving here in New York. About two weeks ago, hot weather finally showed up and it’s been glorious.

This one is a bit fuzzy off my cell phone, but I’m including it as the birds chirping throughout the park is a summer joy to me!
Oh, the happy daisies never get old, do they? Always smiling at us. As I hopped back into my car, these little flowers left me filled with gratitude for the good memories, and lifted up with joy for the good there is now – and will continue to be.
Admire each pretty flow’r
With its sweet smell;
To praise their Maker, and to tell
The marks of His great pow’r.      Thomas Traherne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Gifts

My gratitude today….I’m so thankful that God gives us summer joys after really, really long winters.

Fresh, local market produce…straight from the farm, no preservatives. No sitting on a truck. No ripening in a greenhouse…summer gifts.
Summer rain…Sweet watermelon…“…give thanks to the Lord for He is good…”