Momma’s Hands

Momma's hands

I wrote this poem for my Mom to celebrate her 50th wedding anniversary .  I thought it appropriate to share for Mother’s Day.  I miss her so much, and still find myself comparing my hands with the memory of hers.

Momma’s Hands

I remember being young
Grasping Momma’s hands in mine
Pondering and wondering
And comparing them to mine

She didn’t care for painted nails
Or other fads of youth
Hard work and time had modified
Her hands, once soft and smooth

I remember watching her
While fervently, she’d try
With ready, eager, willing hands
Her family’s needs to supply

Momma’s hands were busy
Momma’s hands were filled
With kids to feed, and house to clean
Momma’s hands were skilled

Bandaging scrapes and scratches
Hugging the hurts away
Brushing our hair, spanking our butts
Preparing meals each day.

Of all the things that I recall
Of Momma’s hands, I’ll share
My favorite memory of all, is
Those hands–folded reverently, in prayer

Momma’s hands personified
The yearning of Momma’s heart
To serve her Lord and family
God’s love to them impart

Now, Momma’s hands are older, still
And here, myself, I find
Pondering and wondering,
And comparing them to mine

Lyn H
January, 2005

By New Things Posted in Poetry

In Acceptance Lieth Peace

I was reminded of this poem yesterday, and recommended it to a friend.  Thought I might as well share it here.  It is written by Amy Carmichael and has been used  on more than one occasion to bring clarity and peace to a situation/test/trial I was in, and has blessed me tremendously.  I hope it does the same for you.

In Acceptance Lieth Peace

He said, ‘I will forget the dying faces;
The empty places,
They shall be filled again.
O voices moaning deep within me, cease.’
But vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in forgetting lieth peace.

He said, ‘I will crowd action upon action,
The strife of faction
Shall stir me and sustain;
O tears that drown the fire of manhood cease.’
But vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in endeavour lieth peace.

He said, ‘I will withdraw me and be quiet,
Why meddle in life’s riot?
Shut be my door to pain.
Desire, thou dost befool me, thou shalt cease.’
But vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in aloofness lieth peace.

He said, ‘I will submit; I am defeated.
God hath depleted
My life of its rich gain.
O futile murmurings, why will ye not cease?’
But vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in submission lieth peace.

He said, ‘I will accept the breaking sorrow
Which God tomorrow
Will to His son explain.’
Then did the turmoil deep within me cease.
Not vain the word, not vain;
For in Acceptance lieth peace.

Isn’t it awesome…and so right on the mark?  I just love it.  When I went to look for it to share on my blog, I found another, with the same title.  Ya think MAYBE God is trying to tell me something?

In Acceptance Lieth Peace

In acceptance lieth peace,
O my heart be still;
Let thy restless worries cease
And accept His will.
Though this test be not thy choice,
It is His—therefore rejoice.

In His plan there cannot be
Aught to make thee sad:
If this is His choice for thee,
Take it and be glad.
Make from it some lovely thing
To the glory of thy King.

Cease from sighs and murmuring,
Sing His loving grace,
This thing means thy furthering
To a wealthy place.
From thy fears He’ll give release,
In acceptance lieth peace.

—Hannah Hurnard

Just For Today, Lord

Last March, I copied this prayer into my little prayer book that I carried with me everywhere…I’m not sure where I found it, or who initially wrote it, but it was so good, in my own prayer time, my heart echoed it’s cry.  I hope it blesses you as much as it did me.  And, if you know who I can credit, please share.

Lord, for tomorrow and its needs, I do not pray; 
Keep me, my god from stain of sin, just for today.
 
Let me both diligently work, and duly pray;
Let me kind in word and deed, just for today.
 
Let me be slow to do my will and prompt to obey;
Help me to mortify my flesh, just for today.
 
Let me no wrong or idle word unthinking say;
Set a seal upon my lips, just for today.
 
Let me in season, LORD, be grave, in season, gay
Let me be faithful to your grace, just for today.
 
And if today, my tide of life should ebb away,
Give me your sacraments divine, LORD, today.
 
So for tomorrow and its needs I do not pray.
But keep me, guide me, love me, LORD.  Just for today.
By New Things Posted in Poetry

Where I am

I shared a piece last year about this time, of a piece I wrote entitled “I am From”.  It was inspired by my friend Sylvia over at Christian Homekeeper.  At the time, I thought I should write a second one titled “Where I Am”, and am finally getting around to it.  I hope you enjoy it.

I am in small town Alabama.  I am in the laundromat once a week, in seemingly endless days that flow one into the next.

I am in a four room duplex, kitchen windowsill lined with mason jars, azaleas in full bloom out front, and a barking dog staked under budding pecan trees wrapped in ferns.

I am in dreamland, missing past days and gathering ideas in mental preparation for the future when I will again bask in the warmth of the sun and enjoy the bounty of my own garden.

I am older now and growing gray.

I am a Hedges, yet, still very  Engblade and Schappert, combined with Lewis, Davis, and Durrett.

I am a child of God.  Learning to lean, learning to wait, and learning to rest in Him.

I am filled with joy, that often spills out in cleansing tears.

I am Roman Catholic, stained glass windows, incense and bells; daily Readings and confession; the Eucharist, the Liturgy, and the Communion of the Saints.  I’ve taken up my cross, put on Christ and am clothed in His righteousness.

I am “using it up, wearing it out, making it do, or doing without”.

I am a Gypsy, en route from Idaho to PEI; from PEI to Alabama, and from here to God knows where and when.  I’ve seen better days, but I’ve definitely seen worse.  I am both despised and loved, judged and shown mercy, shunned and welcomed.  I have everything I need, and much of what I want, yet still, I find myself discontent, wanting more.

I am prone to impromptu game nights, uncontrollable laughter and biweekly weigh-ins at my sister’s place.  I am in great company on frequent drives to the city and Saturday garden workdays at the farm.

I am listening to one of five Pandora stations, depending on my mood.  I am singing along; either reminiscing or learning something new.  I am on facebook, wordpress, and the message board.  I’m all about my grandbabies, my family, my blog, and my invisible friends, with occasional drama and basement hideouts during severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings.

I am becoming increasingly aware that I am part of a bigger picture, though for now I am in this little duplex, in Small Town, AL, with big dreams and a growing faith in my Great Provider.

By New Things Posted in Poetry

Maker of Man – St. Augustine

The Maker of man was made man
That the Ruler of Stars might suck at the breast
That the Bread of Life might be hungered
The Fountain, thirst
The Light, sleep
The Way be wearied by the journey
The Truth be accused by false witnesses
The Judge of the Living and the Dead be judged by a mortal judge
The Chastener, be chastised with whips,
The Vine be crowned with thorns,
The Foundation be hung upon a tree
Strength be made weak,
Health be wounded,
Life die.
To suffer these and such undeserved things,
That He might free the undeserving,
For neither did He deserve any evil,
Who for our sakes endured so many evils,
Nor were we deserving of anything good,
We, who through Him, received such good.

~St. Augustine

This story needs a title

Rough draft…still working on it.

It seemed to Ruthie that she had lived in this little hole forever.  Her Papa had talked about leaving before, when times got hard and food became scarce, but her Momma wouldn’t hear of it.  She stubbornly put her foot down and quietly announced her intention to remain.  Momma said she’d rather starve to death here than leave this wonderful memory-filled home.  How Momma loves her little hovel.  From the time of their arrival, she has worked hard to make it comfortable and homey and takes pride in the presentation of the provisions that Papa brings home or that they are fortunate enough to find on their daily jaunts.

The inhabitants who had previously shared the building have since come and gone. They didn’t really “live” here, they were more like frequent visitors.  One to three times a week, the rooms would be filled with to the brim with a myriad of personalities and diverse activities.  From their peekhole through the walls, Ruthie and her family witnessed their laughter, tears, singing, and rousing speeches that Momma called “sermons”.    The best part of these meetings, if you were to ask Ruthie, were the wonderful aromas of the covered dishes that accompanied the visitors, and the generosity of those present who saved a bit to share with her humble family.

When the meetings were over, the five little mice would scamper about (Papa and Momma leading the charge), and help clean up, first from the middle of the eating room, and eventually the corners and baseboards. Every day, they’d clean, as Momma taught them, “like she liked it done”,  and would store what they couldn’t eat for later.  By the time the next meeting day rolled around, they would have licked the place clean, and were ready to start the next stash.

Those were the good days; days of plenty, of prosperity and plenty.  Those were carefree,  happy childhood days of sweet memories and contentment preceding some terrible days of heartache, hunger, and yearning; before Sissy grew up and moved away, and before Momma quit humming.  The sanctuary, once filled with sermon and song became eerily quiet, and the sound of their feet echoed through the hall.  Momma’s well-stocked pantry was quickly depleted, forcing Papa, Brother and Ruthie, for the first time in months, to venture outside the safety of their walls to look for food, often only to return empty-handed, hungry and more discouraged than ever.

They were right on the verge of complete starvation, and Papa had just about talked Momma into moving and finding a new place when they heard the most dreadful noises coming from the sanctuary.  Heavy footsteps, thunderous pounding and roaring laughter continued until well after dark, for nights on end.  By and by Ruthie worked up the courage to venture out and to her surprise noticed that carpet had been installed to cover the cold wood floors!  Also, a pile of bags and boxes alongside several large pieces of furniture had accumulated in the sanctuary.

Near as anyone could tell, there were three new inhabitants sharing their home. The eating room became functional again and continues to provides an abundance of food. Instead of one shared meal two or three days a week, they now  look forward to two, and sometimes three, meals every day. Gathering and cleanup is more of a challenge, as there are now people here to work around, but they quickly learned to wait  until the family leaves for the day or goes to sleep at night, they have  enough uninterrupted time to  eat their fill every day as well as the collect enough to put some away for a rainy day.

From her  bed, Ruthie can hear Papa snoring, and Momma’s gentle humming in the kitchen. She feels safe and secure as she counts her blessings before she goes to sleep;

For Momma, Papa, Sissy, and Brother,
for good food and fellowship with one another.

For hugs and kisses and bedtime prayers,
for laughter, and singing, and memories shared.

I am from

My friend, Sylvia inspired me with a piece that she wrote a few years ago.  I loved writing this, and have saved it, because I enjoy the walk now and then down memory lane.  I may need to write one titled “where I am”, but not today.

I am from small town Idaho, from clothes dried on the line, from lazy summer afternoons spent watching clouds form into familiar shapes.

I am from a small 2 bedroom house, lilacs outside the kitchen window, climbing roses out the back door, new kittens born in the crawl space under the house, and goats and chickens in the back yard.

I am from the garden,  from fresh strawberries picked just that morning, and the never-ending chore of keeping the weeds out of them.

I am from penny candy and feathered bangs.

From Engblade and Schappert, and Lewis, Davis, and Durrett.

From “come straight home from school” and “do you want a spanking?”

From hearty laughter and “FOR CRYIN’ OUT LOUD”

I am from the Yakima Indian Mission, stained glass windows, “Now I Belong to Jesus”, VBS, Sunday school, traditional hymns, after church potlucks and ice cream socials. From dresses on Sunday morning, and jeans are fine for evening service.

I’m from Salvation Army thrift store finds, hand-me-downs, and saving babysitting money for those expensive popular brand name clothes.

I’m from Idaho, Oregon and Washington. From beans and cornbread, biscuits and gravy. I am from surprise family vacations, and weekend campouts in the hills.

I am from fresh baked bread laid out on mom’s kitchen table and from the fresh dirt tilled in preparation for dad’s garden next spring. I am from weekend long canning sprees, and cleaning house “like Momma likes it” in preparation for company.

From worn out LP’s of Hank Williams, Slim Whitman, and Marty Robbins. From Momma’s gentle humming. I am from the kitchen. From “Put your hand in the hand of the man” complete with our own version of the “jitterbug” taught and learned during chore time. From “Tell me why you love Jesus…” From candles and oil lamps and power outages.

I am from family meals, family prayers, and family gatherings. I am from a small house that sheltered a large family with faith in a Great God.

By New Things Posted in Poetry

Peace

Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.