Posted in Aging, Life

Words for Wednesday: with these hands

Since observing a recent birthday – notice I did not say celebrating a birthday because as you get older, the day just isn’t as exciting as it was when you were a youngster.

So after passing certain decades of living, I don’t find myself celebrating the day of my birth. But I do observe it and give thanks for another year of life.

As a senior citizen, my mind is a bit boggled at how quickly I’ve arrived at that status. I mean, really, just the other day wasn’t I racing around chasing after three children, juggling chores at home and lots of volunteer opportunities, and even working part-time?

Wasn’t it not so long ago that my calendar was filled with my children’s school, sports, and social activities instead of reminders to accomplish tasks I tend to forget?

Let’s face facts. Even though my mind stills thinks I’m young, my body signals me all too well that I’m not. A prime example of this is when I glanced at my hands one day while I was reading (a real book, not an e-reader) and thought, “Whose hands ARE these?”

And that set my mind to contemplating these hands that don’t look like they used to.

Hands. Do we really consider those appendages? How we’ve used them? What they’ve done? How they’ve helped or hurt others?

We can use our hands to accomplish beneficial and compassionate actions in the world or we can utilize them for negative, downright wicked deeds as well.

“What the hand does the mind remembers.” ~ Maria Montessori

We may bite the hand that feeds us, gain the upper hand, force someone’s hand, be underhanded, act with a heavy hand, or have blood on our hands.

Or we may give a hand, lend a hand, take someone by the hand, or hand it to someone to give them a compliment.

We might know something firsthand or like the back of one’s hand. Perhaps we’re even an old hand at something.

But sometimes, the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing, and we throw our hands up in frustration or even defeat with a hands-off attitude.

If we have our hands full, maybe it’s because we are too hands-on. Perhaps we played into someone’s hands or just simply got our own hands dirty.

On the other hand, it’s possible to overplay your hand, allow situations to get out of hand, and end up washing our hands of it all.

To win hands down, it’s better if one hand washes the other, and we call for all hands on deck.  That way, we all feel like we’re in good or safe hands.

We can hand something down, hand something in, hand something off, hand something on, hand something out, or hand something over.

Whatever the case, our hands are on hand, available to us to use them wisely or not. I’m reminded of an old adage that says, “The devil makes work for idle hands.” What goes hand in hand with that is when we aren’t busy using our hands for good, we are easily tempted to do wrong.

That saying may have come from a verse, Proverbs 16:27, in the Living Bible: “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece.”

And that reminds me of something I want to always keep on hand – God’s Word. If I line up my hands with His Word, I can’t go wrong.

Martin Luther, the famous German theologian who initiated the Protestant Reformation, once wrote: “I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.”

That sounds like excellent advice to me. Place everything in God’s hands instead of my own. I need to remember that every time I look at these aging hands.

“The hand expresses what the heart already knows.” ~ Samuel Mockbee

© 2021


Mama of this empty nest, I’m content to live a quiet, country life with my husband of 40+ years and to view the gorgeous sunsets off my own back yard deck. Mama to three adults and Nana to adorable grandchildren, my empty nest fills up again with noise and laughter when they all return 'home'. A former English teacher, reporter/editor, education director for a non-profit organization, and stay at home mom, I retired after a season of substitute teaching at a private academy. Now I enjoy time spent with my grandchildren and family and writing words that seem to pour out of my soul or wandering around the countryside with my camera. Foremost, my faith sustains me as I meander through the empty nest stage of life. My favorite scripture is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

9 thoughts on “Words for Wednesday: with these hands

    1. I just read a quote today but don’t remember who wrote it — but it said something like “The difference between you and God? He doesn’t think He’s you.” I think that’s it in a nutshell. We start thinking we’re a god so we take things into our own hands instead of relying on His.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You missed one that I grew up with: handwork! That is, embroidery, tatting, crocheting, and such. And of course my hands still earn my living in the most concrete way possible, wielding sandpaper and brush.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes!! I grew up with handwork too as my mother was always using her hands to create something beautiful. I used to do a lot of embroidery and cross stitching, but not any more. Glad to hear your hands are still serving you well. 🙂


  2. A wonderful collection of “handy” sayings. LOL! I look down and see my mother’s hands at the ends of my arms. They’re older, yes, but familiar. I hope you had a happy birthday (even if you didn’t “celebrate”!)

    Liked by 1 person

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