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she works with willing hands

August 27, 2011

“She works with willing hands…” Proverbs 31:13

These past six weeks, in many ways, have been some of my very favorite.  We have folded a new little one into our family and it has been nothing short of delightful.  But then again, how could a then eight now eleven pound, smiling baby be anything less than delightful?

Our lives are a little more full now, yet seem to move quite a bit slower.  The cargo in our arms has doubled in size, but so have our hearts.  We have twice as many diapers to change, plus another mouth to feed, body to bathe, and face to kiss.  And the laundry? No end in sight it seems.

However, we’re hopeful we will sleep again one day.  And when that happens, it will most likely mean that all of our children are grown and out of our house.  So, we’ve decided to soak it up-messy house and all- because we’ve been warned that these days go by all too fast. This little boy has brought so much change into our lives these past six weeks and it has been a wonderful, joyful, exhausting, and beautiful thing to behold.

And at the same time God gave us Peter, he gave us something else beautiful to see.  Something just as beautiful, only different.  He gave us a grandmother willing to leave home and family and friends to come and serve us as we adjusted to life with our second child.

Watching my mom these past six weeks has been life-changing for me.  It has brought into focus everything I want to be as a woman and mother and grandmother.  If I were to have kept a running list of all the ways she spent her time helping us, you would be thoroughly impressed.  And if I were to tell you that she did it all with a joyful spirit, you would be amazed.

To name just a few.  My mother washed, folded, and put away every stitch of clothing in our home for six weeks, she cooked meals, cleaned our home, made bottles, washed countless loads of dishes, made beds, and vacuumed.  But perhaps the most important thing she did was invest herself into the lives of my little boys.

Every morning, every afternoon, and every evening she would tirelessly play with, talk to, sing with, read to, walk with, hold, feed, clean, clothe, and care for my sons.  Never once begrudgingly.  She has such a way about her, such a grace in her presence.  And it’s her presence that I’m missing this very second.

My mom hopped on a plane this morning and headed back to Texas, along with my dad who has been visiting us this past week as well.  Back to her home and family and friends…to start all over again.  More serving, more blessing, more giving of herself to the ones she loves.

So many tears were shed in the past 48 hours.  If you would have been here, you would have joined my husband and father in thinking that we are crazy.  And maybe we are.  All I know is that there is just something so unique, so heart-knitting about sharing those first few gloriously hard postpartum weeks with someone.  And in the midst of so much change, having my mother of all people- the most constant person throughout my entire life- here with me has been beyond precious.  She was there for me with Sam and she’s been here for me with Peter.

When I think about the kind of woman and wife and mother and grandmother that I hope to become, this is it.  I want to spend my retirement pouring my life into the lives of my children and my children’s children.  This is the legacy I want to leave behind- the one she is leaving behind- one of selfless sacrifice for my family.  What better way to serve the Lord and those he has entrusted to me than to give my life up for them!

One day, when my mom’s faith becomes sight, I will look back and thank God for my childhood with her.  But I think what I will hold most dear to my heart, are the times that I spent with her as a mother.  There is simply no one like her.

“Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”  Proverbs 31:29

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Nita Archer permalink
    August 27, 2011 7:20 pm

    Those of us who know your mom and her servant’s heart know that nothing you said was an exaggeration. Many people could write a tribute to your mom for something she has done for them. I know I could write many and in doing so I would include your precious dad. This was beautiful and touching. You are an artist with words.

    • therigneys permalink*
      August 28, 2011 4:28 pm

      Thank you for these kind word, Nita! I know my mom feels mutually about you.

  2. Liz permalink
    August 27, 2011 9:31 pm

    What a gift this post is to your mother, I am sure. Oh, that I can be like Sassy someday, if the Lord wills!! Thanks for your beautiful post, my friend.

    • therigneys permalink*
      August 28, 2011 4:27 pm

      Liz- I have no doubt that you will be a more than excellent grandmother!

  3. August 28, 2011 8:13 am

    it’s all true. i am SO privileged to know your mom through you. i’m hopeful that i’ll be a better mother and grandmother because of her life-giving example. she is the real deal. her children’s friends rise up and call her blessed.

  4. August 29, 2011 8:57 pm

    That 2nd pictures says it all…sitting on the floor playing “cars.” Grandmothers rock.

    But then I also love the one of her snuggling with that sweet babe AND the one of her fixing dinner. Moms rock.

    My mom has come to help out for a couple weeks after each of our children and I have, each time, been indescribably greatful. They may never know how much help that is!

    • therigneys permalink*
      August 29, 2011 9:18 pm

      So true, Greta, I don’t think my mom will ever know how much she truly helps me! Glad you have a mother like that, too!

  5. September 1, 2011 8:29 pm

    Thank you, dear Jenny, for writing such precious words. It was truly MY blessing to get to be there with you all. I loved every minute of it! You and Joe are doing such a wonderful job with those two little guys!

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