Wednesday, April 13, 2011

beautiful hands

Her nails are perfectly manicured.  Not even the slightest chip of nail-polish.  Even if you were to put them under a micro-scope, you wouldn't be able to find a single imperfection.  Her hands appear young, soft and supple.  They're beautiful, I say to myself.

I glance down at my own hands and I can't even remember the last time I looked at them.  Like really looked at them.  They are dry and cracked.  My nails look like they've been through the war.  They are uneven, unpolished, and completely unkempt.  And bare as the day I was born.  These nails haven't seen a flash of color since before my daughter was born.  Over a year ago.

Jealously begins to seethe from within.

My mind is then taken off the message of the Pastor, in order for my sin-driven soul to have time to focus on her appearance.  I carefully scan her from top to bottom and notice that everything about her is perfectly manicured.  Hair.  Clothes.  Makeup.  Her perfect shoes.  Man, those are some perfect shoes.  Even her eyebrows.  Not a single stray-hair.  Is that even possible?, I ask myself.

My mind flashes back to my college days:
I would have hours to spend between classes.  Sometimes I'd fancy a nap.  Or [maybe] decide to [catch-up] on some [over-due] homework.  But then there was the [more than occasional] "self-mani".  Sweet bliss.  I'd soak my hands, push back the cuticles, file, buff, shine, lotion, apply base-coat, paint them with some magnificent-mind-blowing color, finish with a top-coat, and what ever else I could do to make them appear absolutely beautiful.  And they would be.  When finished, I would sit back and admire my work.  As if I was some world-renown artist contemplating his newest masterpiece.  Sweet time to take care of myself over and above the call of duty.

And to think, that during that phase of my life, I was "stressed" out.

Ha.  Time?  Who has that anymore?  I have a toddler, now.  I can't even urinate in peace.  Even my attempt to preserve that simple pleasure as "mommy-time" can ensue a tsunami-like tantrum from within my daughter.  What do you mean I can't sit on your lap at this very moment?, she thinks.

I glance back over to the woman who I can easily envision on the cover of some fashion magazine.  Yup, she's perfect.  And I can guarantee she doesn't have any kids.  Figures.  She has no idea how blessed she is.

Little do I know, she's been struggling to conceive for over 2 years.  Everything she's tried, everything she's done has lead to failure.  Her nights are filled with grief as she's forced to listen to the silence of her thoughts and loving a person she's never met.  Her pillow is stained with tears.  All the crying has dried her up.  Emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  She's able to post-pone the crippling pain by filling her days with shopping.  Taking care of herself is a two-fold gives her something to do by distracting her from her well as cover up the exhaustion as she struggles to hold it together for one more day.  Lately, to live is to die.

She glances over at the dry and cracked hands.  They look like they've been through the war.  Her nails are uneven, unpolished, and completely unkempt.   I can tell she has kids, she says to herself, because her hands are beautiful...


  1. I once read something from, I believe, Socrates: (my words) If all the world were to come together and put their troubles in a big pile and it was divided evenly, all would be happy to go home as they came.

    Very good post.

  2. LOVED this post- so many people have been reminding me lately how very blessed I am to have 4 amazingly beautiful and healthy children- I take it for granted MORE times than I can count- so many friends who are trying for kids, who have children with disabilities, who have kids who are VERY ill.. I am humbled that God has given me my children and also very sensitive to the fact that at any moment God can take back what is His creation!

  3. Hi there, visiting from Living Well Wednesdays. What a truly awesome post.. the grass always looks greener.. cant judge a book by its cover etc.

    Keeping up with the challenge to "dare to live fully right where you are" (Ann Voskamp's 1000 Gifts) and find things to be thankful for every day makes you truly realize how blessed you are!

    God Bless!

  4. That is beautiful. We never know what a person is really going through by just looking at them. Things definitely are not always as they seem. Looking at my mommy hands :)

  5. SO I tried to post yesterday but didn't save it or something. I loved this post, but you know - those nails in the pic I know are yours. :) And I was noticing them and thinking that your nails looked great!!! :) You're beautiful inside and out!

  6. I just typed out a long comment and it got erased...anyhoo, I loved this post and it is quite timely!

  7. A friend of mine once mentioned that our broader hips and fuller bodies show that we have born and nurtured children and that we should take that as beautiful. For we have given back to little lives rather than continuing to take from life for ourselves and selfishnesses. Those 45 extra pounds I gained with my 3rd child, and maintained through my fourth instantly became less of a strain on my self-vision, but reminded me of what I had accomplished and coincidentally made me better padded for kiddo cuddling. It is always good to remember why things are how they are, for usually that is more important than how they acutally are.

    Came over from WFMW. Thanks for sharing a great topic!


Love is to the heart what the summer is to the farmer's year - it brings to harvest all the loveliest flowers of the soul. -Unknown