Today's daily devotion

Hands on Hips

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.—PHILIPPIANS 4:5 (NIV)

“Mom stood in the doorway with her characteristic hands on hips…” I read these words in my daughter’s short story with some surprise. But, come to think of it, I did have this habit—a way of communicating, “I’m a no-nonsense mom.”

Now, with my mother living with us, was I also a no-nonsense daughter? Due to her physical frailties and mild
dementia
, I laid out my mother’s clothes each morning, made sure she swallowed her pills and on nice days suggested she trade out her favorite word search for a walk to the mailbox and back.

Just how she felt about this role reversal was exposed at a women’s retreat. Late the first evening, I said, “Mom, it’s
bedtime. Why don’t you go to your bedroom and start getting ready? I’ll come and check on you in a few minutes.”

She got out of the rocking chair, rose to her feet, saluted me and blurted, “Aye, aye, Captain!”

Laughter erupted. I felt both humiliated and humbled. Her words revealed the truth.

In that moment, I knew that I needed God’s grace to maintain kindness in my attitude. No more hands on hips. Yes, my support of Mom meant some control of her time, diet and wardrobe, but my best care would show itself with a kneeling heart.

Lord, remind me to be as gentle with others as you are with me.

Adapted from
Strength & Grace Magazine

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