Our hands are for work and love.

**Winner! Kristen Phillips! I will email you and hook you up with Emily so she can send you your new print! Thanks everyone for entering! 

I was slaving away in the kitchen preparing a five-star meal of hot dogs and applesauce when I heard Bennett Rippy crying in the den. I put down the food and started to run into the den to see what crime had just been committed. As I’m approaching, I hear Bud’s rhino feet running up the stairs.  I took a deep breath, armored up, and left our gourmet meal to go into battle.

I scooped up BR and made sure there wasn’t any serious damage…. aside from the other 500 bruises that he had acquired this week from doing his best spider monkey bit all around the house with his newfound skill of cruising/crawling/faceplanting.

“Bud, come down here now please.”

“No thank you.”

“……………….. now.” **insert scary Mama voice

That blonde haired little rhinoangel slinked down the stairs and sat on the bottom step in preparation for “time-out”.

“Bud, what happened?”

“I hit him.”

*** Bonus points for telling the truth but confession only goes so far in this household**

“Bud, what are our hands for?”

“Wuk and luz.”

“That’s right, work and love. Nothing else. Not hurting, not destroying things, just work and love.”

You see, that’s our family motto these days. I found myself having to say it to Bud a few times a day when he would get a little too rough with baby brother or if he would start to destroy something in the house. Perhaps it was divine intervention and God decided to pull through (He tends to do that) when I clenched my teeth and fists and asked that the Holy Spirit speak through me instead of Mama the Grouch. It came out because I think one of my biggest hopes as a mother is that I not only direct and shepherd, but that I raise him up to be a man who walks in kindness. So, instead of just saying, “STOP MAMMOTH CHILD!”, I give him a better option. I bring in the light. I show him what power our hands can have but my role as his Mama right now is to show him how important it is to use our hands for what they were created for. Work and Love. 

This world is nutso. There are terrifying things around every corner like serial killers and the Kardashians and coconut water. I’ve been burdened and empowered at the task before me to show my sons the light in the darkness. There are plenty of times when I feel helpless and despite discipline, Bud may choose to hit his brother with a Lego instead of helping him build a tower. But, the days when I hear them playing in the other room and I know he’s been tempted to use his hands in a hurtful way but he chooses to overcome that with kindness and goodness…. well, you can find me in the kitchen doing fist pumps in the air whilst I prepare my hot dogs and applesauce.

I’ve teamed up with my friend Emily who has started her own paper/design/everything art company called Blesser Heart Art. I mean… the name is perfect am I right?!?! She custom-made a print for one of y’all with our family motto “Hands are for work and love” and all you have to do is leave a comment with your email before this Friday! It’s as easy as that. I’m going to be proudly displaying this print in our new playroom and refer to it 5,698 times a day. So go ahead and enter to win this amazing print! You know you wanna.


Check out Emily’s website for her stuff and you can follow her on Instagram at @blesserheartart. Thanks for the amazing print Emily!




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  • Darien

    i heard you say this last time i saw you and it stuck w me!! i plan to use it!!

  • Carman

    love this.

  • Jade

    Thank you Martha. I am always inspired by your words and the mindful way you move through the world. Thank you for this wisdom today. I needed it.

  • Laurie Parks

    I’ve needed something like this lately, as my 2 year old as become more rough with his little brother (and there’s a new one on the way). I always use way too many words when trying to discipline. This is perfect! lauriekmorton@gmail.com

  • Shelley

    Love it! Simple and so true!

  • Caitlin

    It is beautiful! Would definitely hang that in our home! caitlinwkauffman@gmail.com

  • Kristen

    Oh, this would be perfect for my three-year-old still learning to love my 7 month old. 🙂 Love that motto. knphillips801@yahoo.com

  • Deana Vogt
  • Jaclyn

    Jaclynchristinethomas@gmail.com. I love this! No kiddos of my own yet but something to dwell on as my husband and I talk about what to expect and what will be unexpected if we are blessed with kids one day.

  • Jennifer Dignazio

    So sweet! Love it. jmr0006@gmail.com

  • jude

    love it.