This poem, written in 2008, expresses my philosophy of life and was one of my mother’s favorite poems. Being responsible stewards of God’s gifts of time, treasure, and talent are essential to my husband, Tim and me, as exemplified by our parents. Our 36 years of marriage have been spent providing for our family and volunteering in worthwhile programs. This was especially important when we were raising our sons and continues today as we are proud grandparents.
Seeking to learn how women live out their faith journey has led me to Bible studies and Christian female authors. The two formative EWTN television series hosted by Johnnette Benkovic, The Abundant Life and Women of Grace, introduced me to many experts whose articles and books I subsequently read. The Full of Grace, Women and the Abundant Life Foundational Study, presented by Johnnette and her contributors sounded intriguing.
A unique opportunity arose with a one day workshop presented locally by Johnnette that I attended with my friend, Nancy Elhajj. A few months later, we participated in the Benedicta Leadership Institute and a 3 day Women of Grace retreat. Tim supported me in my decision to become a facilitator and when asked to be a regional coordinator, he encouraged me again. Currently, I am facilitating our 4th foundational study with plans in the near future for 2 more. The emphasis on an active prayer life is vital for Catholic women. After teaching over 30 years, it brings so much joy to see students have the “aha” moment. I witness this while facilitating the study as women become excited when they discover the richness of our Catholic heritage and the women saints who have provided us with extraordinary examples for us to emulate.
THESE HANDS by Susan Jacobsen (2008)
These hands, inherited from my mother-
Big knuckled, misshapen
Embedded with pencil lead from a fellow student in the 5th grade,
Depository of rings with sentimental significance.
These hands, inherited from Our Father,
Carrying out His message,
Comforting His children,
Conveying His Knowledge,
Communicating and healing through touch
Being and becoming a conduit of His Love.
These hands, inherited from my ancestors,
Stiff and sore, cold and clammy, weak and weary,
Extended, uplifted,reaching toward Heaven
In prayer, finding peace.