I grew up around a “Steel Magnolia” mother: Melba Taylor Holt. She was strong, vibrant, forceful and joyful (except when she inspected my room). I can’t remember a day when she was ever sick. She was at every ballgame, every meet and heck, she even came up every year to the University of Georgia and cooked a big meal for everyone on my gymnastics team. She was the rock of our family.  

She died last year after a 10-year “bout” with Alzheimer’s—which I say “bout” because she won the match. My mom was joyful, friendly and kind, even with the disease. She beat the disease!

Over the years, observing my wife, the mother of our seven children, I have grown to love this poem by William Ross Wallace. Read it slowly and deliberately. Every line is a powerful tribute to our beloved mothers.  

THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE IS
    THE HAND THAT RULES THE WORLD
BLESSINGS on the hand of women!
        Angels guard it’s strength and grace.
      In the palace, cottage, hovel,
          Oh, no matter where the place;
      Would that never storms assailed it,
          Rainbows ever gently curled,
      For the hand that rocks the cradle
          Is the hand that rules the world.
Infancy’s the tender fountain,
          Power may with beauty flow,
      Mothers first to guide the streamlets,
          From them souls unresting grow— 
      Grow on for the good or evil,
          Sunshine streamed or evil hurled,
      For the hand that rocks the cradle
          Is the hand that rules the world.
Woman, how divine your mission,
          Here upon our natal sod;
      Keep—oh, keep the young heart open
          Always to the breath of God!
      All true trophies of the ages
          Are from mother-love impearled,
      For the hand that rocks the cradle
          Is the hand that rules the world.
Blessings on the hand of women!
          Fathers, sons, and daughters cry,
      And the sacred song is mingled
          With the worship in the sky—
      Mingles where no tempest darkens,
          Rainbows evermore are hurled;
      For the hand that rocks the cradle
          Is the hand that rules the world.

Mother’s Day is this Sunday. Send your mother a card, give her a call and remember that your life is a direct result of her choice to carry you, birth you and nurture you. She may not have done it all perfectly, but I’ll bet she loves you more deeply than you’ll ever know.

Thankful for Mothers,

Steve

Steve Holt M.A., D.D.

My newest book, Worshipper Warrior, can be found at www.steveholtonline.org 

and www.amazon.com