Skip to main content

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle

By May 11, 2023No Comments

I grew up around a steel magnolia mother, Melba Taylor Holt. She was strong, vibrant, forceful, and joyful. Mom was inwardly kind and outwardly tough. I can’t remember a day when she was ever sick. She cooked, cleaned, led Bible studies, and spoke to groups often on parenting, conflict resolution, and marriage communication. I think my mom was a kind of renaissance woman.

I vividly remember seeing tears well up in her eyes on April 4th,1968. She was serving a church council gathering at our home. Mom came downstairs where David (my younger brother) and I were watching TV. I asked her what was wrong. She simply said, “They killed Martin Luther King.” Mom was angry and sad and told me years later, that someone said that night, “He got what he deserved.” She never understood the racism of many so-called Christians.

Mom grew up on a ranch and farm in South Carolina. She witnessed racial prejudice and Jim Crow laws up close and hated injustice in any form. Mom taught us to love and bless people of all races and socioeconomic classes. She was proud that I became a missionary. I think she kind of vicariously lived her passions through me when I was on the mission field.


I married a strong woman. In many ways, I was attracted to Liz because she reminded me of my mother. Liz is inwardly compassionate—weekly making meals for others, secretly giving money to those in need, visiting and praying for the sick—but outwardly forceful in defending Christ, me, and our children. She is a strong prophetic leader who has little fear. Countless times Liz has given me and our seven children courage in times of stress, disappointment, and pain.

What marks Liz the most is her love for Jesus and His Word. Every morning she has the Book open, worshipping, praying over issues, and believing God for miracles. She is unrelenting in her faith that God will answer her prayers.

This poem describes Melba Taylor Holt and Elizabeth Ann Holt. Enjoy.

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle rules the World
by William Ross Wallace

Blessings on the hand of women!
Angels guard its 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.

Pastor Steve