Why You Might Need to Write on Your Hands {Learning to Live Life Open-Handed}

I can’t remember what my girls were all stirred up about in the backseat of our minivan. Someone hadn’t shared something. Selfishness had won and tears had been let loose. Enter in the perfect opportunity for a discussion on what the Lord has been nudging my own heart about:

Life lived open-handed.

A few years ago, a man stood up at my church and shared an image the Lord have given him concerning money. How when we hold it tight – unwilling to tithe, unwilling to give – our hand is in a closed position. But when we are willing to give, our hands are open. Which kind of hand can the Lord put blessing into? Well, an open hand, of course. With one that is closed tight, nothing can get out and nothing can be placed in it.

And so I talked to my girls about sharing. About how when they are selfish with one another, that is a balled up fist. And when they share, that is a hand open and giving. We discussed how that giving hand is the one positioned for blessing, positioned to receive. How God is able to freely bless a heart and life willing to share.

God wants to bless us. But sometimes, we block those blessings. We block them with a heart clenched tight and fist-like declaring, “I will not give. I will have my way. I will not be moved. This life is mine, mine, mine.” Or fearfully whispering, “But what will happen if I let go? I just can’t. I just can’t release control.”

I would love to say I am better at sharing than my girls, but I confess, I am all too often selfish.

With my time.

With my money.

With my stuff.

With my love. 

I admit, I am often fearful and controlling. My hands closed tight around those things that mean the most to me.

And let’s not leave off manipulative. Instead of hands open and relaxed in a position of surrender, they can be found frantically working away, trying to make things happen on my own, trying to make life go according to my plans.

Hands balled tight. Hands manipulating. What they reveal is a lack of trust. They reveal a heart that must not fully believe God is for me. That He loves me. That He will work all things together for my good. And so I end up shutting myself off from all that He is desiring to pour out into my life, because I just won’t open my hands.

handSo today, I am opening my hands. I am opening them, AND I am writing on them. Writing out areas I need to surrender. I know. It seems like a childish, back of the minivan kind of thing to do. And I won’t lie – I am not a big fan of my girls drawing on their hands. But it felt like a powerful statement to my own heart. To write these things out. To declare my trust in Him, the places I am going to live open-handed. Allowing Him to guide me and direct me in how I spend my time, my money, my life, my love. Trusting Him to work in my daughters’ and my husband’s lives instead of me trying to manipulate change.

Giving it all to Him. Positioning my life to receive of His goodness.

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38

God isn’t asking us to surrender so He can be some bully grabbing up all that we hold dear. He is asking us to position ourselves in such a way that He can pour out more blessing than we can begin to imagine. Our Father longs to be good to us. But it requires out trust.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Prov. 3:5,6

How have your hands been positioned lately? In surrender to Him? Trusting His plans for you, trusting His heart towards you? Or closed tight, fighting for control, surrendering to fear, blocking His blessings?

Who knows – maybe it’s time for you to write on your hand, too.

Love and prayers,



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