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Use Your Hands for the Good of Others and Yourself

APRIL 10, 2023
Christine Petersen is the 2019 Iowa Mother of the Year®

“Today as we think about mothers speaking I want you to look at your hands and ponder the uses of them.  Consider the times you have spoken with your hands and heart by helping your child with a 4- H project, moving into their first home away from home or maybe providing a comforting hug to someone who has suffered a loss or just needs someone to lean on.  I have a magnet on my refrigerator at home that says – “God has given us 2 hands – one to help ourselves and one to help others”. 

For us to be able to do either one of these things we must first listen with our ears and with our hearts.  A major part of communication is that of listening.  If we don’t hear how can we provide compassion and guidance.  There are many people all over the world as well as in our own backyard that are crying for help. Take time to listen to all the ages.   Do we hear them?  Be willing to share your life experiences as a mother, father, co-worker or friend-you are a powerful example for them.  Help them consider all the pros and cons of the situation and learn that there is always a solution to the problem and thus there is always a Plan B. 

We must not judge others by what we see and we must recognize that we all have different challenges and abilities.  Walk a mile in that other person’s shoes before you make a decision about them.  Also don’t let other people judge you and tell you that you are not a good mother, father or person.  Stand up for yourself but use it as a wake-up call and do a self-evaluation – are you the person that you want to be or ought to be?

If you are that mother, father, child or lost sheep that needs help ask for it.  It takes all of us to raise a child and all of us to help and support each other.  As we use our two hands to help each other we are also helping ourselves.  We must all “be the good” and set the example for the world to see.  Our own children, no matter what their age, are always watching.  As well as other children and adults. 

My challenge to you is to look at your hands every day and think how you can use them for the good of others and for yourself.  Because God speaks through us we have the ability and we can  and will make a difference in the world.  We all need to remember what our mothers taught us and let our actions with our hands and hearts – as well as voices – speak for all to hear.”

Christine was born and raised in southwest Iowa-attending the Logan-Magnolia School system. She grew up on a livestock/grain farm and learned the value of hard work and caring for animals and land. She had one older brother. She received a degree in Agriculture Business from NWMSU. Her career, and raising of her children, has taught her compassion for all. She learned a lot about communication-both talking and listening and the need for sharing of our thoughts and opinions. She feels that it is important to share our life experiences, whether it is mothering skills, budgeting or just our day to day life challenges. By doing this she senses that we give support and encouragement and as we improve others’ lives it affects ours as well. She tries to live this motto every day and instill it in her family, friends and all she comes into contact with.