Dear Son: Here’s what Daddy is really building when he uses his hands

We stood in the barn the other day and daddy was building handcrafted tables for a friend’s living room. With each stroke of the brush, you watched his hands moving back and forth. 

“That smells so good!” you exclaimed as he varnished the wood. Soon enough, you asked for the brush.

You see, daddy uses his hands to provide for our family so you can have your chocolate milk, extra cheesy goldfish, spaghetti and meatballs, trains, clothes, and a warm room to sleep in every night. He works hard to give you a full life.

Often, his labor results in bruises and cuts and you run to the house and grab the Star Wars bandages. After a long day, sometimes daddy goes to bed shortly after you. He knows that the good things you get to enjoy don’t magically fall from the sky.  

When daddy’s out in the barn, he’s using his gifts and making our town a better place. He’s providing a side table for a mama to set her coffee mug down while she kicks up her worn feet in the chair. He’s creating a farm table for gatherings so people can draw closer to one another and connect. He’s making shelves to help someone’s life become less chaotic and more organized. He’s providing a rustic entryway piece to rest a picture frame on that keeps a loved one’s memory alive.

Daddy places your little hands above his when using the mitre saw and lets you measure the different boards and pieces. He finds joy knowing one day you’ll have the necessary training and tools to help your future family and make a difference in your sphere of influence. Above all, he loves teaching you about Jesus and helping you grow.

He’s helping build bridges in the lives of others- not barriers. And one day, son, I believe you’ll do the same. No matter what kind of work you choose to do, my prayer is you’ll be a man who leaves the world better than you found it, who’ll use your gifts to be a builder. 

Build relationships within the family God gives you. Build in a way that’ll help others find rest, connect more deeply, and treasure the relationships in their lives.

I love you so much,


Samantha Krieger is a pastor’s wife and mom to 4. She is the author of Quiet Time: A 30-day Devotional Retreat for Moms in the Trenches. Her writing has appeared on The Today Show, Her View from Home, Cafe Mom, and Love What Matters. You can follow her work on Instagram and Facebook.

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