About My Logo

In order to be Hands Free, you must first let go. The story behind the hands/heart photo you see on my blog beautifully illustrates the extraordinary results of letting go of perfection and control.

Here is the story of how that photo came to be…

-Those are my hands forming the misshapen heart. Unlike the way I have lived most of my life, I did not prepare a detailed plan about how I was going to pose my hands for this photo. But as you might have guessed, my hands were supposed to resemble a perfectly shaped heart.

Before I became Hands Free, I would have had to re-do this photo until the heart was perfectly formed.  But seeing it through my new Hands Free perspective, this misshapen heart demonstrates the true meaning of Hands Free. Letting go of perfection gives you the ability grasp, experience, see, and feel what really matters in life like joy, connection, grace, forgiveness, and personal growth. And the end result? Why of course, it is love; loving yourself and the people around you without restraint.

-Those are my daughters’ hands covering my own. The girls were tired at the time and ready to go home. There were more than a few “Why do we have to do this?” questions and “Are we done now?” moans. But two short months later, my seven-year-old-asks, “Can we read your blog, today, Mama?” And the four-year-old regularly makes a heart shape with her hands when we drive in the car. I especially treasure the day she lifted her heart shaped little hands and called out, “My hands can make something beautiful, Mama!” Oh yes, sweet girl, oh yes, they can.  If my daughter’s revelation is the only thing comes from this Hands Free journey, I will be fulfilled.

-The photo was taken by my husband, Scott…not by a professional photographer. My husband knows nothing about perspective, backlighting, diffraction, or contrast, and neither do I (hence the reason I just Googled “basic photography terms”). But the way the sunlight illuminates the clean lines of our hands in contrast to the tattered brown bark of the tree, I would have thought my husband has been taking photography classes on the sly.

-The idea for my title, Hands Free, was discovered within a pile of over fifty sheets of paper filled with jagged manuscript written by a woman who dreams best when she processes life while running on a treadmill.

I had written these words for some reason off to the side of a detailed story idea, but months later, I couldn’t quite remember why. On the day I searched for a title, the words seemed to be written in glowing letters just waiting for me to find them.  In that moment, Hands Free Mama came to life…in so many ways.

-The title and tag line merged with my image through the talents of a man I have never met. Although his computer skills are completely mind boggling, I have learned that his skills as a father and as a husband are even more astonishing. Simply as an act of kindness, this man graciously used his own valuable time and skill to create this beautiful logo for me. I speak of angels on this journey. He is mine.

So now you have the unplanned, yet incredible, story behind the creation of my Hands Free Mama logo.  And there is a term for what happened here.

It is what I call perfect imperfection.

The reason the elements of my logo fit together so beautifully, so complementary is because they were not planned.  They were not thought out in a twenty-step flow chart or Venn diagram the way I have lived my life for far too long.

For once in my life, I allowed something to develop on its own.

For once in my life, I surrendered control.

For once in my life, I simply let go.

I went Hands Free. And the fact that it turned out so extraordinarily confirms that life should be lived this way.

Just imagine if you let all areas of life just BE instead of trying to create the end result that you want or that you imagine.

You will often hear me say that I am simply the messenger on this Hands Free journey. And it is by the grace of God that I have a message to give.

Today, and for all the days to follow, my message is this: perfect imperfection is a beautiful sight to behold. In fact, it can change the way you look at life….if you simply let it.

Comments

  1. 1

    Jane Cochran says

    When I was 9 years old, my 11 year old brother was hit and killed by a car. I heard my parents say, “I wish we had done this and done that. When I had children and a husband, whatever they asked me to do, I said, “Yes.” Thinking, they may not be here tomorrow.
    But greater than my love for them is our LORD’s love for us. He wants to spend time with us every day. That’s why He created us. May we always begin our day by reading His personal letters to us in His Holy Word and praising Him for His unconditional love and that He is always with us for everything we need. The Lord cares for this widow every day.

  2. 4

    kee says

    Found your website just in time today. It’s spring sports season in our house and the pressure for everyone is overwhelming. The fun of simply enjoying the beautiful weather and gratitude for healthy and strong bodies that can play has been sucked up by the intensity, driven world of organized sports. Reading your “six words” page was a Godsend and helped me to remember what really “matters” about my life. I immediately told my son how I loved to see him play baseball, how beautiful and strong he is on the ball field and to just have fun with it. I felt relieved and got clarity again not just about this, but also the “funk” I’ve been feeling about all the pressures of my life (self-created for the most part) that is sucking the joy and love from my heart. Thank you for helping me to see all that “matters” to me in my life and know how to share that with others. I look forward to following your contributions. An open hand really is the best way to receive God’s message.

    • 5

      says

      Hello Kee. Thank you for this beautiful message to start my day. I had goosebumps when I read the words you said to your son. I am so glad this message came to you at the right moment. I think you will find inspiration here for what you are seeking. Next week’s post in right on target with letting go of the distractions that are “sucking the joy and love” from one’s heart (as you so accurately stated). I am so glad you have joined the “Hands Free” journey. I love the company!

  3. 6

    says

    Found your blog post on facebook through a different blog. I found it while my daughter had her head on my lap drinking her bedtime bottle. As I started to read, I threw my phone away as I realised I was actually “doing it”. Now I have returned post her going to bed with cuddles and stories and I am definately making a vow to spend more time hands free.
    Thank you for opening my eyes a bit more.

  4. 7

    says

    I did pretty much what Amanda (above) did : stopped reading your post mid post, so I could go be with my 12yo, and came back to it later :) And now I’m here, after reading your latest blogpost, and then a late-night impassioned speech to my husband about how we need to get off our screens to role model it to our kids, I have come to say Thank You. I just returned from the centre of Australia, a sacred place (to the indigenous people, but I felt it too) called Uluru (Ayers Rock), and while there, I wrote a poem called ‘Distractions’, as I realised that out there, in the outback, there weren’t any. No distractions : no Facebook, computers, TV. And I got my kids back :) I have had my own blogpost half-written in my head for the past few weeks, and read various things that have helped me form new ideas…and yours is the icing on the cake. No. More. Distractions. My kids already thank you xx

  5. 8

    Jackie Frazier says

    Found your blog through Becky Higgins on Facebook. What a blessing to my family! Thank you for putting into words the very issue that if gone unchecked could mean the difference between missing their childhood or being a part of it. Thank you for helping me “plug back into the kids”! Profound wisdom:)

  6. 9

    Michelle says

    I’m so glad I found your blog before it was too late. Thank you for creating this – you are an inspiration and I look forward to the hands free life before I miss anymore of it.

  7. 10

    Christina says

    Busy, perfect, controlling, tired Mom that will read your blog and cry daily until I’m caught up!

  8. 12

    Zanni arnot says

    This is just beautiful, and what a perfect philosophy to live by. When I was at school, I spent a year creating a large painting which was about this very thing. Applying it to motherhood is so suitable. Thank you. I can’t wait to read more from you. Zannix

  9. 14

    Zanni arnot says

    I’m not much an artist anymore unfortunately. But the painting I did at school was all about process. I poured ink onto the canvas and allowed it to do it’s own thing. Then worked into it. It was about harmony and perfect imperfection. I think your blog has given me inspiration for my next post. So thank you!

    • 15

      says

      “Pefect imperfection” is one of my favorite terms, Zanni. I am intrigued by your painting and how it was created … allowing the ink to “do its own thing” is quite freeing and inspiring. On this journey, I have found that when I “let go” and allow things to simply BE (rather than trying to control the outcome) is when the most meaningful experiences occur. (BTW, you might enjoy the story behind my logo. It is called, “Perfect Imperfection.” http://www.handsfreemama.com/2011/01/06/perfect-imperfection/)

      I feel enlightened by this exchanged with you, and I am grateful you chose to share this part of your life with me. When you do write your next post, please send me the link. I would be honored to read it. Have a wonderful weekend!

  10. 16

    Zanni arnot says

    Wonderful Rachel! Thank you, and I too am honoured by stairs exchange. I will send you the link when I have written the post… Zannix

  11. 17

    says

    This “perfectly imperfect” is how we take our yearly xmas picture! Whatever the kiddos are into — that day, that season in their lives — whatever Brian and I are wearing that day, so be it. It’s in the pic. Last year that meant my son was in his make-shift “knight” uniform, and my daughter in an outfit that surely didn’t match. This year — a nine year old neighbor took our picture. Two sisters were helping us put up lights on our little trees. I happened to have my camera and was taking pictures of everyone. I asked our nine year old friend to snap one of us – just how we were, on the little kid slide. And…that’s us for 2012. Love to you and the perfectly imperfect art-making of everyday life! Blessings, Lisa

    • 18

      says

      I LOVE THIS!!! A 9 year old friend took your Christmas photo as your family strung lights — no posing, no coordinated outfits, no fake smiles (can you tell I’ve done that far too long?). If that is not perfectly imperfectly beautiful — I don’t know what is!!! I think I could learn a thing or two from you, my friend. You inspire me!!!

  12. 19

    Melissa says

    I just returned home from a prayer service held to honor the life of little miss Emilie Parker. Her life on this earth ended during the tragic events last Friday in CT. She and her family lived in our neighborhood for a short time. I am reminded, once again, to make each day count with those I love the most. My oldest daughter just turned 13 and while this delights me, it also reminds me that the time that I have with my children living in my home is growing short… I stumbled upon your blog (though certainly my hands must have been guided) and it tugged at my already tender heartstrings tonight. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I see myself in your words and how desperately I want and need to be a “Hands free mama” myself. I thank you… A thousand thank you’s. My journey begins now.

    • 20

      says

      Dear Melissa,

      I am blessed by your message tonight. You are a link to the precious families I have cried for and prayed for constantly over the past few days. I cannot fathom the pain and heart-ache you experienced tonight and will know in the days ahead. I am honored that you found some solace here and am grateful to know you will be joining me on this journey. I am committed now more than ever to pour my love into every hello, every goodbye, and every moment that I am blessed by the presence of my children. And because of your message tonight, I am encouraged to keep sharing my journey so that others can grasp these precious moments and not have any regrets when looking back.

      Melissa, if you learn of anything that I can do for any of the families, please let me know. I am blessed with the ability to find words when others can’t, so if there is anything I can write, know that I would be honored.

      I am so grateful you reached out tonight.

      Rachel

  13. 21

    says

    Hi Rachel,
    Just a quick note to say I’ve been following your blog for a couple months now. It has inspired me in so many ways. Having children was not something I dreamed of – my career was the most important thing to me. I now have a 3-year old and a 6 month-old. They changed me in so many unexpected ways. Ways spoken of by other mothers but I never bothered to listen. After much prayer, I made a decision to take a break from my career to devote time to my kids. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. Your writing on this blog played a part in my decision. You have such a talent for words. I’d like to say thank you for that!

    • 22

      says

      Wow, Dianne. This means SO much to me! I am grateful you shared this very uplifting news. I can read the happiness in your words. What a blessing to feel good about the decision you made for your life and your children. I am so honored to share in that joy.

  14. 23

    says

    Rachel, this blog is so well written and touching! It has inspired me make sure every day I am being the best mom to my little boys, as I possibly can be! Can I please link this post to my website? I am hoping to touch many moms with your post. My website is a family resource of things to do in St. Louis, MO. It promotes and encourages moms and dads to get out in the community with their children and engage with their kids and make memories! http://www.todointhelou.com Hope you will allow me to share your link. You are inspiring!

  15. 25

    CB says

    I absolutely love your Blog. It is “cutting edge” in it’s understanding that the “old fashioned” ways of interacting are our way forward. I agree with each post I’ve read. I’d love to see you address the other angle to this: my teenagers (14 & 16) are now caught up in texting and it’s hard for me to convince them to put their “smart phones” away! (and yes, I’ve taken them away many times, but not only does that create big resentment but the phones are also useful – the ability to text your teen while they’re out is a great way to know they’re safe and discreetly arrange for pick-up times). Luckily, my kids grew up much as you suggest – we didn’t have gaming systems and they didn’t spend time on the computer. I encouraged them to play (with me, with daddy, with each other, with friends and on their own). It was so worth while, just as you say. But over the last few years our kids’ world has changed drastically: handheld technology – especially texting – is creating a situation that humans have never experienced before. My kids are constantly “connected” with others now. I’ve talked to others moms of teens who say the same thing – their well-meaning kids are up all night texting friends about various life dramas. They text constatnly while we’re driving in the car and even during our conversations. It’s maddening and saddening! They need the Hands Free Revolution just as much as their parents now. This is new and we are pioneers in finding ways to deal with it. I look forward to your thoughts.

  16. 26

    Sandy says

    Rachel, I came across your blog just yesterday. It is a wonderful breath of fresh air to my soul. My heart has been burdened by the distractions of life. It has been my heart’s desire to begin to live in the present and truly enjoy each day with my 3 children and my husband. I am devouring your posts. With God’s help I pray that I can be set free from the perfectionism and control, and that inner critic that control so much of my thoughts and actions. Thanks so much for sharing your life journey here on your blog. Blessings to you…

    • 27

      says

      Sandy, I am so grateful you found me! Please know there is HOPE! I was once incredibly distracted, missing out on so much. But life is different now. And with small changes, letting go of distraction for even a few minutes, you will begin to feel hope, too. Come here anytime you need encouragement! We’ll walk this road to a more loving connected and fulfilling life together.

  17. 28

    Rachel says

    Thankyou for this blog. It is just what I need right now. I have a 7 yr old and 3 yr old and I am struggling in almost all aspects of life right now-especially being a good mother.
    I feel encouraged. I don’t feel as alone. Thankyou for sharing.

  18. 30

    Paola pass says

    Hello, I found your blog on Facebook through a friend from my church. Every single word you write in your blog it feels like its me writing it. I have two beautiful children and they always complain that I’m always on the phone, or iPad and never have time for them, tears are falling down my eyes as I type because they are the most amazing gifts I have and I feel that I a missing out so much of their lives because of so many “distractions”. This had been a God sent message to open my eyes and I vow to let go of distractions to enjoy more time with my babies and be a hands free mama. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Paola

  19. 31

    Diana says

    Hi
    Thanks for such a nice post…I am not a constant yeller but I do at times…made my eyes wet…Thanks…Thanks..

  20. 32

    Sara says

    I love that I found this blog shared on facebook this morning. I am a mother of a nine year old as well, and a step mother to a fourteen year old. I have just finished up my thirteenth year of teaching in a kindergarten classroom, before that I was a pre-k teacher for exceptional needs and at-risk children. I find myself in a constant state of anxiety, and wishful thinking. My heart hurts and aches for more devotion and concentration for the most important parts of my life (my family). My dad died two years ago as of yesterday. This has taken over big parts of my life and left a huge empty hole in my heart. I have gained my 25 pounds this year (kinda like the freshman 20 in college). This summer I really want to take a break from all the other parts in life that causes the stress and obstacles and concentrate on living and loving the most important people in my life. I like your hands free blog, and I feel it came at a great time. I look forward to reading and sharing this summer. Thank you for your writing, ideas, and motivation to let go and live life and to love more.
    Take care,
    Sara

  21. 34

    says

    I found your blog through a Facebook link to the six words – a lovely, profound and important message that I will share with my friends and family. I just wanted to say that when I clicked over to your blog, my first thought upon seeing the photo/logo was that it was an image of a baby’s head crowning at birth. Granted, we just watched the entire first season of Call the Midwife in three nights, so I definitely having birthing babies on my mind, but it also seems appropriate as an implied image – the wonder, the miracle of birth and how the best parenting moments contain some of that awe, that delight in the miracle. Here you are, little one – who are you and what will you do next?

  22. 35

    Kate says

    I just wanted to say hello. My words are inadequate, so I *simply* whisper thank you for your voice and your message. Slowly i have come to a “hands free” place in my life and its such an important message as life demands more as the world gets smaller. I want to run away to the woods with my family and just soak them up forever! Since that is not an option right now, I practice better self control and remember that if all else fades…all I really want is my children and husband’s life to be shared deeply and truly moment by moment. Everything else can wait.

    “Love to me is when you put down that one more thing and say I’ve got something better to do.” (Sara Groves)

    Thank you.
    Kate

    • 36

      says

      I think your words are simply perfect, Kate. This eloquently written hope resonates with me: ” … all I really want is my children and husband’s life to be shared deeply and truly moment by moment. Everything else can wait.” I am grateful to have you share this journey with me!

      Rachel

  23. 37

    Katrina says

    You are most definitely an angel. Your blog found me just as I needed it most. I can’t explain just how much I relate to your beautiful and honest words. Your blog is like a book of wisdom that I am going to share with my own beautiful girls, 11 and 8, so that they will continue on with their journeys with full and happy hearts. I am joining the hands free revolution right this minute. Thank you so much as I know absolutely know that our lives have already changed for the better from reading the handful of posts I have read today. Much love to you and yours. Forever grateful x

  24. 39

    Cindy says

    I “retired” from the work world when my second daughter turned 1. I don’t regret a minute of it. Yes, we scrimped on “things”, but that is what they were “things”. The house wasn’t clean, but we read books and baked cookies. We were a family. When they always wanted to eat out like their friends, we explained that family vacations were more important to use then restaurants. The oldest is in grad school that second daughter is a sophmore in college and my baby girl is a senior in high school.

    I went back to work when the youngest started school. Not to the high stress job I had, but to one that defiantly didn’t pay as much, but let me have the energy to be a mom, when I got home.

    When my husbands cancer became terminal, people would say that we needed to take time to do all those “bucket list” things. I would say that we didn’t need to. We lived out life doing ” the list” and not waiting for a magic time.

  25. 40

    Julie B says

    Great idea! So many mothers struggle with perfection, I think it’s wonderful that you have had this revelation in your life. Have you read a book called “The gifts of imperfection” by Brene Brown? I think you will like it. Enjoy your freedom!

Leave a Reply