1 Samuel 1:11 “And she made a vow, saying, “O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”
When I read this passage, I am just struck by the heartache of Hannah. She hurt so badly for a baby. She longed so much just to be pregnant. She was in agony, just pure agony.
But you know what shocks me the most is that Hannah was so willing to give him back to God. All she wanted was to be a carrier for Samuel, and then she was willing to give him back to God. 1 Samuel 1:19-28 talks about how Hannah breastfed him and got him fully weaned so that she could give him back to Eli. What a huge sacrifice! What an unbelievable mom!
To just top it off, after she had dropped him off at the temple, she then prays and exclaims:
“My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high.....”
“There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.”
Do you honestly think you could drop your kid off at a temple, and then go prancing out with such a wonderful heart? She was celebrating and exclaiming the wonderful privilege of being a mother. I honestly think I would be a screaming, blubbering mess. I would try to reason with God, try to change His mind. Maybe see if I could have custody of Samuel on the weekends, etc. But Hannah was so incredibly obedient. She promised God that if she could bear a son, she would give Him back.
So this has been on my mind for the last several weeks. You see, we too raise our children to give them back. We keep them in our houses for 18-20 years and then we send them on their way. We place them in God's hands, and hope that everything turns out. But we have it easier than Hannah, we get to keep them much longer than she did.
So what are we doing with the time we have with them?
I truly want to run this “parenting race” so that at the end I can say as Hannah did “My heart rejoices in the Lord!”
So here are a few things I am incorporating into my daily life in order to embrace my wonderful gifts, Mercy and Shep and prepare them for the day where they leave my house:
I am trying my very best to not talk of them as though they are a nuisance. They are a gift, a wonderful gift, that many women would love to have. I try to let them hear me speaking of their strong points to others. I brag, encourage, brag, encourage on repeat right now. They need to see me proud of them.
I am trying to physically show my children how I pray and read my Bible. They hear me talk of it, but I want them to see my actually doing it in front of them. I want them to naturally reach for a Bible when they need answers. I want it to become a part of their daily lives.
I speak of the future often with them. I speak of the huge plans God has for them. I tell them that they will not always have me around, so they need to know how to love Jesus themselves. We talk about good and evil; we talk about sin and pain. I want them to figure out how to call on Jesus without me around.
Do I do this all perfectly? Absolutely not. I am just trying with all my heart to get these little guys ready for a big world. I know that ultimately I will have to throw them back into God's hands just like Hannah did. I know that I can't control their little lives forever. But until then, I will hold onto Jesus and my kids as tight as I possibly can, and we will ride this roller coaster of parenting together.
I hope this encourages your heart today. Don't give up, Sweet Momma! Let's live in a way that we can freely give our children back to God and know that He is going to take sweet, sweet care of them.