Archive for the ‘Love and Letting Go’ Category

I once asked my mom why she always put dad first in the family.  Her response helped me revise the way I loved my child.  She said, “I always knew the day would come when you would leave, but I wanted to have a relationship with your dad that lasted beyond that.”  What wisdom!  And they had such a marriage—54 years before the Lord called my dad home.

Keeping your priorities right and your relationship with your spouse and with your children in balance can be challenging.  Even Hannah faced that challenge.  When she couldn’t have children, her husband, Elkanah, asked, “Why aren’t you eating? Why be so sad just because you have no children? You have me—isn’t that better than having ten sons?” (I Samuel 1:8)  Elkanah sought assurance that Hannah respected his character more than just his potential to provide heirs.

Marriages face struggles from many directions when it comes to parenting—after all, what will be curfew, how will we discipline, when is dating allowed, what are the rules about chores and school work….on and on, the decisions are daily and numerous and many involve a letting go of parental control.

But, as we look at loving our children this week, it is easy to get so caught up in the role of being a mom that we forget the more essential role of being a model to them.  We daily model being a partner in marriage or in the case of divorce in how we co-parent with their other parent.  “Elkanah and Hannah returned home to Ramah without Samuel.” (I Samuel 2:11)  As a mom it is all too easy to place our children and their interests as a higher priority than God, our spouse or even time for ourselves.

There is a day, there is a time when we must make the choice as to the relationship and the priority our children will have in our lives.  It isn’t an easy choice and only through surrendering those emotions and our child and his future to the Lord can we make certain that the focus God wants for our time and energy is aligned correctly.

Lord, help me today to know the proper alignment of the priorities You have for my life and to keep them in balance.  I need you to be the organizer of my time and my energy.  Prompt me to keep You as my number one priority and to balance all of the other demands on my time with Your priorities.  Amen

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So far this week,  Hannah has shown us how to “let go” of our children through prayer, confidence in God’s Word, and laying healthy foundations for them.  She now leads us to the role praise can play as we release our children to their next steps.

“My heart rejoices in the Lord…” ( Oh, how the Lord has blessed me!)  “For all the earth is the Lord’s, and He has set the world in order.  He will protect his godly one’s,  but the wicked will perish in darkness.  No one will succeed by strength alone.” (I Samuel 2:1, 8-9)

Hannah’s song of praise in I Samuel 2 was a prayer she offered in worship because the Lord had heard her heart and answered her dream to have a child.  This song of praise was offered as she left her young child at the Temple knowing that she would not see him again for a year.

Clearly this was not without pain.  Her husband noted, “…may the Lord help you keep your promise.” (I Samuel 1:23).

Have you had to say goodbye to your child? Perhaps through the tragedy of an illness or an accident—rest assured your child (no matter the age, your baby) is in the arms of Jesus.  Perhaps it was much less permanent in that you left them at a college dorm or said goodbye at a joyful occasion such as a wedding knowing they are starting on the next passage of their life.  Maybe the distance isn’t physical but emotional because of choices made.  Nonetheless, if like me you found it hard to sing a song of praise at that moment, be encouraged by Hannah and her husband’s prayer—the Lord will help you keep your promise of entrusting your child’s care into His hands.

Practically speaking, releasing my child was only possible with prayer and the friendship of other women who have traveled that same journey.  Find solace and comfort in friendship with Jesus and by finding women who will empathize but also encourage you to praise the Lord in all circumstances. His plans are for our good and for a future filled with hope and purpose for each of us.

Lord God, a song of praise doesn’t come easy today because my heart is hurting.  My child has made some choices that have caused a rift in our relationship—it feels like I have had to say goodbye.  But, You Lord are there.  Remain with this child through this season and bring her fully back to yourself.  I will trust You.  I will praise You.  I will wait on You Lord.  I will remain confident because I know You hold the future for all of us.  I love You, Lord.  Amen

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This week, Hannah from Scripture has pointed us towards healthy ways we can appropriately “let go” of our children through prayer and confidence in God’s Word.  Today her example highlights the importance of making the most of our time with our kids.

In Hebrew the name Samuel means “asked of God” or “heard by God.” (I Samuel 1:20), which is why Hannah gave her son that name.  She kept Samuel with her until he was weaned.  Only then did she take him to the Temple and gave him back to the Lord saying, “…he will belong to the Lord his whole life.”  (I Samuel 1:27).

Whether Samuel was two or three at the time of dedication and surrender, it is clear that Hannah had several years with her small child.  Like any mom there were hours of walking the floor, rocking and holding her baby.  During those hours she poured into Samuel’s life God’s teachings along with her love.

She gave him the foundation he needed to not only to grow taller physically, but also to “continue to gain favor with the Lord and with the people.”  (I Samuel 2:26).

When a house has a solid foundation, it can withstand the storms of life.  So it is with our children.  Even Samuel faced storms with Eli’s sons and on many other occasions, but because of the solid foundation Hannah had given him, he was able to remain steadfast in His dedication to the Lord God.

“The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against the house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” (Jesus refers to Himself as the Rock in Matthew 7:25.)

Thank you, Lord, for the moms and dads who provide a solid foundation of faith for their children, but there are so many times I don’t feel like I did or am doing that adequately.  Father God, there are so many times when we mess up as parents and feel we have failed in the preparation of our children—especially when we watch them exercise poor judgment.  But just as you have extended grace to us, help to remind me today that Your Grace is sufficient and will guide them through the storms back to the solid foundation of Your Love and Mercy.  Amen.

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This week we are talking about Love and Letting Go in our relationship with our children.  Hannah from Scripture is providing us with a great pattern to follow.  Yesterday we saw how her own relationship with God and prayer was key to successfully “letting go and letting God.”  Today we see another key…choosing confidence.

When Hannah cried out to the Lord for the blessing of a child (I Samuel 1:12), she received assurance from the priest that her prayer had been heard and her request would be granted.  Her confidence in the God of Israel was so certain that she could walk in faith even though she had no evidence.  Is it easy for you to refuse to doubt and walk in faith when you have a word from another person?  It isn’t always easy for me to keep the doubts away.  But Hannah had spent so much time with the Lord through the years that her heart was confident that the word spoken could be believed.

We also can have confidence in God’s Word to us.  Psalm 139 offers us the assurance that the Lord God knows our child from even in the womb and He knows the future hopes, dreams we have for our child.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb….All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:13 and 16)

But His plans are greater (Jeremiah 29:11) than we can even ask or imagine (Eph 3:20).  As a parent, we can be confident that our child is in the palm of His hand.

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?  Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.  Behold I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…”  (Isaiah 49:16)

Like Hannah (I Samuel 1:18) we can choose to be content and walk in trust even without the evidence.  Contentment is a choice—a choice that comes with confidence in the One who holds the future for us and our children.

Hold me so close Lord that I feel Your arms helping me release my anxieties and concerns for today and for tomorrow, for me and for my family.  Amen.

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Sunday we were introduced to Hannah (I Samuel 1-2), and the author noted that Hannah was a woman who “let go and let God” when it came to releasing and trusting God with her child.  But, she was also a woman who didn’t let go—that is she didn’t let go of her dream and she didn’t let go of God.

Hannah cried out in “deep anguish” as year after year she was reduced to tears over her desire to be a mother.  Did it take years of painful waiting for Hannah to finally relinquish her dream so fully to the Lord that she could promise God if He answered her prayer she would give this child back to Him to serve Him?  I can only speculate, but I know the cry of the anguished heart.  After 6 miscarriages and being bedridden for two months, being told the baby I carried was dead several times, I can identify with that anguish.  Now, 32 years later I still never take for granted the miracle of birth of a healthy baby girl—a baby I too dedicated to the Lord and promised she was His.

Yet, through the passages of life—when she started her first day of school, when she went off to her first long trip as a teen and ended up in the hospital a thousand miles away, when she went off to college…marriage—each of those passages became occasions when I had to remember to let go.

The only way I could do so was by following Hannah’s example and turning to prayer.  I too have come to understand not letting go of my Heavenly Father’s Hand as I journey this path as a mom.

Perhaps you are facing some of those challenges—allow us to pray for you today—leave a comment and you and your children will be lifted in prayer.  We are all sojourning together as women and we need each other’s support and encouragement.

Oh, Lord God, I no longer hold my daughter’s hand to cross the street, but I still feel her heartbeat close to mine.  Please Lord, take her hand and don’t let go.  Keep her close today—watch over and protect her because I can’t.  I trust her with You.  Amen

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