In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

I want a legacy like Hannah's....

There are few things in life that I undoubtedly know.  One of those things is that motherhood changed me, and it changed me for the better. 

Motherhood makes me second-guess everything I've ever known about raising children.  Makes me question if I'm doing or saying the right thing.  Makes me wonder what impact my choices will have on my children.

Motherhood makes the love I feel for my children greater than the anger I feel when they make poor choices.  It is a love that is unconditional.  It is a selfless love.

Motherhood brings me to my knees when I feel overwhelmed and need grace to get me through my day.

And motherhood brings me to my knees again when I feel overwhelmed with gratitude and can't help but thank God for each day He has given me with my three precious gifts.  These three little ones He has given to me to love and raise up.  What a gift!  And yet, what a responsibility!

Yes, without a doubt, motherhood has changed me.

Some might say that motherhood is their purpose in life.  Perhaps it is.  Or perhaps it is just our purpose for a particular season in life.  This past week, my mind has wondered from what my purpose in motherhood is, to what my legacy in motherhood will be.

I think that both my purpose in motherhood and my legacy in motherhood are intertwined, but this morning, I want to focus on the latter, as it has been on my mind quite a bit this week with a study I've been doing on the book of 1 Samuel. 

If you've grown up in the church, then chapter one of 1 Samuel is oh-so-familiar.  Hannah’s story is one where her desire to become a mother was so great that she found herself heartbroken, desperately pleading with God for a child.  I can relate.  Perhaps that's why I love Hannah's story so much.  My eyes still get teary-eyed every time I read verse 27 of chapter one.

God answered Hannah's prayer, and Hannah was faithful to give the child back to God after he was weaned.  Hannah’s legacy has lived on for thousands of years. She is known for being a faithful mother of prayer, and the mother of a great man of God.  She is the mother of Samuel!  What a legacy she has!

But then in the next few chapters, there is a less familiar story.   Another parent will have a legacy too.  In this case it will be a father.  His name is Eli.  His legacy looks nothing like Hannah’s legacy.  He was a priest, the same priest who found Hannah praying in the temple in chapter one. Unlike Hannah, who is known for being the mother of a righteous man in Israel’s history, Eli is known for being the parent of two vile young men who disgraced the holiness of God. 

I have no idea what kind of a parent Eli was.  He may have been a great dad.  The Bible doesn’t say.  What the Bible does tell us is that Eli was aware of what his sons were doing, but nowhere does the passage read that Eli addressed these issues with his sons.  In fact, the story reads that Eli enjoyed some of the physical benefits of his sons' wrongdoing.  As a result, God took His blessings off of Eli and his family.  His sons were killed in a great battle that Israel thought they would win.  Not only did Israel lose the battle, their enemy took Israel's prized possession, their holy grail if you will, the Ark of the Covenant.   When Eli heard the news, the passage reads that he fell over dead. 

realize that I can not make life decisions for my children, as we have all been given free-will.  What the future holds for my children is still unknown and will be determined by the choices they make along the way. No matter what my children's lives look like over the next 20-30 years, I hope I leave a legacy for them that can someday be described as: a faithful mother of prayer who loved her children with her whole heart, but loved God more.  That’s what I think of when I think of Hannah. 

Eli and Hannah both left behind a legacy of their parenthood, as will all of us who have been given the gift of raising children. I hope I have a legacy like Hannah's.  How about you?

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