Monday, April 16, 2012

Thoughts on Godly Motherhood

I Samuel 1:28 
"Therefore I have lent him to the LORD. As long as he lives, he is lent to the LORD."

I recently read in my devotions the account of Hannah in I Samuel.  The brief glimpse into her life has always fascinated me, but this most recent read through particularly held my attention.  It may be because I'm in a different stage of life.  I'm a mother now, with only a few more weeks left before I can meet my little girl.  I can understand and relate to Hannnah's desire for a child like I never could before.  Or, it may be the new desire I have to grow in a different area of my Christian walk - Godly motherhood.  To me, Hannah is a beautiful example of a woman, wife, and mother who loved God fully and completely.
I have been meditating on the first two chapters of I Samuel quite a bit over the past week.  Disclaimer: I am no theological scholar and am just beginning to study this out for myself, but here are some thoughts that have rebuked and encouraged me in my desire to be a Godly mother to my little girl.

1.  Hannah's earnest prayers to God for a son reflect a deep devotion to God and not selfish motivation.  Any person looking in on Hannah's family life would consider Hannah completely justified to be angry about being barren.  After all, her husband had taken another wife who had borne many children.  Apparently that was a major source of contention in the household.  Hannah could have easily prayed for a child so that Peninnah would stop taunting her.  In essence she would be saying, "God, give me what I want so that my life will be easier."  We have no evidence of that kind of heart attitude in Scripture though.  What we see in v. 11 is a prayer for a son with a promise to "give him unto the Lord all the days of His life."  From what I understand so far, this promise Hannah makes seems to be saying, "God, I give him over to you, I entrust and designate his life to you."  Without knowing if God would ever answer her request, she made her devotion to the Lord evident by dedicating her son to His plan, His work, and His service. 
2.  Hannah's life demonstrates her continued faithfulness to God.  By giving her son the name Samuel, Hannah is proclaiming God's work in answering her prayers.  (I Samuel 1:20)  Hannah also fulfilled the promise she made to the Lord before Samuel was ever born.  When he was weaned, she returned with Samuel to the house of the Lord to offer him up to the Lord's service for the rest of his life.  (vv. 24-26)  To me, this is an example of how Hannah's faithfulness to God overshadowed any selfish desires she had to be a mother to this little boy.  It seems that she recognized the gift that had been given her and only knew of one way to respond in thankfulness to God for that gift, by giving it back to Him.  In verses 27-28 Hannah states, "For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him: Therefore I have lent him to the LORD. As long as he lives, he is lent to the LORD."
3.  Hannah's heart radiates her unwavering love for God.  Immediately after giving up her son to the Lord's service, essentially relinquishing any control she had over his life as his mother, Hannah prays a prayer of praise to God.  (I Samuel 2)  In this praise song, she extols many of the Lord's attributes while recognizing the smallness and sinfulness of men in comparison to the greatness of God.  It seems to me that such an outpouring of praise could only come from someone who had an intimate relationship with God, someone who knew and deeply loved Him.

Application for my life:  This is pure conjecture on my part, but I am sure that Hannah shared this story with Samuel many times in the few short years she had with him.  She may have even reiterated it on every trip they made to the house of the Lord after that.  From what little we see of Hannah's life in Scripture, I do not doubt that Samuel knew his mother loved God with her whole heart.  I'm sure he also knew that it was her earnest desire for him to cultivate that same love and desire to serve God with his life. 
What about me?  Do I demonstrate these same spiritual characteristics in my life now?  A deep devotion, a steadfast faithfulness, and an unwavering love for God.  Are these qualities evident to my husband now?  Will my daughter see them daily lived out?  Will I faithfully teach them to her?  Will she understand that my earnest prayer for her is that she know the Lord as her Savior and desire to serve and love Him wholeheartedly all the days of her life?
The Lord has blessed me with a precious gift.  I choose now, in thankfulness, to give her back - to dedicate her life to His plan, His work, and His service.  I choose now to actively pursue a close, personal relationship with God that is consistently demonstrated by my deep devotion, steadfast faithfulness, and unwavering love for God. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Munchkin Update: 28 weeks

A lot has happened since my last Munchkin update!
She has been growing.  I have one very active child, and 11:00 PM seems to be her favorite time to work on her karate moves.  Not very conducive to a sleeping mommy!  But, I do love all those bumps and kicks.  It is so awesome to think about the work God is doing in creating our daughter.  I can't wait to meet her: to see what she looks like and what her personality is.  I'm very much in love with this girl already!
I have been growing.  Here are some baby bump progression pics for your enjoyment!
20 weeks
22 weeks
24 weeks
27 weeks
I can't believe I already thought I was huge at 20 weeks!  And, I still have 11 1/2 weeks to go.  How much bigger does a person get?

We've also started working on Munchkin's Dr. Suess nursery over the past few weeks.  We had a traumatic experience with paint color.  The color we picked for our "Robin's Egg Blue" walls turned out to be more of a "Neon Blue."  Thankfully, Lester called me up to check on the color before he had painted too much.  We both hated it.  Now we have three test samples of blue up on the walls that we have checked multiple times, trying to decide which we like best.  I think we've finally come to a decision!

Deciding to go with a Dr. Seuss theme made it difficult to find crib bedding and accessories that we liked, fit the design scheme we chose for the room, or could afford.  So, with my mom as my patient teacher and assistant, I am sewing the crib skirt and bumper myself.  Here's a sneek peak of the fabric.  I'm very excited to see how it comes together in the room!

My favorite part of the room, so far, is the wall art.  I saw a picture on Pinterest of a child's playroom with giant posters of Dr. Suess books hanging on the wall.  I loved the idea and started scouring the internet for something smaller and more affordable that we could incorporate into the nursery.  A week or so later, one of my friends came up to me at church and told me that she had found a teacher's bulletin board set containing cut-outs of Dr. Seuss book covers and wondered if I would be interested.  How neat to see how God provided exactly what I was looking for at a price we could definitely afford!  That was my most recent project - framing the cut-outs to make them into fun artwork for Munchkin.  Here's a pic of one of them.  You'll have to wait and see the rest when the room is done!

I'm really excited to see how this room comes together.  I hope Munchkin likes it as much as we do!