There’s a tool box at our house that gets a fair amount of use. There’s always a broken toy, batteries to install and things to be assembled around here. Along with all the typical tools, the box contains an industrial staple gun, duct tape, some bungee cords and a couple of kinds of glues . And by the way…that tool box….it’s pink. And it’s very important to me and this household.
Today is Mother’s Day. And I always find myself taking a look at my Mothering abilities on this day. The thing about mothering is that the results aren’t so instant. It’s not like I can see that something is broken, pull out my tool box and hammer or tape and glue it back together and then look at my successful handy work. Often, the results of mothering aren’t seen until a lot longer down the road. Like maybe when the kids are teenagers or young adults or actually OUT of the house or raising their own kids.
When kids are little and loud and into everything, parenting is exhausting. But the parenting is a little simpler then. Love them and be kind, take care of basic needs and they love you right back in big buckets full. When they start to get a little older it doesn’t take long to realize that as parents we could really screw this up in a major, major, major way. We can easily move from exhausted to terrified. What tools do we have in our parenting tool box that we can use to help our kids become good adults who can then raise kids of their own?
I was recently looking at some scriptures and saw this scary trend. I saw good men who became the fathers of bad sons. Particularly King David and The High Priest Eli. We won’t debate why that is so, but we have all seen good parents try to raise good kids only to have the kids make bad choices. It happens. Adult kids are adults….not kids. And they will do what they will do. Free will.
I have 5 kids. There may be a broken heart in my future. When my kids are adults I will have no control over them, their coming and goings, and they will be free to make their own choices. BUT I won’t resign myself to ever being finished in my role as mom. That doesn’t mean I can pull out my tools and tinker and meddle and try to fix everything the kids do. It means that I have a power tool in my box that I won’t ignore. Prayer.
As mom to the Posties I have a two-pronged life’s work. My kids and my prayers. And they go hand in hand. Prayer is the most important thing I can do for my kids. Ever. When they are beyond my reach, they won’t be beyond the reach of my prayers. When they are facing darkness, my prayers can usher in light. When they forget who they are, prayer will remind them of truth. If they run away from God, my prayers will chase them down.
Eli, the High Priest had some sons that were scoundrels. But he also raised a little boy in the temple that was not his son. This boy grew into the man who became the great prophet Samuel and the last judge of Israel, who delivered the word of God to all the land. I’m wondering why Eli’s sons turned out so bad and Samuel turned out so good. After all, his Momma (Hannah) dropped him off at the temple when he was a boy and left him there.
I’m going to speculate a little here because we don’t hear much of Hannah after she takes Samuel to the temple. But since we know that Hannah prayed for a son for years and then made a promise to God that if He would give her a son she would give him to the Lord for his whole life (I Samuel 1) and that she ACTUALLY kept her promise to God (I Samuel 2) then we can assume that Hannah was a godly woman all her days. And I think she had 2 power tools in her tool box that made all the difference for Samuel, even when she couldn’t be where he was or fix his daily issues or make his world perfect (The time of the Judges was a dark part of the history of Israel).
Her power tools were:
1 – She was a praying woman. If she prayed for years to have a child and then kept her promise to give Him to God, then without a doubt that woman continually prayed like crazy for her son.
2 – She released him to God. She trusted God to care for him and provide. She believed that God was big enough to be enough for her boy.
I’ll be the first to admit it….I like when kids are little. They love you know matter what. You’re their hero and they still think you know a few things. My youngest are still there. But my other kids are getting older and as we are trying to navigate the teenage years with grace, I hope I can be like Hannah. Believing that God is big enough. Being ok with not being able to fix everything. Praying like crazy instead of worrying. Resting in God’s power and not relying on my own power to control things that I simply can’t change.
When you have the right tools you can build a structure or make a repair much easier and with better results. And when you have the right tools building a life can be far more successful, especially when the power tools belong to the Master Carpenter.