"But Samuel ministered before the Lord, a child girded with a linen ephod. Moreover, his mother made him a little robe and brought it to him from year to year when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice."
I Samuel 2: 18-19, Amplified Bible
5 Lessons on Motherhood From the Life of Hannah
"You Don't Just Say, ‘I love you'—You Show It, Too!"
"Love needs to be proved by action."
St. Therese of Lisieux
Do I show my love to others?
In what ways do I express to someone that they are loved?
"Love demands expression. It will not stay still, stay silent, be good, be modest, be seen and not heard, no. It will break out in tongues of praise, the high note that smashes the glass and spills the liquid."
"Love cannot survive if you just give it scraps of yourself, scraps of your time, scraps of your thoughts."
I think many of us have special little souvenirs we've collected since childhood. It may be a toy or some piece of clothing. Possibly it's something which has been passed down from generation to generation.
But if you were a child growing up without family ties, those "things" that serve as connectors to different times in your life, may be missing.
Having a stable, family-oriented childhood, I couldn't relate to the disjointed lives of children who never had any roots. One day, many years ago, I was working with an organization that gave temporary housing to children whose lives had been torn apart by drug abuse or violence in their homes. There was a precious young boy whom one of the counselors introduced me to. After I met the child, I was told that one day he was asked about his life with his parents. The counselor shared with me how she asked this little eight-year-old boy if he had any memento's he wanted to show her. Out from under his bed his little hands pulled a shoebox. He lifted off the lid and inside the box were little pieces of string and papers that this young boy had collected. He began to tell the counselor exactly where each item had come from and why he had chosen to keep these special things. What touched the counselor was that all the trinkets which meant so much to this child, appeared like worthless junk to her. However, to someone who had never had anything to connect him to others in this world, each one of those items was a treasured keepsake.
Meeting this child helped me to understand better my own father's background for he, too, was orphaned and left without those "ties that bind." As my dad matured into adulthood, he had little that connected him to his childhood years. This is why, I found out later, the few old broken down toys he had managed to salvage from his boyhood were to him such special treasures. But, it was a sweater his foster mom, Mom Pohle as she was called, had made my dad that became one of his lifetime keepsakes. I'll never forget my dad giving a talk about growing up alone and forgotten, and then holding up that knitted sweater, so lovingly made by some of the only hands that, during his young years, touched him in love.
Thinking about my father and how my grandmother, who was "Mom Pohle" to over twenty foster kids, treated each one of those children with such affection and tenderness helps me recognize the gift Hannah shared with her precious child every year.
In our text for today the Bible says that year after year, Hannah came to Shiloh where her heaven-sent son was serving God and she brought him "a little robe." This tells me that sometime Hannah had to get Samuel's measurements and then put together a new garment for her child. Hannah didn't just tell Samuel she loved him, she showed him she loved him, too! This is the second lesson we can learn from the life of Hannah. It's not enough to just say the words, "I love you." We need to back up our words with actions, repeatedly! Hannah didn't tell Samuel she loved him once in a while and then let her words suffice. Instead, every year, Samuel knew he could count on his loving mother to bring him a gift crafted by her hands and shared from a loving heart. It was this giving love that surrounded Samuel all his life. Even in those dark nights when he was young and alone. As author Andre Lorde so eloquently penned, "The night was dark and love was a burning fence about my house." This was the love Hannah encompassed Samuel with.
"What do I ask for myself, Father?
Give me confidence in my own ability;
Load me down with good, plain, old-fashioned common sense;
Let me get my priorities straight - may I never be a servant to my house!
I run it, not the reverse.
It is important that I find time to play with my children.
Help me to be patient, calm and understanding, even when I
feel like blowing my top;
Tap me on my shoulder and remind me that these feelings will
soon pass away, but my words may never be forgotten.
It is strange how my children reflect my moods right back at me;
If I am irritable, or happy, so are they.
I feel that it is mostly up to me to set the tone of our home.
Help me not to be self-centered.
My needs can generally wait until the children are not so dependent on me;
This time with them while they are so young is very precious;
It will not last long, but out of it will come many beautiful
memories to treasure in the future.
There is so much for which I could ask, to help me to be
a good wife and mother.
But there is one thing I desire above all: that you will show
me how to love.
Then I believe all other things will follow."
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $10.00.
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