Thursday, August 18, 2011

the prodigal's father

dear emily,

hans was sharing with me his perspective of the prodigal son.  it
was moving to understand the love the father demonstrated by
allowing his son to leave and then squander the fortune he had
worked a lifetime to share with him.

i guess, to a certain extent, every parent has to do that.  we birth
these precious babies, nurture them, and teach them everything
that is important to us.

then they decide what is important to them.

sometimes it feels like they are trampling on our hearts, but usually
it is just their stomping around the corral, hoping to jump the fence
and run their own race.

letting them go is an act of love as surely as rocking them to sleep
was.  believing that they are in the "palm of His hand," is an act
of faith.  rejoicing in the meantime is proof of my faith.


"though the fig tree does not bud and
there are no grapes on the vines,

though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,

though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,

yet i will rejoice in the Lord,
i will be joyful in God my Savior."
habakkuk 3: 17-18

ps.  this is a repost from this time last year.


Sonja said...


I am so happy to be the first comment on this one! You said that so beautifully... it's all there! Our love as parents, His love as OUR father, and all the love, trust and rejoicing as we trust! LOVED this sweet friend!! :)

myletterstoemily said...


i'm happy you're the first, too. i
thought of your wonderful advice
while writing.


Debbie said...

Although I'm not a mom, I am an aunt who loves her nieces and nephews. Trusting them to the Lord is what is needed. But in our humanness, it can be easy to try to control. I love the story of the prodigal son. I was once a prodigal and am so thankful the Lord was patient with me.

Blessings and love,

Single and Sane said...

I didn't so much wander from God as it was more like turning my back, but He patiently waited for me to turn around and see His face again. Hans is right. The patience that God showed me is truly the demonstration of a parent's love.

I have friends who are convinced the rebellious (heart-trampling) stage that their children went through is God's way of making it easier to let their children leave the nest. I suspect there might be something to that. ;-)


myletterstoemily said...

dear debbie and margaret:

hearing that from two very Godly
women gives me even more hope
for the prodigals out there.

thank you so much for sharing
your stories.


Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Yes this is wonderful and so true...having four that have flown the nest I still have to remind myself of this truth and I still have two more to go.
Thanks so much for sharing a true word in due season

Sandy said...

I went through many years
as a teen then a young
adult being very rebellious.
I thank God for patient and
understanding parents who
loved me unconditionally and
a heavenly Father who did
the same.

Farm Girl said...

Thanks Lea, That is one of my favorite verses and has always ministered to me deeply. I think that everything you say is so true and letting go is far harder than giving birth. I think harder still is keeping my mouth shut and knowing when to open it. I have always wanted to be that kind of parent as the prodigal father was to his son. One who ran to meet him while he was far off. It makes me cry whenever I read it.
This is sweet and touches me. Thanks again,
Lovely Lea

I Love Pretty Little Things said...

This post really touched my heart. We have a prodigal and it is hard. We have a good relationship with him, but we would love for him to change his course. But, as you said so beautifully, he is finding his own way, not ours.
Thanks for the reminder that they are not trampling on us, but stomping around trying to jump that fence. Perfect analogy!


shari @ little blue deer said...

Oh, how sweet! I couldn't agree more. Also, I am delighted that you liked the photos I posted today, I know the feeling, when you find the perfect picture that encompasses the feeling you are looking for! If I find any more that are similar to these, I will send them your way! XX!

Jenny Schouten Short said...

Very wisely put. I am still having trouble letting go of my five adult children though I live 5,000 miles from them.


carissa @ lowercase letters said...

it will be a hard thing to let go and watch them "spread their wings" one day. but, all the more reminder to "let go and let God" because ultimately they belong to him in the 1st place. i'm so glad, too!

Joan Elizabeth said...

What a beautiful verse and wonderfully matching images you have chosen for your wise words today.

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Wonderful post! it is so easy to want to "lead, direct...push" our children in the direction that we see would work-not wanting them to get into a situation that we may have "know" what is best... and you are so seems when our children ignore our "suggestions", we may take it personally. But ultimately, it is a matter of letting go and letting God...and just be supportive and in prayer.

Blessings & Aloha!
Thank you also for stopping by and for your kind comment. & I love your daughter's video :o)

Octamom said...


Love reading these--so beautiful! I was so thrilled to 'see' you over at my place! Thank you for your encouragement! I'm excited to read through more of these letters to Emily--just gorgeous!


Hands to Work, Hearts to God said...

Oh yes, he had an unselfish love alright, the same kind of love our Father in heaven has for us. In the same way that the prodigal's father allowed himself to be insulted (because it was as if the son wished him dead asking for his inheritance!), our Father sent His beloved Son who represented Him here on earth to be insulted and vilified, and everything possible worse thing by man! The same way the Father gave dignity to the prodigal son by giving him a ring and a garment, etc, Jesus gave us a wonderful dignity by being one with us, so we could be part of his family once again, reconciled with our Father! I love this story too! Patsy from

Anonymous said...

I just had a similar conversation with Hubby yesterday about how difficult it is to let go. My children are now 35, 33, and 27 - busy, grown adults - and I miss them very much.

I find comfort in asking God to keep a close eye on them and help them along their way - and yet, that is exactly what He has been doing all along for each and every one of us. So comforting knowing this!

koralee said...

So beautiful my friend...your words are amazing..thank you for this today..I must remember these words as my daughters fly away. xoxoxo

vivek said...

HI Lea,

How are you ? a while since I visited your space...Nicely written..
You are truly blessed with the analytical skill to understand the very essence of life... and its trivial aura.

Loved how much you backs everyone with your lovely words :)

thanks for sharing

take care
keep smiling :)

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

I have three adult children. Two of them have been prodigals. One has returned, the other is still out there, but I see signs of hope. Waiting is the most difficult part for me as a prodigal's mother.

Anonymous said...

Amen sister. Through it all we will declare the goodness of the Lord and rejoice in God our Savior. I stand with you. A

Jenners said...

Well said. And I know that as a parent you can only do so much and then you have to let them be who they are going to be.

And I have to tell you that I was AMAZINGLY jealous to hear that you got to sit next to Michael Chabon at a fundraiser!!!

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

I love the story, too. As a parent, it surely rings some bells within me. As for myself--I identify with both brothers. Part of me would like to be that carefree, foolish prodigal. But part of me identifies with the elder brother who could not understand the "reward" the father seemed to give--the fatted calf--at the return of the prodigal. Just like the Lord to give us so much food for thought in one story. C

Jenny said...

This was a beautiful post and written so well!

Anita said...

Well I was definitely a prodigal, and I think that is why I am so in love with God now. I truly have experienced what grace and mercy have done in my life. Thanks for the post:-)

Julie Harward said...

What true thoughts...parenthood is quite the ride isn't it?! :D

~*~ saskia ~*~ said...

Wonderful words, Lea. Your pretty pictures making me daydream of the vacation. From today on my children are back to school.
Wishing you a lovely new week and a happy Monday! xx

Lisa said...


Thanks for stopping my blog and your sweet comments. And I love the name of your blog too since Emily is my daughter's name. What a beautiful post and reminder that they don't stay young and dependent forever. Mine still have a little ways to go before they're out on their own. I try not to think about that time.

I'm following your wonderful blog now. Would love it if you'd follow me too. :)
Lisa xoxo

Sandra said...

Lea, I'm not a parent but have been one of those who trampled my Mom and Daddy's heart. Thankfully, the choose to forgive me just as God, the Father, forgave me.
Wonderful post, well written.

Lori R. said...

I absolutely love your blog. And I love how you put scripture with your words. Re: the prodigal's father; I always have said God blessed me with two beautiful children and those two children were actually HIS; I was just given the honor of raising them for HIM.
Thanks for your words today....

Deborah Ann said...

Isn't it funny how people judge you when your kids are misbehaving? Even Billy Graham had to endure those painful growing years with Franklin. I have learned to just relax when my kids act up. There's nothing I can say or do, other than to approach the trial on my knees...

Cheri Bunch said...

Well said! We must view our prodigals in the proper perspective ... trusting the Lord all the while! Enjoyed this post!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I've been the prodigal. How hard it must have been for my parents. Thankfully, I found my way home, but not before eating a lot of pig squalor. God's grace has been very kind and good toward me through it all.

I love much because I have been forgiven much. May God grant me the grace to release my kids to their adulthood, come what may.


Girl Meets Paris said...

I needed to hear this again. As you know, my son moved to L.A. recently. It's about as far away as one can get from FL! I'm not sure he is ready... naive, trusting, and not walking with the Lord like he has in the past.
Thanks for the reminder that letting go was the right thing. Most moms I know now days cling, and keep such financial and emotional ties to their boys, there's no way they will ever leave home. Why leave home when you can come and go as you please, have your laundry done, and your bills paid... and I'm talking about boys (men) that have graduated college!!!!
YES, I did the hard thing... I let go... I even encouraged him to chase his dreams... and son IS in the master's hands! PTL

Anonymous said...

This is such a great post, Lea. Our William, aka ankle biter, is in Kosovo. He's been there since March 16th. He's doing great! We talk on skype occasionally, but I let him go all the time knowing He loves him more than me!
Some great comments. I will need to let #4 kid go next year...

myletterstoemily said...

lucia: kosovo is a little farther than i
could let go. you guys are amazing

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Well my return and I have to beat the door down to say hello!!!
Hugs....been missing you.

This was just a little too close to home for me to comment too much...great post.

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

so HAPPY to see you at farmhouse kitchen this morning, my friend

you have been missed

have a wonderful late summer weekend

always a pleasure to visit here with you...

sending love,
kary and teddy

Sonja said...

Hi Lea:

I'm so glad I saw this. I remember this post, I loved it then and I still do. You have a true gift of cutting through 'stuff' and getting a wonderful bunch of wisdom into a few words.

You've been missed! Your refreshing take on things is always such a treat. :)


My Grama's Soul said...

Our children are a gift from God.....Our job is to give them wings so hey can fly......beautiful written dear friend.



My Grama's Soul said...

Our children are a gift from God.....Our job is to give them wings so hey can fly......beautiful written dear friend.



Darcie said...

I must have missed this post from last year, ,or if I didn't, I need to read it with fresh eyes again this year! Thank you for reposting this, because I needed it...TODAY.

Together We Save said...

Oh I loved this post.... some how I have been missing out on your blog.

June said...

What a lovely read this many feelings were stirred up when I read this. It has been the most blessed thing watching my children jump the fence and make their choices in life, but at the same time, it has been the most painful too. But how else shall they learn, but to stumble along the way?
Your photos are beautiful!
sending hugs...

Southern Lady said...

Beautiful post! Perfect to read after almost a week without our first born who is in college. I know that she has to go... thankfully she is in the palm of His hand. Carla

Thistle Cove Farm said...

I can't remember the O.T. verse but it says our names are tattooed on God's hand...marvelous!