When I was in the hospital at the University of Michigan in May, it was a very different experience than it was this past fall. In May, I was coherent, able to move my body on my own, and have a logical conversation with anyone and everyone that walked in. Truth be told, I’m sure many wondered why I was there, but one look at my heart monitor would prove in 3 seconds the very reason I was there. My heart rate looked like that of a 2 year old attempting to draw a forest of trees.
That week in the hospital offered the opportunity to get to know the various people who came in and out of my little cubby of a hospital room – and most of all, my nurses. I’m sure they were busy, but often I found them taking a seat in the corner, opening up about life. I loved it and it helped pass those long hours.
I can’t remember exactly what brought up this conversation with one particular nurse, but as she took a seat, she started to open up about parenting. Wait, I remember! I asked what life looked like outside of being a nurse for her, and she said that she wasn’t married and did not have any kids. For some reason that came as quite a shock to me, but she went on to say that she has the privilege of being a “mom” to her nieces and nephews. Think “favorite aunt” status!
Well, we were discussing parenting and she said that she feels 3 things are missing when it comes to life with kids in this world:
- Prayer in school
- Wanting to be your kids’ friend
Those three thoughts really had me thinking. She wasn’t a biological mother. But this woman, who was probably well into her 50s, has been a “mom” to a NUMBER of patients who have been wheeled into those hospital rooms. People of all ages. Granted I was maybe of the younger crowd, but a patient with heart issues, just like everyone else. At first it’s easy to dismiss her thoughts because of her singleness and aunt status. But all the more, I think her words hold that much more value. She has the opportunity to look at life from a bird’s eye view, which can be refreshing and offer a whole new way of looking at things.
Right or wrong, I think she has a good point. I think it hits on the very relationships that sin can so easily entangle. I’m not writing this to get into a political or parenting debate on how to raise our children, but those 3 things really had me thinking.
So easily, I just want Mazy to “like” me. She’s my buddy and my sidekick. But what is true love? What does the love of my Father look like? One with loving discipline and one of friendship as well. Two fine lines to be walking, that can only be done and accomplished through PRAYER. Those three things are so interwoven, that I think we take them all for granted.
Prayer in schools is of course a hot topic, but what if we committed to praying more specifically for the children in our lives? For their upbringing? For their parents? For their faith? I fully admit that I forget to pray for Mazy’s salvation on a daily basis. I pray for her to sleep well and to be safe, but do I pray for the very thing that will bring her eternal life? The most life-giving thing that I could pray for? Oye.
A wake-up call. Daily I strive to pray with her, teach her about Jesus and God, and the very God who heals her owies as she often says, but what about that relationship?
In parenting Mazy, discipline, prayer, and being her “friend” to a certain extent are all needed, but I can’t do them without the grace of my God. Discipline and “friend” status – there is a time and place for each, and knowing that time and place are key.
This is why I am so thankful for the various people that God places in my life. He places people, like my nurse that day, in my life to challenge me in my parenting, but also encourage me to keep looking to Him. Who would’ve thought…while laying my hospital bed?
What are your thoughts? What do you think about those 3 suggestions that this nurse had?