Playdates with God: The Things We Take for Granted

On Sunday morning I run home from the hospital where I’ve been sleeping beside my son’s bed for three nights. I have to get ready for church—to deliver a message to a congregation because I agreed to weeks ago. I did not know then that we would be here. I did not know then that I’d spend these nights in a stiff-backed recliner—my deep sleep interrupted by pain, IV changes, and worry.
It’s hard to leave him. He’s still in a lot of pain from the surgery and somehow my mamma heart thinks I can absorb some of that hurt by sitting beside him. But his grandmother comes, and her heart is a sponge, and I thank God for her one more time among many this week.
When I get to the house, it is quiet. His father and brother have already left to worship at the home church. I stand in the middle of the kitchen—listen to the emptiness of my home. I go outside and get my watering can. It’s the first thing I do every morning—water the flowers. I watch the water flood over pink and yellow petunias. Baby’s Breath. English ivy. And I wonder how beauty lives on in spite of such neglect.
Lucy Mae is happy to see me but she’s used to strange goings on these past few days—people coming and going…part of her family missing. She jumps up and puts her front paws on my knees—a question in her liquid brown eyes. I take her for a short walk. She’s been neglected too.
And then I sit at the table and read the Psalms. There is time.
There are birds at my feeder. The finches move together—from the Pussy Willow tree to the feeder and back again. They sit on the bending branches of the willow like dainty feathered bulbs and I think of Christmas in July. The morning glory winds in and out of the grasses in the meadow—a strand of festive white bells. My little patch of earth is all dressed up to receive me home.
I walk out to my little garden in bare feet—the morning dew baptizing my soles. My mother-in-law told me she thinks I have some ripe tomatoes. Sure enough, when I peer through the cascade of vine, two plump red globes peer back. I snap them off at the stem and lift them to my nose. I will have such a feast for breakfast.
We take so much for granted, I told Teddy as we welcomed the dark together that first night in the hospital.
He nodded because it’s been his body that he has had to be so aware of during this entire ordeal. And he has been so brave and strong and I see how he has grown through all this pain. At night I slip my hand through the rails on his hospital bed and he puts his on top of mine and we pray. We haven’t done that since he was twelve years old and he asked if he could start tucking himself in at night—told me he could say his own prayers now.
I’ve never known this kind of fear and in the midst of all my praying and reciting scripture and imagining all the worst case scenarios, I prayed for mothers and fathers in Colorado…for parents everywhere with sick children…those who’ve had to say goodbye too soon.

When I walk with him down the halls of that hospital—doctor’s orders—the nurses all stop and look. He’s taller than I now. And that red hair. And freckles. One nurse told me he was the youngest patient she’d ever worked with.

I’m used to them being so old they need a pillow to sit up, she said.
These nurses are right partial to you, I told him. If you play your cards right, you could have anything you want.
I don’t want much,he said.
Me either, I thought. Me either. 
How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us:

The Playdates button:

 

Sharing with L.L. Barkat today also: 

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Comments

  1. says

    Healing and strength to your son….continued peace and strength to your momma’s heart. The tendrils of our heart are stretched as we walk this journey of loving our children. So thankful you know the One who can be all that each of you need.

  2. says

    Oh friend, I missed something here…don’t know the where/when/how of the days you’ve been walking through. But I know the toll it takes on a mama’s heart when her children are hurting. Pausing now to pray for healing and strength. Love to you.

  3. says

    Oh, Laura. My mama heart aches with you. And I know. My friend, I know. It’s amazing what we see of Him when all that we think is important is stripped away.

    Praying for you and Teddy.

  4. says

    Laura, I am praying for you and your boy. You were an amazing testimony to me when you took the time to sit and read God’s Word in the midst of getting ready. And the peace only He brings flows out from you – I hear it. Hugs,
    Michelle

  5. says

    Goodness, Laura!!! How did I miss that your son was in the hospital? Sometimes I think I must live with my head in the sand. Praying right now for his healing, and your healing (we are bruised right along with our children, aren’t we?).

    And yet, what a beautiful post. Much love to you, Laura.

    (I smiled when I read about how you thought of Christmas in July. I have a “Christmas in July” post in drafts after I’d taken photos of a cardinal last week.)

  6. says

    There’s nothing like having a child in the hospital to worry a mother’s heart. Feeling helpless, yet wanting to make things better. So thankful for His word which strengthens and upholds us during those times. May He bless your family and bring healing your son needs.

  7. says

    Covering you and your family with prayers this morning. so sorry you had such a difficult hurting week. You wrote a powerful witness about how you fed your spirit to get you through this time: scriptures, nature, walking the dog. Wow. simple but powerful role modeling here. Thank you for the inspiration and being open in your sharing

  8. says

    Reading these words, I feel like those petunias – refreshment spilled out all over me. Even in the middle of such worry and pain, you give me space to breathe. You minister, Laura. In all things. Thank you.

  9. says

    Reading these words, I feel like those petunias – refreshment spilled out all over me. Even in the middle of such worry and pain, you give me space to breathe. You minister, Laura. In all things. Thank you.

  10. says

    I’ll certainly pray for you and your son, Laura. So glad you are able to be with him even when life gets a bit crazy. I’m certain you don’t take things for granted and this is a good reminder to me not to either. Thanks for sharing about the intimate dealings of your life with such tenderness. Hugs to you!

  11. says

    Oh friend. That last line. I don’t want much. It puts priorities all in perspective. How I know this. And how I know those dark hospital nights that come in the midst of other plans. We can’t plan for them. Just lean into them. Praying for you and Teddy. Love to you.

  12. says

    Look at how many of us don’t know what happened, yet still offer prayers and praise. Whatever your walk is, you are not alone.

    We are loving you and your family to His lap and back.

    Blessings.

  13. Grammy says

    So glad to see Teddy walk into your kitchen this morning as his brother and Lucy May greeted him. The worst is over and I hope the complete healing comes quickly.

  14. says

    Laura,
    I pray healing mercies over your son, and blessings over your family in Jesus’ name. I am so honored to have found your blog through BeholdingGlory.com. I walked through the quiet house with you, remembering the one and only time our son was hospitalized. We take so much for granted, but it seems clear that you have never forgotten that you are not alone.
    Peace and good to you. I will be back to enjoy more.

  15. says

    Praying for your son who wants little- oh, what an amazing peek into his beautiful heart. My mama heart aches with you and awes over your gratitude even in this hard space. Blessings, dear friend.

  16. says

    Dear friend, please know I’m praying for your precious son and for all of you. Praying for grace for each moment and the sweet aroma of His presence right there with you. I’m so sorry.

  17. says

    Oh, what a heartache! Your boy has been on my healing prayers list ever since you first posted that he would need surgery. I didn’t realize it was now, though. God knew.

    (Now I’m gladder than ever that your Lucy Mae won the giveaway. It’s just been ordered today.)

    Peace to you, dear Laura. Peace and the healing touch of Christ to Teddy. And yes, peace to all the families who lost loved ones in Colorado, all with sick children, all who have said good-bye too soon, as you say.

  18. says

    Laura, I too missed that your son was in the hospital. I’m praying for all of you now.

    I love how well you expressed the mixture of parental concern and peaceful trust in Our Heavenly Father!

    Blessings to you and yours!

  19. says

    I am so sorry that your son has been in the hospital. It is such a helpless feeling to see our children hurting and not being able to help them. So thankful that you have the peace of God to guide you through this crooked time.

    Megan @ wwwsunshinethroughthewindows.blogspot.com

  20. says

    I particularly like the red-headed boy. Sorry to hear he’s been down…gladder than glad he has you as mom. Praying for his quick recovery and for all of you who love him best and most.

  21. says

    Oh Laura, I had no idea! Praying for you, your son, and entire family. Still such beauty in the sharing. I see God watering you in the way you took the can to your flowers, though never neglecting at all, of course. Much Love.

  22. says

    Oo, my, yes, the things we take for granted. I was walking those hospital halls with you, could feel the hands held in prayer, as if it were my son… My heart goes out to you, and my prayers to the Father.

  23. says

    As a parent, I understand the vulnerability of those moments when we see our precious children suffer. My prayers join so many others, as you help your son push through his pain.

  24. says

    How fragil we are like the flowers you water with your sprinkling can. What a difference a day makes. I pray for a speedy recovery for your son. May he gain strength each day in body and in spirit.

  25. says

    We know your pain. We almost lost our daughter many years ago, but God gave her back to us. Also same with my wife, when her appendix broke and she was in ICU 10 days. This too shall pass and joy will return!

  26. says

    I love your words about watering your flowers, the morningglories, walking your dog, praying with your son… Poignant piece!

  27. says

    What a blessing to catch a glimpse of your quiet moment, in the midst of everything going on around you.

    So glad he’s recovering, at home now.

    How DID the preaching go??

  28. says

    I am so sorry my computer mishap means that I missed this opportunity to be in prayer for you and your family. Praying now that recovery is smooth and steady, that peace settles like a balm over your home. Been there with my own boy, not for surgery – but long nights in uncomfortable spots waiting for healing, for test results. That’s been many years now, and today he is the doctor, offering comfort and skill. We don’t know – we can’t know – what waits for us with each sunrise. We can only know that we’re never alone in any of it, the good, the bad and the painful. Love to you, Laura. Love.

  29. says

    I am so sorry my computer mishap means that I missed this opportunity to be in prayer for you and your family. Praying now that recovery is smooth and steady, that peace settles like a balm over your home. Been there with my own boy, not for surgery – but long nights in uncomfortable spots waiting for healing, for test results. That’s been many years now, and today he is the doctor, offering comfort and skill. We don’t know – we can’t know – what waits for us with each sunrise. We can only know that we’re never alone in any of it, the good, the bad and the painful. Love to you, Laura. Love.

  30. says

    Just learned of this trial you and your family are facing. You have provided me with such peace and clarity from your insights and observations and of your connection with God, Know my prayers are with you you all. Nombre De Dios.

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