This year, our Summer Sampler theme dovetails with our mentoring endeavors. As you know, by design is dedicated to fostering healthy spiritual mentoring relationships among the generations. As we seek to learn from each other, one concept that comes up frequently is the desire to learn from those before us and pass on our experience to those coming after. In this series, we will learn the hard-won lessons from women who have been walking with the Lord and have some wisdom to share. We hope that you’re blessed and enriched by their stories.
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By Lisa Chronis
I was born in the 1950s after three brothers, and I felt cherished by my mother. She’d tell me the story of how, back then, the babies were taken away and cared for by the nursery staff. She thought she was told she’d had a girl. She told me she didn’t dare ask what sex the baby was, for fear she’d got it wrong. The story goes that she did finally ask and was surprised that she had a “beautiful baby girl.” She always told me that story when we were alone, and it would make us both laugh. It must have been a strong memory for her.
When I was a young woman, I was impressionable as to the world’s idea of fun, happiness, and getting what you want. Turns out, it was not so great. I hurt a few people and lost out on meaningful events in favor of my own plans, with no care or thought that others in the family wanted to see me or that I needed to see them for my own growth and commitment to family ties. I lost touch with many as it was just too difficult.
I wish I’d have known more about children when I was young. I did not like babysitting at all and yearned just to get through the day or evening. We did not have young children in my very rural area to influence my thinking. I can remember being on the high school bus and hearing that abortion was made legal and can recall being surprised by that – but believed if they said so, it must be okay. This was another strike against who children really were. Really, it’s about the meaning and worth of people.
In nursing school, I endured the three-month clinical rotation in pediatrics. Little ones who couldn’t speak for themselves were a real challenge for me – terrified me, actually. I avoided taking care of children whenever I could. Until I had my daughter …
When my daughter was born, I was like a ship adrift. I knew nothing about how to take care of her. By now, there was a rooming-in option at the hospital so that your baby could room with you and not be in the nursery. It seemed to be an opt-out option, not an opt-in. As a nurse, I think it was just natural for the staff to believe I would have my baby with me, and she was simply and logically left alone with her mother at the end of the hall. What’s more, my call bell didn’t work. And additionally, I had just had a C-section and was trying to learn to nurse her on my own … yikes!
Now it was difficult for me to know what to do with this new little child, but my mother and sister stepped in and helped me get the confidence I needed. The breakthrough came when I realized that my daughter had begun responding to me, later following me with her cute little eyes, playing intentionally with her blanket or binky. I was amazed. I’d fallen in love with her, head to toe.
I wish I had known the intelligence and experienced the happy nature and the love of a child and toward a child when I was younger. I think it would have helped me see what sacrificing for a life really means. I have gained more as a mother in my experience and understanding of all people of every age than through anything else in my life. Praise God!
Lisa Chronis was raised in Candia, NH, amongst a rowdy band of brothers and a sweet sister. After graduating from nursing school in 1977, she married and had two daughters, who between them have seven boys!
Lisa enjoyed long-held positions in the fields of kidney disease, diabetes and its management, and cardiology. She has just retired from 45 years of nursing. Being home can be challenging – does one pick from the long list of “someday when,” or simply rest and read a good book? Unless a grandson knocks on the door, then the choice is simple!
Lisa has been a member of Hope in Christ Church in Chichester, NH, for over 20 years. Through this time, the Lord has provided her with the gift of service in various ministries, with her most recent involvement being her passion for women’s ministry.