Like a Child

I try to make much opportunity to spend time with children whom I love and whose parents I adore. I enjoy telling parents to go on dates so I can hang out with their kids. I don't feel quite so bad when it comes to the days when I call my friends (aka the mom) in a state of panic for (my lack-of) relationship advice and other general life advice.

One of my favourite aspects of babysitting is the absolute lack of facade. As a recovering "fear of man" girl, authenticity is not always that authentic for me. 

I too often find myself wondering what others think in regards to whatever I'm doing.

With kids, this thought process is removed.

My roommate and I were babysitting for one family a few months ago. I had to leave the room as we were putting the girls to sleep because I couldn't stop giggling. I was letting myself be fun and young - my roommate happily stepped up and made them sleep. 

With some of my favourite girls, we made a fort. It was big and epic. I wasn't thinking about what they thought about me. I was thinking about what memories they would have of childhood and a big fort seemed like a great idea. We sat on the kitchen floor reading the Bible and then they crawled into the fort to sleep. It was beautiful. 

Recently while babysitting, I was wresting with the kids. My glasses were off (similar to gloves off right? Not at all? Ok.), and we were fighting. It was so fun. I had this thought: I wonder what I look like? Then I realized - that thought is useless and stupid and basically just sinful. I was able to (repent of that sin and then) rest in the truth that my worth is not in what others think of me but of who I am in Christ. I could fill up those kids love tanks by letting the 3 year old run and jump on me from across the room and the 1 year old just crawl all over. I loved it.

Those same two kids consistently just point me to Jesus.

I babysat a couple weeks ago and both were restless fall-asleepers. After an hour of his restless wanders out of his bedroom (for a drink, for a pee, for a hug, for a new-tuck-in, etc.), he asked me to come sleep. For some minutes, I laid beside him, rubbing his back, silently praying over his life, somehow offering some sort of comfort which he had been yearning for. Within minutes of me being beside him, he found rest. 

That's grace. Grace for him in that moment was offering him something he desired, yet could not get on his own. Grace handed him sleep.

I'm so similar. I'll keep wandering around, restless and tired yet awake, only finding relief when I finally ask Jesus to come in and bring His holy relief.

As I left his room, I heard his sister crying. Sigh. She'd been in bed for about two hours at this point, and had whined and cried often, fighting sleep. I walked from one bedroom to the other, picked her up, reheated her bottle, and rocked her to sleep. I've told these precious ones mom that she, this sweet babe, always points me to God. Because she makes me be still.

As I rocked her to sleep for the next twenty or so minutes, I prayed over her life. What a blessing to have that honour, to meet with Jesus on her behalf. I put aside "my" prayers and put forward ones for her, just days shy of her first birthday, this wordless angel.

All of the children in my life remind me so many things.

These kids remind me to be authentic.

They remind me to be silly.

They remind me to be still.

They remind me to laugh a lot.

They remind me to ask questions. but why Nadine?

They remind me to play so hard that I'm tired at night

They remind me to wrestle just for fun.

They remind me that my hope, my rest, my comfort, and my joy - all come from Jesus. 

I'm sitting in a coffee shop as I write this. There are two precious little girls, unknown to me, who are having a blast climbing and exploring things. They're conquering the things in front of them.

They've reminded me that in Christ, I am more than a conquer. 

    Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? . . . No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

(Romans 8:35, 37 ESV)