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.
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
They remind me to be
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
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)