Wednesday, December 30, 2009


It was one of those times. Those wonderful, frustrating babysitting experiences that come just when you think that you really know what you're doing.

Don't get me wrong, I love babysitting, as I've said before. I always have. Many different babysitting adventures have left me feeling drained and stretched, as I've vented to my mother on the way home, but never once have I regretted doing it. Never once have I walked away loving the children that I babysat less. Never once has my tiredness caused me to forget that caring for children is my love and my calling --- the highest calling that I can conceive of.

I think its good for me to be reminded just how much I still have to learn. Just how incompetent I am even in doing the littlest things like taking care of some friend's kids for a few hours, without the grace of the Lord. I need Him to be my teacher. I need Him to give grace and strength and wisdom to me. I need Him to remind me how much my behavior towards Him is often very similar to the behavior of the kids I babysit (including my own little twins).

New Idea:
I know that most of the people (all like, 5 of them) who occasionally read my blog are teenage girls and that you also have many babysitting stories and opportunities. What if we made the personal commitment to pray for grace and wisdom every time before we embark on another babysitting adventure? What if people who we don't even know started thinking to themselves "I want to make sure that we get a Christian girl to babysit our kids tonight. It seems like something different happens when it is one of them"? What if babysitting became, rather than another chance to make money, another part of our mission field? Maybe babysitting would come to have a whole new meaning ---- mentoring.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Waiting Children

You hear these stories and you see the families, thinking that they are really stepping out there. Bringing kids home despite finances, racial difference, fear, special needs, time, distance, prejudice, persecution, and misunderstandings. You think: "They are so brave, wise, good--- they deserve to be praised for handing out such a blessing."

You look at the waiting children-- their faces on the internet-- and you cower at the need, the numbers, the despair. And you applaud those who are braver, holier, than yourself. And you cower.

But then something changes.

You start not just looking, but listening too. Is that laughter? Is that singing? Is that joy pouring out of those very houses where some of those scary, overwhelming, despairing faces now live? It sounds like a home over there. And you start to wonder why those sounds stir you.

Eventually, curiosity gets the better of you, and you jump. You start the paper work, maybe a blog too. You look around, now a part of "that" group, expecting to be patted on the back. You notice something strange: they aren't looking at you or even each other--- they're looking up. Its not the club of really good people that you thought it was. Someone passes you a note saying: "you are about to be blessed".

Confused but undeterred, you complete your dossier. Looking around, not up, because the sun is too bright. You get on a plane to bring her home. The waiting child with the little face in the picture that still makes you nervous.

You arrive. Someone opens the door, tugging a little pink bundle by the hand. The nanny leaves.

Suddenly, something starts to happen. The little face looks up at you, her eyes are sparkling and her legs are running forwards. You realize yours are too. As you embrace and she whispers "I love you, Mama", you break. Weeping, you begin to understand. All this time, you have been the waiting child.