#72: On Borrowing Kids

#72: On Borrowing Kids

Several years ago, someone at church asked me if I babysat, and I quickly answered “No!” explaining that after being with kids all week at work, combined with working with them at church, I simply needed a break on Friday and Saturday nights. After the words came out of my mouth, internally I wondered if I shouldn’t have given a different answer. I wondered if I was missing out on a potential opportunity to minister to her family and to receive some healing in my childless heart.

Since that time I have had some chances to reverse that decision and for the most part, I’ve chosen the babysitting option. Only, I don’t think of it as babysitting, per se, I think of it as “an opportunity to play with some awesome kids.”

A few summers ago, some other friends had the opportunity to spend the weekend away and they asked me to stay with their kids, and this time I said “Yes!” With the added help from one of the teenagers at church, we had a blast playing with the kids. Don’t get me wrong, it was also a big responsibility and hard work, but it was worth it to get to be a temporary “mom” to these sweet kids and to be able to minister to my friends.

Psalm 68:6 says “God puts the lonely in families”. I just love this idea and need to take advantage of it more in my life. The form these “families” takes isn’t always traditional and it sometimes takes some effort to recognize them. Sadly, I’m not always willing to make the effort because it may cost something of me. I may have to take some initiative; I may have to give up some of my time and freedom; I may have to admit that this was not my first choice for my life. I’ve learned though, that when I do recognize them and choose to participate in them, the blessings abound.

I am thankful that my church does a great job of taking in the singles and making them feel a part of the church family. I’m so thankful for the individual families who have adopted me at different times, inviting me into their homes, taking me to lunch or dinner, etc. I’m also thankful for the families with children who have let me participate in their families.

A couple years ago, a group of church families with kids went camping over spring break and they invited me to go. One family even let me share their camper. Me of about 10-15 years ago may not have gone, claiming that it would have been too sad to be with all those families with kids and that it would have made me feel too “single”. Thankfully the slightly more mature me said “Yes, please!” this time. I had a fantastic time playing with the kids and with my friends. What precious memories we made!

Yesterday I spent the day being a “nanny” to the two precious girls of one of my friends. We spent the day at the pool, playing, eating, laughing, and hanging out. It was a blast! I would have missed out if I had said something like “I don’t want to give up my free time,” or “it will just remind me of the kids I don’t have.”

So I encourage all you singles out there to take some time to “borrow” your friends’ kids and invest in them. To those of you in more traditional families, I encourage you to “adopt” some of the singles in your lives. Let them into your families and discover the blessings this can provide for all!

Amy- Bradley Hand

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