Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as if working for the Lord, not for men. Colossians 3:23
I have been a babysitter for quite a bit. I did some nights and weekends during high school for a couple of awesome families from church and also nannied during 3 summers in high school and before college. I have loved these experiences as they have really taught me so much.
BUT, all that said, I really did not want to babysit this summer. I came home knowing that I needed a job, but also knowing I really would rather do anything but babysit? I really wanted a change of pace.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD. Isaiah 55:8
I quickly learned the the Lord’s ways are not my own. Through a series of circumstances I interviewed for and accepted a job with a family that lives near me. So much for NOT babysitting.
At first my attitude was very sour. Sure I was excited about a source of income to fund some trips this summer and all but I really was not happy about babysitting AGAIN. It wasn’t until a couple of Sundays ago that I realized that God’s ways are better and that His plan extends to everything, even babysitting. I was sitting in church listening to a sermon on Biblical Motherhood by our College Pastor when it hit me. God has placed me where I am for a reason. He gave me this job and He wants me to use it for His glory! The sermon as about the calling of motherhood and the importance we should place on this role and how even doing dishes and housework is extremely pleasing and glorifying to God. I realized that while I am not a mother yet or will not be anytime soon God could be using this time to teach me some lessons about glorifying Him in what I deem small things and also to prepare me to one day become a mom.
After that church service I began to look at my job in a different light. I realized that I needed to take my concerns to the Lord and really see how He would have me use this opportunity. It would be neat to say that after that I had all of these great revelations and learned everything about being a super babysitter, but yeah that did not happen. What did happen was a shift in my thinking and perspective. I began to think of ways that I could spice up my job and give God the glory.
As I pondered on this topic the Lord really began to show me some very practical ways to bless Him in my job. This list is not exhaustive and could definetely be added to. I also have not mastered these by any means but am learning and trying to put them into practice more and more each day.
1) Begin Each Day in Prayer – I have to pick my charge/kiddo up from preschool so as I drive there I now take that time to pray. I pray for the day, that we would be safe and that we would have fun. I also use this time to pray for my kiddo, that she would one day come to know Christ and that my actions would show Jesus to her.
2) Plan, Plan, Plan – Nothing is worse that 6-8 hours of sitting around watching the kiddo play while I constantly watch the clock. I learned this lesson when I nannied for 3 summers in high school. Planning is so important. While some people see babysitting as a “posh” job I look at is a very important job. If you really think about it babysitters have a high calling – we take care of the minds that will one day power our country and world. So now I plan activities and lots of them. Yesterday we did a scavenger hunt around the house and then the kiddo made one for me to do. We also played with play-doh, rode bikes, and took a walk to my house to play with my dog and read some of my books. This may not seem a lot but to the kiddo it sure is. It’s always better to plan too much and then run out of time then to sit around wondering what to do.
3) Take Advantage of Resources – You may not know it but most communities have so many free and cheap activites for kids. Where I live we have tons of museums that have activites and events geared just to kids. There are also many parks with playgrounds, lakes with ducks to feed, and even free kids movies at a couple of theatres. How do you find all of this stuff? Google it, talk to moms from church, look for flyers at the local library. Oh the library. Libraries are a great place to go with kids. Most have story time for young children and ours has a great little reading area where the kiddo and I can sit and read books for a long time.
4) Network – Get to know other babysitters or moms of the kiddos friends. Playdates are a great thing – it gives the kids a chance to get some social interaction and have fun and you get a chance for some grown up conversation.