I have a good friend who lives down the street. Brooke is a single woman who loves God and the city. Basically, she listens to God and then does what He tells her. It seems to be working for her
One day, through a series of happenstance (that can only be God when you look back at them) she started babysitting for a woman who had recently left an abusive relationship and needed someone to watch her three kids while she waited tables (lets be honest, how great of a shift do you have to have in order to make it worth coming to work after you have paid the sitter?) Brooke was initially torn about babysitting. Who wants to commit your Saturday afternoons? She considered farming out the job to me and my husband, or another couple that lives in the neighborhood. But the Lord spoke into Brooke's heart and she listened.
God told Brooke, you are single and you will never have more time than you do right now. I want you to do this. Can we pause there for a second.... I know that there are some serious struggles to being single. I can't imagine how hard some of it all is and I don't want to be one of those married people who is all "single is FUN single is FREE what the heck are you complaining about!" Single is lonely sometimes, waiting on God is hard, feeling a little like your adult life is in limbo must be kinda weird....like you are pregnant without a due date. I think it is cool that Brooke recognized that God had her in a circumstance purposefully. He wasn't all "Hey, when you are partnered up, then you can do something. Till then, chill out." And God doesn't say to me "You were of use to me when you didn't have all those husband, baby, house strings. But now that you have all those obligations I don't expect you to serve me." He uses the circumstances He put us in in the first place.
Anyway, so Brooke goes to babysit. She sees that this mom, Elizabeth, is doing everything she can, but seriously: not enough hours in a day (Lord, can you do something about that? 26?). She comes back to the small group we host at our house and asks if maybe a group of people can come over to weed wack her backyard. Brooke's heart is burdened for Elizabeth.
Elizabeth starts attending 1027 and bringing her kiddos. She feels loved their. I have the peanut and she finds the time to take her three children grocery shopping and then bring my family dinner. Meanwhile, Christian and I are trying to come up with the perfect childcare plan. We only need someone two days a week, surely, surely we can just trade with one of the part time mom's at the church, right? They have one kid, we have one kid..... then we started praying about it. Three days later Christian and I confered. It went like this "I got a name, did you get a name?" "Yeah, what name did you get? "What name did you get?" "You first." "No you." (We are so mature.) "I got Elizabeth" "Good, me too."
I called her and the conversation went something like this. "Do you want to swap two days a week childcare for two nights a week childcare?" "Yes." "Great."
And now? I hate using the term "babysitter" because that isn't what the relationship feels like to me. Bonus parent maybe, advisor, parenting mentor, really good friend. Bearer of wine and dinner after a parent teacher night from hell. Yeah that too. She adores the peanut, and we adore her kids. Her daughter calls the peanut her sister and makes up stories to the picture books as she holds the book out to show her the pictures.
I was talking to Brooke, about how blessed I feel. About how when I was still in the hospital the Lord put Elizabeth so heavy on my heart I asked Christian if we should change the peanut's name. About how she has blessed my family so incredibly by answering the Lord's call. She told me she felt like the kid with the fish. She brought what she had (three hours on a Saturday) and the Lord has multiplied that beyond her wildest dreams. The Lord has multiplied her gift to meet the needs of the people around her. How cool is that?
And that is my prayer. Lord, help me to hear you. And may you multiply the fish that I bring.