We have been caring for baby Josiah for one month.
He spends 20 hours with us each week, and my children adore him!
Micah and Luke learned how to care for babies and toddlers because they had four younger siblings.
They fed them, bathed them, changed diapers, played with them, read to them, and pushed them around the neighborhood in a stroller. There were countless opportunities to learn the skills needed to take care of children in our home, and Micah and Luke stepped up to the plate willingly and often.
When Josiah, Isaiah, and Ellie started to grow up, I realized they would not have the same opportunity to serve younger siblings or learn the important skills of childcare on a daily basis.
Something had to be done!
I was seriously considering asking friends if we could borrow their babies/toddlers once a week. The parents would get a needed reprieve, and my children would gain hands-on experience. It seemed a perfect match! And yet, how many mothers want to surrender their precious bundles into the hands of five, six, and eight-year-old children? Not as many as you might think.
Just as I was about to give up, the Lord intervened.
He sent me to the beach to meet a friend. A friend who was fostering three small children and needed someone to step up and help bear the heavy load they were carrying at the time. The Lord had already worked in our family to surrender ourselves to orphan care, so when my friend sat on the sand with giant tears rolling down her cheeks, I knew without a doubt that her orphans were the first ones we would serve. And it was one of the BEST things we have ever done for our children. They have sacrificed their time, energy, and personal desires for two years - and they are better because of it.
From the outside looking in it may appear that we are serving them, but the truth is, the benefits we receive because the Guskes trust us with their children are of equal and great value.
And now, here we are, with an opportunity to serve a new family in a unique way.
I knew Josiah, Isaiah, and Ellie would love having a baby in the house, but I was not prepared for their eagerness to serve a baby.
They actually fight over who will feed him, hold him, push the stroller, get him after his nap, sit by him in the van, and get this - change his diaper! As much as the arguing drives me batty, I gleefully give them a string of 10's for ENTHUSIASM! And pray it will not fade.
Once again, I find myself incredibly grateful that a woman trusts our family to look after her precious baby boy. We provide a warm, loving, safe place for her son - and she provides my children with a fantastic opportunity to sacrifice, surrender, and serve.
Thank You, Lord, for faithfully bringing our family together with other families, at just the right time, for just the right purpose, and with equal trust. May we be a family who is quick to serve with willing, passionate, and grateful hearts whenever You bring a need before us.
And may our motivation always be fueled by love.