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#MotherStories: Other People’s Kids

The fuzzy head of my #littlesweetpotatoboy was snuggled on my shoulder, breathing heavy, sound asleep. On the phone was one of my insurance company clients. We were working on a time sensitive case that was going to court soon.

Earlier that day, LittleGuy’s day care had called, he was running a fever and “could you come pick him up?” I checked in with my boss, canceled appointments, packed my briefcase and headed out the door.

Ah.  Sounds like a typical scenario in the life of a working mother right?  But this child, he wasn’t mine.  I was not LittleGuy’s mother.  I was “just” his nannyish-type-kid-sitter person who took care of him and his sister when parents were away.  One year, I even received flowers near Mother’s Day in honor of the role I played in their lives.  God’s good that way, giving us what we need even if He has to get creative. 

 At that time I was hopelessly and mostly happily single, a career woman, content except for the deep desire in my heart to be a parent someday. And here I was, grace upon grace, in love with and loving someone else’s kid.  He wasn’t my first, wouldn’t be the last before I ever became a mother in my own right.  There was my roommate’s son, who felt like mine sometimes, and my (then all)  gorgeous nephews who would run #helterskelter into #CoolAuntT’s arms and spend whole weekends with me so their parents could have a break.  Changing diapers, waking up with little boy breath on my cheek, making mac n cheese, going to the zoo, so many memories with all these littles who I have been so privileged to know and to love (all but one of the original five are parents now themselves!)

And it didn’t end with these littles. This love spilled out led me to one of the most pivotal decisions in my life, to pursue a #ministrycall where doors opened to love on teenagers, and eventually their parents, and others in our various parish assignments.

For many years, my #motherhoodcalling was honored by others when they asked me to be a significant #other in their child’s life. And I am so grateful for it. When God calls us to something, He doesn’t leave us hanging and wondering why He isn’t providing for us.

And lesson learned, you don’t have to have kids to fulfill a nurturing role in the lives of another person, to be important to a kid.   I’m glad I didn’t wait for the day I was a parent to start loving kids as my own.  I’m glad God calls us all to #loveoneanother and then let’s us sort out what that looks like.  

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18

(Pic is of my nephew Ryley and me on the day of my graduation from Seminary, circa 1999)

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