Happened to me this morning. All of the daycare kids were behaving at once-playing, napping, reading. So I took the time to read an article in a magazine I'd gotten in today's mail. It was about a woman who had 6 children under 5 years old, who wanted desperately to find the time to do things at church, to find some ministry she could participate in. And then she had a revelation, that her kids were her ministry, and it changed her life, and made her happier.
That's when a little voice inside my head whispered, "Remember?" And suddenly I had a flash of memory, back from when we lived in a little 2 bedroom walk-up attic apartment. Me, telling my husband I had to go to the store, handing him the baby, and literally running to the car. Just so I could get a moment to myself. Flash-forward a couple years. He's suggesting to me that I should get my daycare license, "because I'm so good at being a mom." It wasn't the first time he'd suggested it. I didn't listen then, but I did later. Later, when my own children were a little older, and I had the distance to realize that you do actually live through a few years of sleepless nights, puking children, and no money to spend on yourself.
Now, my daycare is part of my ministry. Like raising my own children still is. I get to teach, not just the children, but their parents. Share a little of the tiny bit of wisdom I've gained over the years. When to call the doctor, when to worry. When not to worry, how to get through the rough times. How to feed a family of two for a week on very little money. We share our abundance with our daycare families. Not just physical things, like food, but the abundance of our learning.
Like our children, sometimes they listen, sometimes they don't. Sometimes they have to learn for themselves, the hard way. Not every day is easy. Some days I need a drink to relax as soon as the last child leaves. Other days I spend my evenings catching up on all the things I couldn't get done during the day. But it's always a rewarding job to have, when I can remember to look for the silver lining. But here I still am, doing the same things I've been doing for the last 23 plus years. It's my ministry, and it's good to be reminded of that.