Monday, March 5, 2007

Baby Steps

First of all, let me just say it looks like I might join a daytime small group for Mums in our neighborhood after all. With Matt away for meetings in Thailand this past week, the kiddos and I spent several hours on Saturday at Kat’s house. Kat’s husband was working on Saturday as well, and their two daughters are each about 10 months older than Jack and Sophie respectively, so it was a good opportunity for all of us. (Diversions help to fill the weekend hours that are normally spent Doing Something Fun With Daddy.)

The more I’m around Kat, the more I like her. On the surface we don’t seem to have much in common beyond our children, but each time I have a chance to talk with her, I’m really drawn to her heart. One of the things we talked about is the group she goes to on Thursday mornings. The Mums meet at a friend’s house for Bible study while their kids play in the next room. They’re losing their leader in September, and due to things like new babies over the summer for a few of the women, they don’t have anyone within the group who’s able to take on the responsibility. Kat has only been a Christian for about four years. I got to hear her story on Saturday, and one of the things she shared was her desire to learn more about the Bible. “I feel like I’ve got a lot of catching up to do,” she said.

Then on Sunday we had a marvelous sermon (as usual! I love our church so much!) about using our gifts to serve the Body, and the pastor read the verses from 1 Peter below. So now I’m considering joining this Thursday morning group, seeing what they’re about and how they do things and offering to lead the discussions come September. The older/wiser folks may have to carry on talking about current events without me for the time being. We’ll see.

But today’s big news: I did a Brave New Thing! Yes, it's true. After taking Jack to school this afternoon, I went shopping and left Sophie at home (and awake) with someone outside our family. (I know that probably sounds crazy, considering that we live 4,000 miles from either set of grandparents, but Matt and I usually take turns running errands -- it helps that supermarkets are open in England until 11pm -- and only go out together when the kids are already asleep, usually when a family member is visiting. Part of this is because we are new to the area and are still getting to know people -- and yes, okay, part of this is because we are just over-the-top-super-duper-overly-protective parents.)

Normally, Sophie would’ve taken a nap during the time in question, but she’s in the middle of transitioning from two naps a day to one (I think) and had just woken up when Alison arrived. So she wasn’t going to go back down right away. Yet. Still. I. Did It! I gave Alison my mobile number, showed her where I keep the Arnica, made sure she knew where the diapers are and how warm Sophie likes her milk, got Jack’s shoes and coat on and waved good-bye. My baby girl just smiled and waved back! Such an independent little lass already.

So I walked Jack to school and then, in search of paneer, papadums and some fresh cilantro, to the next village over from ours where there are lots of Gujarati and Pakistani shops -- yum! And only once did I mentally run down the list of Alison’s qualifications: she’s been a believer for years and years, serves on the worship team at church and does a million other things for people behind the scenes, works part-time as a teacher for children with special needs (two points there -- not only does she love kids, but she’s already been checked out by the police) and she’s a happy new grandmother. Alison also came for tea a few weeks ago so we could get to know her a bit (and so I could watch her interact with both kids, of course). No red flags, not one.

I'm happy to report that, when Jack and I arrived home three hours later, everything was fine. Jack enjoyed school, Sophie enjoyed Alison (and vice versa) and I enjoyed the fresh air and being on my own. But still, leaving Sophie today was a step of faith for me. Trusting God for the outcome of my actions used to be a lot easier when I was single. My decision to live in Kenya may have seemed risky to my loved ones, for example, but it was pure delight for me, and I felt perfectly safe every minute of those six sacred years. But leaving my daughter in the care of someone else in a place where calling the equivalent of 911 dispatches only a vehicle but no medical professionals trained in emergency procedures? Forget about it.

The world is a much scarier place now that I’m a parent. Fortunately, God is the same today as He’s always been, and He’s been building up an excellent track record (more than faithful!) over the years. He’s still extremely patient with me, and I’m still learning to trust Him more than my situation, more than my feelings, more than anything. One baby step at a time.

* * * * * * *
The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. (1 Peter 4:7-10 NIV)

He brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. (2 Corithians 1:4 The Message)

I used to ask God to help me. Then I asked if I might help Him. I ended up by aking Him to do His work through me. -- James Hudson Taylor


Anonymous said...

Laura, It seems you also will grow and stretch with your children, each step of the way unsure of what will come next, yet trusting in the hands of your parent just as your children trust in yours.
As always I enjoyed reading your blog and will look forward to your next entry. :)
Tea was great! we should do it again some time! :)

Sharon Brumfield said...

I did not realize you had more than one blog. I read your interview over a 5 minutes for moms. I just had mine posted but i could not get the picture to show up.
I love when people share their lives. It is amazing that life and people are the same even though they are a world away. How cool to live in England--a place I have never been.

Sharon Brumfield said...

I just have to let you know that someone in Texas that has a blog called--Cup Of Tea With Me. She has an interview at 5 minutes for moms. Instead of giving her blog site they add an "A" and, here I am. So it is good to meet you. I still enjoyed reading your post. I am glad to know that i have not lost my mind. A Cup Of Tea, lives in England. Cup of Tea With Me, lives in Texas. Maybe ya'll should meet! It just seems like it was meant to be. :)