For the last few weeks, I've been doing some daycare for my s-i-l. It really wasn't all that surprising when she called me last month and asked me to watch her 2 kids due to an (ahem...) freak-out by her regular nanny-type person (her mother).
At the end of May or so, I heard the whisper of the Lord telling me that I'd be watching my niece and nephew for a while. I really didn't pay too much attention to it as I knew m-i-l had them every day. But when sis did call asking if I'd watch the kids, the Holy Spirit reminded me about His whispering earlier. I knew I should have taken it seriously, but He had been preparing me all along. I had said "no" to watching a girlfriends' children at the beginning of summer; we had planned for a busy summer and I just wanted to hang with my kids and watch the clouds roll by. At around that time, I began to hear the Lord whisper to me about my neice and nephew.
When they started coming to our home for day-care, I asked the Lord what His plan was. Their family life, rules, expectations are alot different than ours, so I knew it would be a challenge to mesh our lifestyle with what they were used to. I heard the Lord saying, 'Just show them Jesus and plant the seed'. So I talked to my kids about sharing Jesus with them, showing kindness, forgiveness and God's love. My kids were excited about seeing their cousins more often and having more kids to play with, and they caught on to the plan the Lord had for us to share His love with them. I always do Jesus Time with my kids in the morning whether we're officially doing school or not. We read the Bible, pray, sing, memorize our Scripture verses, etc. So we just added their cousins to the mix. They seemed to know at least the name of Jesus, and we taught them some new songs, much to the begrunttleness of my niece. I could tell she was already not that enthused at the old age of 5(!!!) about learning about the Lord's love for her. My little nephew-almost 3- was ready and happy to listen to stories and new songs.
One day we talked about God's love and how He can fill our hearts every day with His love. His love fills us so we can show love to others, remind us to lean on Him, and keep us on the path He has for us. At prayer time, I asked the kids if they wanted to ask God to fill their own little hearts with His Love. My kids, naturally, jumped right in with me. My neice, however, SCREAMED, "NOOOOOO I DON'T WANT GOD'S LOVE". My heart was shocked and at the same time, not so. My spirit discerned that she wasn't just rebelling against following directions, but that there was a deeper root at work. Not forcing her, but just letting everyone else pray--maybe taking some of the fear of it away--she listened without being distracting. After everyone else--even her little brother--had asked for God to fill them with His love, she said, " I want to pray too." Victory in Jesus sang in my heart! So she did, her little hands folded in her lap and asked Jesus to fill up her heart with love. So precious! From that day on, both of them prayed at Jesus time with us and I think a little of the light of the Father was beginning to break through their hearts.
So, I pray we planted the seed. S-i-l called last night and said her mom is going to watch her kids again. I knew our day-to-day time with them would be brief. The Lord always has a plan. We don't see them that often, so this felt important to me to show them how much we love them and how much our Heavenly Father loves them.