7.14.2011

On Being A Nanny

I'm on week three of being a nanny and I have to say...it's a lot more...um...challenging and rewarding then I thought it would be. The family I am currently working for only needs me for the summer....so, July 27th will be my last day with these two girls and then I get to go on vacation (which I am so excited for)!

I met this family through an online nanny website, interviewed with them, and a few days later, got an email saying that they chose someone else, but would keep my information if things didn't work out. Little did I know that my friend, Ashley, was the nanny they had picked. After a few weeks of Ashley working for them, she ended up getting a job at Compassion International and needed someone to step in and take the new nanny role. She saw that I had posted on Facebook that I was looking for a nanny job and thought of me :) So she gave my information to the family, and after figuring out that it was the same family I had already interviewed for, I accepted the job! The Lord has a funny way of working things out!

The first week was so very challenging. The girls had to adjust to having another new nanny...and well, I had to adjust to actually being a nanny. Thankfully we got through it, by the grace of God! Spending 11 hours together makes for a long day, and trying to navigate through all 11 hours with an 8 and 5 year old (with the 8 year old having ADHD and being off her medication), it was quite the adventure. Now, being on week three, we're all in a much better place :) Natalie, who is 5, last week said to me, "Miss Autumn, I'm getting used to you now and I really like you!" It made my heart smile!

One of the days we were together during week two, I took the girls to the library and actually ended up finding a book for myself called "Naked Fruit." It's all about cultivating a life that is full of the Fruits of the Spirit. Funny how I picked this book during a season of being with children all day and getting the perfect opportunity to put the Fruits of the Spirit into action. I decided that every couple days I would take two fruits at a time, read the chapter specifically written for that fruit, journal about it, and pray for the Lord to cultivate in me the fruits that are lacking and for a willing heart to allow Him to do His work in me. It's been such a great challenge walking through the fruits, learning how to be vulnerable (or naked...like the book title) in the areas that I need much growth, and putting them into practice with two sweet girls. 

Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-Control. 

Words that I memorized when I was young, but was never taught what it truly meant to live a life that is fruit filled. After reading this book (which was written by Elisa Morgan, founder of the MOPS [Mothers of Preschoolers] program) has opened my eyes and heart to what it truly means to live out the Fruits of the Spirit. I have a long way to go, but coming to a place of being open to Him working on me and being in this season of practicing all of them with children has turned out to be such a huge blessing! And will be beneficial for the future when I am blessed with my own children.

I'll be sad to say "bye" to these two lovely little girls that I get to invest my time (and Fruits of the Spirit) in. There have been days of being completely frustrated with learning what battles to fight, finding a balance and what works with ADHD, and dealing with an emotional 5 year old girl. But it's been truly rewarding to hear little girl giggles throughout the day, playing with makeup, watching them in their swim and dance lessons, reading to them, teaching them notes on the piano and hearing them sing worship songs, painting pictures with them, and answering their plethora of questions. 

The Lord wanted me to be with this family and at the same time, wanted me to study the Fruit of the Spirit that He knows (and I know) I am lacking. I couldn't be more grateful for how it all worked out and also having a steady income so I can pay for rent :)

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