I just got off the phone from a 1.5 hour conversation with a friend I've known a few years. We became pretty close last summer when I joined her small group. Last Fall, we started "babysitting" each other once a week. I love babysitting. Think about it...you're sitting at home, on facebook or reading a book or watching tv and somebody calls you. What do you do?
I don't know what you do...but here's what I can't do anymore.
I can't read anymore. I can't scroll through fb...at least not while actually paying attention to the conversation. I'm not the type of person that keeps the tv on for white noise. If it's on, I'm watching it and fully engrossed in the story. If I'm not watching it, then it's turned off.
But, I digress.
Somebody calls, so I pause the tv, put down the book or close the laptop and get off the couch. I might empty the dishwasher, start a load of laundry, make my bed, fold clothes, clean the bathtub. It doesn't matter what it is...I do SOMEthing, all while chatting with my caller. I call this babysitting.
For the last year I lived in Houston, Jamie and I babysat each other once a week. When we first started, I wasn't sure how long we'd last. I mean, I loved what all I accomplished during babysitting, and already knew I did. But, would she like it as much? I just didn't know. Turns out, she's a HUGE fan, too! We got SO much accomplished. We would meet at a home and the hostess would provide dinner (something simple or a new recipe, whatever we wanted) and we'd chat through dinner. Then, we'd get down to business..quietly working. If we were at my house, I was cleaning or cooking. If we were at her house, I was paying bills, grading papers, responding to emails, finishing up homeworking, wrapping Christmas presents. She was typically studying...whichever house we were at that week. The visitor left at a decent hour, usually around 9 or 9:30 and each week we raved about how much we liked it, because of how much we accomplished!
Truly. It was a blessing!
Just knowing Jamie was coming over, meant I cleaned off counter tops, made my bed, got out clothes for the next day....yes, stuff that needed to be done (or maybe not "had" to be done, but nice nonetheless), but either way, I stayed busy. During our babysitting, our friendship developed and deepened. We were still in small group together, so we'd talk about those lessons and how our week was going and how we could pray for each other. We'd challenge each other on the homework our pastor had given us that week. Whatever was relevant to that week. It was wonderful.
Well, tonight we babysat each other from afar. We were on speaker phone instead of face to face. There was no common dinner table. And we couldn't get down to business of quietly working (because we had too much to catch up on!) But, I emptied the dishwasher, put away clean laundry, sorted through a pile of papers on my counter...you get the idea. She was making dinner for herself before studying. We caught up on life. We both have a new job. We both have some changes looking us in the face in several other areas of life, too. We shared. We laughed. We advised. We listened. We shared some more.
Babysitting...and friendship. They both make me smile. :)