When I left Atlanta and moved to Birmingham, I had a lot of reservations. I knew Birmingham was where I needed to be, but it was still so hard. One thing could have made it much easier though...a suitcase so I could take all of my "Atlanta people" with me. Specifically, I wanted to take the sweet families that I used to baby-sit for and move them to my new neighborhood.
After years of baby-sitting, I feel like I'm an expert on the subject. Well, let me clarify. I'm not an expert on baby-sitting by any means...but an expert on knowing a good family when I see one, that I am. You may think it's easy, but they are hard to come by! After all, you have to have kids that are fun and obedient, and parents that trust you and aren't especially weird. :) So, as I explained in this post, my Atlanta families were the best of the best and I often wondered if there would be even one family in Birmingham that could hold a candle to them.
Two years later, I'm blown away at the sweet families that I get to hang out with. The moms wear the hats of counselor, mentor, and friend. The dads show me qualities of a Godly husband and father. The marriages give me a constant reminder to trust that God's timing is perfect, and waiting for the right mate is always worth it. The children make me laugh and cry, strengthen my patience and remind me to live life to the fullest.
Then, when school started, those sweet families climbed to new levels of sweetness. Seriously my love tank is overflowing. I've gotten texts, calls and cards almost everyday filled with encouraging words. I think my favorite was the little boy that asked if I was going to be in his kindergarten class. :) Then, as if the words weren't enough...because they totally were...one sweet family even remembered that I was thinking about getting a new coffee maker for myself to help with the late nights and took it upon themselves to surprise me with the Cadillac of coffee makers. You know, the kind that has the little cups you put in so you have the exact amount that you need. To say I was a bit overwhelmed would be quite the understatement.
My precious Atlanta families will never be replaced, but after two years in Birmingham, I can say with confidence that in so many ways the Lord has proven himself faithful to my prayer for sweet families, and for that, I am grateful.