Before long, my husband and I will be taking a giant leap of faith. He and I will be traveling to Israel…
And leaving our kids home. Alone. To fend for themselves, to take care of the house, to cook their own meals… While counting down to the day of our departure, I started asking, “What if?“
You know, what if something happens to them while we are gone? And what if something happens to us while we’re gone? Suddenly, my word of the year for 2018 came back to me: Trust.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34
Just as panic was about to set in, God used His Word to remind me that I was borrowing worries from tomorrow—worrying about situations I had no way of knowing anything about. Instead of spending time preparing myself and the kids for the upcoming trip, I was letting worry consume my thoughts.
I prayed for God to help me focus on preparing for our adventure while spending time with the kids before our trip and to help me learn what He wants to teach me while my husband and I are in Israel. Spending some time outlining and mapping some of the sites we plan to visit helped replace worry with excitement.
I brainstormed some thoughts on what responsibilities each child should have while we’re gone. My fourteen year old daughter would do a great job overseeing the kitchen and policing everyone’s hygiene.
My eighteen year old son should be in charge of securing the house, driving to the store, and keeping the common areas of the house in order.
The twelve year old twins could ensure that the bathrooms and laundry areas stay clean.
When I asked for volunteers to be in charge of each jurisdiction, I was amazed that all of the kids chose the specific areas I had in mind for each one of them! Together we listed jobs within each area. Then we outlined chores or habits all of them need to do.
Amazingly, they enthusiastically started taking on their new responsibilities that very day, instilling confidence in me that they will do quite well while my husband and I are away.
They have even planned some meals… I had to laugh when I saw what they will be eating for dinner.
I wonder how long it will take for them to be tired of pizza?
Because I want to wisely prepare for the unexpected, I made a list of nearby family members, neighbors, and friends from church who the kids could call on for help, if needed, while we are away. I got in touch with each one to confirm they would be available.
Soon my husband and I will embark on the journey of a lifetime while my kids remain home building the skills they will need when they are out on their own. I know I can trust God to care for my kids while we are gone and to keep us safe as we travel. I will trust my kids to love and care for one another and for their home. And I am trusting friends and family to be there for the kids when I can not be.
It will be an adventure for all of us!
Have you ever gone away and left the kids in charge of the house? How did you prepare them for the responsibility?