What Fort Building Taught Me

Recently, I was babysitting a co-workers two boys. As you can imagine they were calm and collected upon my arrival, but as soon as the parents were out the door it was like firecrackers had been lit underneath their rear ends.

“What is your name again? Can we build a fort? You know move the couches, get blankets…and OH OH get the outdoor light?” 

“We can watch the movie from inside and just fold up the blankets.” 

“Please, we can do it, I promise we can.” 

That all happened within a whole 10 seconds, and of course being the mature and responsible babysitter that I am, I said “LETS DO IT!”

So, what did I learn? 

fort

1. Every great idea begins with enthusiasm

Do you think I would have been just as excited to build the fort with them if they had asked in a monotone voice and no jumping action being involved? Maybe, maybe not. The point is, their enthusiasm excited me enough to WANT to join in.

We all have great ideas and sometimes we can get discouraged when our ideas are rejected or misunderstood. Don’t give up. Think of the 8 year old jumping up and down begging to build a fort. Jumping might not be good in front of the boss, but the boldness and enthusiasm definitely should be.

2. You cannot build something without the right resources

The boys knew exactly how many couches, pillows, blankets, and lights were needed to make the fort the best it could be! They came to me with enthusiasm and a great idea, but also came prepared to create.

When you are looking to build anything in your life, analyze your resources before you set out to build. Building before analyzing could end in bitter disappointment or worse, giving up on the whole plan because of lack of preparation.

3. Enjoy every moment. 

I babysit to escape. For a few short hours my heart, mind, and body are solely focused on the protection, care, and needs of the children whom I have been entrusted with. I do it to take my mind off of the daily struggles that try to consume me with doubt and fear, but mainly to remind myself what my purpose in life truly is – loving people.

“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation,be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” Romans 12:9-13

I ran around that fort, threw pillows, and laughed extremely hard (while the boys looked at me funny) and left feeling refreshed. As I drove home I soaked in the night and realized that moments like those are few and far between. I don’t know how long God has me on this earth, but what I do know is that because those precious boys had a great idea and the right resources to build, I was able to enjoy every moment of that evening.

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I encourage you all. Love on people. Cherish kids, for their innocence could heal this world. Use your brains to come up with ideas to help your family, job, church and be bold with enthusiasm in delivering it. Then, come prepared with the resources ready and available to get the job done. Finally enjoy ever minute of this life.

Until Next Time,

Jess

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