“If you come home from the park right now, I promise you something special!” I yelled in desperation.
“What will it be, Miss Stephanie?” the young voice yelled back.
“We’ll go get ice cream!”
I will admit it was an absolute bribe, since I knew the young boys in our care didn’t want to leave their friends at the park … just to hop into our minivan and take our older daughter to volleyball practice. But there wasn’t another option, since nobody else was home to watch them.
As the saying goes, “desperate times call for desperate measures.” And I definitely felt desperate, trying to get those sweet kiddos we hosted away from the park, just to sit in a car for another 45 minutes round trip. (To be fair, I am saying “desperate” in jest. I know we weren’t truly in dire straits.)
Suddenly, I found myself making a promise I honestly wasn’t sure how I would keep.
Could the boys even handle going into the ice cream store?
We were one month in to a Safe Families hosting for two brothers, age 7 and 8. Super sweet kids, but like many children their age, they still struggled with impulse control and some food insecurities.
Would we have time to get ice cream, get home and take baths, and still get to sleep on time before school the next day?
Somehow my offer was one they could no longer refuse, so the boys quickly rode their bikes home and reluctantly hopped into our car, just in time to leave.
After completing our drop-off, I was on the phone with my husband, Steve, when he received word that his client was making good on a prize he’d won. “I’ll call you right back!” he declared.
As we headed toward home and I continued to ponder how the ice cream scenario would work itself out, Steve called me back to explain that there was a delivery at home from a local ice cream parlor.
Chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. And waffle cones.
It was literally sitting at our house, waiting for us to arrive.
Have you ever prayed for ice cream? I’m not sure if I have ever prayed for it before. But this immediate solution to my silent plea for help was the answer to a prayer I didn’t even realize I had made.
It reminds me of the principle of faith that everyone who asks, receives. And everyone who seeks, finds.
May we continually encourage one another keep on seeking, finding, and knocking for the creator of the universe to open the doors for us!
Written by Stephanie Raquel, host mom, Chicago