Maybe it’s been my attempts at doing nightly Advent readings during the month of December.  Or the conversations that sneak up on me with my teenagers at bedtime.  The way one of my kids looked at me with genuine surprise when I said I enjoyed the singing of all the songs at church each week – the part of the service which he happens to like least.  The conversations about what makes us do what we do with my ten year old.  The continual lessons in opportunities to serve someone other than yourself that parenting is always presenting.

Whatever it is, I have been feeling the weight of the responsibility of shepherd, care giver, leader, guide in my home as of late.  I mean, it’s not really as if the task is new to me.  I’ve been at this parenting gig for more than seventeen years already.

Isn’t parenting the weirdest job, though?  What other job could you do for nearly two decades and STILL not really be an expert at doing?  If I had been serving up Chick-fil-A waffle fries for seventeen years, I darn well better be the best waffle fry server you’ve seen.  The same does not hold true for parenting though – does it?  I just keep finding out all the things I stink at every day.

There is a holy burden to this task of raising humankind.

And I don’t have a desire to shy away from that task.  (Well, some days I’d rather hide in a corner and read novels and eat caramel popcorn, but not every day.)

Does it keep me humble?
Like nothing I have ever known.

Does it keep me running to something stronger and holier and more helpful than my own flimsy heart?

Parenting is such hard work.  It’s the hardest thing I do.  Shepherding the hearts of my kids is the best part of my life – and the scariest part of my life too.  The one area in which I most want to succeed and the one area in which I most want to throw my hands in the air and cry out “How?”