Being the “Shephard” of my Little Flock

daffodils (1 of 3)

Last Sunday was Good Shephard Sunday. (And I was totally going to write this up either then or yesterday, but completely forgot until last night… moving on…)

The Gospel was from John’s gospel, chapter 10:11-18:

Jesus said:
“I am the good shepherd.
A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
A hired man, who is not a shepherd
and whose sheep are not his own,
sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away,
and the wolf catches and scatters them.
This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd,
and I know mine and mine know me,
just as the Father knows me and I know the Father;
and I will lay down my life for the sheep.
I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold.
These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice,
and there will be one flock, one shepherd.
This is why the Father loves me,
because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.
No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own.
I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again.
This command I have received from my Father.”

Father talked briefly about what it means to be a priest today, and how there are a lot of negative associations with being a priest or other religious. He shared three things that he felt really actually express what it’s like to be a priest, and not just some media portrayal of being a priest.

1. There is Joy. The pay sucks and the hours are worse, but there is an incredible Joy.
2. It is spent in the service of others
3. Is a life of prayer.

(At least I’m pretty sure that’s what he said. I really really need to start bringing a little notebook with me since I’m constantly wanting to remember what was said, and pretty often don’t remember exactly. Take that as the gist of what he said.)

But, all that to say. As he was talking he brought up how we’re called to shephard our own flocks. And my mind starts questioning: Ok, so how’s that work? What’s my flock? And not a second later I had my answer. My flock is my kids.

And then I switched out “Being a priest is…” for “Being a mother is…”.

daffodils (2 of 3)

There is JOY! I don’t receive a cash payout every Friday, and I haven’t slept an 8-hour stretch of time in recent memory. But as I was writing this, Karl was getting his sweatshirt on to go outside, I was helping with the zipper. He grabbed my cheeks and did “ugga-mugga” (ala Daniel Tiger). I couldn’t trade that for any money or sleep. One tiny 3-second instant. Joy.

Is spent in the service of others. I’m a mama to littles. My life is serving them right now. It’s my vocation, something I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on. I’ve come to realize that’s what God has called me to do, at least for this time in my life. Doing that to the best of my ability IS my relationship with God (I just have to remember it… and that’s the hard part.)

Is a life of Prayer. Again, right now, my life IS my prayer. I have my prayer times, yes. moments here and there between requests for food and stories. I recently finished reading A Mother’s Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot and right at the very end she talks about saying, out loud “Jesus, I do this {everything…anything} for the love of you”.

That phrase is my prayer. It makes my service to my kids be my service to God. It does amazing things to my attitude towards those annoying little mundane everyday tasks, often times leading to Joy!

That’s not to say that I don’t get frustrated. I do. All the time (it seems), but just being able to recognize that, and vow to do better the next time is a step in the right direction.

I’m loving that as I’m figuring out how to be the best shephard I can to my little guys, I’m becoming closer to my Shephard.

daffodils (3 of 3)

Daffodils were picked and shoved into little glasses courtesy of my little guys!

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