One thing is for sure if you are at the Duncan Family Daycare, if it is not raining you WILL go to the park two times a day. (Sometimes if it's sprinkling, too.) Getting there is quite a process. Let me walk you through it.
First off, everyone needs their sunscreen and also bug spray. Olders first so they can get out of the house while the "littles" get shoes on and their sprays. Water bottles need filled, and don't forget the baby bottle for the morning park run. He'll eat while we're there. Peek out the door at the olders- "Why are there tears out here? We are TRYING to get to the park!" Back inside- "Find your other shoe, Owen." "Did you go potty yet? There is nowhere to go at the park." "No, we are not getting the mail. We are going to the school park. Moira already got it." Okay, shoes are on. Everyone is sprayed. Get baby in the stroller and put the shade cover on. "No, I will push the stroller." "Everyone grab a hand." "Yes, Will may ride his bike. Not Bennett. We're already running late." Everyone has a hand, and now it's time to go. Eyes are alert watching for the stragglers- "Paisley, stop at the stop sign"- and keeping others from getting too far ahead. Finally you arrive at the park and there are swings to push, spinners to spin, zip lines to get to reachable spots, babies to feed, and sticks to keep out of mouths. And in 45 minutes to an hour, you begin the trek home, where you know diapers need changed, hands need washed, lunch needs to be provided, etc.
Sound exhausting? Well, it IS. But when you are a dayCARE PROVIDER, this is your calling: to provide care for those entrusted to you. This routine goes on each and EVERY day because Amy loves her kids and wants them to have all of their needs met.
There is a shepherd that most of us have read about many, MANY times in Psalm 23. As I read about this Shepherd He reminds me of my Amy with her little sheep. However, David did not have the privilege of living with a daycare provider so he was writing about something he saw everyday. Shepherds.
This Shepherd David writes about provides for His sheep by giving them ALL they need: green pastures and quiet waters; smooth, safe paths; protection from all threats. The sheep know that so long as they stay with their Shepherd they have nothing to fear, not death nor enemies. Instead, they can know that as they follow His lead He will provide goodness and mercy in this life, and a home with Him in the next.
David knew this shepherding world, because it was his. He did all of these things for his sheep, and as he did this day after day it became clear to him that this was who the Lord was to him. He also knew about stragglers and those that wandered off or ran ahead. He knew that just like his sheep would be better off if they stuck with him, he would be in the best place possible if he just stuck with his Shepherd.
How about you? Is the Lord YOUR shepherd? Do you cling to Him and follow Him wherever He leads? Do you trust that He will lead you by the still waters and to green pastures?
Today, don't just quote this familiar scripture from memory, think about how it applies to your life. And hopefully, as with David, you will rejoice and praise your Good Shepherd.