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I read this headline yesterday on my MSN homepage:

“What is Santa’s job worth? Try $133,000”

You know I clicked on it. I had to. That is quite a good salary for being Santa, or so I thought. What I read surprised me as it will probably surprise you also.

My first thought was that this is the “Proverbs 31 Woman”!!! Seriously. And then it hit me…this is what each & every parent is worth on any given day. Once we birth a child, these are the tasks that we do on a regular basis, whether a mom or a dad…

  • “knows if you’ve been good or bad”….every parent strives to know the ins & outs of what goes on in the life of their child especially once in school. Who knew that the revelatory meeting I had with a science teacher when one of my own was in the 9th grade was worth $689.70!!! Who knew?
  • “correspondence clerk”….we sort through piles of junk mail every day to hold onto the few much needed. Who knew that answering the question, “Did we get any mail today?” was worth $1656.00!! Who knew?
  • “sales worker”….we head to the supermarket on a regular basis. Sometimes we take our lives in our hands if we choose Market Basket. Who knew that food shopping was worth $2388.00!! Who knew?
  • “industrial engineer”….we vacuum, do laundry, mop, dust, do dishes every day. Who knew that being a “merry maid” & sometimes a not so merry maid was worth $109,840.64!! Who knew?
  • “sleigh driver”…..we shuttle our kids to each place they need to be on a daily basis. Who knew that those early mornings at the ice skating rink & basketball practices was worth $554.30!! Who knew?
  • “labor relations”…we referee our kids on a regular basis. Who knew that breaking up an argument (& saving my sanity) was worth $5073.50!! Who knew?

I do not think any parent needs a chart to know that parenting is, indeed, a hard job. It is the hardest job that any of us will ever do in our lifetime. It is also the job that reaps countless rewards. This morning as I reflected on that chart, this Scripture came to mind:

“Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.” (Proverbs 17:6 NIV).

The New American Commentary explains it this way:

“Behind this apparently innocuous proverb is a profound assertion of the psychological interdependence of the generations. Elders derive a sense of pride from their descendants, and children get their self-worth from parents. On the other hand, one generation can cause shame and a sense of worthlessness in another” (Commentary on Proverbs, page 159).

Today as I continue to do “my job” may I be filled with a deep sense that it is more than a job. May I instill in my family that they are valuable to me & loved. More importantly, that they are valuable & loved by God.

I have one more “statistic” to add to that chart:

  • “building and leaving a legacy”……….PRICELESS!!!!!