Today I am grateful for the beauty of the setting sun, catching a glimpse of the first robins of spring, and the opportunity to be a mother and a stepmother.

Parenthood is quite a training ground for vulnerability and faith. It is hard work and easy joy all at the same time.

My stepson Arthur is a month away from finishing his undergraduate degree, days away from finding out if and where he gets a dietetics internship, and just over three months away from getting married to his fiance Alyssa. Big things are happening in his life, and these are exciting times. He works hard and is career-driven. The next year will bring changes and challenges. How will he (and the two of them) emerge from these significant transitions?

My stepdaughter Emily has less than two months of high school left. She is working two jobs, enjoying her last high school band events, getting both excited and a little anxious about life after high school. How will she do when she heads off to college?

They both set a good example of work ethic for their little brother.

Our son Sam is 11 and a 'tweener. He is healthy, likes school, has some buddies, and is looking forward to baseball season which is just getting underway. As Arthur and Emily grow up and move on, it has me reflecting on how quickly that time will come for Sam. These next years are crucial in a young person's life. I worry about Sam. I worry about all 3 of them.

But I treasure what I get from being both an observer and a participant in their lives.