“I don’t know how you do it.” Have you ever spoken those words to someone? Someone who is really busy, perhaps with kids, paid or unpaid work, and/or busy for other reasons? Have you ever made that remark? If so, odds are you said that to a woman. And then the question becomes, would you ever say the exact same words to someone who is not a woman, say…to a man? For the past four days I have joined a thousand or so preachers at the Festival of Homiletics in Atlanta. There is representation from, and not limited to, perhaps every mainline Protestant denomination in the United States and Canada. Of the 28 teachers and preachers presenting this week, about half are male and half are female. *Disclaimer: Because presentations overlap, I have not heard every single preacher.* And yet, there is only one preacher whose introduction included the words, “I don’t know how she does it”. These words were spoken in the introduction for Karoline Lewis, a professor of biblical preaching at Luther Seminary. Like the majority of speakers, she is also an author and involved in other extensive work that encourages preachers each week. (If you thought preachers came up with sermons week after week exclusively out of only our own brains, that’s just not how it works!) And yet, Karoline is the only one whose phenomenal lecture was prefaced in part by, “I don’t know how she does it.” What might it mean that these words are posed to a woman more likely than to a man? Is there some sense of doubt, or even surprise that a woman really could do all of that? Or, is there an expectation that women would have more on their plate than a man? Who knows. I do know that these are words people have said to me, and they are words I sometimes speak to myself. They are words that raise in me all kinds of doubt. These words have the potency to conjure up guilt, and make me question my call. Am I being faithful to my vocations as wife, mom, and pastor? Am I neglecting anyone in my family or my parish? Is it really possible to do all of this? But then I hear a louder voice. The one that names who I am and names this journey. I don’t know how she does it. She does it only because God has called me to do it. To live and work in the love of God. She does it because she is surrounded by a gracious congregation, a gracious family, and particularly a partnering spouse. I’m not sure how Karoline Lewis does it. In fact, how does any one of us do this thing called life? Who knows. But let’s do it together, held in the embrace of a loving Holy Spirit. That’s probably the only way it works.