Making a Way for Your Ducklings

 Make_Way_For_Ducklings_-_Original_Book_Cover

Having grown up in Massachusetts, the story of Robert McCloskey’s Make Way for Ducklings is part of my genetic make up like the Red Sox, clam chowder and the understanding that the letter R carries little weight in the American alphabet.

McCloskey writes about a female, married duck, Mrs. Mallard, and the journey she takes in navigating her babies through the busy streets of downtown Boston amidst speeding vehicles and honking horns. Ahh, Boston drivers. But that’s another story.

Safety.

Mrs. Mallard needs to get her babies to their new home safely. Key word as she protects them through the obstacles of traffic and city life but sees to it that they arrive (ironically), back at their destination–the Boston Public Gardens (and with the help and guidance of a Boston police officer.)

As moms, we are no different…we may not blow whistles nor sport official uniforms (though it feels as if we might as well on some days), but we are in many ways, police officers.

We’re the authority.

Protectors.

Peacekeepers.

There are plenty of honking horns and speeding cars on our children’s path and we help our kids through the various traffic jams of life as Mrs. Mallard did for her babies (all 8 of them!)

We can’t necessarily protect our children from what they will see and hear along their journey, as there are plenty of obstacles to dodge and activity that gets in the way. There is noise. There are difficult people. Unknowns looming larger than life that can intimidate and cause fear. Bumps that broadside. Hard knocks that hurt.  In our leading, we won’t always be able to cross the intersections successfully, smoothly or quickly. We can’t just blow a whistle and make everything and everyone stop or slow down. Oh, how I wish we could!

We are going to make mistakes. We are going to fail. Stumble. Sometimes crash. Other times, we will get the navigation right and steer with little interference or proceed despite the interferences, teaching our children how to do the same, modeling how to keep marching forward when the odds are stacked high.  We are not perfect moms but flawed women with weaknesses, raising children who are also flawed and weak yet we support them where they are going with our unconditional love and the reminder of God’s unconditional love for them.

Right now, we have the time and opportunity to guide, instruct and encourage while they are in our safe keeping. We have the time and ability to keep learning, trying, and pursuing the chances to carry on in our commitment to their growth because they are our first priority and are following right behind us. (Maybe not in a line, but they’re there!)

They are our ducklings and we will do what it takes to insure they get to where they need to be spiritually, physically, emotionally and psychologically—daily, and in preparation for their future.

For the day our children set out on their own will come…will we stand before them wondering, “Was it enough? Did I do enough? Teach enough? Love enough? Did I prepare them fully? Build their foundation with everything that was needed?”

The answer will be yes and no.  You did. With perhaps some spots perhaps a little muddled or not crossed as smoothly  as you had liked.  You are currently making your own way for your ducklings each day with your special uniqueness, gifts and strengths that God has purposed in you and He makes up for the rest. As God delivers us to our desired havens, He will use you to deliver your children to theirs—to their public gardens.

Their everlasting home.

And He’ll be there on the journey.

Keep making the way, Mom. Even when you don’t know the direction, the hows, whys or how-comes. You have love, which drives you to go the distance.  You won’t do it half way. Through it all, your way is the best one for your child. You are their mother for a reason.  Keep forging ahead.

One day, they will make their own way, but for now, you’re still in front…depending on God with every step as you cross and lead.

Recommended Scripture:

“Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke their chains.” Psalm 107:13

“They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their wits’ end. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.” Psalm 107:27-31

 

Morning Glory: Not

And then there are the mornings…..unbelievable how some of them go….how we go. Okay, how I go. I shouldn’t throw you into my mix.

We can plan how we are going to handle a situation (determined, fierce, go into whatever it is we are facing like gangbusters) or equally, be impulsively reactive. Guilty! I admit it, I am a huge reactor. I need a human, built-in “pause” button app. Come on Apple, can’t  you craft one of those?

“Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:12-14)

I think when we pray for God to change our hearts and attitudes, the words we speak, the tones we use and the responses we have are calmer, purer, firm yet still loving, patient, steady and just plain old pleasing…to everyone and to the One who has HIS hand over our lives. Our emotions. Our fears. Our anxieties.  And isn’t everyone happier all around? Don’t we spend less time apologizing and more time conveying truth yet without the harshness, hurt and defensiveness that causes others to have pain? The pattern can create a vicious cycle.

Yes, things are going to aggravate us. People are going to hurt us and treat us and/or our kids unfairly. Should we pray for people to change and for their hearts to be softened? Sure. But more important, we need to pray for our hearts to be changed because the world is full of pain, unfairness and problems and we need to live with some of that muck and live with it well and righteously. Our right, Godly response is a far greater tool to have in our arsenals than the elimination of the problem in some explosive way. Let’s pray that God would shape our hearts since everything we are about comes from its condition. “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:22)

We do have power, we do have control and we do have the ability to take the high road when life presents the low ones. Why? Because God can take our hearts and molds them to be pretty awesome, and that’s because we are pretty redeemed.

And then afternoon will come with a fresh, new start….

Ahhh…..Saturday Rest

Orderliness and calm….a necessary Saturday catch-up goal but often not attainable in our busy lives. Activities and errands beckon us and keep us moving. Shabbat Shalom to all you moms…enjoy your “day of rest” rest no matter how that shapes up. May you grab some moments to catch your breath and perhaps slow down a bit at some point today. God always has something to reveal to us and it’s usually in those moments of rest when we can hear what He might be showing us and what He wants us to remember. When we focus on Him, we aren’t focusing on ourselves and oh that can be a rest while bringing everything else into its proper perspective. When our hearts are turned toward God, we are able to have a better perspective on all that calls us and those very things that cause us anxiety and stress. A proper rest allows us to focus on the One who is calling us to place our trust in His arms where we can find true peace, purpose, perspective and calm.

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

Where Ya Going Today?

Where are you going today, mom? On a field trip with your child’s class? To work?  The park for a playdate or stroller walk? Maybe you are in the house more than you are out or running from place to place. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing (even if it’s the laundry!) is where God has called you to be. He has entrusted you with the responsibilities you have….nobody could do them but you…nobody could be the mom you are or the wife you are, the worker you are….all you have, He has given to you.  “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” And if you are feeling you aren’t doing these things “well” remember that you do them in faith. Our performance is not based on who we are but who God is.

What Will You Trust God with Today?