Winters in Florida go from freezing cold one day to warm and sunny the next. As far as the weather goes, I really don't know what a day will bring. But, when when the air is chill, the smell of the fireplaces burning is in the air and the children are sipping cups of hot cocoa with frothy whipped cream on top, I know there is something special, sacred about this time. Our short winter.
The great migration is in full swing and in the ponds and lakes, some unusual water fowl are beginning to appear.
Earlier this week, Bright Girl went to mail a letter to a pen pal, but stayed outside. The clock ticked away, and I kept looking at the door. She's usually more prompt and doesn't dawdle. I wondered, what is keeping my Bright Girl?
It was a particularly cold day, and I wished she would hurry back. Before I had to leave my warm abode and get myself and all the children warmly dressed for a little search and rescue mission, she came in, skipping merrily through the front door.
"Come and see what I found, Mom," her smile was shining, her voice loud, bursting with excitement.
"Please just tell me what it is. It's too cold to go out."
"I found some ducks. I've never seen this kind before." She has the same affection as me for wildlife. I could understand her excitement, but still, it was freezing outside.
"Why don't you go back out and take a picture of them? Then you can show me," —and save this Florida girl from having to go outside in the bone-chilling weather.
When she came back, she was leaping with joy, and lifted up the camera to show me these:
"See? They look like little ducks with mohawks don't they?" My daughter pointed at the viewer on the camera.
"Yes, they do," I chuckled. "I've never seen this species before, but, the male, I believe is the more colorful one. He has yellow eyes."
She hadn't noticed and smiled in wonder.
>>>Fast forward to Friday.
Time for me make a visit to the dentist. It was still long-sleeve weather, but had warmed up a bit. The mystery ducks had gone away, probably to another pond somewhere.
I was sorry to see them go.
The Captain called. Right as I was about to leave. The VP of his company scheduled an impromptu meeting, and he couldn't make it to watch the kids.
It's not nice to share it, so I showed Him grace. "I'll be okay. Hope your meeting goes well."
Thinking quick, I grabbed some of Little Bit's favorite baby magazines, filled her sippy cup full to the brim with rice milk and hoped she would behave for Bright Girl in the waiting room.
It was nerve-racking enough to go to the dentist, but to go alone with three wiggly children and a big sister, not old enough to babysit was too much.
My chest was tightening and I was having difficulty breathing. Anxiety was beginning to take its hold...
Then I remembered, this year's Scripture memory from #theJesusProject.
"In the beginning was the Word...(John 1:1)"
The Lord knew all about how hard this would be and He was right here with me.
"The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14)."
He knows what it's like. He did this.
My heart began to settle. To rest. And my mind was free. Free. I could think. And all I wanted to think of was Him. The One who freed me from my fears.
To look into the very eyes of Christ and see Pure Love Himself.
"And we have seen His glory. The glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14)."
I breathed deeply and smiled. Everything little thing was gonna be all right.
The kids were all settled into the minivan and we took off with time to spare.
Instead of stressing, I gloried in the beauty of all the trees that lined the expressway. Old cypress trees with wide trunks and tales to tell. The pines with branches reaching up to heaven. Oaks, tall and stately.
More of the Word came to mind.
"Oaks of righteousness. A planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor. (Isaiah 61:3)"
Planting. Planting seeds.
The seeds of the Word. By grace, through the gift of faith, they'll grow. In my heart, in theirs.
I turned off the exit and looked to the right.
What joy at the sight of it.
A pond full of the mystery ducks. Spashing. Dipping. Diving. My heart full to overflow. Stress gone. No room there now.
Because of Him, the Word. Christ. My Redeemer.
He calmed my fears and gave me rest so I could see His glory. And glory in His Word.
The Word that sets me free.
- So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."
- (John 8:36)