Water Off a Duck’s Back

WATER OFF A DUCK’S BACK

Mama used to raise chickens and ducks. Oh, I loved those little babies in the incubator in the warm winter kitchen. The little ducks would flop around in the water, knowing instinctively that they should be swimming, while the baby chicks would do all they could to get away from the water, except to drink a little drop now and then. Somehow those chicks knew water would kill them, because they were not created to swim. Chicken feathers get wet and stringy, while duck feathers shed the water.

What kills one lifts the other to his destiny. What wounds one heart until it cannot be healed rolls off another heart.

Instead of grieving over the troubles that come our way, the insults of those who don’t understand us, we can learn to face them head on and let them roll over us and down our backs and off us—like  water off a duck’s back. Those things can’t hurt us when we act that way

James 1:2 NKJV says, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials.” The word ‘count’ is a mathematic term. So maybe it isn’t ‘joy’ when it happens, but we can count it as ‘joy.’ Act like it is and call it ‘joy.’

The very thing that was sent to drown us will lift us up by our “duck feathers” and float us to our destiny. The human reaction is to defend ourselves, argue, fight, complain about the injustices that life brings us, but the spiritual action is to rejoice.

Decide in advance that you are going to act, not react. If you have a plan of action in advance, when those trials come your way, you will instinctively do what you plan to do.

Let the trials of life float you to your destiny.

Fishing in the River

Years ago, I went to San Antonio to a telephone company school for 2 weeks. That weekend while I was there, several of the students who were from the area invited us who were from out of state to go downtown to The River.

We parked on the street, which was almost totally deserted and walked down the stairs to where shops and cafés lined the river on both sides. The river was packed with people, walking on the banks, shopping, and riding in flat-bottom boats on the river.

 When I saw the famous “River,” I was astonished. “You call this a river? It’s no bigger than Bull Creek in Vinita, Oklahoma,” I told them. “I’ll bet I could wade across that river and it would never reach my waist. We have the Grand River in northeast Oklahoma, and what about the Mississippi River? Now those are rivers.” But of course, those San Antonians were proud of their river, as they should be, so no offense.

 I remember lying on a quilt in the back of the stationwagon in the dark, listening to Daddy and Granddad talk in hushed voices while they fished off the bank of some river all night. It was probably Grand River, below the dam at Langley. Dad also loved to fish at Spavinaw below the dam and we camped there too.

 There’s another river that I love to think about, but I’ve never been there. It’s been described several places by different people, but my favorite description is in Revelation.

 “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. . .. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light.” Revelation 22:1, 5 NKJV.

I can just imagine Daddy and Granddad sitting on the banks of the River of Life in heaven, pure and clear, fishing and enjoying their new life, but they won’t be fishing in the dark. No, the Lord Himself is the Light.

Aquarium Life

I’ve had aquariums off and on all my married life. My husband said one time, “I don’t know why you bother with an aquarium. The kids don’t even look at it.” I said, “But I’m not keeping an aquarium for the kids. I’m keeping it for me, because I love fish.”

Several times I have bought male bettas which don’t require an aquarium. They can live in a fishbowl on the window sill, but they must be kept in individual fishbowls. They swirl through the water, hiding and darting around the plastic plant, coming to the surface when I drop food in the water.

If one male betta catches sight of the other male betta in a nearby fishbowl, he ruffles up his fins to make himself look big and threatening. I try to keep them far enough apart so they can’t see each other, with the fish food container in between, but sometimes it just happens. Male bettas don’t get along with most other fish, especially each other, and not even the female betta.

Now neons on the other hand are compatible with almost every other tropical fish. They are small with a fluorescent stripe down their side and they run in gangs. If you see one, you will see them all, for the rest are right beside him. There is no discernible leader, just a bunch of followers all moving together.

Guppies are the flashy ones in the aquarium tank. They have long multicolored tails and float around near the top, showing off.

Another tropical fish frequently found in aquariums is the gourami, a fish that grows pretty large and is a predator.

We have had shrimp, frogs, crabs, and eels. They really stand out from the standard fish.

One of our favorites is the angelfish. Big, round, flat, with silver coloring and angel wings, they float gently through the water and reflect light. They get along with everyone.

Oh, and we love the goldfish, the one that can live under most any circumstances, in any old bowl or jar, as long as the water is changed once in a while and a pinch of food is dropped into the bowl now and then. But the goldfish will only grow as big as the bowl will allow.

Which fish are you?

“If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”Romans 12:18 NKJV

We live our lives in a glass bowl. Let’s live in peace with our fellow bowl-mates and let our shiny souls reflect the light of Christ to all who see us.

Payday

How do you get paid? By the job? By the month? In tips? Once a week?

My first job was working after school at the Hotel Vinita Coffee Shop, which I began in the late summer of 1965 just before rodeo week. From then till June, 2003, when I started drawing a monthly check, I received a paycheck every two weeks at each job I held.

God has a payday system in place in the universe. Spring is the season of planting, summer is the time of growth, fall is the time of harvest, and winter is the time of rest and reflection.

God doesn’t always pay on Friday. He promises us that we will be rewarded but some rewards are given here and some in heaven. Don’t give up just because you don’t see any results. Each seed has a germination time, growth time, a flowering time, seed-setting time, then the harvest. Some corn and tomatoes ripen by 4th of July, but some not until August.

Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness.” 2 Corinthians 9:10

“Now” means at this very moment in time, not the past, not the future. What God is doing for us is in the “Now.” Time is always “Now” to the eternal God, but His ‘now’ and your ‘now’ may not be the same.

God is the source of the seed we plant and the food we eat. He gives us enough seed to plant and to make into bread to eat. God will multiply the seed you have sown, not the seed you have eaten.

And it all depends on your sowing. “Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”  Galatians 6:7, 9. 

Keep sowing, because harvest time is coming any day now.

 

Grandmother’s Feather

Grandmother had a feather bed on top of her mattress. When I lay my body down at night, the feather bed enveloped me with sheer luxury, conforming to my every shape. Grandmother and I would lie there in peace, sweet peace, softly talking until I drifted off to sleep. I loved spending my time with Grandmother.

Granddad fixed peanut butter and syrup stirred together on a plate to put on his biscuits. I don’t remember much about what else we ate for breakfast, but there was always brown beans for dinner and supper, no matter what the main dish was.

Grandmother puttered around in her little kitchen, serving dinner (that is lunch to you) on her 1950s chrome dinette set. The windows all around were filled with potted plants growing up over the curtain rods and all across the windows. Outside those windows were roses and flowering bushes of every kind.

Behind the studio couch in the front room were her piano and guitar. If I was good, she let me play the guitar, sitting in the middle of the couch so I wouldn’t bang it on the wooden arms. And since I took piano lessons, she sometimes let me play the piano. Granddad stood looking over my shoulder, correcting my mistakes, since he had learned to read music by the shaped-notes method and sang bass in quartet fashion.

I loved spending the night with Grandmother and Granddad, always on a Friday night which was church night at their little country church next door. Grandmother was the preacher and played the piano or guitar and they sang together, including me in their songs, and having me sing my specials. They stood me before the church when I was 5, singing Mansion Over The Hilltop with Grandmother.

Most children lose the desire to spend the night with grandma by the time they become teens. I did. When I was a teenager, and got my first car and first job, Grandmother asked me often, “Why don’t  you come and see your poor old grandmother sometime?” and I always said, “I will, Grandmother, one of these days soon, I will.” But the only time I ever saw her was when she came down to Mom’s home to visit. Then I got married and moved away.

I have letters she wrote me when I lived out of town, and then when I moved back to Vinita, I saw her often, but never spent the night with her again. Never settled down into that feather bed beside her and held her hand as I drifted off to sleep again.

It is understandable as children grow up that they grow away from their parents and grandparents. However the memories that are made during those overnights at Grandma’s house will stay with them forever.

“I will both lie down in peace and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8 NKJV.

Till the day she died, Grandmother’s little bed was piled high with a feather bed.

The Calendars of My Life

 

THE CALENDARS OF MY LIFE

Just the sight of a new blank calendar with pretty landscape scenes thrills me, but by the end of the year, my calendar isn’t so pretty anymore. Crossed out and erased events, schedule changes, unexpected interruptions, last-minute changes, even tragedies have turned my calendar into a diary of my life.

When I went to work as a telephone operator in 1971, I learned the value of
carrying a pocket calendar to keep track of my schedule. The only practical
way to keep track of days off, holidays, and vacations was a calendar.

You can look back at my calendar of 1974, to see when my son was born, and
1975 when he cut each of his teeth. The 1976 calendar shows when I had an
appointment with a lawyer and filed for divorce. The 1979 calendar shows
dates with my high-school sweetheart and the 1980 calendar shows our
wedding. The 1981 calendar shows the birth of our daughter.

I have lived my whole life by the calendar. Even though I retired in 2003, I am still busy volunteering.  I thought I was finished with a calendar, but here I am, keeping a calendar of appointments again.

I made some important changes to my schedule in the late 70s that I have never regretted. I started going to church regularly. In those same calendars, you will see church camps, revivals, choir practice. I made sure that my two children were involved in every church activity. We scheduled our lives around the church’s schedule.

“Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.'” James 4:14-15.

If you would like to learn about my life, read my calendars. My whole life is reflected there.