On Wednesdays we are thrilled to fling open the doors to all of YOU! We love hearing your stories…the lessons you’ve learned, the roads you’ve walked, the dreams He’s planted in your hearts! Today we are excited to welcome our friend Julie Dibble to God-sized Dreams. She is sharing how ducks were the perfect parenting lesson for her and her kids! Thanks for being here today, Julie!
The cold nipped our noses as we stepped out of my car. “Jackson, you must wear your coat and hat, Buddy,” I warned. Scowling, Jackson obliged my request. My older son Braedon dutifully collected the bag of bread from the backseat. With joy in my steps, we crossed the street to the pond where the hungry ducks were waiting.
I had taken our boys to feed the ducks at this pond since they were small. Not only was the activity free, but it allowed them to see God’s creations in action. I felt hopeful and nostalgic on this first day of 2016.
We were met with a few eager patrons, followed by several more quacking family and friends. However, there was a bully swooping overhead. A white rogue who belonged at the beach in the summer…this seagull was eating every piece of bread he could grab from the ducks. After swiping a piece, he would shoot back into the air. Circling and diving toward the ducks and the three of us.
My youngest son Jackson began to whine each time the seagull came within 3 or 4 feet overhead. Jackson is 9 and has a way of pushing my parenting buttons. After calmly telling him not to worry about the bird a few times, Jackson continued his whining to the point of forced tears.
“Jackson,” I emphasized, “that’s enough….whenever we go do something fun, you decide not to enjoy it.” My frustrated tone was harsher than the situation called for. Immediately, I knew I crossed that line….again.
How quickly my God-given joy evaporates. How swiftly Satan capitalizes on forgiven sins.
1 Peter 5:8 “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
With regret but not reproach, I planned to address my shortcomings in the car. As soon as the seagull flew away, Jackson jumped in to celebrate the freedom from the aggressor. Jackson said, “Mom, this is like baseball,” as he threw a long one to the hungry ducks in the back. Both boys were smiling, which helped me to stay in the moment.
I am thankful each time God works through our sons to turn my focus back to love.
Our duck ministry was successful! Though, perhaps not as successful as Jesus was feeding the 5,000. The seemingly satisfied majority of ducks did not move their orange feet to follow us.
I judged our work to be done, as we were also out of bread.
On this chilly day, the warmth of God’s love surrounded the events: 1 John 4:16 “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”
In the car, I thanked the boys for joining in to help God’s creatures. To Jackson, I apologized for my inappropriate tone and let him know I will ask God for forgiveness for my behavior. We focused on being thankful to spend time with each other.
I can praise the Holy Spirit for leading me to repent and emotionally connect with my sons. Being a mother is the hardest job I have ever had. I welcome the challenges ahead. Faith in my Father in Heaven will carry me through, moment by precious moment.
Julie Dibble is a Christian Speaker and Author who resides in Central PA. Her walk with Jesus began in her 40’s, for which she is forever grateful. Julie is married to Jason and mother to their sons, Braedon and Jackson. Julie’s mission is to share the Good News: Let Love and Be a Light.
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