Making way for ducklings.

Yesterday, after school pick up, Palmer and I started chatting about planting a garden. About what we would plant (Tomatoes...jalapenos...onions. Hey! We could make a salsa garden! Yeah, and then we could make our own salsa! Cool!) About what those plants would need. (I learned in Science all about that, Mom.) About how we could do it together. (That could be our special thing.) It was a sweet conversation and as I was driving, I was already thinking about how I wanted to write it down, so I could remember it always.

And just about that time Palmer yelled out, "Mom! Look out for the ducks!"

Sure enough, a mama duck and her baby ducklings were right in front of my car, crossing the street. The street where most people travel a minimum of 45mph. Minimum.

I missed the ducklings by 10 feet, swerved into the middle of the road, threw the car into park and told Palmer to stay in the car before jumping out. He immediately disobeyed which, of course, didn't surprise me at all.

So now there were two mamas and their babies out in the street in the middle of traffic.

We managed to help Mama Duck and babies cross safely and watched as she hopped up on the curb and into the grass. The problem was that her babies couldn't jump the curb. She immediately started quacking, which I took as a mother-to-mother cry for help.

"She needs our help, Palmer. Grab the baby ducks and put them on the grass."

"It's Duck Dynasty, Mom!"

Yes, Buddy. Without the guns. Couldn't have loved my boy more in that moment.

As we tried to help, Mama Duck quacked even louder at us, clearly unsure of our intentions. The ducklings made their little quacking sounds, yelling for their Mama. We got all of the ducklings up on the curb except for one. The last one, realizing that he had been left behind, freaked out and started running away from us. I didn't know this before yesterday, but baby ducklings are fast little suckers! That little guy wanted no part of us, even though we were only trying to help him.

Finally we caught the last duckling and after putting him safely with his family headed back to our own car. And about two seconds after buckling out seat belts, we saw Mama Duck and her babies going BACK across the street.

"You've gotta be kidding me!" (That was Palmer.)

So we hopped out of the car and did it all over again.

Not surprisingly, we've talked a lot about those little ducks in the last 24 hours. We've wondered where they are, if they are doing okay. Palmer even included them in his nightly prayers. When you save the lives of a duck family, it's hard not to fall in love.

Which is why I am so heartbroken over what I saw driving home today. There, in the middle of the street, totally crushed, was Mama Duck. I wanted to cry. Am I certain that it was it her? No, I'm not totally sure, but it looked a lot like her. And besides, how many ducks walk across a road when they can fly? Mama Ducks who are walking their babies across the street, that's who.

The ducklings were nowhere to be seen. I wanted to pull the car over again, just like yesterday, and find those babies. I wanted to rescue those ducklings and be their new Mama. The problem was, my boys were in the car and I just couldn't bring myself to allow them to see the deceased Mama Duck. Especially a Mama Duck flat as a pancake.

I have a feeling that up in Heaven, they are making way for ducklings.

The one where I talk about free coffee.

It's funny to see people's reaction when I tell them that I work at a church. You can see all over their face how quickly they are trying to process the information so they will react in the appropriate way. I always want to interrupt their thought process to explain.
  1. No, I am not a pastor. I have never been to seminary nor am I ordaned.
  2. Yes, it shocks me too that they never ask me to preach.
  3. Why do I work? Because I like it.
I don't have to work. My husband works hard, really hard, which would allow me to stay at home a be a lady of leisure if I so desired. But the hub's job also forces him to travel...a lot. For me, being home alone with nothing but kids and a house to manage isn't a good thing. For me, working makes me happy. It's part-time, it doesn't interfere with my family time, and I get to work with some of the best people on the planet while we all help people find and follow God.

So what does free coffee have to do with any of this? Everything.

You see, even with part-time jobs that are fun and easy, as a mother you still question whether or not you should be working. A couple of months ago I began to doubt my choice. Was my selfish need to work hurting my kids? Was it distracting me from my first job as a mom? Would my kids grow up resentful that I chose to go to work?

And then one morning I woke up at 5:30AM to hand out free coffee.

Our church believes in showing God's love in a real and practical way to everyone. Everyone. Let me say it again. Everyone. Not just the people who show up on the weekends. Not just the people who put money into the offering bag. Everyone. Especially to people when they least expect it.

That's what we did one morning, bright and early, a few weeks back. Our staff handed out free coffee (including a cute little packet of sugar and creamer) to people headed off to work. To people dropping off their kids at school. To everyone.

So how do you hand out free coffee to people driving down a busy street going 50mph? You hold up signs like the haircut guy twirling his arrow on the corner. You run out into traffic and dance to get people's attention. You point and laugh and make a total fool of yourself.

And do you know what happens when you do that? People stop. They roll down their window, reach out for their free cup of coffee, and they smile. Showing God's love to others is fun. It's simple. It's worth getting up at 5:30AM for.

A friend of mine who was dropping off her son at school saw me running in the street, twirling my sign, and sent me a text. 

Saw you with the sign. What's the deal with the free coffee?

I laughed when I read it. I am sure that is what every, single person thought who saw us that morning. What's the deal with that? What are all of those obnoxious church people doing out there? We know that's what people thought. And we loved it.

So I responded back.

Just trying to show God's love this morning. It really is free! Stop back by and get some!

And then I hit send. But then I noticed my mistake:

Just trying to show God's love this morning. It really is free! Stop back by and get some!

Did you notice it? You see, I meant to write: The COFFEE really is free. But I left that part out by accident. When you read the text, it's sounds like I'm telling her that God's LOVE is free and she should stop back by and get some.

And then I laughed, because my mistake, my typo, wasn't really a mistake at all.

God's love really is free. And I am blessed to have a job where I get to help hand it out on a daily basis.

And that's why I work.