i don't hear the ducks whining

i meant to finish this post a few weeks ago but i think it applies to my life even more so now.  ;)

it has been cold. like bitter, frozen, unpleasant cold for some months. and it has taken it's toll on the general morale around here.

this morning was one said cold morning & i was miserable. the kids all slipped on their way to the van. and our snowman had a smug little grimmace on his icy face. even our happy-go-lucky dogs had had enough, lifting their little paws to avoid being frozen to the ground forever. everyone was miserable. the people walking to work, the cashier behind the checkout, the nurses at the doctors. the city seemed like just one big cluster of miserable.

i actually caught myself on several occasions throwing a huge livi-style temper tantrums threatening to leave this darn country if this stupid weather doesn't let up! i'm not really sure who exactly i was threatening. i may have started to go a touch of crazy... but i was in good company as everyone grumbled along through the long cold days & nights. ;) i might have even panickedly entertained the thought but what if this is the year that spring actually never arrives!

and then i saw a great cluster of ducks out on the frozen river, all huddled together. and i thought, from my warm van, i don't hear the ducks whining.

and i wondered how much my general attitude/unhappiness at life's "uncertainties" is due to the fact that i didn't chose it or i don't have control over it . and thus, how much control is actually a luxury.

our house has been for sale for what feels like forever. with like 20+ different open houses & showing, i have been severely lacking in gratitude. i constantly complain. about the house & the amount of work required. about what i can't control.

the third world doesn't have such luxuries. the luxuries of complaining about circumstances. because in
the third world they are more concerned with surviving. and surviving doesn't work if you catch yourself a bad attitude along the way.  i've seen many a person survive an awful set of circumstances but never recover from the terrible attitude & thought life they contracted amidst the terrible circumstances. and then i've watched that attitude infect everything they do & live & are for the rest of their lives.

the ducks don't complain because they know regardless of how they feel about it they are still going to endure the cold. so they stop fighting what they cannot control & chose to make something out of it. i may be giving the ducks too much credit. but i just felt the Lord highlight my general attitude through those frozen, huddling ducks all sticking together & working their circumstance out.

it's like when i have to ask my kids to do something not so pleasant like clean up the colossal sized mess they've been building in the basement. there are usually a few that throw themselves down on the ground in screaming protest or pretend they are experiencing paralysis in one or all of their limbs. but then there is usually one who just tromps off like a champ & gets on with it, un-phased by the size of the task. the kid who completely crumbles into a thousand pieces makes the task a hundred times more difficult for themselves in every way. despite their wiggling & jiggling all over the floor, they still are going to have to do what is asked. the kid who just takes on the task joyfully, well lets not go that far, just decides to get 'er done, quickly realizes the task is within their ability to accomplish & is finished in a fraction of time seeing instant progress. the others generally find themselves entirely overwhelmed by just the anticipation of the work & cannot get past their down-in-the-dumps attitude until disciplinary intervention is initiated.

i don't want to be the kid that sits there completely overwhelmed by the idea of my work, dwelling on the whole discouragement of the situation, tallying up what is too much for me. it's time for me to adjust to the new work load the Lord has given me, regardless of how much i don't like it initially. to be quite honest, my biggest challenge isn't the amount of work ahead of me but rather my own summations of how hard or impossible the work is.  because in the end, there are some real consequences if i get myself into an overwhelmed place allowing myself to wallow around in my own self-made misery. and so i stop telling myself self-pity stories, take the words 'i can't' out of my vocabulary & just get on with it. and i will eventually see progress. and in the midst of it, with the finish line still far away, the Lord has always afforded me coping tactics & grace to cover the super intense moments. they still ain't feel good moments but they're moment that i make it through to the other side with an awareness of the difference between God-strength & human strength.

 and so all that to say, God bless those huddling, coping ducks. for they too will make it spring.

p.s. rachel jankovic has been a real mentor to me in all this mothering crazy stuff. her books have been irreplaceable graces to my life. checkout 'loving the little years' or 'fit to burst' for some of the greatest mothering wisdom i have ever had the privilege of being exposed to.

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