Monday, June 18, 2012

Duck out of water!

So our days in Florida are coming to an end.  I cannot believe our time here is almost over.  I believe I have 2 little beach bums on my hands.  They have become little fishies and have loved every minute we have spent in the water.  We have been able to do a lot of fun and exciting things and made many memories that will last forever.  This trip has truly been a blessing.

Our second day here, I have to be honest, I had a moment when I was scared.  The what if questions swirled in my head.  What if something bad happens here?  What if the girls and I cannot find our way around?  What if they are miserable the whole time?  What if I can't make it in a strange town while my husband has to work everyday?

Later on that day we saw a funny site down at the beach.  It was a mama duck with her baby ducklings walking in the sand.  Now, I know ducks like water, but I have never seen a duck in the ocean before.  They looked so odd.  They seemed so out of place.  They looked so lost.  After a few minutes in the waves, she was leading those babies back to safety.

Oh how I felt like those ducks at that moment.  I compared my girls and me to those ducks.  I felt out of place.  I felt a little odd not being back home.  I wanted to gather my girls and head back to the familiar.  Back to where I knew my way around.  Back where I didn't get so many stares when I started to speak in my southern accent.  Back to where we felt safe and at home!

Looking back all those days ago, I am so thankful the Lord gave me the peace and strength I needed to stay.  As I said earlier, this trip has truly been a blessing and we have loved every minute!  Everyone we have met has been so kind.  We have been able to meet new people from my husband's work.  I even had the chance to meet someone who had lived in my hometown for a time period.  We have had a lot of interaction with all the hotel staff.  It has been fun!

So I will gather our things over the next couple of days and we will make the trek home, but I have definitely learned a lot about myself and about how I treat travelers I may come in contact with back at home.  We all have times when we feel out of place, and it is those people we meet that can either make us feel better or make us feel more homesick.  I want to be an encouragement for those I come in contact with that may be new to my area or just passing through.  I want to be a kind face that they can ask directions from.  I want to be a good example to my girls at how we treat everyone with love and respect no matter where they are from or how they talk.

Today's Verse
"Love ye therefore the stranger:  for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt."  Deuteronomy 10:19

This was a verse my husband and I read the first week we were here in a devotion.  It was so appropriate for our current situation on many levels, but especially since we were feeling like a "stranger" ourselves.  Moses is telling the Israelites the importance of loving strangers and reminding them they used to be strangers themselves in Egypt.  I think God was trying convey through Moses the importance of being kind like that demonstrated in the golden rule... "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Do we hold that rule true to our hearts?  Do we always treat others, and especially "strangers", the way we want to be treated?

The next time you see someones who looks like a duck out of water, why not smile and offer a kind word.  Wouldn't you appreciate someone that would do the same for you when you feel out of place?

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