Sunday, January 21, 2024

Duck, duck, goose

Twas early November when I saw an ad for tiny ducks while scrolling through Facebook. Obviously I had to buy a few.

A few hundred. 

(If you people could please start posting interesting personal things to your Facebook pages again, like you did in the olden days, I wouldn't have to read the ads on my timeline with so much interest.) 

(Like, for serious. In 45 minutes of scrolling this evening, I only saw two actual posts from friends. The rest were all ads. Which is ironic because I don't have cable TV; I only stream shows IN ORDER TO AVOID ADS. And here I am, scrolling through ads for hours on end each month. Don't try to understand me; just love me.)

OK, back to my story.

Forty eight hours after ordering them, those cute little ducks arrived. (Oh Amazon. You've wrecked mall shopping for me forever.)

I was a teensy bit excited.

There had been SO many (ten IS 'many') sad goodbyes to coworkers by this point (and two more since then) with three especially emotional farewells in October. I needed to do a lil somethin' to bring The Happy back to the office.

That first day, I hid about a dozen of them all around the building. In cupboards, on windowsills, in potted plants, behind staplers, in the elevator ... and I didn't say anything to anyone. 

The next day most of them were gone, so I hid another dozen. In the parking garage, in the fridge, beside the coffee maker, amongst some books ... and so it continued for many days. 

The fun part? Was eventually overhearing the conversations about the mysterious ducks. I mean, I know this was giving me little bursts of joy every time I placed a duck, but the 'water cooler' chat was joy-filled too. "Have you found a duck yet?! SO cute!" "No, but I keep hearing about ducks; what's going on?" "Oh my goodness, this is so fun!" "Where are they coming from?" "Who is hiding them; what a great idea!" "I just found my first one!!" "I've got nine!" "Is it you? Are you hiding them?" "Not me, but I wish it was! I just want to know who is doing this, I think we could be best friends..." 

Kinda crazy, isn't it, the things one does when the days are short and the load is heavy.
I started the year with Val's John still in heaven, Drew ending his marriage to Danica, and from there, it was first Daryl's diagnosis of cancer to be followed by Jim's. Been a rough year for my lil fam. My heart has been hurting (figuratively) and my tear ducts have had a good work out. 

(The sentences in that paragraph hold thousands of pounds of pain. Feels weird writing it out as if those events are just facts.)

Anyway, I found a teensy way to bring sunshiney moments to a month (November, I'm looking at you) notoriously dark. 

I decided in early December I'd let everyone know that I am The Duck Lady in the new year, during devos. I offered to lead them on Tuesday January 9, 2024. Haha. Somehow I'd make the whole thing a devotional. 

On  New Year's Eve, Val and I made plans to hang out. 
Party hard. 
As only we know how. 

She made a pot of rice. 
And heated up a vat of turkey gravy. 
YUM. My favorite meal. 

And then we made Duck Verse Cards. 
(I'd asked, earlier that day, on Facebook, natch, for friends to post their favorite Bible verse in the comment section. So we used those verses, plus some of her fav's and some of mine...)

You're wishing you'd been invited to THAT party, aren't you? 

Before devo's on Tuesday morning, I placed the Limited Edition Duck Verse Trading Cards on the seats in our staff room ...

... revealed that I was the one who'd been dropping them around the office months earlier (can I keep a secret or what?) ...

... read a personalized version of Psalm 91, then suggested that everyone, (in turn, one at a time), read the verse on their card (out loud) and share one thing they were thankful for on this 9th day of the new year. 

It was just so lovely. 
My friends at work spoke God's promises and expressed gratitude.
Felt like a kum-ba-yah gathering; we were just missing a camp fire and some guitars. 


Three Things I'm Thankful For:

1. Google ads on Facebook
2. Cousins who have gallons of leftover gravy
3. Tiny ducks
4. Kids who still like treasure hunts at Christmas
5. Avocadoes
6. A mom who is thrilled to find hidden ducks in her condo
7. Friends who are praying for me and my fam
8. Doctors and specialists and God who will heal my bro and bro-in-law
9. Friends who make ham dinners just so they can use the leftovers to make pea soup and SHARE IT WITH ME
10. Jesus

Psalm 91
Jane's version:

Psalm 91

 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
    will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
 This I, Jane declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
    he is my God, and I trust him.
 For he will rescue me from every trap
    and protect Daryl and Jim from deadly diseases, like cancer.
 He will cover the Ofam and those we love with his feathers.
    He will shelter Julie and my mom and me and Val with his wings.
    His faithful promises are our armor and protection.
 We won't be afraid of the terrors of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies in the day.
Because of him, we will (try) not dread the diseases that stalk in darkness, (like depression, and anxiety)
    nor the disaster that strikes at midday (like situations at work or broken marriages).

If you and I and our kids make the Lord our refuge,
    if you and I and our kids make the Most High our shelter,
 no evil will conquer us;
    no plague will come near our homes and condos.
 For he will order his angels
    to protect you and me and our kids wherever we go.
 Those angels? Will hold me up with their hands
    so I won’t even hurt my foot on a stone.

 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
    I will protect those who trust in my name.

When Jane calls on me, I will answer;

    I will be with her in trouble.
    I will rescue and honor her.
 I will reward her with a long life
    and give her, her kids, her loved ones my salvation.”


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