The Fish Farmer

Gratitude Day 368

Tues., Nov. 26, 2019

Mark 1:16: As Jesus passed alongside the Galilee Sea, he saw two brothers, Simon and Andrew, throwing fishing nets into the sea, for they were fishermen.

We officially have a fish farmer in our family.

Last Friday, our youngest grandson, Dylan, turned 8. For his birthday, he received a 5-gallon fish tank and money to pick out things to put inside of the tank, including fish.

Sometimes, I am at the house when Dylan and his siblings get off the bus. On Monday afternoon, right away, the conversation steered towards going to town to get fish and accessories for Dylan’s fish tank. Once I confirmed this was OK with their Dad, we headed into town.

Granddaughter Ellie had some money to spend as well. While Dylan and his older brother, Waylan, checked out the fish stuff, Ellie and I found something that she wanted. When we saw the boys getting a basket to put their future purchases in, I knew it was time to head to the fish section.

Dylan and Waylan discussed various fish options; which fish could co-habitat together and which ones would not. A helpful and nice young man helped us sort through how many fish we could put in a 5-gallan tank He knew which ones would be suited for this environment as well as get along. We switched fish out a couple of times until we were convinced the right mix was achieved. We had a long discussion about whether to get a couple shrimp. Dylan didn’t want real plants in his tank, so this idea was mixed. Before we left the fish department, Waylan had a bag with a fish in it as well.

We did not buy any of the pet mice that Dylan was convinced he also wanted.

While checking out, two ladies behind the counter appropriately oohed and aahed over the fish choices. The kids were discussing possible names for their new pets. The only confirmed name that I am aware of is Whiskers for the catfish.

On the way back to their house, Dylan carefully held his fish on his lap. Out of the blue, he asked me, “Dianne, how do you spell your name?” Sister Ellie correctly spelt my name for him.

Dylan said, “Oh, no. I spelled your name wrong at school today.” He explained how he had to write the blessings of his life on a sheet of paper. Dylan wrote my name D-I-E-A-N on his blessings paper. Would his teacher know that he was talking about me?

Truthfully, I could care less how he spelt my name on his blessings page. That I even was included on this sheet? Pure amazement and joy. This is the same kid, who a few weeks earlier said to me, “Why can’t Grandpa be here when we get home from school? Why does he have to work?”

About once a week, I get to spend an afternoon/early evening with these three grandkids after school. Every time we are together, it’s a little adventure. Why? Because we make it one. It warms my heart when the kids come to me for a hug for no reason. Or they spontaneously share something that happened at school. I love creating special little memories that they and I treasure. It’s more of a blessing to me than I am to them.  

This is a week when we think about blessings. I’m guessing this is why Dylan filled out a blessings sheet at school. It’s easy to come up with the “expected” blessings. Try to be more creative. Think of someone who made a difference in your life, if only for a brief minute. Thank God for this person … and go replicate this behavior to some fish farmer in your life.

For opportunities to help little people become fish farmers, I am grateful.

Holy God – It was no mistake that Jesus called fishermen to be part of his inner circle of disciples. These fishermen understood hard work, staying with something, not letting disappointment cloud judgement and working together as a team. May these lessons … and blessings … be something we embrace today. Amen.  

Blessings –

Dianne

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