Wildlife Wrangler or Busybody?

imagesAs I sat reading in a chaise lounge, I looked across the pool to the deep end and saw something swimming across the top of the water. It was just a few feet from the rushing waterfall where water poured continuously, so the creature’s movement was constant. It appeared to be struggling to get out, to reach the safety of the edge. I believed it was a bird.

Several years ago I wrangled from the water a young bunny that had fallen in the pool and found refuge on the ledge of the skimmer. Only when the automated pool pump turned on to begin its day’s work was the young rabbit scared from the safety of the ledge and began paddling for its life in the water. I yanked off my long pajama bottoms and raced down the steps into the shallow end to reach for the bunny. I did not know until that moment that bunnies can actually scream. A quick grab and a few steps away, I put the soggy, squealing rabbit down on the patio, where it immediately dashed off to safety never to be seen again.

So with my imaginary wildlife rescue badge pinned to my top, I kept my eye on this struggling bird, put down the book I was reading, and stood. The hairclip laying in my lap fell and hit the patio. The crack of the plastic hitting the concrete sounded like it might have broken. I didn’t care; this little creature fighting for its life in the deep water needed my immediate attention.

I was wearing my prescription sunglasses, a necessity if I want anything in the distance to have sharp edges. The bird, or was it a mouse or a mole, turned sideways with the current of the water. Its reflection beneath it in the water amplified its size. I hurried around the side of the pool and got closer, trying to decide how I was going to lift it out. I didn’t want it to scream like the bunny had, and last year’s attempt to rescue a vole left me cussing at the little varmint when it bit my finger.

I got to the poor struggling creature and saw no bird, no mouse, no mole, no vole. It was only a tan colored beech tree leaf dancing and bobbing in the water. It was clearly enjoying the ride. While its tree-mates mostly still hung on to the limbs nearby, this one had taken its final bow, drifted into the waterfall, and landed for a swim on a beautiful day. It was I who saw only the struggle, even with my prescription shades.

What about you? What do you see in your own life that appears to be a struggle but may really be a big dose of normalcy? Can you think of a situation when you mistook something and your controlling personality rushed in to fix it, only to embarrass yourself in the end? Things aren’t always what they appear. Let us not automatically assume the worst. Sometimes fallen leaves just want to float.

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My New Version YouVersion for MultiTaskers

IMG_5223Maybe I’m a little late to the YouVersion Bible party here, but I just discovered something about it.

During a recent small group meeting, I downloaded the app to my iPhone but really hadn’t messed around with it since that day. Since our preacher gave us homework (yes, I am one of those people who likes assignments and the mental challenge) and my Bible wasn’t in the same room with me, I decided to check out the online version of YouVersion and catch up with the assignment. Since the account had already been established during the original mobile app download, login was a snap.

My assignment is to read the book of John. YouVersion gives the option to select your preference. I’m an NIV girl, so the click of the button turned the KJV to NIV. But the jewel for me was when I noticed this icon:listen

It has an option to read the words to you. Yes! Oh, happy day. I’m not one to have a television blasting in the background, but if you are, here’s an alternative to those of you who need “noise” in the house for company. What a great way to get some Bible reading done while you’re multitasking. When I have a pile of clothes needing ironing or other mundane tasks in one area of the house, I like to listen to a podcast (usually the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcasts) as my background company while I’m working. Now I know a way to listen to the Bible in the same simple manner. 

If it helps you to comprehend what you’re reading to hear the words aloud as you’re reading along, then there is that option. That’s good for me too since my mind tends to SQUIRREL! 

I think this is really cool and a great “timesaver” for us when we claim we don’t have time to sit down and read the Bible because we have to:

1. give ourselves a manicure
2. spring clean the house
3. do laundry
4. bathe the dog
5. knit
6. organize a closet
7. scrapbook
8. your task here

See what I mean? It’s a great companion for you while you do any of those tasks. 

Yoohoo! Now happy listening, and get that homework done. You just might learn something.

Follow on Twitter at @YouVersion or visit on the web at http://www.bible.com

Days of Our Lives

trike
Early spring days like today—the way the weather feels—remind me of Garland. In my mind, I’m four years old, and Mama has allowed me to take my green tricycle to Garland’s house for the day. Mama spent her days full time as a secretary at that place called work. She drove me to Garland’s house every morning and picked me up late in the afternoon sometime before supper.

Garland seemed old then, but she was full of love and caring. She was a woman of sturdy size, and she could make the meanest bowl of oatmeal this side of Ireland. Even though we flake our own oat groats to this day for the freshest taste and nutrients, I can’t ever replicate the taste of that delicious oatmeal Garland made me for breakfast. Sands from the hourglass dripped from the top bulb to the lower one on the black and white television screen, while Garland had one eye on me and one on her story. It’s a shame she didn’t have a third eye, or else April Kay Westmoreland’s long blond ponytail might not have been severed at the scalp the day we decided to play beauty parlor.

A quick entry into Google Maps shows me now that Garland’s house was less than half a mile away, but it seemed farther when I was a kid. Modern technology allows me to see the street view, to zoom in and see the slight hill that was so much fun and oh-so-scary on my trike. I see the crumbling concrete driveway and the grassy, tree area in the center of the cul-de-sac where Baby Jesus and the manger scene magically appeared every December. I see where Andy lived next door and the shrubs where his big brother tangled my brand new Slinky at my birthday party. I see the next house where a kid named Steven lived. Steven’s basement was the place where we all hid inside a free-standing cabinet before the entire cabinet fell over, and his frantic mom had to come pry us out. It was at Garland’s house where the creek ran behind it with the slippery rocks and the big swimming hole that supposedly had a huge drain in the bottom that would swallow up kids whole if they dared swim down to it.

The last time I ever went to the slippery rocks I walked with Andrea, three years my junior, about half a decade after the days when Garland served as my daily babysitter. Andrea and I felt so grown up walking all the way there and back by ourselves, especially on the way back when we discovered we’d picked up a million gross tiny worms or larvae all over our clothes from playing on the rocks. We ran all the way home and learned how to use the washing machine in my mother’s laundry room that day.

I wonder if the swimming hole is still there, or if kids are allowed to slide and play on the slippery rocks. It’s probably been changed somehow, filled in, or gated off. A warning sign is probably posted saying, “Danger!” or at least demanding helmets be strapped on before taking the risk of stepping in the 3-inch deep water. I wonder when the last time Baby Jesus visited the center of the cul-de-sac. I wonder how today’s 4-year-olds will remember spring days like today.