Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Isn't there an app for that?

Confession time, again: I'm addicted to my iPhone. But I don't have a ton of apps. I have exactly 26 apps on my phone, including three game apps (no, Angry Birds isn't one of them), a dictionary app and all of the apps that come preset on the phone.

Apple's web site touts 425,000 apps for iPhone. So no wonder they've trademarked the phrase, "There's an app for that."

I got really excited about one of those 425,000 apps the other day. My Real Simple magazine this month told of a free app called Leafsnap that could help me identify trees using pictures of their leaves. Knowing how I love trees, are you surprised that I'd be happy to download that app?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A second look at worries on the road

Last week, I wrote about worrying -- and why it's not only needless but also shows a lack of faith. I also offered you a challenge to begin keeping a list of things you're grateful for. Little did I know that I would need the message I had shared with you last week to be firmly in my mind and heart by the end of the week.

Someone very dear to me took an ambulance ride to the hospital on Friday morning, not for health problems that had plagued her much of the summer, but for something new, something scarier, something life-threatening. But she was in good hands, in God's hands. And she got to the hospital in time.

As I walked to and from her room each day, the blur of activity in the hallways dizzied me. But the experience filled me with items for my gratitude list. I hope you don't mind me sharing some of them with you.

These last few days, I have found myself grateful for ...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Worries on the road less traveled

Do you worry a lot? I do. I know, I know -- God tells us over and over again in the Bible not to worry, but I think I was born worried, so worried, in fact, that I came out six weeks early to fit in more worrying.

This past weekend, I had a lot of worries to face on what should have been a blissful outing. My husband, dog and I went for a hike to measure a trail for my husband's web site. My husband has a passion for running and numbers and helping others and sharing his story of faith, and he has combined all of that into a great site with maps and accurate wheel measurements of runnable trails in the northwestern North Carolina mountains.

I've taken wheel in hand to measure a couple of trails for him. And I've accompanied him on other trails as he did the measuring. Until this weekend, the trails were easy ones. Wide, well-maintained, steep at times, but still easy to walk.

This weekend's trail was different, and I knew enough to ask before I agreed to accompany him whether there would be stream crossings. You see, I really don't love stream crossings. I never have. I'm not coordinated, and something about stepping across slippery, wet rocks works on my overactive imagination in the worst kind of way.

My husband told me there would be one creek to cross but assured me it would be an easy crossing. Turns out, I didn't need to worry about that crossing. He was right. There were several stones sitting sturdily up out of the water for me to step across.

What I neglected to ask about, though, was another worry I face on hikes: crossing over downed trees. Somewhere, some wise or possibly mean person filled my little-girl head with fears about snakes and spiders waiting on the other side of downed trees to bite me.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Adopted into a great family tree

My parents celebrate their 50th anniversary later this week, but we celebrated the golden event with a party for extended family this past weekend. We had fun, and most of us ate too much barbecue and banana pudding.

Despite my parents' request for "no gifts," we all chipped in for one very special art piece to give them -- a family tree with paper leaves signed by as many family members as we could track down:

The anniversary celebration -- and the family tree gift -- reminded me how blessed I am. You see, I'm adopted. So my family tree could have looked completely different.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Can I tell you about my BFF?

Last week, I wrote to you about the unmistakeable sign God sent me at a writers' conference I attended the weekend before. He was telling me to "Forgive," by placing that word in hard, cold metal form on a table with my name pointing to it. If you haven't had a chance to read the post, you may want to check it out before reading on.

This week, I'd like to tell you about a second sign: the name of God on the paper where conference organizers had taped my name. As I mentioned last week, a prayer room was lined with tables where we could find our names attached to a sheet of paper with one of the names of God, such as Adonai, El-Shaddai, Elohim, and Yahweh. Here's what I saw:

My name taped to the top of this page;
Jehovah-Shammah, the Lord my companion