22 August, 2011


I love the rain. I always have. It conjures up romantic images of English gardens and reading "Jane Eyre" or "Pride and Prejudice" while tucked away in some quiet window-seat. I think I love it so much because I have never lived anywhere that got rain overwhelmingly frequently. The closest I got was in Hawaii where we had our "feather rain" that fell faithfully between 2 and 3 pm daily. I just got used to it and it was far too light and brief to need an umbrella. This was also when we got our best rainbows because, of course, the sun never stopped shining during these times. One time while living in Hawaii, we were driving home at night and I saw lightning off in the distance. I was very excited, because while rain was daily, lightning was unheard of. In fact, lightning was so rare in Hawaii that my mother panicked and thought I was having a seizure. She would not calm down until it flashed again and she could see it.

The fact that I love the rain has made this summer one of the most difficult of my life. It has however, made it a great opportunity for my prayer life. I hope I am not the only one able to admit that when it comes to my spiritual life, I feel I do more things wrong than right everyday. I make up a list of rules to follow and if I cannot check each of these off daily, I have failed.

Prayer is a huge part of this for me. Too many days I have found myself falling asleep at night realizing I had not spoken to my Father a single time that day. In the past, I have beaten myself up over this fact and kept myself awake vowing to do better the next day. Recently, though, I have realized the futility of this. Now when I begin to berate myself for failing, I talk to the Father. I tell Him that I have missed Him and apologize for not coming to Him sooner. Here's the thing: He forgives me! Completely and utterly. So I move past the regret, relax in His grace, and begin to glorify Him for Who He Is.

What does this have to do with the rain? It's no secret that I wilt in the Texas summer and Depression's old claws begin to tear at me again (especially in August). Each fall is like a re-birth. That first brisk breeze of the season feels like God Himself is breathing His life back into me, reminding me of how He has sustained me for another year. But this year feels harder, hotter, and more relentless. A few weeks ago, I reached the end of another 110 degree day without talking to God. I was tired and I broke down. I didn't know what to ask for. For Him to sustain me? I already knew He would be faithful. What I needed was hope. I wasn't asking for November in the middle of July, but I prayed for rain. Glorious, soft, gentle, cooling rain. Softening the ground and renewing my spirit.

The next day, I was at my sister's.  My brother-in-law was grilling out for dinner and he told us all to come outside. When I walked out the door, I could smell it. The earthy smell that I would bottle if I could. The smell of rain. It began with a soft patter and ended up pouring. All of us, grown men and women and three little girls, stayed in it. My sister and I pushed the girls on their swingset. There was no one telling anyone to go inside. We all stayed in it, played in it, danced in it.

The littlest girl and I were the last to go in. It finally got too hard and cold for her, but I could have stayed  until it stopped. We were both soaked through, but overjoyed.

This all happened visiting my sister in Oklahoma. Then we went to to visit Ben's grandmother in Amarillo. Ben and I were out doing yard work and it began to rain. Not heavy, just soft and beautiful. It was the most I have ever enjoyed gardening in my entire life.

When we got back to Dallas, I was preparing for the heat and the dry. After all, it had not rained in months. The day after we got back, it rained. I just sat out on the back patio and savored it like a chocolate milkshake. I cried, overwhelmed by the greatness of our God. I know I was one of millions of people praying for rain, but in those three days it felt like God was speaking directly to me and I praised him for it. Just when my puddle of strength runs dry, I find the ocean of His.

"As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my work that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." 
Isaiah 55: 10-11

15 August, 2011


So part of my (Ben's) pre-field checklist was getting tested for ADHD.  Surprised?  Well, it came up last fall.  Megan and I were required to each fill out 8 different psychological exams.  When UWM invited us to our Candidate Assessment & Orientation week in October, part of that Assessment was with the psychologist who had graded and reviewed our results.  Some of my responses made her wonder if perhaps I had ADHD, so UWM wanted me to find out one way or another before we move to Hungary (date still TBD)

I finally went in for that evaluation this morning.  At first I thought I would need to go see another psychologist or counselor.  Looking into those options, however, we learned about the price tag (several hundred $$$).  Doing MORE research led me to learn that my regular doctor (he's a D.O.) and he charges WAY LESS!  Anywhoo, on the results.

Wait, maybe I'll make you hold on a little longer.  No reading ahead :D  I just wanted to relate my expectations going in.  I didn't really doubt that I have ADHD; specifically, I know that I have personality traits that closely resemble it.  It's kinda hard to understand the differences especially when you also begin to ponder what could also be character flaws.  What I mean to say is, I have a personality that naturally makes me easily distracted and when I was younger, I wasn't as responsible and had difficulty in school.  At least, I attribute those difficulties to immaturity.

Okay, so my doctor decided that there's enough evidence to support that yes I do indeed have ADHD.  HOWEVER, I have developed such effective coping techniques and strategies that it really doesn't affect my functionality or diligence.  ALSO, he doesn't believe that medication is or will ever be necessary.  (insert big smiley face)

01 August, 2011