Dwell in Me

Seeking God in the Every Day


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Praising in the Rain

It’s a rainy day here in Houston. I’m something of a critic of Texas, especially the Houston area. It’s not where I would have chosen to live. In fact, it’s a city I would have put pretty high on a short list of places I specifically would not want to live. But this is where we are. And I’m learning to like it. The people are great, but it has taken a while for us to really find a community here. And Houston is a sprawling city. It’s not pretty. It’s flat. It’s almost always hot. And oh, how I miss the seasons and the accompanying change of scenery.

On a rainy day, though, I can appreciate Texas. Instead of moping and complaining when it’s dreary outside, people are raising their hands in praise to God for the rain, grateful for the water that gives life to dry and barren lands.

Texans know what it means to suffer from periods of drought. We moved to Texas in the middle of a long heat wave two years ago. I think something like 29 of 30 days had seen temperatures over 100 degrees. It hadn’t rained in a long time, and no small amount of rain would be able to refill the dried up lakes and ponds or nourish the soil.

Toward the end of summer, wildfires ripped through the areas north and west of Houston. We were in College Station then, and women in my Bible study talked about how it looked like it was snowing on their land because the ash was falling so thick. Cows were being sent to slaughter early because there was no hay for them to eat. The grass was all but gone from the landscape and they were starving. I took a drive with DH’s grandparents to visit their first great-grandchild and we drove through burned out forests, blackened, looking like a set for a horror movie. I wish I had a picture.

And when it rained? People were praising and whooping and hollering in joy. It was a sight to see.

Gradually the lakes refilled, though most have not yet returned to their predrought levels. And on a rainy day people appreciate that sometimes it takes a good hard rain to make things right.

And it’s a good reminder. When it rains, I appreciate Texas a little bit more. And I remember that we need rain to get us out of a drought.

The rain makes mud and slows traffic and leaves streaks on freshly washed cars. It sometimes knocks out power or breaks off tree branches. It makes a mess.

But it’s a good mess. A mess that leads to growing. A mess that brings new life. A mess that helps us appreciate the sunshine.

Can I praise God for the storm I’m in now because I know that it will lead to something better? Can I thank him for the absolute mess because I trust that it will bring something new and right and wonderful?

Somehow it’s easier on a rainy day to lift my hands in praise.

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Changing Spaces

Strange things are happening here.

DH got promoted a few weeks ago, though he’s still working his shift schedule until the new guy is trained and ready to replace him. At this point, that means at least one more night shift.

But this week is a normal M-F work week. So DH is spending his time with the new department and doing the new hours.

In his current position (not the promotion), he was working 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. (or vice versa on nights), Wed.-Tues. most weeks, and 6 a.m. – 3 p.m. one week out of five. The latter would be the normal working hours (maybe to 4) for him if he’d stayed in the department he was in. At those hours, he expects a 30-40 minute commute. Which is long, but doable.

In the new position he’s in a new department. So he’s working 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. About the worst possible time to go to work in Houston. His morning commute has increased to at least 50 minutes, and the trip home takes even longer. He’s spending about two hours per day in the car.

I think I posted before about things we did because we expected a large family. Moving to Katy was definitely one of them. It has great schools–and we live right behind the elementary school where our kids would theoretically attend classes. It has nearby parks and pools. And it’s a really family-oriented town.

But maybe we don’t want to be so family oriented right now.

DH has been hinting for a while that he’d like to live downtown instead. I saw that as something we would do if infertility treatments don’t work and we’re not likely to have children, or if we won’t have more than one or two kids. We did, after all, build our own house. Which we moved into last June (yes, approximately one month before we received our infertility diagnosis).

We’re all moved in. We ordered cabinets to install in our study (planning to put book shelves above to the ceiling and make it a little library). We just bought new bedroom curtains and bedding to finally get our room done. The only room that hasn’t been finished (or isn’t in the process of being finished) is the nursery–which is empty save for the books that are waiting for the aforementioned bookshelves.

When we moved to our house, we expected to be here for a long time. Long enough, at least, for our kids to go to the school right behind us. Long enough that we would join the church and be able to really get involved for the long term. A long time.

So, of course, if makes perfect sense that today I’m going with DH to look at fancy downtown apartments. And that I expect to spend my Memorial Day weekend getting our house cleaned up so we can put it on the market. It makes perfect sense, right?

It’s not just the commute, though I guess that was the final straw. It’s because we don’t have kids yet. We don’t fit the family-oriented culture. And when we go out, we go downtown. There isn’t really anything here outside of going out to dinner. And while I’ve made some friends and connections here, DH’s co-workers are mostly downtown and neither of us really feels like we have a solid group here.

Yes, we have friends we’ll want to visit. But we’re moving 30 minutes away, not to a different state or anything.

This has been a long time coming. And while I’m not looking forward to renting again, or to leaving my beautiful house, it is a good time to sell. And since the house is pretty new, we don’t have too much work to do to get it ready. We might even make some money on the house, and it will definitely free up the capital we invested, which wouldn’t hurt to have in the bank to help pay for treatments.

And we’ve had amazing support from DH’s mom. When we told her we were thinking about moving, she said that she and DH’s dad had just been talking about how they didn’t think Katy was really the right place for us right now. It was a very nice confirmation that maybe we’re doing the right thing.

But I hate moving. I wish I could wake up and just already be moved. I am a terrible mover. And I’ve never sold a house before, so I’m nervous about that. Thanks in advance for any prayers you can send our way–both that we’re doing the right thing, and for things to go smoothly. I really appreciate it.