The Shark Level


I believe the Bible, every word, I promise I do, but I would like to add one little clause to Luke 6:45: , “for out of the abundance of the heart his (in this case-her) mouth speaks”. . . {with the exception of driving in a Latin American capital}

About a month ago, I had a car accident, it wasn’t my fault, but that took a few weeks and a trip to traffic court to prove it. So. . . That has me a little more nervous when driving. As a result of the wait, and the way things are done here, my car still isn’t back.

So I have been very thankful and blessed to drive another missionaries car. This morning, on my way to a doctor’s appointment, I realized, when waiting at a stop light by a policeman, that my “restricted” day to drive, was actually Wednesday’s- TODAY. Once a week you aren’t allowed to drive on a particular road that circles San Jose, as a way to help with all of the congested roads, determined by the last number of your license plate. My normal no-drive day is Monday.

I am NOT a rule breaker, so my hands start shaking, I get flush, and stressed. I’m committed by this point, I already see myself in a Latin Prison for driving on the wrong day, I’m not crazy, that is not the penalty but, that’s where my mind has taken me.

I continue on my way to my dr’s appointment, without being arrested, stopped, or otherwise endangered. Miracle, right?

I, being relatively educated on the cause of high blood pressure, start to try to calm my nerves, I start practicing all that calm breathing that I reassured my patients with for so long. . . that simply breathing will be enough to help with pain, so much so you won’t even notice you are delivering an eight pound baby!!! Of course it can help bring your blood pressure down from a stressful event.

You know . . . Take a deep breath in, hold it for 10 seconds, let it out slow, . . . Imagine your somewhere peaceful.

Then as I am entering the parking deck, some guy ruined my tranquil state by asking me if I wanted my car washed.  While I am at the appointment, they have a mobile unit-thingy they use!, ummm “hello here, I’m focusing, and on what planet would that be a normal question?”

Then I park and try to remember I’m on the shark level,       18664478_1878658605734589_4927685309502284707_n                                                      not the scarlet macaw level like normal.


I’m obviously a little shaken, then get off the wrong floor for my doctor, then the sweet lady asks me who I am looking for, and I realize I can’t remember my doctor’s name.

For the love!!!

(A little back story since Dave is out of town, i may have binged a good 4 hours of a crime show. And of course, the door bell starts ringing at 10:30 last night, which lets be honest, after 4 hours of a crime show, we all know what happens next. . . So obviously I didn’t sleep well while holding a hammer incase the cannibal eating monster who hunts for missionary wives while their husbands are away, is right outside my gate!)

Sleep deprivation can cause severe stress and hallucinations. FYI

Just a little “history” to give you some insight to my mental state.


Back to the doctor’s office.

finally I find the right floor and the right doctor.

I’m trying that deep breathing thing again.
What a waste of all my oxegyn!!!

The lady takes my blood pressure, and I can tell she FREAKED out, so I look, then I FREAK out, I’m talking stroke-like levels. I have never had high blood pressure-never ever.

Then my mind starts to try to figure out how I can translate all that has happened in my mind the last half-hour. (Ok the last 24 hours) I realize I have no words. Not English, not Spanish, not even Spanglish.

So I smile, and say, “driving here is stressful”

She smiled. We waited, and checked again later, which was still high enough to start blood pressure meds-stat, but since that had nothing to do with my visit, we move on . . .

I survive the appointment, and didn’t even have to pay, cause after all it was just a friendly consultation, sign a few papers, I’ll answer all of your questions kind of visit.

On my way home, as I am waiting my turn for the rotunda, which I fondly refer to as,  “the circle of death”, which coincidently is the road which I’m not supposed to cross, guess who pulls up right beside me, your right, more police!!! (Just a side note, where were all of these police when I waited in the rain for them at the scene of my accident for over an hour – but let’s leave the past in the past right, of course I’m not bitter, I’m a missionary for goodness sake.

Again, I feel like my blood pressure is going to cause a stroke, and I think, “who will pick up the girls” or “If i survive, and land up in jail who will post bail, do they even have bail here?”

Dave is in the indigenous area, who by the way, normally drives me to these kinds of things, for obvious reasons.

So, I think this is it. Book me Dano. I sit in traffic slowly inching closer to the circle of death beside them for 5 minutes, (aka a lifetime) thinking, “what are they waiting for?!”

But because God is merciful, they were on their phones, and once we got to the circle, because they were on my left, they actually stopped the tragic, and I got to pass right by them, instead of the way I usually drive into the circle of death, with my eyes shut, praying in other languages.

All of that to say, yes if I were driving on the back roads of the Carolinas, yes, my heart probably would be in slow rhythm, enjoying the green hills, trees, strawberry patches, peach trees, etc, singing praises of all that was good in the world, but here, all that stress and worried made my heart speak, and today it said. . .


True story,

A slightly stressed missionary wife

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