Painting was a gentle way I could honor, rather than criticize what I saw in my home. I started painting what was in front of me—laundry, dirty dishes, children’s toys and stuff left out. I learned to see it as art and not just annoying clutter that had to be managed resentfully by me. I had become very frustrated because I couldn’t make my home function the way I thought it should. My laundry paintings are entitled “After Ecstasy the Laundry.” (That was a line I got from a marital counselor.) They are numbered one through five so far. I started to learn about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Over time I believe God helped me to accept the ADHD and learning disabilities in my family. To me accepting it is like waiting. I don’t have to change it or fix it or fight it or run away from it. I can accept it and wait with it. When I am accepting it, I am not criticizing my two sons, my husband, or myself. Instead I can empathize. I can appreciate how hard it is for us to complete things when distractions are screaming from all over the room as well as from inside of us. Waiting, I guess is like patience to be able to cooperate instead of legislate. And, I can do it with a good or bad attitude. While reading about ADHD, I learned that the ADHD brain was wired differently. There was a telephone pole right outside our window that was a tangle of wires. I smiled as I thought about how it was no wonder I was having trouble understanding the ADHD brains in my home. I took on the challenge of painting that telephone pole. And I became an observer of other telephone poles in my neighborhood and around. I have painted about 18 telephone pole paintings now. I use the metaphor to think about people in general who are wired individually. The lesson I see helps me to be less judgmental and more observant. One isn’t better than another; it just varies in responsibility. Some are loaded with a variety of wires and some carry only a few. They have support and can’t do their jobs alone. Accepting ADHD has also opened me up to have humor sometimes instead of always being so serious. My family can laugh together at ADHD moments when we totally lose our focus in the middle of a sentence or during a task. Also, there are dyslexic moments when we reverse things. These things are no longer shame-filled. They are the reality with which we are learning to work. These are all miracles of progress. I started to draw out the letters of the months and wanted to illustrate some aspect of ADHD through the way the words were written. January was easy, because even people without ADHD have trouble following through with new year’s resolutions. The other months came to me gradually. I am still deciding which ones I like the best on the months I have more than one illustration. In my family, we are still learning ways to live with our ADHD and learning disabilities. The potential of impulsive behavior, addictions, and risky behaviors are things we try to talk about. We’ve also begun to appreciate some of our strengths-- sensitivity, creativity, various perspectives, and periods of hyper-focus. Having ADHD is also a gift in that I don’t get very confident in my own abilities, since I often mess up, and therefore have to look to God for constant help. I still have moments of discouragement, but not as often and they don’t last as long. By God’s grace, day by day, I am accepting and waiting with the ADHD in my family.