Reason No. 1
On April 8, 2013, after several months of preparation, I successfully completed my doctoral candidacy exam at the University of Dayton. This means that I am officially a doctoral candidate and ABD--shorthand for "all but dissertation." After four years of seminars, language requirements, and general exams, I have finally come to the point where writing my dissertation is all that remains in the process of acquiring a Ph.D. in theology. The writing process is something that has already commenced. I hope to be done within a year and a half to two years.
Reason No. 2
On May 17, 2013, Ronnie and I welcomed our third child into the world: Althea Gabrielle McGowin. She was 9 lbs. 13 oz. at birth--our biggest yet!--and 22.5 inches long. I gave birth to her naturally and without medication at Family Beginnings birthing center in Dayton, OH. Thea, as we've already nicknamed her, was a big surprise to us. We were not planning to have more children until the above-mentioned dissertation is complete. But, we are overjoyed at the gift of this new life and grateful to God for another daughter.
So, there it is, folks! I've been out of commission, "gestating" and "laboring" over two very important creative and pro-creative works. I appreciate your continued prayers as our family walks by faith into what the next weeks, months, and years hold for us.