Life As I Know It

Life As I Know It

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Home Sweet Home

For the past 6 1/2 years I have been a part of two homes.  My birth home-New Castle, PA and my newly established home-Phoenix, AZ.  For years I have been teaching my east coast family about scorpions, haboobs, winter grass and other Arizona phenomenons that seem so alien to us and at the same time teaching my west coast family and friends about snow, pierogies, and a little Pittsburgh-ese!

This weekend I had the opportunity to "go home".  I flew out Thursday night and when I stepped off the plane and out into the frigid cold...I was home.  For 18 years I grew up there and created thousands upon thousands of memories.  I am completely comfortable there.  At my parents house I know where everything is, help myself to the fridge, and even check their mail.  At my grandparents house, I go in without knocking, plop down in a chair, and make myself "at home".  There is something so welcoming and so refreshing about being in a place so familiar. 

Although our lives have been lived thousands of miles apart for years, this weekend it was as if I was never gone.  We played cards, laughed about old memories, ate at my favorite restaurants, and even went to a high school football game.  It was so good to "be home". 

But all the while I was in PA, I truly missed my new home.  I thought about my bed, my couches, my tv, my car, my job, my friends, and my life in AZ.  As the plane started to descend into the Valley of the Sun, I smiled as I saw Saquaro Lake where just last month my parents and Griff and I took a boat ride, I thought back to my college graduation as we zoomed past ASU stadium, and looked out over the thousands of houses and very happily knew that MY house was amoungst them.  I was home.

It is not always easy to blend two distinct lives together.  Where I grew up in PA and where I know call home in AZ are about as different as fire and ice.  But, I was shaped into the person I have become by growing up where I did, surrounded by people who loved me, and I continue to grow into that person today as Griff and I navigate through life here in Gilbert.

All this talk about home brings me to my real point of this blog...thankfully for me I have one more home.  Somewhere that no matter what happens I am welcome.  Somewhere that no matter what I have done I can come back.  Somewhere that no matter how long you have been gone you will be welcomed with open arms.  Home in the arms of Christ. 

I started this blog in an effort to help me grieve the loss of our baby.  So I try to relate back to that in all my blogs.  At the time we lost the baby I needed to "go home".  Not to PA, not to my house in Gilbert, but home.  Home to Christ.  Home to where he would welcome me with open arms and care for me in a way that no one else could.  Home to a Father who loves His children more than anything and always will.  When I allowed myself to realize that I will never be more at peace and more comfortable anywhere but there, I knew that I was right where I belonged...I was home.

Monday, October 10, 2011


I was hungry, in a hurry, agitated, and annoyed.  I was standing in line at Safeway needing to get back to work, just wanting to grab a quick bite to eat.  An "older" woman was the only thing that stood between me and my sandwich, and I quickly realized there might as well have been 100 people in line ahead of me.  She was arguing with the poor teenager making the sandwich who was clearly brand new.  What was she so up in arms about? $0.49!  She swore up and down someone told her that a sandwich and drink meal was $5.00, not $5.49 as stated on the menu board.  She demanded someone be paged, she flipped through the newspaper ad, and was relentless about this $0.49.  The teenage boy was calm, cool, collected.  I, on the other hand, stared down at my feet to avoid this lady seeing my clearly agitated face as she kept staring at me trying to get my sympathy.  Finally after about 10 minutes, the problem was solved and the lady did indeed save $0.49! 

Even though I was in a rush and not in the mood for a life lesson at the time, looking back I was taught a little lesson that day.  This teenage boy, who I am sure wanted nothing to do with making sandwiches at Safeway was the most patient and kind person to this extremely difficult customer.  Did he want to be nice...probably not.  Did he want to say..."lady, it's only $0.49"...probably! (I sure wanted to).  But he simply made her turkey and harvarti panini with a smile on his face and a customer service attitude.  He was PATIENT.

We all have things in our daily lives that teach us patience whether we want them to or not.  The long lines at Target, the car driving so slow in the fast lane who just will not pull over, the person who has been waiting in line at Wendy's for 5 minutes and still doesn't know what they want when it is their turn to order.  (ok...maybe these are just my pet peeves) :)  In the grand scheme of life...these things are so ridiculously petty.

What about the things that aren't so petty and still teach us patience.  Since losing our baby, I have been learning patience EVERY SINGLE DAY!  I struggle with it EVERY SINGLE DAY!  Why do I have to wait my turn?  Why can't I have my baby right now?  Why is so-and-so pregnant and I'm not? 
Probably nothing annoys me more than when I hear someone say "it just wasn't your time, be patient, your time will come".  What in the world do they know about being patient in this situation?!?! 

In all reality, I do need to be patient.  That is all I have.  Only God knows our future and He has a perfect timetable layed out for each of us.  It is not up to me when I will get pregnant next or if I will have a healthy pregnancy.  In fact I was reminded of this yet again when just last month Griff and I lost another pregnancy.  Talk about needing patience!  We waited 9 months since we lost our precious child and then to have the joy again and again have it stripped away.  Why do I need to learn so much patience?! ;)

I still do not have all the answers about why we are experiencing such difficulty with something that seems to come so easily to millions of people. But, everyday I do receive just a little bit of insight as to what I need to learn from this. Although it is a journey I never would have chosen to embark on, all things truly do work together for the glory of God, and this is my path to find His plan for my life.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, PATIENCE, kindness, goodness, faithfulness...(Galatians 5:22). Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and PATIENCE...(Colossians 1:11). Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and PATIENCE. (Colossians 3:12) **Emphasis mine**

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Peace That Surpasses All Understanding

One of my favorite things to do is to take a long drive by myself.  Some people may think this seems crazy when gas is $3.30 a gallon, but to me it is one of the best things in life.  Arizona freeways often loop, so that is a beautiful thing when you love to take a long drive.  Tonight was no exception.  I rolled down my windows, cranked up my music, and jumped on the freeway.  Instant peace.

Peace.  That is something that I have been asking for for months.  After we lost our precious baby I had never needed peace as badly as I did in the days and weeks that followed.  No matter how many hours we sat at a park or how many times I "looped" the 202, I had no peace.  I was then reminded of Philippians 4:7-"And the peace of God, that transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus".  What beautiful words. I am learning that no matter how many I try to "fix" my problems, divert my attention, or distract myself from a problem, what I really need is that peace that transcends all understanding.

This weekend I had a huge decision that had to be made.  I have been torn for weeks about it.  I think in my mind I was waiting for a huge neon sign to start flashing and give me my answer.  In all reality, if I think back on all life's big decisions, my answers have always come when I am simply quiet and wait.  It is very rare that God sends us an unmistakable sign in the form of something tangible for us to see.  It is when we are patient and listen to His soft whisper that we get our answers.  It is when we allow ourselves to rely solely on that peace that transcends all understanding, that we will be given direction. 

My answer was given to me this weekend when I completely gave up trying to figure it out on my own, and I have never had so much peace about a decision.