So, that’s my view up there. Incredible, right?! I have no idea what that small fake deer thing with tin foil on his antler is. We call him Benny.
I can’t believe we’ve been in Arizona for seven months!! Sometimes it feels like years, and sometimes it feels like just yesterday D and I made the up and down road trip out here. We drove through the corn and the plains and the red dessert and sweet pines and mountains to Paradise Valley, and got here safe and sound. That first night, against our best efforts, we cried on our bedroom floor (no moving truck yet) and wondered out loud if we made the right choice – leaving everything. I mean, we knew we made the right choice, but ugh… it was hard. The days and weeks and months after that have been both incredible and a little emotionally taxing. D’s job wasn’t what we expected, and he resigned shortly after we got here. In that alone, I am so proud of him. It would have been so much easier to just stay. Stay in Rockford, stay at that job. But I don’t want to be with someone that picks easy. No, not at all. It’s been really hard being away from our friends, and most of our family, and our supportive church home, and my shop. But that to say, we have fallen in love with Phoenix and this weather, and this experience has bonded us as a family more than ever. (And D’s mom is here with us, which we are so grateful for). If I were home, I know most nights during this weird job transition and waiting period would have been spent (with a gallon of ice cream and a hundred pack of Reeses PB cups) at Steph’s or Ashley’s or Andrea’s. (Andrea probably would have only let me have 50, but still). Or at Theresa’s in the hot tub with wine – plenty. Or at Ahndea’s, if she still lived in IL, begging her to bake just one batch of her famous cookies over and over and over again. (And again?). Or loading up on even more Starbucks with Randi or Leah or Sarah. (It’s treat receipt season, right?). But because I’m here… thousands of miles and time zones and climates apart, I am not. I am here, at my incredible (rented) house, working through all these crazy emotions with my incredible (permanent) husband. What a blessing this season is and will be. I know it.
(Family photo by the super incredible, Phoenix-based Rachel Solomon)
I’m usually an all or nothing girl. If I love it – a person, place, activity, food, thing, whatever – I am ALL. IN. No one would describe me as a grey area type of person. But since we’ve gotten here, that’s where I’ve lived. Grey. I’ve been afraid to get my feet wet, fully submerge myself in to what Arizona has to offer. I’ve been afraid to settle in, not wanting to do the work to make friends or time, because I haven’t known how long we’re going to stay. And the funny thing is, it’s been like that most of our marriage. For nearly the past 4 years, something has been brewing. I’ve not wanted to settle in to anything – our house, my job, a gym membership, magazine subscription… whatever. Because I’ve always felt like something was “coming.” Mentally, I’ve been preparing. Getting ready for something. Getting ready to start a business, leave our jobs, start another business, run a marathon, have a baby, sell our house, move (across the street, not the country), etc. And you know what? While those things did happen, me stopping my life in anticipation for what’s next never helped. Not once. Why? Because, A). Stopping your life in anticipation of your life is stupid. And, B). Because nothing about any of those things happened the way I saw or anticipated or planned for anyway. And yet, here we are, all happy and healthy and a-okay.
(climbing to the top of Camelback Mountain on Christmas Eve for my birthday!)
Whenever people find out we haven’t yet been in AZ through one of it’s infamously scorching summers, people always say “well, get ready!” And that’s the theme, especially now that it’s spring. Commercials, ads, people at Walgreens… EVERYONE is saying:
“Well, get ready for the heat!”
This has seemed an odd warning to me. (Much like those falling rock signs on the road I’m driving on. What am I supposed to do? I’m already here? Swerve of the road, over the guardrail, and in to the canyon?). As long as I have a home and a car with AC, what else, pray-tell, am I supposed to do to “get ready”?
And so, my friends. Here is where it stops and starts for me. I’m going to stop getting ready. The heat will come. Just like a new opportunities and jobs and studio spaces and people will come. I am going to enjoy the perfect nighttime breeze of April and not bypass it in the dread of 119 degree July. I am going to enjoy the possibility of swimming outside on Easter and the fact that not a day has gone by in nearly a year that I haven’t worn flip flops. I am going to live in this moment, in today, in this place, because it is what I have. (And it’s incredible). And when the Lord calls us to something else, be it state of mind or United State of America, I will prepare accordingly. But no more getting ready. Forget getting ready. I’m going to live for today. (Gosh, if only 100 bumper stickers and country songs had told me to do that 4 years ago)… xoxo
This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Psalm 126:3
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11