everyday life, inspiration

That Uncertain Path

Sometimes the best lessons in patience require impatience. Such went the process of finding and buying our first home. But now, looking back I can’t believe that we’ve almost lived in our first home for a year. All the stress and wondering if we would ever find something….and now this–to pinching ourselves that we own a home…and a dog!

In the midst of the stress and trial and searching and wondering it’s all too easy to be consumed with what-ifs. What if we never find the right home? What if we have to settle for less than what we want? What if we have to renew our apartment lease and lose money? What if the appraisal comes back low? What if the house doesn’t pass inspection?

There’s so much uncertainty in life. Even for something as seemingly small in the scheme of life as buying your first home, it’s fraught with uncertainty. The stress we place on ourselves, the pressure to get what we want or achieve something or find success. It can be extrapolated to every instance in life.

Who are we trying to please? Towards what are we directing our “achievement?” By whose standards am I measuring my success?

This last year has been one of tremendous growth for D and I. Managing a household certainly comes with its challenges-keeping the yard mowed, landscaping, keeping the dog alive, bills, decorating, fixing things. However, we have grown in the area of moving in harmony. We have built upon our knowledge of the other, being able to almost finish sentences and read what the other is thinking.

Best of all, we have done it together. He and I, we chose this house we have now made our home. We painstakingly weeded out many, many paint colors that, quite frankly, all looked the same. We agreed upon a carpet color/style. We toiled at the earth with our dueling lawn mowers and shovels and rakes. We had the help of family-my mother helped paint the laundry room one day with me while D was away, my father came with me to the carpet quote to make sure I wasn’t getting ripped off, D’s mother spent countless hours in our garden and helping us extend our back patio, his uncle helped create our front flower garden.

All the uncertainty of one year ago led to this moment in time. All the stress and agonizing over the multitude of decision that had to be made in a short amount of time brought us to our new home. Now, looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. That uncertain path led us to this present.

“All the wealth in the world cannot be compared with the happiness of living together happily united.” – Blessed Margaret d’Youville

 

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husbandy, love

Sneaking Into My Heart

I’ve never really been a girly girl. And that’s an understatement. I was involved in sports from the age of 4 when, my mom says, she enrolled me in rec league soccer to use up some of my energy. 10 years of soccer followed. There is something about Saturday mornings that will always remind me of soccer tournaments. The anticipation of the game, the wind against my jersey as I ran down the field, the thrill of harnessing your body’s energy and becoming exhausted.

Fast forward to senior year of high school and all my athletic energy was focused on tennis. I had been playing since sophomore year so I noticed when new people joined the team. Well a week or two into senior year this boy asked me for a ride to the off-campus tennis courts. I obliged, but was very cautious of him. Gradually, I began giving him a ride to the courts almost daily. We liked each other, but didn’t know it (obvs). The Heartbreak Kid had just come out and I love romantic comedies so I couldn’t stop talking about that movie.

One day, this boy and I were the last ones left at the tennis courts after practice and he yells across the court, stuttering, and asked me if I’d like to go see The Heartbreak Kid. Of course I would!

“I heard you’re going on a date with Sunny?” “No, we’re going to the m–. Ohhhh….um.” And that’s when I realized I was going on a date with Sunny.

The way to my heart is through romantic comedies, a little sneakiness, and a lot of gummy worms when the R-rated parts became too much for my 17 year old self. Note: The movie was not at all what I had imagined. And neither was Sunny. He snuck  his way right into my heart and his ring right onto my finger.

[Linking up with Show & Tell]

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everyday life, Uncategorized

It Has to Exist

At least that’s what I keep telling myself. The house we are looking for surely exists…

This one smells like Petco. This driveway is too slanted. This one is next to the sewer plant. This one is on the wrong side of town.

All things I said while house hunting. And will continue to say until an offer is accepted.

For the last 2-3 months we have been looking at houses in our hometown and I honestly thought it would be easier than this. Imagine that. Renting an apartment is so easy. I’ve lived in 3 different apartments in 3 different cities in 3 years. I don’t ever complain about the floorplan and each has had a completely different layout with pros and cons of each. I thought that finding a house would be kind of similar.

I guess it’s just something about a 30 year mortgage instead of a 1 year lease that makes you care a little more.

Things I want a house for: grilling outside, having a dog, attempting a garden (small and with plants that are tough as nails), so I can paint the walls, have a garage, but mostly so I don’t ever have to move all my crap again…at least not for a while.

We found a really cool house from the 70s with a huge stone fireplace, sunroom, walk up BAR and hot tub. I was sold after I saw the bar. I mean think about that conversation piece. There was no space for a kitchen table but who needs a kitchen table when you have a walk up BAR? Anyways, apparently in the 70s people used the toilet and brushed their teeth at the same time. Which in the 2000s we do not do-needless to say we didn’t get the house. But if I ever have the resources to build a custom home you know a walk up BAR will be included.

 

 

 

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faith, inspiration

A Lesson from the Missionaries of Charity #BISsisterhood Link Up

Praying the rosary isn’t all that hard, but it isn’t all that easy if you are prone to distractions and kneeling on a wood floor.

When I was 15, a group of young girls from my church all loaded in a van with a chaperone and our parish priest and took a “nun run” to visit the Missionaries of Charity (MC) in our state. It was mid-July, a season when most air conditioners would be running full steam ahead.

As soon as we entered the house where the MC’s lived, we noticed the barren appearance and the heat. The MC’s make it a mission to live like the people they serve. I’m sure even the people they served in this area had A/C, but the MC’s did not. What they also lacked was furniture. So for 20 minutes we all kneeled (even the sisters, some of whom had to be at least 70 years old) on the hard, wood floor. Several of our group were wearing shorts and how misfortunate that day…When you’re praying for 20 minutes on the hard, wood floor with no A/C in the middle of July in the South your knees start to slide apart.

Once we were nearing the end of the rosary, we all felt relief that we could sit soon. You see, the MC’s had brought out folding chairs just for us. However, once we ended the rosary and all of us were about to take our seats the lead nun began saying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. By that point, one member of our group who had a broken tailbone took the opportunity to sit down. As we all looked at each other, we admitted defeat and sat as well.

We learned a lot that day. We learned that sometimes you just have to grin and bear it to grow in holiness. We also learned that sweaty knees and wood floors don’t mix. Most of all we witnessed the joy that comes from a life completely lived for Christ and that rejecting modern-day luxuries can lead to a more full and lasting peace than having A/C and a house full of furniture.

“People who love each other fully and truly are the happiest people in the world. They may have little, they may have nothing, but they are happy people. Everything depends on how we love one another.”   -Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

Linking up for a post about the Communion of Saints with the #BISsisterhood.

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inspiration

Not All Who Wander are Lost

Not all who wander are lost. I’ve heard that saying and it makes me think… those wanderers are probably the most free people on the planet. They’re not lost because they have no destination. How could they be lost?

I was talking with a friend last night who is from a country in Europe and moved here about a year ago. She was lamenting the fact that in America there is pressure to have a big house and a nice car and everyone looks the same. She said that it scared her. And as I got to thinking more about it, it scared me too.

I’ve lived in an apartment for over 2 years now and while I hate not having a space to own and renovate that’s free from stomping around on my roof, I must admit that I enjoy the freedom of not owning a house. I pay rent and utilities. That’s pretty much it for this place. What’s the benefit of owning a huge home if you can’t travel as often because you’re spending the majority of your money to live somewhere?

Which brings me to my next point: travel. I don’t know if this is a common sentiment or not, but I feel like there’s more to life than 8-5 work. I would love to be exploring tiny little cobblestone streets in Italy, eating Belgian chocolates fresh from the candy maker, or riding an elephant on the beach in Thailand.

With two weeks of vacation time per year I just don’t see how anyone can take time to enjoy a nice excursion.

My travel goals:

1-Rome, Italy to enjoy 3 hour meals, wine, and architecture

2-Kyoto, Japan to enjoy traditions, tea, and cute packaging

3-Greece, Spain, Laos, Thailand, France,

4-anywhere and everywhere, mostly.

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faith

The Desires of the Heart

I recently moved back to my home town about a month ago. Before moving home, I had worked in a community mental health agency for 8 months. It was my first job after graduate school and I learned so much from it.

Within about 3 months of working there I had this feeling that community mental health work just wasn’t for me. It wasn’t my passion. I could do my job well, but it was very draining work and took an emotional toll on me.

I learned so much from working in mental health, but I learned more because I was working in a setting that I didn’t feel called to:

1. You can do good work somewhere even if your heart isn’t in it.

I could do my job well, but it wasn’t nearly as fulfilling for me as it was for some of my coworkers. I remember one of my coworkers who said, “I love this work so much. I drive home everyday with a huge smile on my face.” And I said, “Are you being sarcastic right now because I can’t tell?” The point is that person put their heart into what they were doing because it was their passion and purpose in life. I did my job and drove home happy knowing that I had given a good day’s work for a decent day’s pay. Then I cranked up the Led Zeppelin and rolled my windows down dreaming of finding my passion.

2. Sometimes you have to “put in your time” to get a job you’re passionate about.

Coming out of graduate school, I had zero experience in social work besides internships. As a new graduate with mounds of debt and itching to use my degree I had to take a job to build my skill set and resume. I learned so much about assessing and diagnosing patients, but I could tell that my heart wasn’t in it. If I would have tried to “hold out” for a job that I really wanted I may have never gotten employed. And besides, at that point I didn’t know what I really wanted. Don’t give up on your dream job, but sometimes you have to take a detour.

3. Take chances and have faith.

My mom is actually the one who told me about the job here in my hometown. She encouraged commanded me to apply “now” so I did. The funny thing is that my mom also set me up to apply for another job which I worked throughout college.  Daniel and I had been wanting to move back to our hometown, but we weren’t getting any job leads. After waiting and praying for 6 months, he finally got a great opportunity so we moved back hoping and trusting God that I would find a job. And that job that my mom told me to apply for is the one I got. It’s a non profit job and it’s serving people who have ALS/Lou Gehrig’s disease. The same disease that my Grandpa died with 2 months ago.

God works in mysterious ways. Mysterious mostly because we don’t know His plan. Works is the second most important word in that sentence. God is first. God works.

God uses the desires of our heart to accomplish His plan in our life. When I found out I got this job, there was more than happiness that I felt at the prospect of getting a paycheck. I felt peace. Peace that God has truly blessed and granted this desire of my heart.

“Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.” -St. Augustine

Linking up with Blessed is She for this week’s theme: Heart.

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everyday life

Indecision Aisle

A poem about a trip to the grocery store.

Making a list, checking it twice. No, no. I don’t make lists.

Scan the aisles and throw in what looks healthier than what’s in the fridge.

To eat more healthy or to eat more vitamins?

Picking up a bag of cherries seems like a good idea

Until I get to the self check-out

The cherries must be made of gold.

Eight dollars for two pounds of cherries

No, no put them back that’s entirely too much money

Yes, yes keep them

If you pay eight dollars for cherries you’ll be sure to eat them and then enjoy all the anti-oxidant glory.

Fifty dollars later I have cherries, whole grain wheat waffles (wtheck), and more vitamins.

  
Indecision for the win.

The end. Stay tuned for more trips to mundane places.

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