I promised in a previous post that I would blog as David and I continue to pursue our passions. We’ve taken some steps, and it’s been great so far. We can’t wait to see where God leads next.

God closed the door on the praise band, and that’s ok. I got in touch with the gal in charge of auditions and set mine up only to realize later that week that there are mandatory practices on Thursday nights–the same night as our couple’s Bible study. I love our small group too much to sacrifice those nights for praise band practice. I’ll just keep singing in my car and playing the piano–and listening to Pandora while working. If you’ve never used that website before, use it. It creates a radio station of songs related to whatever artist or song you input. Wonderful way to get exposed to new music that you’ll likely enjoy!

As far as the fitness passion goes, all is wonderful. We’ve really amped up the amount of time we spend exercising each week:

1. For the marathon training, we’re running on Sun, Tues, Wed, Fri and Sat, and we ran a half marathon on Sunday. Woo!

2. For weight training, I’m working out with a trainer at the gym three mornings a week for around an hour and a half. Tough, but fun.

3. For fun, I’m running with a friend one to two mornings a week.

I love doing this so, so much. I just can’t get enough! If you had asked me six years ago if I’d ever fall in love with exercise, I’d laugh at you. At that point, I could hardly jog a mile and was (unbeknownst to me) just about to walk on to the NCAA Women’s Rowing team at Clemson.

And as far as great relationships go, we’re making a joint effort to invest more fully in relationships both new and established here in Pittsburgh, back in SC and beyond. Since we’re looking at a lifestyle of moving around for a little while longer, we want to feel connected wherever God places us next–whether we’re there for a few months or a few years. Pittsburgh has been a learning experience for us as far as friendships go.

When we first moved here, we were brand-new newlyweds, and honestly, we couldn’t care any less about meeting new people. We were fully invested in spending all of our free time together–all the time. Well, as any of your married folks know, we ultimately got to a point where we were hungry for other friendships. We got to that point around May/June of last year.

After visiting several churches with no luck and being certain that we’d never make friends with David’s co-workers (most 15-20 years older), we sort of reached a point where we felt like we’d missed our chance to make friends here. We briefly lived in the mindset of “we can’t wait to leave here and move to GA.” I was so close to starting a countdown, and for those that know me, whatever is at the end of the countdown is something I absolutely cannot wait to happen. I don’t do trivial countdowns. It was definitely a low point for us.

Then God revealed a truth to us: if we didn’t invest in any friendships here, we’d never have any real sense of connectedness or sense of roots in Pittsburgh. Without any connection here, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy our time and would inevitably take the “glass half empty” approach toward everything. Plus, I kept referring to SC as “home.” That was a big roadblock for me. David and I are now of the mindset that “home” is where we both are. So now, home is Pittsburgh. SC is where my parents live and where I went to college. As far as we know, we could be sent back to Pittsburgh later one, so why not invest in friendships now?

We made some great friends through a church we attended in the summer, but the services weren’t a great fit for us. We kept in touch with the friends we made and went church hunting again–ultimately visiting a church that David passed every day on the way to work. We loved it and still do. We immediately got connected with a small group and have made several new friendships we wouldn’t have otherwise. We love those folks more than even they know. It’s so wonderful to do life with others in similar life situations.

Of course we miss our friends back south, but they know that whenever we’re in town, we’ll stop by and get caught up. We still love them and are so thankful that they’ve been with us through such pivotal parts of our lives. Who knows? Maybe we’ll live closer to them one day, but for now, we’re letting God stretch us however he sees fit. If that means living far from familiar places and far from “comfortable,” so be it. This was not my attitude last year, but God has a wonderful way of being a catalyst of change in our lives and attitudes.

So when we move in June, we’ll continue to invest in our PA friendships while immediately seeking out friends around our new home. We’ll take what we’ve learned in Pittsburgh and apply it quicker. Should be fun–and hard–but most of all, worth the effort.