There was much we loved about our life in northern California:  our home, our church (even to this day Jerry misses his men’s group that has never been replicated), our friends, the weather, and travel opportunities.  And it was the place where we were married and started our life together.  Such sweet memories.

One of my favorite places to spend a day off or to take visitors was Armstrong Redwoods.  I found such solace and communion with God there.  The coastal redwoods are majestic and stately.  As tall as they are (about 200-250 feet) it is surprising for people to learn that their root systems are very shallow.  You’ll never see a Redwood growing alone, they always grow in community; standing firm against the storms and elements because their roots intertwine with the trees around them.  Redwoods.jpg

Jerry and I felt that intertwining of our roots in community when we lived there.  As hard as it was to leave we knew God was calling us east.

When we first arrived in Pennsylvania we felt like a lone Redwood.  We had one another but that was all we had (within an hour’s drive). We felt the instability as the winds and storms swirled in those early years.

Today, nearly 18 years later I sit in a hotel just a mile or so from where we spent our first nights in Pennsylvania full of anticipation, exhaustion and a healthy dose of fear.  I still miss the people and beauty of northern California and am grateful for the broad root system that crosses the 3000 mile gap.  Yet we’ve grown stronger and richer as many beautiful Pennsylvania roots deeply intertwine with ours.

Who knew there were Redwoods in Pennsylvania?