Thursday, December 12, 2013

Love Where You Live

It's funny how sometimes you say something out loud, like, "I will never live in a small town." thinking that will never happen to you.  I said that about a year ago, and 7 months later found myself living in a small town. That God. Isn't he a funny guy?

You know what, though?  I kind of love it here, in my small town. All the things I thought I would dislike about it, I actually love. I love the close knit feeling of the community, and how everybody REALLY does know everybody, and how two weeks before we moved here most of the people knew a lot about us. I love that the first week we lived here we went to the 4-H fair and watched pig wrestling. I love that I can walk or ride my bike almost anywhere that I really want to go. I love that people will say to me, "Hey, you're the new pastor's wife, right?". I just feel like we belong here.

What's funny is, I've felt like that every place that we've lived. 

I never thought I would move away from my hometown in Kentucky - we lived in an apartment around the corner from my parents for the first year Lee and I were married. My parents still live in the house we moved into when I was 5, and I assumed that it would be that way for us. Not so much. While we have not moved nearly as much as some families I know, we've  moved more than we ever thought we would.

Moving is difficult, don't let me sugar coat it for you. Moving is especially difficult when you have teenagers. You don't realize how much your identity is wrapped up where you live, but it is. Almost two years ago we moved (three days after Christmas and two days after my father had a major surgery ending his cancer treatment), and while it was an extremely stressful time, we moved to a house and neighborhood that we loved, and we had churches who loved us and it was perfect. Eighteen months later we were packing again. In fact, there were still a couple of boxes we had never unpacked still in the garage!

Our city hall park where the boys love to run.

I have learned to focus on the positive during the transition periods, rather than the stress that can be overwhelming. For instance,the house we have moved into looks a lot like the house I grew up in, and we can walk to Main Street in two minutes. Neighbors stopped in to say 'hi' as we were unpacking, and our church family couldn't have been warmer. While saying goodbye to our friends we had made in our previous city was hard, our new friends made the transition easier.

My guys and the lion.

 I have learned, during these changes,  that people are mostly the same everywhere you go. There are good people, cranky people, funny people, and quirky people and they live in every town and city. Like every place, our town has it's share of problems, but like every town it also has truly wonderful qualities.

 I take walks around our town when I'm feeling homesick for other places, when I can't shake the thought that I am an alien in a strange land. As I walk I thank God for little things I see, and remember that we are all, essentially, longing for home. One day I'll get there, to my real home, but for now I love where I'm at.

Main Street, U.S.A.

Doesn't he look like an elf?
My little buddy!

What do you love about where you live?


  1. I can relate, Kara. Before Ray and I married, I already had a house. Ray didn't, so that's where we lived. We were quite settled there and were happily involved in serving at our church. Then Ray felt God's call to preach. We didn't move far--in fact, we moved closer to both his parents and mine--but I hated the idea of leaving my "nest" and the church I had so grown to love. A few years later, we came here, which is much farther from our families. What I have learned is that there are wonderful people everywhere, and though you miss those you leave behind, you make new friends. I think the key for me was being willing to submit to God's plan rather than clinging to my own. Once I did that, I discovered I could love my new homes, new friends, new churches, and new towns.

  2. Love!! Look at those sweet guys! They are getting so big!!!! We miss you all so much!

  3. I love the people of our small community and their generous hearts. We have often joked that the kids around here will never get away with anything because word will get back to their parents before they even get home haha. The beauty of small town living...

  4. Kara,

    Wow, you have had several big moves! So is this just three months old, your new pastorate here? How exciting and yet change-filled too. May your boys find neat new friends here too.

    Re your comment on my post "Christmas Calls Out Our Courage," Kara, yes! I remind myself of this tonight too.

    Merry Christmas. Join me in praying for God to do amazing things, will you? Is there anyone you are praying for too, that I can join you in also tonight?

    Jennifer Dougan