Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Life in a Small Town

The other night I spent a good amount of time reading some older posts on this blog. While it lifted my spirits to read about so many happy memories, the tone of my writing was striking to me. I can read between the lines that there was a simplicity to my life when I first started my blog that no longer exists. My writings seem the be light and cheerful. Life feels heavier now than it did back then. Maybe it's the increase of work with four children as opposed to two, or maybe it's the crosses I have been called to carry, but life is definitely heavier now than it was four years ago.

We are living in a very small town for eight months. Actually we are almost to the end of those eight months and I have written very little about them. When we moved to a small town, I expected something like in the movies where everyone is  kind and warm and inviting.  I was worried that at the end of the eight months there would be another round of painful goodbyes, but I was determined not to let that keep us from making friends. Now that we are almost to the end, I can honestly say there is not one person to say goodbye to. The small town has let me down. People were very friendly when we first moved here, but it was almost like no one needed anyone else. Like because everyone has been here forever, they have their little communities in place and have no need for one more person. I was all but shunned from the homeschooling co-op, and not once were we invited anywhere but to a protestant church. The silver lining in it all is that I have definitely learned that I prefer to live near a bigger city. It's a good thing to know about oneself.

We bought a house last month. It's out in the country and on five acres. We moved away from family and friends back to Oklahoma to pursue this "land and farm" lifestyle that we know very little about. I can feel that God's hand has been in every part of getting us here, and I know that owning land and having animals has been on both Max and my heart for a very long time. On the normal day where I'm stuck in this 1200 square foot home with none of my own things while the kids go crazy (literally) and I don't have a friend in sight, the faith that we are in the heart of God's will is the only thing that keeps me going. It's strange how we can be hurting and lonely and not necessarily the happiest we have ever been and still know that we are doing His will. What a grace and comfort this is.

These past months have stretched me in ways I haven't been stretched before and I thank God for that. In all the things I have experienced in life (which isn't a ton), I have never really been lonely. But here I am lonely. The few friends I do have live an hour and a half away and my kids aren't in any activities that would foster new friendships. Christ was lonely. All His friends left him in His time of greatest need. And if He was lonely, I can be lonely. This small town cross I have been asked to carry is really small in the grand scheme of things. But even the smallest crosses can be carried with great love if we let Him lead us.

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