Saturday, June 2, 2018

I Love Living in a Small Town (and Why You Might Also)

As a teenager, I had big dreams for life in the big city.  My plan was to be a journalist and eventually an editor of a magazine for women.  I was going to be married to my job and enjoy all the things that city life had to offer.

My, how things change.

On this lovely morning, I am on my porch drinking coffee, watching the cows graze across the road.  This is a far cry from big city living, but I couldn’t be happier.  Who knew living in a small town would be right for me? Who knew this once big-city-loving girl, really had a small-town heart?

Certainly not me.

But God did.  It was his plan all along that I would merge my life into this community and I am thankful for this every day.

It is a privilege to live in a small town and if you live in one also, I’m sure you’ll agree. There are aspects of a smaller community that cannot be matched in larger cities.  The town may be small, but the living is large. Not large in scale, but large in the benefits to those who get to live here: slower living, the beauty of nature not blemished by city life, and the comfort of a close-knit community.

Small and Local

When we first thought of making this town our home, I admit I wasn’t a huge fan of moving here. We do brave things for love, and for the promise of a Super Walmart being built in town.

After being here for 15 years, I’ll keep the love, but I’d trade the Walmart in a second. 

Small towns provide unique opportunities for local business to thrive and events and attractions to become ingrained in the community culture.  In the past few years, we’ve seen a revival in our downtown area mixing new boutiques and a lovely coffee shop with an established pottery shop and tried-and-true restaurant. Our library gives our kids plenty of opportunities to love reading and our bigger community park borders the river that runs through our town. Although our old movie theater is nothing but a lit marquee, it’s a pretty cool backdrop for local festivals and bluegrass bands.

Farther out from downtown, we enjoy legendary shaved ice, an ice cream shop, a local bakery, and every weekend night in the warmer months, the drive-in is open with current movies. If you love the outdoors, you may love our county’s waterfalls, caves, hiking, and camping spots that both residents and visitors can enjoy. 

Our town really is a gem.


We have small town charm and plenty to do on a weekend, but my favorite part of living here is the community. 

When I was young, I attended multiple elementary schools and even spent half a year in Canada.  My family didn’t put down roots until I was about 10 years old, and I was happy to blend in to my city.  We made it our home. 

But there is something to be said for being a long-term resident of a small town.  I have friends who have lived here their whole lives and have maintained solid friendships since Kindergarten. My own kids have been here since birth and we plan on being here forever, Lord willing. What a sweet thing it is to make memories and friendships for life.

Don’t get me wrong, being a part of this community has taken time.  Making friends has its challenges wherever you live and unkind people permeate every town, but there’s certainly a lot to be said for the closeness of a smaller community. My husband has roots here; it’s what pulled us to this town. Many of the opportunities I have experienced are a result of relationships he built prior to meeting me, but now our family benefits from the relationships we’ve cultivated together. 

God is so gracious in giving me a job at the local high school which puts me face-to-face with many of our families and lets me see the needs in our community. I have built solid friendships with fellow educators and have watched our community rally around those with sickness and those who have experienced loss. I have school spirit (sorry Hilltoppers, I’m a Warrior now) and enjoy hating on the town up the road when football and basketball season rolls around. 

He has also allowed us to put roots down in a local congregation where we get to worship and fellowship with people that have come to be dear friends. These friends, no matter if they are life-long residents or new transplants, love both our town and its people. This love doesn’t spread outside the walls of our church unless we are actively loving each other from the inside. We are Believers in community loving our community. 

I Love My Small Town

Fifteen years ago, I had no idea how blessed I would be living in a small town, but God knew.  He knew the Naaktgeborens needed to be here and that we would want to give as much to our community as we would receive. 

This town is as much a part of us as we are of it and there is nowhere else I would rather be. 

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