Thursday, April 26, 2012

Love Where You Are (Thanks, Montgomery)

A city never feels more like home than the days you prepare to leave it. Suddenly, you're awake to the scenery, the comforts, the friendships. A romance blossoms with the place you once took for granted.

Nostalgia doesn’t blind me. Plenty of indictments stand against Montgomery.

     We're not as big as Birmingham nor as quaint as nearby small towns. 
     Summer heat hangs sticky and snow lovers moan each warm winter. 
     Our public school system flounders and my single friends complain there's no one to date.

But the sky here is wide and blue. I pass cow pastures on my two mile drive to the grocery or to Ann Taylor. Spanish moss hangs from trees in the distance out my back window. The picturesque, winding paths of Shakespeare Park almost convince me to lace my running shoes and join them.  Almost. :)

Shakespeare Park, via

Some say Montgomery is cliquish. I wouldn't know; we enjoy friendships open and inviting.

Some say Montgomery is racist.  Our transracial family has felt accepted. Yes, our town’s name is inscribed throughout Civil Rights history. Yes, there are massive, massive improvements yet to be made. But my daughter's life has been celebrated and prayed for here.

Some say Montgomery’s people are pompous, dressing children in fashions more costly than adult clothes. I can't tell you. My girls dress the part each Sunday, draped in lace and smocked pastel, but I didn't buy a thing. Our closets are stuffed with the generous hand-me-downs of those others (wrongly) call snobs.

Some say Montgomery is boring. We haven’t had time to find out. Our schedule is packed with parties, showers, church events. If it weren’t, we may have had more time to attend concerts, plays, zoo events, and minor league baseball games on the river.


Life lessons are often learned through endings. Hindsight is 20-20, they say. At the end of our time in Montgomery, I learn a sweet lesson to take to our home-to-be in Mobile:  
Waste no time on discontent.
Embrace where you live. 
Love it for whatever it is.
Love the people, however they are.
See the potential. 
Find the good.

I don't suggest Christians forget we're are foreignors on earth and never truly "home" until we reach heaven.  I suggest we imitate the love with which God gave Himself to this imperfect planet... imitate the affection with which Jesus lamented over Jerusalem.

There’s no other place exactly like the peice of globe your feet are now touching. Appreciate and cultivate the habitat that, for the moment, is uniquely yours.

If home is where the heart is, then give your heart to wherever you are, and quickly.
Otherwise, you’re simply wandering.


Jessica Whatley said...

Always know that yall have made a mark on Montgomery and the people here. Your lives and your ministry and your sweet wonderful children have touched and changed lives!

Lindsey said...

Thanks, Rachel. I needed that. Prayers for your family as you take this step of faith!

RACHEL said...

I hope so. It's given us SO much. Love you, Jess!

RACHEL said...

You know all about moving! :) I'll be asking you for advice soon I'm sure !

Wendy said...

We are gonna really miss yall!

Baca's Head said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shannon Evans said...

I love the last part- I will be reminding myself of those words when we move in July. In fact, I might have to quote you on that ;)

RACHEL said...

Please keep me updated on all the foster/adoption stuff at church that is about to explode! I'm so excited for St. James and hope I get to see glimpses of all God does there!

RACHEL said...

Girl, y'all seem to move countries and cities like I change outfits! Where are you going? I need advice on how you do it do well!

Jean Wise said...

So often people put down where they live. This is refreshing. And love how your lessons shines through. Glad I came to your post today from the Better Writer forum

Jonathan Solvason said...

Amen Rachel! You are right on with your post. Home is where you make. We look forward to seeing you down here on the coast.

RACHEL said...

Thank you so much, Jean.

RACHEL said...

I told your mom at church the other day that we should do Mardi Gras with you and Amanda!

Shannon Evans said...

Ha! You're hilarious! (But yes sometimes it does feel like that!) We are moving to DFW (only about 2 hrs away) for my hubs to get his Master's degree. Only planning to be there 2 years, so another move is on the horizon... maybe one day we'll "plant" somewhere! I don't have any great advice on how to do it... I think God created me to enjoy change b/c he knew we were going to get a lot of it! The best advice I could give would be to work hard at maintaining the few friendships that you believe will be "lifers", regardless of how far apart you are. Grace to the 4 of you during this time!

RACHEL said...

That's good advice. I really hope Amelia and Alyosha get to play together some day!

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