I Love Where I Live-Part I

childhood-

Sometimes I remember other places where I used to live and I sigh with nostalgia. When you’ve been everywhere it’s hard to settle somewhere. I regularly battle postal code envy.

This morning as I was getting ready for the day I smiled. I have a good life. There’s so much about living here that I love. It struck me that I should make a note about those things when days are sunny. What would it look like to think about the things I love about where I live? It seems like such a tangible way to live here and now.

I was talking these things over with Lowell. He remembered something he had recently read in Sacred Fire by Ronald Rolheiser. Rolheiser lists ten indicators of spiritual maturity. I was fascinated when Lowell said that the first one on the list is Live in gratitude and thank your Creator by enjoying your life. He goes on to say:

As well, our gratitude is meant to carry something else: enjoyment of the gift that is given to us. The highest compliment we can give a gift giver is to enjoy the gift thoroughly. We owe it to our Creator to appreciate things, to be as happy as we can be. Life is meant to be more than a test, and so we might add this to our daily prayer: give us today our daily bread, and help us to enjoy it without guilt.

I’ve invited others into the joy of discovering what we love about the places we live. I wrote several friends who grew up somewhere but now live somewhere else. I asked them to tell me the top six reasons they love where they live. The responses were so full of joy (and so plentiful…this has become a mini-series)! My friends took pleasure in thinking about their corner of the globe—they seemed to delight to tell me what they enjoy most about where they’ve been placed.

We live here on purpose. There are other places we could live, or even have lived—but this is the place we are now. And we owe it to our Creator to live in gratitude, to be as happy as we can be.

Robynn Bliss

I grew up in Pakistan.
I live now in Manhattan, Kansas.

  1. I love Radinas –our local coffee shop! It brings me joy that the morning baristas there know my drink of choice: single extra hot latte with half the regular vanilla syrup!
  2. I love the sense of community that thrives in this small city. I appreciate that people are friendly. They smile and nod their heads at me when I pass.
  3. Kansas has these wide-open skies and expansive horizons—I love that! It speaks to me of eternity and glory.
  4. I’m so grateful for USD383 (our school district) and the opportunities my kids have here. I’ve watched with pride as they’ve each tried their hands at pottery, school plays, sports.
  5. I love the Flint hills and the Konza prairie—unusual elements of creation right outside our back door!
  6. It fascinates me that we get to experience all four seasons when they come to visit –which is often—sometimes all in one week. There’s a reason most Kansans are fixated on the weather. They get a lot of it!

Karis N

I grew up in India, England and America.
I now live in England.

  1. I love that I live at home in my room and that it’s somewhere where I know I don’t have to leave in 6 months time.
    2. I love that I have an easy commute to work and that my colleagues are awesome.
    3. I love that I have a really solid core group of friends here and that doing life with them is a privilege and a joy.
    4. I love the fact that it doesn’t snow here.
    5. I love that public transport runs effectively here.
    6. I have 2 churches I go to here and both are family and that is a rare and special thing to have.

The list could go on!
I love the post script that Karis added: I call 2015 the year I learned to be content. Because I spent January-March itching to get back to America. Then I spent March to June being content where I was but still wanting to go back to America. And then I spent June-October wondering if I even should go back to America. And then I spent October-December telling people that it’s final and I’m back in England indefinitely.

Jill B

I grew up in Southern New Mexico and El Paso, Texas.
I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Six things I love about Albuquerque:

  1. Amazing sunsets
  2. Green chile
  3. 360 days of sunshine per year
  4. Seeing all the stars from our roof
  5. A mix of people: Hispanic, Native American, and more
  6. Wide open spaces with mountains
  7. And green chile—yes it’s that good to mention twice!
  8. And wait…coconut margaritas but need Robynn here to fully enjoy!!

 

Leaf R
I grew up in Holland, Australia, and India.
I live in Northern Thailand.

1. The sky is spectacular every day. It can be filled with every type of cloud, or golden light and in the ‘Green Season’ when it rains and rains, it is filled with rainbows.
2. My spiritual community at the moment is full of people who appreciate and love beauty. Everyone works together to bring more and more beauty to our little Christ-Centred Meditation Space. Often we will be sitting together in a circle and someone will get up and move something slightly or light a candle so that the space is more pleasing to be in.
3. The little town where I live, Pai, is a hub of musicians and poets. Artistic freedom abounds and there is a lot of sweetness and support as well.
4. I love going to the local market on Wednesdays when all of the Hill Tribe people come down from their villages and do a big shop for supplies. Everywhere I look is a potential postcard picture.
5. The place where I live is safe. My son can ride his bike all over and I can imagine a future where my daughter will be treated respectfully. I am so thankful for this.
6. There are still enough challenges to facilitate spiritual growth. I know that God is still working in me and that this chapter of life is a gift and that somehow (in ways I do not fully understand), these are the conditions that are needed to make me more like Christ and to help me understand His love more…if I will allow Him to do His thing.

What do you love about where you live? 

11 thoughts on “I Love Where I Live-Part I

  1. I, Cheri, grew up in Tennessee, USA.
    I live in Papua New Guinea.

    1. I like PNG women’s clothing – the meri blaus and laplap. I don’t care if people from the Western world think it isn’t flattering. I’m not living in the Western world anymore and Papua New Guineans think it looks great. People always give me compliments when I’m wearing a meri blaus around town. And who doesn’t like compliments?
    2. I love PNG coffee.
    3. I love PNG tea.
    4. I love all the fresh fruits and vegetables available at our local market.
    5. I enjoy the fact that people are always up for a chat. Sharing stories about our lives is a normal way to pass the time.
    6. I’m still amazed that I get to live in this incredibly diverse country – the most culturally and linguistically diverse place on the planet!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheri, I worked for a year in PNG, in the EHP, and just loved it! I agree with the your thoughts on the meri blaus and laplap, too! The local folks love seeing the foreigners dressed like them. I have never had a papaya I liked since I left PNG! The ones here in Houston come from Mexico and taste awful by comparison. Enjoy!!

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  2. Late to the party, but loving this discussion!
    It took a solid 9 months in a new country before we were able to get our own house and start turning our new space into a place, and OH the difference it makes! I love life in our current country more than ever, I couldn’t even dream of moving back to our passport country any time soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I grew up in Wyoming and Houston TX, and I currently live in Houston. I don’t know anyone normal who loves the humid heat in the summer, but other than that, Houston has a lot of blessings. And, we have air conditioning! Maybe that should be my number one item, instead of the prologue!
    1. I live 20 minutes from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the best place in the world for cancer treatment. I found out May 2015 that I have ovarian cancer, and have learned all the best routes to MDA. If I have to run in for a blood test, it isn’t a big deal,
    2. Houston has surpassed New York City as being the most ethnically diverse city in the nation. I can’t go overseas while getting chemo, but God has brought the nations to me.
    3. I can still use a public bathroom without fear of a man peeking over the stall at me. I am very proud that our efforts got the “Bathroom Bill” that the previous mayor tried to sneak in rescinded.
    4. I have good cell phone service anywhere in my house! I lived without this blessing for a time in the mountains of northern Pakistan, so I enjoy it now. (No cell phones at all when I first went out to Pakistan, but they came in as our phone system got fried by lightning!)
    5. I can get just about anything except whale blubber in my local grocery store, or if I don’t want to cook, I can get just about any cuisine available at a restaurant in Houston. I can even get Chick-Fil-A or Starbucks at M.D. Anderson!
    6. I have a supportive prayer team literally on every continent except Antarctica, but here in Houston I have a network of friends who are begging me to call them if I need food, a ride, help in the house, or whatever. I believe God would bless me with this no matter where I live, but I want to praise and thank Him for the caring and giving friends He has given me right now, right here.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your “Top Six” here!! I love this!….and I’m so grateful you have the community you have there taking care of you during this cancer chapter. You are in my prayers.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a wonderful topic! Sometimes I must admit I can grow weary of people who live near me who pine for another place; it can make it hard to share my joy in living here. Now the challenge is to be at peace with loving places I only visit, people I don’t get to see as much as I would like, but just being content that at least for some of the time they are part of my life and I can bring something to theirs.

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  5. We’re temporarily in small town MT, less than 3,000 people. I was just thinking this morning how much I love small town life. Within a 2 block radius, there is the library, bank, dentist office, hairdresser, post office, and more. The grocery store is only 1 mile away, and our church is about the same distance. I’m enjoying the slower, simple pace.

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  6. This is one of the lessons that I teach TCK’s during conferences. We go on a “Find Good Stuff Everywhere” scavenger hunt where they have to pretend that they are moving here and they take pictures of things that are amazing, beautiful or strange in order to practice having a good attitude for their next, inevitable move. We talk about how it is healthy to love a new place, even as they miss their old place. One time, a group of kids from overseas took a picture of a Chick-fil-A bathroom as their “something beautiful” because it was so clean!

    In order to answer your question, even though I hated living in Dallas the last time I was here, I now love our suburb for six reasons.
    1. I can buy a big plate of authentic chicken pallaou for $5 less than 2 miles from my house.
    2. I can go to cheap Chinese restuarants where I am the only non-Chinese face in the place.
    3. I am within walking distance of a place where I can help refugees from more than 20 countries.
    4. We live in such a diverse town that my kids think it is normal to be the only white, Christian American at their own birthday party.
    5. A great library. We didn’t have those overseas.
    6. We live within close driving distance of all the things that are good about living in a big city, including museums and medical specialists for my kids.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Robynn, I love all that you said about Manhattan, KS too! I also love that we are a university town and all the excitement of sports and beauty of the arts this brings to us. It also allows us to meet people from every corner of the globe. I also love that we are next to a military base. This allows us to meet our fellow Americans from across our nation. I always joked that while growing up here I didn’t need to go anywhere because everyone from everywhere came here! I am going to love this series, Robynn. I am passionate about my beautiful Kansas, and I very much enjoy hearing from others everywhere why they love where they are right now.

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