Just A Small Town City Girl

Recently while we were out running errands, my daughter asked me what we would be doing when we finished shopping. I told her we needed to go home. She replied, “Which home?”

Which home? She was not joking. She did not know to “which home” we were headed.

You see, in the four years that my daughter has been alive, we have lived in the following places:

  1. A big city in Texas
  2. A populated suburb of New Jersey
  3. A small rural town in Texas
  4. Another city in Texas
  5. Our current residence back in our small rural town in Texas for a few months.

And those are just the places we’ve lived, not the number of times we’ve visited these and other towns in between moves. I don’t blame her for having to clarify to which home we were going.

Most of these moves revolved around job opportunities for either myself or my husband and while moving can be stressful, the constant change of scenery doesn’t phase me in the least (I like it too much, actually). What has caused turmoil to this restless soul is the battle that wages both within my own heart and with others regarding which is superior:

Small town versus city living

My husband is from this small town in Texas, where I write to you from today, while I come from a much more populated suburb of New Jersey (just a fifteen minute drive into Philadelphia). Never in my wildest dreams ten years ago would I have guessed I would be here right now. We’re a scene right out of the old TV show, Green Acres (well, not really since I am blogging from a laptop right now, thank you internet, but you get the idea). Did I just date myself for even being aware of that show’s existence? Or are you now singing the theme song, too?

In well-populated towns, I hunt down coffee shops and big libraries, multiple parks, play dates, museums and aquariums. I crave access to people. When we moved to the last well-populated area we lived in, I made some great friends almost immediately by joining some Facebook mom and homeschooling groups. I had so much going on, in fact, that I had to start turning play dates down just to have some down time with the kids.

Here in this small, rural town, the population is about 2600 and dwindling. There is no Facebook group. There is no coffee shop. Most of the people here have had the same friends their whole lives and don’t seem all that interested in making new ones. It can get lonely. On the other hand, my kids get to do things like this:

Dad and doodle with horses1

There is no traffic (I seriously despise traffic). When we go food shopping, the lines are never long, they always bag your groceries and they bring them to your car for you! After being surrounded by people for a while, the open space around me is like a cool drink on a hot day and since it has rained a bit lately the land is green and lush. We can build a fire and roast marshmallows outside and the glittering stars on a clear night are breathtaking. And hey, sometimes we get visitors, like last winter:


Go home, cows. You’re drunk.

The truth is, there is a lot to love about both types of places and I just can’t settle myself to one or the other. I know I am much more comfortable in the more populated areas, but sometimes peace is easier to locate in smaller places. Finding contentment wherever I am has been a lifelong battle that I am still fighting. I have learned that, for me, contentment is offered in moments, not in places.

Contentment is offered in moments, not in places. Click To Tweet

I’ve seen contentment on the face of my kids in a tiny 34 foot travel trailer and, conversely, watched my daughter restlessly pace the rooms of homes 5 times that trailer’s size.

I’ve felt as claustrophobic as I’ve ever felt on 20 acres of land and free as a bird on a city street.

I’ve seen loneliness in the eyes of people surrounded by hundreds of other faces and felt as full and surrounded by love as possible with just a few people by my side.

It was a bit of a punch in the gut for me when my daughter asked, to “which home” we were headed until I realized that she didn’t say, “WHAT home?” which really would have been unfortunate. “Which home” actually implies that she considers more than one physical place to be her home and while that may not be typical, it may not be bad either. Perhaps she won’t struggle so much with contentment like I do. Maybe my kids will even be able to fit right in wherever they go. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this. You can’t live in a rural town in Texas and not teach your kid to sing some good ole’ Western Swing!


Where would you rather be? Are you content where you are?


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23 Comments on Just A Small Town City Girl

  1. Elizabeth
    April 29, 2015 at 5:00 PM (2 years ago)

    LOVE the song, especially the artist on the version. I think the struggle for contentment is a lot of the struggle with our sin nature. I pray for more contentment with God’s gifts all the time. I will say that I am content in my home location. However, I struggle with “we’re home too much”-“we’re not home enough”, “we’re focusing too much on ___”-“we’re not focusing enough on ___”, etc. I am trying to get better about goal setting and then focusing and enjoying that which is in front of me :) Here’s hoping.

    • notimefordiy
      April 29, 2015 at 5:21 PM (2 years ago)

      It is a continuous battle, isn’t it, Elizabeth? And it does get in the way with goal setting, for sure!

  2. morna
    April 29, 2015 at 7:43 PM (2 years ago)

    Yes, I’m content. I’m not sure that where we live now is where I will always want to be. I know my job as it stands is not what I want to do forever but I know that I will move on and progress. For me contentment is not so much about where I am. It’s about how I feel about where I am both physically and in my life. It’s taken me years to learn to be content now and I still have to work at it sometimes. Thanks for the thought provoking post. #MadMidWeekBlogHop

    • notimefordiy
      April 29, 2015 at 8:05 PM (2 years ago)

      It is definitely something that takes work for most, I think. It’s also sometimes hard to know when our discontent is a healthy feeling that is meant to propel us out of a situation and into a better one or just an unhealthy feeling that will follow us to any situation unless dealt with. Thanks for reading and commenting, Morna!

  3. Ifeoma Samuel
    April 30, 2015 at 10:30 AM (2 years ago)

    Contentment is beautiful and a priceless virtue. I am glad you shared this story.
    God Bless and Thank you for your visit.
    Ifeoma Samuel recently posted…When All You Need is RestMy Profile

    • notimefordiy
      April 30, 2015 at 12:41 PM (2 years ago)

      It truly is! Thank you for reading and for your comment!

  4. Zan
    May 3, 2015 at 6:54 AM (2 years ago)

    That is a lot of moves in 4 years! It is hard to be content sometimes and do not know what to pick but eventually, we boil down to what we really like! Oh I like that they bag your grocery and bring them to your car in the small town. Thank you for sharing at the Home Matters Linky party. Hope you come again!

    • notimefordiy
      May 3, 2015 at 2:33 PM (2 years ago)

      The small grocery store is definitely one of the perks! Thank you for hosting the party and for reading and commenting!

  5. Irion @ Diapers To Potty
    May 3, 2015 at 10:57 PM (2 years ago)

    Love this! I’ve lived all of my life in a big city, but I got a chance to live in a very small rural area for a few months. It was a very different experience, but I appreciated all of the things that small town living had to offer.
    Irion @ Diapers To Potty recently posted…10 Fun Activities For Pregnant WomenMy Profile

    • notimefordiy
      May 3, 2015 at 11:09 PM (2 years ago)

      Thank you! It really is so different and I think everyone should try each one at least for a little while in life before writing either one off, because it is so eye opening. Thanks for visiting my blog and for your comment!

  6. Melinda
    May 5, 2015 at 3:39 AM (2 years ago)

    Here from #HomeMattersParty
    Ouch! Am I content? I’m learning to be, by God’s grace.
    Love Lisa and Oliver! (How do you type Oliver in Lisa’s accent???)

    • notimefordiy
      May 5, 2015 at 3:05 PM (2 years ago)

      “Learning to be” is a great thing! I’m with you there! When you figure out how to type in with an accent, let me know! Thanks for visiting!!

  7. Brittanie @Simplistically Living
    May 5, 2015 at 6:49 AM (2 years ago)

    I am certainly content where I am. I live in Utah up against the mountains and the views are breathtaking. Great post! Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty. We hope to see you next week!
    Brittanie @Simplistically Living recently posted…Homemade Gardener’s SoapMy Profile

    • notimefordiy
      May 5, 2015 at 3:06 PM (2 years ago)

      Oh, Brittanie, I think I would be content there, too! Gorgeous out there! Thank you for visiting and commenting!

  8. Amy Ngai
    May 5, 2015 at 3:48 PM (2 years ago)

    I’ve alway lived in the suburbs and feel quite comfortable but you definitely painted quite a nice picture of the rural quiet life. It’s nice that you were able to experience so many different living spaces. It lets you have a little bit of everything. Thanks for sharing. #ConfessionsLinkUp
    Amy Ngai recently posted…Turn It Up Tuesday #85My Profile

    • notimefordiy
      May 5, 2015 at 4:08 PM (2 years ago)

      It’s definitely been an eye-opener to have had a bit of everything! Thanks for visiting and hosting the link up!

    • notimefordiy
      May 5, 2015 at 11:49 PM (2 years ago)

      Thank you! We have family out near Fort Worth so we get to visit that area, too, sometimes and I really like it! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  9. Kristen from The Road to Domestication
    June 26, 2015 at 2:07 PM (1 year ago)

    Beautiful post! Love the cows in the yard LOL I try to be content anywhere I am, honestly. Life’s too short! Thanks so much for co-hosting the #HomeMattersParty with us! We love having you along for the ride :)

    • notimefordiy
      June 27, 2015 at 6:52 AM (1 year ago)

      If you could have seen my face when I walked by the patio door and saw them standing right there on the other side of it! I guess they decided to take a field trip that day. It took a long time for the owner of those cows to round them up and get them back home! And yes, it’s hard being content where you are sometimes but it is so important. Sometimes the hardest part is finding that balance where you’re content but not complacent. Motivated to change situations you’re not happy with but also willing to accept and be flexible with what lifer throws at you! I’m still working on it. Wonderful co-hosting the party with you as always!

  10. Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai
    June 27, 2015 at 1:24 AM (1 year ago)

    What a wonderful post. Home is where the heart is, so you can be happy and content anywhere. It is a choice. The horses and cows are so cool, and that song is PRICELESS! Thanks for sharing and for being such an awesome co-host at the #HomeMattersParty :)

    Life With Lorelai
    Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai recently posted…Home Matters Linky Party #43My Profile

    • notimefordiy
      June 27, 2015 at 6:59 AM (1 year ago)

      Thank you! My husband plays guitar and loves old-time Texas swing and country. The first time he played and sang that song for her she immediately LOVED it! We were in the car when all the sudden she started singing it and I busted out my phone to record it! That one is definitely a keeper and I had to sneak it in to the blog somewhere! LOL. Having another great week co-hosting with you!

  11. Melissa Vera
    June 30, 2015 at 3:08 PM (1 year ago)

    I am a small town girl and don’t think I could ever live in the big city but I love to visit. Love cohosting the #HomeMattersParty linky with you.


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