Why I live in this community

First, a few logistical notes.

We note how posting “every other day” is going. As in “every other day” as in “every day but this one,” “probably tomorrow,” “but for now I’m up to my ears food/ hosting/ working/ childcare/ cleaning/ chatting with wonderful people/ eating potato salad/ and so on.” However, the experiment did what I intended it to do: it brought back the writing lust. I have no regrets.

About this I mean.

If you go to the homepage of my blog and look at the menu across the top, you’ll see I added a page called The Dock. On it there’s a link to everything I’m sharing there (they’ll update it as we go). I don’t necessarily plan to link to that material on my blog otherwise, but that’s where you can find it if you’re interested.

Thank you for sharing your church stories with me last week; I was glad to hear from you. I am sorry to have caused so many tears. I wonder what we are grieving, and why it tugs so hard. One amazing thing born out of that post was fresh connection with many people from my past, through private messages or other online venues. Those ties are precious to me.

And now, our feature presentation… Why I Live in This Community.

  1. I think I live in this community because the Zook men are so cute.
  2. Also I am infatuated with my ramshackle hundred-some-years-old farmhouse that will not finish getting renovated and intrigues me and plagues my life out and lures me back again and again. It is my Home.
  3. I don’t live here because of the winters.
  4. Or the bugs
  5. Or the swamps
  6. Or the gray gray gray skies
  7. Or the local economy
  8. Although, come to think of it, though it took me years to adjust from fast-paced, wealthy, central Ohio to the slow and slightly dysfunctional backwater in which I live, NOW I wouldn’t trade that. Really. I like how people look at people here, and not at things.
  9. I know and love so many people. I cannot go to town without meeting people I know – not only my Mennonite friends, but all the folks I love walking the sidewalks and store aisles alongside me: the Presbyterian music director, a former caseworker, a dear friend I haven’t seen for weeks, a bio family member of a foster child, a neighbor I lived next to for five years, children I’ve loved since they were toddlers, that lady who worked on my braces, the Pizza Hut gal, our doctor. It’s like a treasure hunt, and every meeting is joy.
  10. Also I’m quite crazy about my church community, except during the moments of toddler misbehavior during church when I’d slay everything within reach if I had a weapon besides the quick and powerful word of God.
  11. But my church community is what keeps me sane. They are solid. They know how to give and receive. They care about thinking right as well as doing right. They know how to love people. They are not easily offended, shocked, or horrified. They produce the cutest kids. They make amazing food. They empower both men and women. They know how to lay down their preferences and differences for the sake of the brotherhood.
  12. We have an amazing Christian school, one that cares about every child, provides a wealth of experiences, and finds ways to build bridges connecting different ages and sets.
  13. We have lots of fun things to do within easy driving distance. Parks and water and a Great Lake and petting zoo ish things and campgrounds and traditions.
  14. I love traditions, how each month we attend events to which we’ve looked forward all year. I could never name them all. Church or school or town celebrations, gatherings with friends.
  15. And I’m probably missing a few other important reasons, like divine election.
  16. But the winters.
  17. But the people.
  18. So here I am.

Why do you live in yours?

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Regina S
5 years ago

I thought about why I live in my community. We used to live in the a beach city back in California but the Lord moved us to a quiet little rural town in 2016.
I love it here because people are friendly and wave hi to us when we take our walks. We run into people from church at the market or farmer’s market. I like that I can look out my kitchen window and see bunnies, house finches, quail and other wildlife we didn’t see back in Santa Barbara.
We have many walking trails and beautiful lakes.
I love that we can see the San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff which is almost two hours away.
I do love my church community even though I disagree with much. I love that we were able to bless a mom with five children with a first time baby shower. I love the little elderly lady in our church who says “Amen” during the sermon.
There is so much more I can say but I would love to read everyone else’s answers.

Sarah Beiler
5 years ago

I live in a city in Virginia. I’m here because my husband found his dream job here and it continues to be his dream job. I feel privileged to live within 2 1/2 hours of both sets of my children’s grandparents, to be able to walk to a University library so big I literally get lost in it, and to have friends and neighbors from a variety of cultures. I love that I don’t have to spend much time shopping or driving because there are many stores nearby. I love the convenience of walking, bicycling, and riding city buses. I love/hate that the high cost of housing forces me to live frugally. Every summer I think of moving elsewhere because I do not enjoy the high temperatures May through September. Now and again in all seasons of the year, I think of moving elsewhere because I miss the other places I have lived in the past and the close friends whom I rarely see.

Kendra Sensenig
5 years ago
Reply to  Sarah Beiler

And I love that we finally get to be friends. 🙂

Sarah Beiler
5 years ago

Yes, me too. You’re definitely one of the reasons I still live here. Now if I could just persuade you to live within walking distance of my house, I might even stop making plans to move when the weather gets hot.

Kendra Sensenig
5 years ago
Reply to  Sarah Beiler

I’m not ruling it out!

5 years ago

My answer is simple: because the man who won my heart lives here. If I hadn’t married him, I can say with great certainty: I would not be here.
But since I am here, I discover that Washington summers are quite awesome… berries and lettuce grow in abundance (though tomatoes do not), nights are cool and fresh, days get hot enough once in a while for a good swim in the pond but mostly are amazingly pleasant, there are mountains all around and wildlife all over and hiking trails and gorgeous sights within easy access. And there are people who love Jesus (but I wish there would be more of them).
And I haven’t lived here long yet, but I hope one day I will know and love some of the faces I see in town like you do.

Lisa Detweiler
5 years ago

Oh, those winters. It would take divine intervention for me choose those winters.

Joanna Hertzler Yoder
5 years ago

I love this. So much. I could echo almost every item on your list. But this line struck me most deeply: “I like how people look at people here, and not at things.” YES,YES,YES! Having come from affluent, fast-paced, competitive Lancaster County, I am forever grateful to be raising our children here. Even though I despise the winters as passionately as I adore the summers.

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