I've been thinking about home a lot lately. In the new book, there's a whole chapter about my home. How life in a small town brought hope and healing to a mama whose weariness went beyond the normal day-to-day weariness most of us endure. How it wrapped its warmth around her and wouldn't let go. How it held up her arms, and helped her put one foot in front of the other as she faced the most horrible news a mama can ever hear.
And as I wrote about it, described all of the things that make that home so special, I found myself wanting to go back. Remembering all the things you love about a place has a way of doing that.
Here's an excerpt from Hope for the Weary Mom that describes my little town. It's from the chapter called When the World Presses In:
Narrows is a sleepy little town in southwestern Virginia. Known for its love of football and people, Narrows is home to a long stretch of the New River—the world’s third oldest river geologically speaking (according to Wikipedia) and one of only a few rivers in the world that flows north instead of south. There is one stoplight regulating traffic out of Narrows, one fast food restaurant, one amazing mom and pop restaurant called Anna’s, one grade school, one middle school, and one high school. We are the mighty Greenwave, and please don’t put an “s” on the end to make us plural. We are one.
In a small town, everyone knows everyone else. Sometimes this is a good thing, and sometimes it’s not, but most of the time, the feeling of knowing and being known helps you bypass any hard feelings about it. If you make a mistake in Narrows, most of the community knows about it in time to discuss it over breakfast the next morning. They’ll have opinions about what you did and say things like, “her poor mama,” or “bless her heart,” but they’ll also be the first ones to put their arms around you when you go to the altar to repent on Sunday morning.
The churches in Narrows are like extended family. There’s one Baptist church, one Methodist, one Christian, and a few others located throughout town, but by and large the community lives out life together. Your friends across the river won’t end up in a different school district than you, and you certainly won’t have to play against them in football. My dad probably played ball with yours in school, and my mama hosted the Circle meetings of First Baptist for yours once a year.
We went home last weekend, cheered for our Greenwave football team (who almost had it!), watched our nephew play as a part of the next generation of football players (in the rain...that's dedication my friends), drove by my grandmother's old house, and watched the sky display that magnificent sunset on our way out of town.
It IS home. No matter how much we might love where we are now. No matter how many beautiful friends God has given us, or how deeply our roots have grown here, they'll never be as deep as they are there.
It's my one beautiful thing for this week friends. What's yours?
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