I’m sitting outside on my mama’s front porch in a rocking chair staring out over the fields and the ponds and the sunrise that is bright in my eyes this morning with my coffee in hand and a pup watching me out the window.
I grew up here in this small town where everybody may not know your name but you can be sure that they know your grandparents. I went to a little elementary school down the road in the middle of a field. A few of those friendships I made there in that little school are still going strong. When you’re a kid in a small country town, you don’t pay any attention to how simple life is. Because life as a little is all about your friends, games, and wishing you could have a longer recess. Complex in your young eyes but really, just simple. My family has lived in this same area and possibly on the same street for 100 years plus. A few of my relatives were born in the two-room wooden house that was at the bottom of our road and my great-uncle lives in his now-deceased father’s farmhouse that he rebuilt. My grandma lives to the right of my parents and her other daughter to the right of her. We are surrounded by family. Simple.
In high school, I hated living in such a small town. Everyone knew everyone else’s business and if your parents weren’t popular in town then neither were you. I couldn’t wait to get out of small town USA during those four years. But etched in my mind are memories that will last. Memories of the simple life as a kid living in the country. Memories of riding my bike with my brother on “our road”, visiting our great grandpa, Papa Nash, getting a dollar and some candy from him every day before he went Home and taking my friends down the road to see the horses. We even named a few of the little creatures living around us. Simple. I lived my life out loud for the majority of my childhood.
Now I live as an adult in a bigger city with tons to do downtown. There are cars in place of cows and the people living around me aren’t my aunts and uncles anymore. I absolutely love the city that we live in now but there is just something about the country. Each time I travel back to the spot that grew me up, I am reminded of how simple life can be. Those memories of cold creeks, fishing in the pond behind my grandma’s house, and dancing in the rain always come flooding back. Those memories of building forts in the woods for hours, catching fireflies in jars, hunting for big foot with friends, chasing squirrels, and running up and down the road chasing the sunrise every morning in high school.
The little town that I couldn’t stand growing up now stands in my mind as the countryside that reminds me how we can choose to live life. To me, the country symbolizes simpler living and the inspiration to live out loud. Last weekend, I was walking back from my grandma’s house to my parent’s house carrying a bag of fresh vegetables just picked from my grandma’s garden. Organic, simple life. As I stared out across the pond in front of me, I watched my great-uncle on his tractor with a big brown dog following behind him. I couldn’t help but think, “this is the life.” Of course, it isn’t only in the countryside that we can experience this kind of simple living. And when I say “simple living”, I mean a life that isn’t cluttered with over-indulgence in what the world has created but rather making memories with the people and the things that God has created.
We can have simple living right here, right now. We don’t have to be chained to our cell phones every hour of the day. You can experience God’s beautiful creation when you choose to put down the remote and walk outside. Video games, Netflix, blogs, Facebook. Those things don’t have to be our “go-to” every single time we have a free moment. The good ole days can be today. It’s the choices we make each day that create lasting memories in our minds for years to come. It’s what shapes our lives, present and future. It will even have an effect on our kids in the future. Being on social media for three hours, mindlessly scrolling, will result in absolutely nothing. It’s a hard pill to swallow in a culture that is literally drowning in technology. I want to remember the times that my husband and I explored and loved and grew together and laughed and met new people and hung out with friends and went on hikes and visited with family and actually lived out loud. You can’t experience things like that if you aren’t living out loud.
I can’t wait until my husband and I are able to buy some land. Memories are waiting to be had there on “our road” wherever that may be. But it’s more than the place, it’s a way of life. You don’t have to live off a long dirt road to start living simpler now. I want my life to sing songs of God’s creation and beauty and family and working hard and loving people and… life out loud.
Temporal happiness that fades comes from over-indulgence in what this world has to offer.
Joy comes from God. Loving His people, loving His creation, and living life out loud right where you are.
Enjoy the little, simple moments.
This song by Florida Georgia Line is a sad but sweet song reminding me to not get caught up in this world but to just stop and enjoy the little moments. The little country towns and the big city life. The little memories I can create with the people I know & love and the ones I have yet to meet. The simple life that can be lived. And how it has such a major effect on our memories & our generations to come. And of course, I love Amarillo Sky & That’s What I love about Sunday 🙂
You are loved