My family and I recently moved to the coast and could not be more thankful to be here. My daughter developed a huge love for palm trees during our time of visiting various beaches over the last year in our RV. So when we found out we would be moving to a place full of palm trees, I believe she cried.
Yesterday we went to a local Wal-Mart. The dreaded grocery run needed to take place so we took the maiden voyage to the closest Wal-Mart. Expectations were low of course. (Sorry, Wal-Mart.) It’s not my favorite place to shop to be honest but the list required it, so off we went. When we pulled in, all of our attention was pulled towards the middle of the parking lot where there were two massive rows of pure palm tree goodness. My kids were in awe. Immediately they commented on how nice of a Wal-Mart this was and it sort of changed the game for us in a positive way. It’s amazing what a beautiful palm tree can do.
I really hope that my children and I never lose our sense of wonder or appreciation from the sight of beautiful palm trees. It’s funny how wonderful and amazing something can be at first, and then we grow accustomed to it over time and it tends to lose its sense of awe or amazement.
My husband grew up in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina and I was blessed to live there in the early years of our marriage. The mountain views are simply incredible. One of the local Wal-Marts there has a gorgeous mountain backdrop. But after a while I guess I grew accustomed to it all. At times, during the fall, the colors still took my breath away, but in general I think I forgot I lived in such a beautiful place.
I hope and pray that the joy and appreciation I feel today about living here and starting over somewhere new and beautiful doesn’t fade. But even if you don’t live in the mountains or at the beach, you can find something beautiful about where you live. Now, this can be difficult. Trust me. I’ve lived in some not-so-pretty places. It may take some searching or some true positive thinking to find the things that make your residence attractive. But they are there. Sometimes it’s not the landscape at all that makes a place special. It’s really the people that make a place beautiful. There are amazing people all over this world. And I’ve been so honored to meet and be friends with some of them. Each and every location we’ve been over the years has been a gift. And when I look back at those places, it’s usually not the landscape views that come to mind. It’s the people God placed in my path.
Right now, we are once again new to the area and I don’t have the community I had before. We just haven’t had time to get to know anyone deeply here yet. And there’s this thing called a pandemic going on. It has been a challenging time to move away from our friends. But I can appreciate my current surroundings and pray that I never take the creation around me for granted. I hope and pray that every time I pull into that Wal-Mart, I can be amazed by the two perfect rows of green palm trees. And I pray that once we have local friends in our lives again, that I am always thankful for that connection. Because I am deeply appreciative of those who are still in my life after all of these changes and moves! Distance cannot break a true friendship and I am so thankful for that. (Sorry I stink at calling. My friends know this about me and somehow love me anyway! Thank you!)
What makes your current location beautiful? Is there a tree you love in your front yard? Is your neighbor amazing? Are the sunsets gorgeous? How is your friend circle?
Maybe you’re living in a place you don’t love. I’ve been there. It’s rough. Sometimes you need to ask yourself, is it worth my lack of joy to continue living here? Should we think about moving? Maybe you need to evaluate your current lifestyle and ask God if He wants you to move. He may say yes, and He may say wait. Sometimes we need to stay put for such a time as this. Maybe there’s great job where you live now, or precious family closeby. I don’t know your personal situation, but I do pray that you find something beautiful about where God has placed you today. Whether it’s the surrounding views or the people in your life. Pray that He will open your eyes to the positive and wonderful things about your current location. I am personally praying to be more thankful every day. More appreciative of the simple things. The trees, the sunshine, the sunsets. And I do pray that God will place lovely friends in our lives here as well. The people God places in our paths are truly what gives a place its beauty.
Psalm 118:1 says, Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His steadfast love endures forever.
You can follow our family’s coastal living adventure on Instagram: therollingstonefam
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