When my husband and I first met, he loved to call me a city-girl, since I grew up in the suburbs and he was from the country. I had no idea that was all about to change, until I learned he wanted to live on a road with not one, but two cardinal directions in its name…
To be honest, I didn’t know much about country living. But I imagined it would be something like living in the middle of nowhere with no internet, surrounded by smelly animals, dirty clothes, and cornfields......lots of cornfields.
Perhaps you, too, haven't visited the country, so that may sum up your view of country living. It happened when I realized a future together meant moving to the country: I was stopped in my tracks by panic and fear. I was going to live in the middle of nowhere. Luckily, my love for a boy was stronger than my fear of the unknown, because I soon discovered that country living wasn’t at all what I expected…and that was a very good thing.
Born and raised just across the river from Louisville, Kentucky, I grew up loving everything about living close to the city lights. There was fabulous shopping and excellent restaurants nearby. My drives to work and school were less than ten minutes. I had great friends living right around the corner, literally within walking distance. Life was good as a city-girl.
So when I met a cute boy from rural Indiana, I was surprised to learn what living in the country actually meant. The first time he gave me his address, I thought for sure he had said something wrong. “West 300 South? How do I put that in my GPS??” I really didn’t know much about the country...
The first time we visited his parent’s home, though, I discovered that country living was nothing like I had thought it would be. It was serene and beautiful in a way I had never imagined. I felt God's presence, and there was so much room to run free. I immediately loved everything about it! Now that we’re married and living in the country ourselves, I am so glad that cute boy came along and changed my mind about the country lifestyle.
Maybe you haven't had a chance to explore the countryside near your hometown. I would encourage you to do so! You might just find something unexpectedly beautiful. Meanwhile, I want to share with you four main things that are different than I expected country living to be, in the best possible way.
1 | Country living doesn’t have to be in the middle of nowhere.
We actually only live about ten minutes from town, and the nearest city is just twenty minutes the other direction. It's the perfect distance for grocery trips, and I have learned how to shop for up to 2 weeks of groceries at a time!
Our friends and family are all still within short drives, and we have found lots of options for churches nearby. When we first found our home, I was amazed that we could have what seemed to be the best of both worlds - country living within a few miles of town. I learned that living in the country doesn't equate to living in the boonies!
2 | Country living doesn’t mean you have cows and chickens.
But you could! That’s the beauty of it. We don’t have either right now, but we’ll always have the option to raise our own beef and get eggs from our own chickens. Looking back now, one of the misconceptions I had about living in the country was that there were smelly animals everywhere. Sometimes that's true! But the amount of open space in the country gives you plenty of room to stay clear of the pig and cow farms. In fact, most of the farms in the Midwest, especially Indiana, are corn and soybean farms.
Even though we don't have any farm animals, we do have an adorable kitty named Peanut. He's probably the most spoiled country kitty around. You'll find many stories about him on Cultivate Grace, and I know you'll soon fall in love with him just as we have!
3 | There is room to breathe in the country.
Have you ever left a long, tense meeting, and suddenly felt like you could breathe easier? Recently, I spent almost a week in the downtown area of a nearby city. While I enjoyed being within walking distance to my workplace all week, I felt an immense sense of relief as I got closer to home. Passing the city limits and being able to see for miles, I felt a sense of peace wash over me. Living in the country is refreshing and relaxing. It brings you closer to God, which is my favorite reason country living isn't what I expected.
4 | You can feel God’s presence everywhere.
There is so much beauty in the country. Did you know there are gorgeous sunsets almost every evening? I didn’t until I moved to the country. Neighboring buildings block out so much natural beauty that it’s easy to miss out on the sunsets. God paints the sky in glorious shades of red, orange, pink, and purple. Once you step outside and find some open space, His presence becomes clear in everything. From the wide open skies, to the birds singing in the trees, to the breeze blowing across the fields, He is there and He is waiting for you to come see!
As much as I have come to love living here, I understand that country living isn't for everyone. So, what would you choose - city or country? What are your 4 favorite things about where you live? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!
In His grace,