Far from the City

There’s a rooster that lives diagonally across the street from us. Two in fact. My children differentiate them by the sound of their crows: one, they insist, sounds like he’s dying and the other just sounds like a normal rooster, which may in fact be the sound of death to anyone at 5am.

I live in Asheville, NC. I moved here a year and a half ago from Philadelphia, PA. Before that, I lived in Raleigh, NC. And before that I lived outside of Washington DC, in Austin, TX, and I grew up in New Orleans, LA. Roosters were not part of everyday life.

I’m a runner- the lite version.  You know when you try out an app for free on your iPhone and there’s a banner on the thumbnail that says: Lite? That’s me. Honestly, I am afraid to go to a real running shoe store (though I desperately need some good ones) because I’m afraid they’ll take one look at my thighs and blurt out: “You run?!”  Ok, so they won’t say it out loud.

Anyway, I “run” just outside of my neighborhood which quickly becomes open pastures filled with horses, wildflowers, log cabins, and beautiful mountain views. And roosters.    (Check out my photo gallery, Life on the Run, at the end of this post.) It kinda makes me laugh.  I’m totally out of my element. There are no tall buildings in sight; I’ve traded them for trees. The horses lazily graze on grass but where I’m from, they were crowd control during Mardi Gras parades. I lived in fear of them.

God has a sense of humor.  I often marvel at how different my kids’ childhoods will be than mine. That’s okay, I guess. It’s just unfamiliar territory. My 11 year old son already owns a pocket knife. We see bears on street corners and in our trash.  People go camping- for fun! There are no roosters in New Orleans.

It was a difficult transition at first, and to be honest, it still is sometimes.  But here’s the thing. I’ve realized how much I cling to my own paradigm, my own comfort, my own way of doing things. And I want my kids to live out of my own story- my education, my experience, my point of view. But God is writing each of their stories. And they WILL be different than mine. I cling to the promise of His faithfulness to them (through much fear), but that doesn’t mean their story looks the same as mine. When a city girl moves to the country (slight hyperbole), God still remains the same yesterday, today, and forever. I’m in the grip of His grace (and so are they); I’m realizing this truth like never before.

And, if I’m really honest, those mountain runs are becoming beautiful to me. Except the hills. They’re agony on the thighs.

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  • Duane Davis

    Great first post! Reminds me of a comment someone made to me when we first arrived in Asheville. Since we had yet to see a bear, I told Trinity’s entire congregation one morning: “I don’t believe in the myth of bears.” One member came up to me later and said: “I don’t believe in the myth of tall buildings!” It’s all about perspective.

    • Julie Davis

      I batted around the idea of naming the blog Trees for Buildings. Too obscure. Thanks for being my partner on this journey!

  • Heather

    SO glad you’re writing in place I can regularly read! A little dose of Julie from far away. Miss you guys with the tiniest bit of heartache, but so excited for this next new adventure. Also, I think both of my parents felt what you’re talking about with the kids – they raised us far from their own contexts and comfort zones. Many hugs.

    • Julie Davis

      Only a tiny bit of heartache?? : )

  • Janet Powers

    Julie, thanks for inviting me to follow your new blog. God is expanding our hearts and our perspective! To me, where you live sounds like “heaven on earth” and I’d feel the same as you if I lived in the city. Instead I live in an in-between place (from my perspective) — it keeps me longing for my heavenly dwelling while appreciating God providence for me. Thanks for the encouragement this morning. May God richly bless this new avenue of ministry for you.

    • Julie Davis

      I miss your sweet spirit, Jan!

  • Julie Davis

    Thanks for being the first to comment guys!

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