A few months ago, I headed to Lowes and bought paint. Lots of paint.
It’s pretty, right? My photos don’t do it justice, but we went from tan to Sherwin Williams Amazing Gray.
For months, Nathan and I have spent our spare moments painting every wall of our home. They had been tan, with a few darker accent walls thrown in for good measure. One wall even had “Peace on earth” stenciled onto the wall- permanently. I have no idea. It was there when we bought the house and we never changed it.
The new wall colors make the house look more like 2018 than 2006 and of course, this effort isn’t solely for our enjoyment. We’re doing this because we plan to list our home and move.
Somedays this makes me feel like a hypocrite.
Hello, I’m Amy. I 100% know that God has called me to care about my literal neighbors and I’m planning to move.
Who does that? How does that make any sense?
I recently had an online conversation with two authors I respect who happen to do a lot of writing about what it looks like to care about your local community– Shannan Martin and Hannah Anderson.
I mentioned the common experience in our town where often families with extra resources are more likely to “upgrade” to the next “better” neighborhood rather than stay in their current one.
Hannah said, “Staying put means not upgrading neighborhoods which means not moving into the next socioeconomic bracket even if as a family we’re financially able to.”
Shannan echoed Hannah’s thoughts and talked about the privilege of being about to stay in their neighborhood for the long haul: “When someone wants to find us, they can.”
That resonated with me. I want to be able to be found.
I want to plant deep roots and know the names of people who live near me.
I want to know their stories, recognize the red pickup truck, know the name of their golden retriever, and notice when they are sick or on vacation.
I think we’re meant to be in each other’s business.
So, why are we planning to move?
To understand the answer, I need to back up and give some background information about our family. For the last 9 years, we have either homeschooled our kids or did a combination of homeschool and private school.
Our oldest will be in high school next year. We thought through several options, but we landed on deciding that we wanted to send him to a local public school. We could stay in our current house and do that, but we live in a neighborhood where that school option would me sending Ethan to a school where he didn’t know anyone at all.
To make the transition easier for him and to facilitate a way for our family to be more involved in the school, we’re planning on moving, just a tiny bit up the road so we can be in the right school zone.
We’re choosing this, not because it’s the newest or fanciest school. It’s not. It’s a great school, but it’s not the shiniest and I honestly didn’t research college admission rates and scholarships. The great private school in the next town was taken out of consideration, not because it’s lacking, but because we want the best shot at engaging in our local community. A school full of families we’ll see in our neighborhood and church helps accomplish that.
So, we’ll move. This time, though, it’s not to avoid roots, but to plant ourselves somewhere our roots can more easily grow.
Other posts in this series:
The Surprising Lesson I Learned When My Neighbor Moved.