Making a Hometown your Own

Thursday, August 6, 2020

One year ago, our family visited East Texas for the first time. We were in the middle of living life. Theater camp, marathon group coaching, and work was part of the routine. We took a step of faith and God met us where we were.

Here we are, living in this new hometown for 10 entire months. One of my dear friends asked me what makes a hometown my own. I thought that was a great question. The answer always will be: people.

My people - My first instinct as a mother is to be sure my nest is settled, warm, and inviting. I put a lot of thought and effort into making my house into a home. I believe that's the number one way we make a hometown our own. Once the family is okay, I move on to meet new people. 

New People - I've written extensively about meeting new people. Our experience it's been interesting. When we come to a new hometown, we already have a church family. It does not mean we are friends with everyone there. It means we work there. It takes time to get to know people. Working at a church means you have a place to worship, work and a bunch of people to get to know. The theory I developed over 15 years leads me to think that I need to meet people in the community also. 

Community People - I love getting to know people in the community. Before I moved, I was one of the neighborhood reps. I loved getting to know my neighbors and organizing community events for families. I love getting connected with the public library. The kids and I always participate in events and we check out books and other resources often. Before moving to East Texas I found a running group. I actually found the group before I found a house. I know, priorities. People are important to me. 

Here's the question: with COVID and all, have you connected with people Cintia?

I certainly have tried. I just heard about research on concentric circles of friendship where it takes 50 hours to go from acquaintances to casual friends and 90 hours to go to the good friend category. 

I will elaborate on these hours on a later post because they made me think about so many acquaintances I thought of as good friends. My experience dictates that for some friends, the number of hours are irrelevant. 

I believe I made a good friend here. This person is not afraid of me. She welcomed me into her life. She listens to me and we've been able to speak the truth to each other. I am still getting to know this person and vice-versa. I am choosing to believe that we will be good friends. I'm committed to this friendship and I can only pray I will be a blessing. 

I counted the hours I've spent with this good friend. So far,  we spent 117 hours together. Outside of the hours, there have been words said, prayers prayed and mutual understanding established. I'm grateful.

In the past, I made good friends without meeting the 50 to 90-hour goal. We understood we were for each other. Our hearts connected and we were committed to the friendship. 

How do I make a hometown my own?  I focus on people because the right ones make any place sweet.