Four years ago my husband was faced with a choice between two different job offers.

One offer was in a big city in Kansas and the other was in a tiny town in the plains of Colorado (think Nebraska). Within weeks of each other, we flew out to see both places.

The first city we visited was filled with traffic, tons of shopping, restaurants, a fast-paced lifestyle, lots of people, schools, amenities, and more. It looked and felt like where we were already living at the time and I wanted a change. I searched my heart and I just didn’t feel it for my kids or myself. I made sure to let my husband know how I felt and luckily, he understood.

A better picture of how I envisioned our life together watching our young children grow up took residence in my mind. I had an idea and I’d know it when I saw it.
For the second job option, we drove 2.5 hours to the plains of Colorado from the Denver airport. The wide-open spaces, farmland, a slower pace of life, livestock, small businesses, schools within walking distance of homes, community spirit, well-kept lawns, and downtown charm instantly captivated us.

This is it, I thought. This is where we need to be. This is where we need to breathe.

There definitely was no Target, Starbucks, or Chick-fil-a. In fact, there was only one fast food joint- Subway. The closest Walmart was an hour away. And most of your specialized doctor or dentist appointments required traveling. But when I found Amazon Prime delivered, that pretty much sealed the deal.

After checking out the area and his potential job, we accepted the offer and moved across the country to build our new life in a town of 2500 people.

Today, I’m so thankful we took the risk of not knowing a soul. I appreciate how everyone knows everyone. People know our kids so if they’re misbehaving, you better believe mama’s friends are watching.

I love how our kids are learning about farming, agriculture, and what it means to work your land and pray for rain. Now they can tell you what a combine is and a pivot, too.

They’re learning how to work through conflict and challenges with friends they see a lot and live in close proximity to. They’ve had consistent friendships over the years and their teachers are some of the best I’ve ever known—they’re my friends, too.

The kids love the small town parades at Christmas and homecoming, the county fair, the barbeque rib cook-off and inflatables the fire department puts on every summer, riding their bikes to the school and park, watching the breathtaking sunsets, the town fireworks on Fourth of July, the summer days spent at the lake just up the road in Nebraska, being friends with the police officers, that dad’s work is within one minute of our home, and more.

Sure, my kids complain at times about missing the thrills and eye candy of the big city. They sometimes whine and say, “There’s nothing to do! It’s so boring.” And that’s when we have to get creative and count our blessings. That’s when I remind them of all we have and how the treasures here far outweigh the negatives.

I’m confident when they’re older they’ll greater appreciate the real value a small town brings and what it’s meant to our family in this season of life.

A rural lifestyle has helped mold and shape them into who they are and who they’re becoming.

And to my surprise . . . it’s changed me, too.

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Samantha Krieger

Samantha Krieger is a pastor's wife and mom to four children, nine and under. She's the author of Quiet Time: A 30-day Devotional Retreat for Moms in the Trenches. She writes from rural Colorado and enjoys connecting with readers on her personal blogFacebook and Instagram.