On Belonging


Happy Friday! This beautiful morning I’m joining Lisa-Jo and the Five Minute Friday bunch again. Today, everyone’s writing on the topic of belong. Will you join me and read, write, or both for five (ish) minutes? Here’s how it works:

  1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over-thinking, no backtracking.
  2. Invite others to join in.
  3. And then: go visit the person who linked up before you and drop them a note!

Five Minute Friday

fter moving an average of every 18 months over the last 9 years, I’ve come to expect this rhythm: move, nest, invest in relationships, grow to love the people and appreciate the place, find out we’re moving, mourn the losses, move.

Not every move has been so dramatic; some were only switching apartments in the same city or moving in with friends for a bit while we figured out what we were doing with our lives.

Others were downright rip-your-heart-out hard.  Good, purposeful, but powerfully hard.

But I’ve come to believe that the hard is what shows me that I’ve truly belonged to a place.

It means I’ve found real community–friends who will bring you meals and watch your babies and ask you how you’re really doing.  It means I’ve become affectionately familiar with the city, found its little gems of green space, coffee shops, and free events to enjoy.

Not planting some semblance of roots would make it easier to leave, but that’s not how I want to live.

At least that’s what I tell myself when I’m sobbing in the U-haul.

Truly, though, that’s my litmus for intentional living: When we inevitably move, will I miss this place?  Will I be missed?

If lived purposefully, the answer to both is yes.  It’s a hard yes, but my life is the richer for it.

What are your thoughts on belonging?  Share below or go here to join the 5 minute Friday crowd!

About Jenn

Jenn is a mommy of three and wife to her best friend. She enjoys good books, dinner guests, elevenses, and proper apostrophe use.

  • Lori Harris

    This idea of affectionately familiar with the city- I LOVE it. I think when we know our place we really begin to fall in love with it, and the people that live there with us!

    And on another note- I get the moving thing (we’ve moved 7 times in 12 years) and when it hurts the most, you know you’ve experienced a bit of God- designed community and there is a comfort in knowing you belonged.

    Love your post, friend, because I’ve lived it with you.

  • Oh yes, what you’ve written is so true. It’s amazing how much the hard reminds us that we’ve lived and lived well. Great thoughts and very well written. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thanks for your kind words, Debi! You’re so right–the hard does remind us that we’ve lived.

  • Lindsay@littlehousebigworld

    Stopping by from FMF. I like the questions you use as a gauge. “Will I miss the place? Will I be missed?” Belonging does often take intention on our part. Enjoyed the read.

    • Thanks, Lindsay! Yeah, it took me a little while to realize that I had to be pretty intentional if I wanted to grow authentic relationships. I do also feel like God has blessed my efforts over the years.

  • Denise Oldham

    really like this post.