Why I'm Obsessed With Small-Town Living

Why I'm Obsessed With Small-Town Living

It's a simpler way of life.

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Growing up in a small town has been an amazing experience for me. Homecoming celebrations, tractor pulls, a tight-knit community and friends that are more like family are a few of the reasons that it's been such a perfect environment to grow up in.

I have never known anything different than a community like this, but I have very few complaints about it. Living in a small town makes you appreciate the little moments. There's not much going on usually, so when there is, you try to cherish the memories made. There are positives in everyone knowing what's going on in your life. If you are sick or having a hard time, you can expect at least six phone calls and a couple "Get Well Soon!" cards in the mail. I love knowing everyone and all of their family members. These people will cheer you on for the rest of your life. Having a graduating class of 10 people made the high school years pretty fun. Homecoming week dress-up days were a highlight of any small town student's year.

Lauren Trimble

I've always felt like living in a town this small makes things simple. Things stay pretty much the same on a day-to-day basis. You know what to expect for the most part. While I enjoy a little bit of spontaneity every once in a while, the routine has always felt good. I would like to move back to a small town after college, so that my children get to have that same experience. A fantastic perk of living in a small town is that you can participate in multiple activities. At school, if you want to try something new, you can go for it. No one has to worry that they won't be able to get into an activity that they might not be good at. You get the opportunity of experience by living in a small town. What's better than that?

Lauren Trimble

So, thank you to my small town for giving me all of the wonderful memories and opportunities. I wouldn't have wanted to grow up any other way. The best part is that I know that, no matter what, I will always be welcomed back with arms held wide open.

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County Fairs Are Still Important

There's more to fairs than just fried food and Ferris wheels.
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Like many people, I used to have the same thoughts, "Oh it's just a county fair." However, this year was the first time in eleven years I stepped foot on to the Rock Island County Fairgrounds with out any animals or other 4-H projects to exhibit. Instead, I spent the week watching from an entirely new perspective that gave me a whole new appreciation for what I used to consider "just a county fair".

More and more, society has begun to question the relevance and value of a county fair when less than 2 percent of the population is actively involved in production agriculture. This question alone proves to me that county fairs are more important than ever. Fairs and livestock exhibitions are the foundation for agriculture promotion in our society and, as our population continues to shift to a more urban demographic, it is the responsibility of a county fair to remind the public of the key role that agriculture, and rural communities, will continue to play in our economy and daily lives.

Fairs not only promote agriculture, but also supply jobs; support rural economic development and local commerce; and provide opportunities for youth and adult education. The success of a fair is dependent on its volunteers and youth through programs like 4-H, whether they’re exhibiting livestock, crops and clothing or newer projects like film making. Speaking from my own personal experience, I am so thankful for the opportunity to show livestock at the fair.

My experiences aided in providing me with hands-on learning about the realities of food production as well as gaining major life skills such as communication and responsibility that molded me into a well functioning member of society.

Many years ago, a simple gathering for commodity trade began as a way to bring friends and neighbors together to showcase hard work and effort. These things still matter. Fairs are the connecting point of the people and products that showcase our heritage. I wholeheartedly believe in fairs and what they can do for a community and even the participants.

I encourage everyone to take time this summer to visit your local county or state fair. Take a stroll through the barns, strike up a conversation with a young exhibitor about his, or her, project. Watch the 4-H auction, maybe bid on an animal, and see how the hard work put in by the owner truly pays off. Experience a demolition derby, a concert, or play some carnival games with your family. Whether you are lifetime attendee or have never set foot on a fairgrounds, now is the best time to get involved in one of our countries oldest traditions- you will not regret it.


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In The Words Of Casting Crowns, My Life Will Be For 'Only Jesus'

"Only Jesus" by Casting Crowns has inspired me to live my life for Jesus.

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When I watch the music video for Casting Crowns "Only Jesus" I am reminded of the reason why we are on this earth, alive, breathing air through our lungs, our hearts beating, and time going on and on.

We are on this earth, not to seek our own glory, our own accolades, and our own selfish greed, but to know God, love God, and to make Him known in this world, through sharing how God's son Jesus has set us free from our sinful lives and has resurrected us spiritually.

At the beginning of the video, we see Mark Hall, the lead singer of Casting Crowns, driving down a road, eventually driving into a junkyard. The junkyard is both a setting for the music video and an allegory. The junkyard is allegorical to show that everything we obtain in this world, both material things and in achieving our own selfish pursuits of self-glory, self-pride, and self-adulation, will one day rot away and decay into nothingness.

No one will remember you in 500 years when you are dead and gone. The only exception to this is if you do something spectacular with your life that makes you famous. Only then will people remember what you did, not the person that you really was.

But living for Jesus and dedicating our lives to the "good fight" is the everlasting legacy we should pass on.

We should be remembered how we dedicated every minute of our lives being fishers of men for Jesus. When Christian men and women live this way, their children learn about God's love, which in turn causes them to surrender their lives to God, then passing God's love to their children, repeating this infinite loop of love for all time until Jesus comes back. Only Jesus is eternal. Only His love is eternal.

So when I die, "I don't want to leave a legacy. I don't care if they remember me, only Jesus."

Because my Lord Jesus Christ, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit is the only thing that matters.

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