As a teenager, which is pretty normal, I couldn't wait to get out of this city! I thought there was never anything fun to do and I was always soooo bored.
But now, as an adult, wife, and mother, I love Lakeland! It is such a great mix between a big city and a small town. And while yes, the ever increasing traffic is giving my patience a run for the money, there are so many things I love about it. I have lived in other states so I know what else is out there, and nothing has felt like home quite like here.
I LOVE that almost anywhere I go, I run into someone who I know.
I LOVE that we have events like First Friday, Pics on the Promenade, and a great Christmas Parade where the attraction is more the fellowship beforehand than the actual parade.
I LOVE that I have a group of friends who we have grown up together and now are having babies together.
I LOVE that my husband is a pastor at the church where we have attending almost our entire lives and now, where my children are growing and learning.
I LOVE that I live in central Florida and the beach is an hour in either direction.
I LOVE that the weather is beautiful, and while this summer promises to be scorching hot, we don't have to shovel several feet of snow. Ever.
Most of all, I LOVE that I am growing my family surrounded by a great community. A "village", if you will, full of church family, MOPS family, friends of all ages, and an ever changing flow of people God puts in our path to serve every day.
I don't know why I felt the need to write about this, but if you are a part of my Lakeland family, or anyone we have had the privilege of crossing paths with, know that we love you and are so glad to have you as a part of our life.