We have lived in Tulsa for sixteen years and I still think of Illinois as home. As a married couple, we have lived in Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Ohio again and Oklahoma. We have spent the longest time together here. Yet, I have lived this life here as if we will soon be leaving. Leaving and going home. We bought a beautiful house about 5 years ago. I have only done the bare minimum when it comes to decorating. It really doesn't feel like "ours". I have always had this lingering feeling in the back of my mind that I ought not get too attached or go out of my way to really fix it up, since we aren't staying. It wasn't a rational feeling or even one I was highly conscience of, yet it was there.
When it became clear that moving "back home" wouldn't be a good move, I was a little angry. Perplexed. Why would God present this opportunity to us, then when we prayed about it, make it clear to us that Tulsa is where we should stay? What was the point? Then I understood. We were faced with a choice. We weighed pros and cons. We chose Tulsa. We were forced to look at what we have here in this city, in this state and say to ourselves, "This is home. This is where we are staying.". I have a new attitude about Tulsa, born of contentment. I will be content here. This will be home. I may never know the reason we are supposed to be here, but I can accept it and embrace it.
In my 16 years here I have kept a short list of "Things to Appreciate about Tulsa" in my journal. I have tried to find the beauty. Reasons to love living here. Here are some pretty awesome things about T-town:
|Philbrook Museum of Art|
4. Tulsa isn't as big as Chicago or Cincinnati. It is big enough to do just about anything you want to do, though. Whenever I am in heavy morning traffic, I think back to the days when we lived in DeKalb an I had a teaching job in the Chicago suburbs. It took me 90 minutes to drive about 30 miles every day, each way. And I paid about $5 in tolls a day. I haven't seen a good car fire since the early 90's! I used to either see one or hear about one every day. That was bad traffic. In Tulsa, we just have minor inconveniences.
I used to imagine Tulsa looked like this....
|Your teepee or mine?|
But, it really looks like this....
There is beauty in Tulsa. Five of my six kids were born in Tulsa. Mike has a great job in Tulsa. Tulsa is home. 2013 is the year I'm going to bloom where I have been planted.