Suburban Spirituality: Contemplating Through a Move

[image by jdnx]

I decided I wanted to write something a little more personal over the next few weeks…something that has been on my heart, raised questions, and has me awake at night…sometimes.

For those of you who don’t know, my wife, baby daughter and I have been living in Dallas since August of 2008. We moved here from Los Angeles, and have been excited about this phase of our journey. But there are lots of adjustments as one would expect.

Where to live? Career changes? New friends? New church? Etc? It all becomes pretty tiresome and weary. My wife and I talked the other day about how we haven’t had much constants in our marriage life. It’s been crazy busy with graduate school early on, new baby, moving, new jobs, etc.

Where to Live in DFW Metroplex?
And now we are in the midst of a new decision. Where to live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex?

That may not seem like a big deal, but it is. Because where we plant down roots can/will have strong influence about what our life looks like in some way. The friends we make. What my new private practice will look like. Settling down in a church. Whether my wife needs to continue working or not. Spirituality.

The Article That I Keep Thinking About
And as we contemplate this decision I can not but keep hearkening back to an article written by David Goetz for Christianity Today…way back in July of 2003. The article is Suburban Spirituality: “The land of SUVs and soccer leagues tends to weather the soul in peculiar ways, but it doesn’t have to”.

If you have not read this article…you must!

I’m going to be playing off this article for the next few weeks, and focusing on various topics and questions that have been raised for me:

  1. What does it mean to be a good steward financially?
  2. What does it mean to be content with where you live?
  3. How do we faithfully live out where God has placed us?
  4. What does it mean to be planted in a church community and not shop around?
  5. What does it mean to not be judgmental towards suburbanites or urbanites?
  6. What happens in our thinking from being single, to marriage, to having kids, as far as influencing where and how we want to live?
  7. What can we live modestly/frugally, wherever we live?
  8. How can we be creative with our finances in helping support others?

I have other questions, but let me just stop there for now.  These questions will in fact take on new life and new forms as I write, but I just wanted to give you some food for thought. And I’m lining up some guest bloggers who have written passionately on some of these things.

There are many factors and life experiences that have shaped me into who I am, and as I wrestle through this move, my desire is that I continually strive to be more faithful to who God desires me to be and how he wants me to live.


    • by rhettsmith on June 16, 2009  2:27 am Reply

      Great link...thanks for sending it my way.

  1. by Paul on May 13, 2009  9:51 am Reply


    My wife and I have struggled with many of these same issues as we are preparing to start a church downtown Des Moines. As we attempt to reach out to people who are far from God, one of the issues that we have wrestled with immensely is what this will mean for our kids. What kinds of things will they be exposed to? Is this a safe environment? Are we prepared to deal with outside, negative influence on our children?

    I've written some of my reflections here


    • by rhettsmith on June 16, 2009  2:28 am Reply


      Thanks for your thoughts...and awesome thoughts on your blog. I recommend it to everyone who comes across this comment. Thanks for sharing with me.

  2. by Sam Simmons on May 13, 2009  5:10 pm Reply

    Rhett -
    Can relate to your move and all the related issues. My wife and I moved from Orange County, CA to Dallas Metroplex in late 2007. The emotional turmoil of uprooting and sinking new roots came back. It's been God's grace, I think, that I've forgotten this after every move.

    • by rhettsmith on June 16, 2009  2:28 am Reply


      We need to connect in Dallas. Where do you live?

  3. by sue on May 13, 2009  7:30 pm Reply

    really excited about this series. we are right there with you as we look for a place to put down roots in atlanta...

  4. Pingback : Suburban Spirituality: Church Before Family

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