My daughter moved to Texas a few weeks ago. She posted on her Facebook wall asking when she would be considered a Texan. Apparently, Texans take their state citizenship seriously and most don’t consider you a Texan unless you were born and raised there. That’s not true of every state. Some are melting pots and are, therefore, more welcoming. Others are downright exclusive. Here were the responses she received: 1. not unless you were born there 2. not unless you were raised there 3. not unless you are still living there 4. not unless have never lived anywhere else 5. not unless you LOVE everything about it! By these strict standards, I guess I’m a woman without a home. I was born in Colorado, but moved out of state after only two weeks. I spent only two years in Florida and 8yrs in NY. Then I moved to Virginia, but only for two and half years, after which, I moved to California and spent the majority of my years from 1977 to 2008 in about seven cities and so many houses and apartments I lost count. I've been living in ARIDzona for over four years now. I'm 50 so clearly, I haven't lived anywhere all my life. If time is the determining factor, I'm a woman without a home. Some people consider themselves a Californian or a New Yorker, if they grew up or attended school in that state. I grew up in NY, Virginia and California and went to two elementary schools, two junior highs and two high schools. I guess that makes me a NewVirgiCaliforker? If we are going by whether or not I liked each state, I can’t even tell you I remember Colorado or Florida. I didn’t much like several places I lived when I was in NY. HATED Virginia’s bugs and humidity. Wasn’t fond of the explicit sexual billboards and liberal slant of California and there are a few things I don’t like about living here on the surface of the sun…namely the 8 months of unrelenting, extreme summer. So I ask you, by your state standards, am I an Arizonan? A Californian? A Coloradonian? What do you call someone from Colorado anyway? Living in California for so many years, I know that most Californians consider you one of them as soon as you move there. Some may say you're a true Californian when you've experienced your first earthquake, but since you feel them so often out there, it doesn't take long. This acceptance is probably because so many come from all over the U.S. and the world to live in California. Living in Arizona, I can tell you that I was accepted right away, but that some don't think you truly understand Arizona until you begin using the phrases like, "It's cool today. Only 102!" It took me only two summers here to learn just how destructive the ARIDzona sun can be and I caught myself using this phrase just about a year ago. After pondering this for a while, it ocurred to me that my home isn't anywhere on earth anyway. I'm just here for the duration. My home is waiting for me in Heaven. Then I began thinking about what we do while we are here to bring others to their permanent home in Heaven until I came full circle. What I mean is... People want to feel they belong. As Christians, we are told to be welcoming, extend grace, show love. Is it loving to exclude people? Is it Christ-like to not be accepting of newcomers? Is it damaging not to welcome others with hospitality? I have felt this before when I first started homeschooling 13 years ago. Believe it or not, my children and I were almost shunned at public homeschooling events by Christians who didn't want their children picking up bad habits from other non homeschoolers. They didn't consider you, "clean" for lack of a better word, until you had time to properly acclimate your children to the Christian homeschooling philiosophy of life or something. What say you? ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ If you liked this post, read…Seven Reasons Why YOU Should Sign Up for the Art of Eloquence Newsletter!