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April 19, 2015
 

The Small Town Difference

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Written by: Cheryl Oberdieck
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“Five Kids, Two Dogs, and a Man of the Cloth,” by Cheryl Oberdieck

graduation

Seminary graduation — heading off to small town number #1

Y

ears ago when David and I were meeting with the director for placing seminary candidates for their first call, I remember requesting that we be sent to at least a small city.  I had never lived anywhere with less than 70,000 in population (and even that was a bit small for me!)

So naturally, small towns have been what God had in store for us. This is now our second beloved small town!

Recently when I needed surgery I briefly considered going to a larger hospital in a big city when my local doctor volunteered that his feelings would not be hurt by my obtaining another opinion. In the end I decided the best bet was my own very experienced doctor who knew my case well and had spent an inordinate amount of time with me going over my options. (Yes, I am that patient that backed up the waiting room.  Sorry!)

It was an excellent decision to stay put.

What is the small town difference?

It means having a receptionist who greets you cheerfully every time at the sound of your voice on the phone even though she knows she will have to shift her schedule yet again to accomodate you.

It means sweet nurses you have known for years. One of my nurses took the time after work to come visit me in the hospital at the birth of my last child. That same day a lady who later would become my baby’s nurse and now my own nurse gave birth in the room right next to me! (Okay, that part might have been a happy coincidence.)

My nurse has taken exceptional care of me the last month. Not only has she called and texted to check in with me at all hours, but she sincerely volunteered to make a middle of the night house call should it be necessary to save me a trip to the ER. How cool is that?!

My doctor has a way of making you think you are the only patient he is caring for. As the only doctor in his field in this town, he is crazily overworked, but you would never know it even when he has been up all night. He took the time to consult on my case on a rare day off — his own staff didn’t even recognize that guy back there in street clothes.

A nurse practitioner from the same office doubled as our publicity coordinator for the homeschool drama production we were both involved with and more than once was in the right place at the right time to come through for me personally and for the production in a pinch.

Beyond the highly personalized medical care there are friends who go above and beyond when you need them!

Friends who:

  • Have lived in the town all their lives and adopt you into their extended families, making you feel as if you have been there with them all along.
  • Cart your kids around town and jump in to give them rides when they see them standing out alone in a parking lot because you have lost track of time and forgotten to send your husband after them!
  • Pray for you in church Sunday after Sunday and all the weekdays in between.
  • Bring you delicious meals of secret family recipes (and chocolate!)
  • Pick up the slack for you cheerfully on your drama volunteer job again, and again, and again. Yeah, you all know who you are!
  • Visit you and are too polite to say when you are repeating yourself because you have serious short term memory issues.
  • Visit you and are too polite to say when you are repeating yourself because you have serious short term memory issues.
  • Send you so many cards you run out of room on your dresser to display them all.

A small town might not have the newest, and the biggest and the greatest, but when it comes to the wonderful people you find in a small town, there is just nothing to compare. Thank the Lord for knowing best!



About the Author

Cheryl Oberdieck
Lutheran pastor's wife and Army chaplain's wife (same man!) Homeschooling mom of three and occasional young adult consultant for two more. Homeschool group drama department interim co-chair, (cause “president” sounds too scary). Youth group leader, computer IT guy, church historian and honorary trustee. Wannabe gardener. Most importantly, a redeemed by the blood of Jesus, daughter of the King who spends an inordinate amount of time learning, and re-learning what it means to walk in God's grace!



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