My BFF Millie Sweeny is posting for us next! I really like her, so I'm especially excited. It's also pretty cool that even though I know I'm terribly biased, Millie's still the coolest cat even if you're not her best friend. You can check out her blog, Sugar and Spice, to see for yourself. Her writings challenge me and open my eyes to new ways to spin words. (Millie's a published poet which is killer awesome.) And now, ladies and gentlemen, here she is!
"Slow-Cooking A Home"
by Millie Sweeny
Hi! I’m Millie. I think I can brag and say I hold the title of being Lindsay’s BFF for reals.
I’m not as cool as she is, but that’s okay.
I lived my whole life in the same small town in South Carolina; the one time my family moved, it was literally across the street. My grandparents were next door, my uncle on the other side, cousins across the road … we lived on family land. The land where my parents built the house they live in now (where we moved to that one time) was where the old Jones homestead was built: my dad’s grandparents’ home used to be on that land. You can’t see the foundations anymore, but we live on that land. Actually, I think there were cotton fields where our house is now.
I know something about roots. Mine are pretty deep in Abbeville, South Carolina.
After I got married, I moved here to Blacksburg, Virginia, where my husband is in medical school. And even though I had been away in Tennessee for undergrad, this move was a big deal to me. Not just because I was married (woo -hoo!) but because I had to make my own home. Literally, in organizing kitchen cabinets and hanging pictures, and much more challenging, emotionally. I had to make Blacksburg my home.
In college, you are given a community. The girls on your hall, the peers in your major classes, your co-workers in the library. You are constantly surrounded by people with whom you have common interests and ideas and values.
Not so after college.
Reader, I told you I’m not as cool as my BFF Linja. She lives life with her arms wide open, always ready to have a conversation and make a new friend, have a new adventure. (Which is why you love her blog, I’m sure.) I am not brave like that. She is a flambé, I am a Crock Pot.
I approached Blacksburg with all the courage of poor little Piglet thinking of a Heffalump. I only knew one person other than my husband Andrew, and most of the other young married couples we know at church are older than us. (Translation: I am easily intimidated.)
But you know what, reader? God is gracious. So gracious. He gave me a job, gave me peers at that job. He gave me a sweet husband whose friends are equally sweet. And through Andrew’s guy friends, God gave me some girly friends. This past weekend, I spend Thursday night hanging with some girls, Friday night with a couple of those same girls, then later that evening we all met up with Andrew’s guys. Saturday, the guys brought pizza over. Sunday, we saw friends at church, and then one of our married couple friends came over to see us. Living so blessed.
He also has given us a darling little baby boy.
Isn’t he cute?
Blacksburg has become home. I would be perfectly content to stay here for the long haul, if Andrew decides he wants to do residency here. God has brought us friends, a dear and wonderful community. He has given us another family member to invest in and teach. Relationships make a home, and so, Blacksburg has become home.
It took a great deal of time. It took a lot of saying
when I was afraid or intimidated. (A lot of those times were Andrew making me say yes. I’m so glad he pushes me.) It took a lot of awkward conversations; small talk is the worst, but it’s necessary for starters. It took a lot of patience, most of all. I couldn’t expect to have a best buddy within my first week. I didn’t have a best buddy in Blacksburg for months, but I do now.
Relationships, like anything worth having, take time. Dr. Krommandom of Covenant College says the only two things that last are love and people. Relationships. And in our final home, the new earth, those same relationships will still be going strong. Home here will carry over to the home we look forward to.
And that means we can be at home anywhere, because we can find love and people anywhere.
Millie's got more goodness at her blog, Sugar and Spice. I'm sure she'd love to share with you.