Moving to Virginia

People ask me all the time: “why did you move to Virginia? ” Seaford, Virginia: not the most metro, hipster, saving-the-world, hip place to be. There’s more cars than people and less trees than roads. The constant humidity is similar to living your life inside a sauna and everybody has carpets and air conditioning. Allergies are more common than not and people don’t take clocks seriously. It’s not limited to any one group of people. When people say meet at 5, it’s 5:30. And this is definitely true when shopping: people do not make haste. All the cashiers and people standing in line have all the time in the world.

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So why would a mid-twenties college graduate, outdoorsy, activist, artistic, northerner move to the tiny town of Seaford, Virginia? And the answer, my friends, (drum roll please)

 

is Jesus.

What does that even mean?

As somebody with a strong Southern accent might say, hang on naya. We’re gittin there.

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Once upon a time…

I was living on an island in Maine eating local food from the Portland Co-op, gardening, riding the ferry to and from work every day and riding around the island on my bicycle. And I just wunt satisfied (another Virginia-ism). I wunt fulfilled. I had a couple friends but they weren’t all that close. [***Except N <3***] I had a couple of jobs but they were hellish (#nannywars). I had done a couple diets and was back to square one. I had dated a couple guys which both ended quickly (thank God 😉 ). I had a head full of sparking thoughts. And then the spark found the kindling: Jesus. I needed … to be closer to Jesus…!

But Jesus is dead. How can you be closer to someone dead?

So I started to attend church again. And I craved being around Christians. And I met a couple solid* Christians on the tiny island Baptist Church named Jack and Gerri.

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*When I say “solid” I mean bold. Bold about their beliefs. And willing to stand for them. And live by them. Practice them. And preach them!

And Jack & Gerri invited me over to their big, beautiful house. && I got to know ’em. Jack told me about the business he started. I walked their dog. We ate ice cream. I met their friends.  My new Baptist friends were always having missionaries come and stay with them. They surrounded themselves with peaceful, humble people who knew so much about history, the bible, and current events.

Jack gave me a book full of knowledge. Just what I wanted. I hunted knowledge like a hungry animal hunting their prey. I couldn’t get enough of it. Knowledge about Jesus and who He was.

I need to be around more people like this, like Jesus.

And then I heard a voice.

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Velvet, you must go to Virginia.

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It’s weird, I know. But I couldn’t ignore or deny it. And it isn’t totally out of the blue. I have family in Virginia. My pen-pal/ favorite cousin lives in Virginia. We’ve been faraway friends for life and have grown very close in the last couple of years.

After hearing the Voice, I visited Virginia for six weeks and stayed with my cousin in her apartment. It was an experience. We shared her bedroom for ~5 weeks. Her bed. She shared her bed with me for five weeks! #goodfriend ❤

She was always surrounded by people. Boyfriend, friends, neighbors, people she worked with and for. And every time I felt …. so …. loved by everyone I met. People were different than in Maine. They smiled and waved and said “how do you do?”. They helped each other out and were joyful and successful and prioritized their families. And she talked about Jesus all da time. Nonchalantly in conversation. Nobody did this up North.

I had much to learn.

I met several families that every member was in love with Jesus and loved each other. I didn’t think families like these existed. But truly every family has baggage and nobody is perfect. And when your situation has hit rock bottom, everything else is glorified. But there are better and worse ways of doing things & handling drama and issues; and I liked what I saw. It was different to me and I could benefit from the newness. I was seeing Jesus.

&& I returned home in mid-December, and left my precious bicycle in VA because I knew I was going back ~*~

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Mt. Monadnock in the winter; Jaffrey, NH

At home

I was contemplating my next move for about 3 weeks…

when my Great Aunt Patsy Sours passed away. Her funeral was in Virginia in January. I was going back sooner than I thought! 

At the funeral procession, a friend I had met when staying with my cousin offered me a job to live and work for her family, take care of their grandmother. I would be in Virginia, in the home of strong Christians, and I would see how their family lived, walked, worked together and were mirrors for Jesus all throughout.

After much contemplation, it became loud and c l e a r that this job was exactly where I needed to be.

It became clear that this situation was exactly what I needed at the time in my life and the lives of the family I was moving in with.

It became clear that this family and I couldn’t have ever matched ourselves together.

The Voice was loud and clear.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

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A season to give for others.

To be a loving, forgiving, active, dependable, reliable family member.

A season to study, to teach, to become involved in a large community where people keep each other accountable.

To have a church, a bible study group, an additional weekly bible study.

A season to love like Jesus did: love people He didn’t know and wasn’t related to, but forgave them for their human sins and mistakes and showed them the love He wished to see.

I moved to Virginia to be in the light.

Where it’s brighter, hotter, less cold in so many ways; and where joy and love can be vibrant inside me and shine out to others.

I moved to Virginia to experience living in a Christian home with fellow Christ followers.

And to undo so many habits that were ingrained in me from my family life.

And so much more. These are surface level changes I was going through. And there are so many more to come. 11 months in Virginia so far. Not sure how many more.

It’s been an adventure. I love it. God has blessed me tremendously and continues to do so.

Have you ever felt called to a place?!

xoV

 

 

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Similarities Between Dating and Cooking (for the ladies)

God designed us to live with a partner. We live the best quality of life with a partner. A partner-in-crime, a friend, a spouse. We are designed to desire marriage and unity. Though sometimes, finding this partner seems to take a little too long and we consider settling for the next Joe that comes round the block. But like cooking with haste, dating with haste means resulting in waste.

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Did you ever come across that perfect recipe that seems too good to be true? Only three ingredients, and hardly any work at all! For me, this was sprouted sourdough buckwheat bread.

Yeah, the name alone is a mouthful, I should have known!

But I reeeeeeeeeeeally wanted this easy-as-pie bread to be my next favorite recipe. Is pie really considered that easy?

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I went ahead and made the bread. Starting with soaking and and sprouting the buckwheat. Then processing it into flour. Adding salt and water. Letting it sit on the counter and ferment. Baking that bad boy.

All those steps were fine and dandy. Even fun and anticipatory. The measuring, the soaking, the mixing, the blending, the baking. Kinda like dating…… 😉

But as for the eating……. drum roll……

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You guessed it.

It was the worst thing ever.

The bread tasted terrible.

The texture was terrible.

It smelled bad. It looked worse. I never made it again.

Okay I did actually try to make it again one time. And it STILL SUCKED. I would rather eat

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Maybe not.

So what went wrong?

Simple: the ingredients were wrong. There was no butter, oil or eggs in it. The flavor of buckwheat alone isn’t that great in my opinion. It was too bland, too dry. Too gross. The texture was off. I should have known all of this when I read the recipe.

But I really wanted it to be great. I really believed it was going to be awesome. I was psyched about it like bread is psyched about butter.

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But in dating and cooking alike, believing something will be great is different from something being great. If the ingredients are all wrong, the outcome will also be all wrong.

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Ladies, don’t settle for the bad ones

Don’t settle for someone that is less than your standards. If hottie #1 takes an interest in you but has some weird regimes, take it slow. You don’t have to try and compensate for his weird regimes as if he is the last man on earth that will ever be interested in you.

Odds are, he is FAR from the last. Like a recipe, give the relationship time and TLC, adding things slowly and with care, and seeing if it turns into anything worthwhile. If things get too funky, you don’t have to get involved.

Kitchen tips: When in doubt, keep the heat lower.

Also, tell your friends about him and get their opinions. It’s better to feed one bad cookie to one good friend than twelve bad cookies to twelve …

I forget how that saying goes.

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Hottie #2 is showing some real potential on paper, but he’s coming on pretty strong. Like a million miles an hour strong. He’s totally boiling over but you can’t control his output like you can with a steam-whale.

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So what do you do to relieve the pressure?

Turn the heat WAY down

Give him some space and just keep an eye on the situation. See if you both are a good match once the initial excitement has worn off. If he makes you feel the same irksome, uncomfortable way each time, cut off the heat completely, turn on the fan, and pour the mixture down the drain! Once it’s cool enough, that is.  🙂

😉

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😉

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😉

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And then there’s hottie #3. He’s a slow-and-steady-wins-the-race kinda guy, but seems unsure of what he wants. Sometimes he gives you a little sugar. Sometimes he gives you a little spice. Keep this one on the back-burner on a low simmah and be careful not to add too much sugar or salt since you aren’t sure how it’s going to turn out. Sometimes recipes turn out unexpectedly good. ❤

Or not!

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The fact is, we’ve all wondered about the outcome when beginning to talk to a new potential dating candidate. We create scenario after scenario in our heads from what the first date will be like, all the way to what the wedding day will be like. And it is very tempting to try to expect people to fit the person we are picturing in our heads. But alas, esa no es la vida. We cannot force a man to be the man we need any better than we can force an egg to be the sugar we need.

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At the end of the day, the right man will present himself who has just the right amount of sweetness, is the perfect texture that we oh-so-adore, and leaves you feeling more satisfied than a winter stew.

But like cooking, we need to input good ingredients to get good outcomes. We need to stay true to our values, not be swayed and bend to someone else’s moral compass, and definitely not settle for less than what we love and deserve.

If you are craving a recipe with chocolate, don’t settle for one with cinnamon, or you won’t be satisfied.

We need to be patient and not turn up the high heat: every chef knows this will burn, char, scar and ruin dishes. Don’t rush into a relationship just because you want to make it happen so badly. Good things take long amounts of time to turn into better and beautiful things.

And above all, remember that dating, like cooking, is an art. The outcome of dating should be to find a suitable life-long partner that will bring you great joy and satisfy your human desires for community, intimacy and trust.

Like cooking, whatever you put into the relationship will change the outcome. Especially the amount of time. Fine wines and cheeses are best when aged. Flavors soak in over time and become richer and more decadent.

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Which recipe will you cook next?!

xo

V