Miller, Miller & Miller Bed and Breakfast

My brother Daniel left on Sunday morning, and after a busy day at a big chuch event and then our monthly Centering group get together, Matthew’s 18-year-old cousin Abbie arrived Sunday evening to visit for part of her Spring Break. My introvertedness is catching up with me…I’m plumb wore out from being around people all the time for over a week.

I feel bad saying that, because I don’t ever want that to come across to the people I’m around as an insult. It’s not at all – Daniel and Abbie are both wonderful house guests and great people, and I enjoy their company. It’s simply a factor of my personality. (I don’t want to use “my personality” as an excuse for anything, especially not for shirking hospitality, a Biblical command and also something Matthew and I enjoy…but I do want to be aware of my own limits.)

Abbie spent the night last night with her Aunt Barbara and cousins Joanna, Amy and Daniel, and Amy took Abbie to URI for some of her classes today. Katherine is taking a nap. I am relishing the alone time, and I feel myself recharging like I’m plugged into an outlet.

This has made me think about a dream I’ve had for a while – someday building a beautiful Rivendell-esque home in the woods and creating a bed and breakfast-type retreat for missionaries on furlough. I’ve written about that previously here. How well would I be able to handle having many people around for long stretches of time?

First of all, I count on God to stretch my character as He sees fit to make me ready to accomplish His plans for me – “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8 – we have this verse on our bathroom wall in the prime meditation location.)

Second, I’ll have to depend on my husband. God made us a team and perfectly fitted us to work together. I am not good at handling hospitality on my own. Matthew and I realized in our first year of marriage that we make a great hospitality team. I love all the behind the scenes stuff like preparing our home, planning meals, cooking, attending to practical needs like towels, sheets, etc. Matthew has no parallel at entertaining guests. He is very people-savvy, noticing when someone is feeling left out or not having a good time, and he’s good at pulling them in. He’s also good at networking and connecting people. On our own, we’d both be lost. His idea of cooking is…well, making a sandwich is too hard for him. Left by myself to entertain people, I feel awkward and out of my element, and I end up leaving them to play with the cats while I cook.

Third, I think it will be a huge blessing to have capable children to help. I know that God will gift each of our children with talents and skills, and I look forward to seeing how they will fit into the hospitality equation and make it even more possible for us to serve our guests.

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  • mmmattress

    I am laughing so hard…it’s SO true! “Here’s some water I boiled for you. I soaked it in crushed beans first.” And I’ve SEEN you appoint Bugaboo as Chief Entertainer.

    You are awesome.

  • gwyneth

    i like bugaboo. i would be fine with being entertained by him…and…you know what just occurred to me: i bet martha was an introvert, and mary was an extrovert. it kind of irritates me that martha gets this horrible rap. not that Jesus was wrong to chastise her, but HE knew her motivation. and probably something in her motivation or heart wasn’t right…maybe she was resenting that mary wasn’t helping, or something like that. (i heard a good sermon on this a few months ago.) martha’s act of worship and love to Jesus was tending to his physical needs…

    anyway. yeah.

  • simply_nikki

    Oh, that reminds me. Some missionaries are staying with my in-laws this week and they spoke on Sunday. They are Wycliff translators in Papua New Guinea. The man on the husband-wife team said that they both always knew they wanted to be missionaries but wanted to be used in a way that was appropriate to the way God made them. Being more introverted and academically minded, they chose translating! That made me smile, because I thought of you going to Indonesia to translate with some empathetic relief. Of course, there are still plenty of opportunities to interact outside of checking. It’s really funny to hear the Mrs. on the aforementioned team talk about the natives. I think one of her biggest sacrifices is, not a refrigerator, but having proper doors and windows between her and the curious natives!

  • Hinkybelle

    I might just have to become a missionary so I can come stay in Rivendell on furlough. That sounds amazing.

  • simply_nikki

    Yes, I’m sure you’re right. That whole era’s ideas about population control and poverty control seem to have permeated society’s view on birth in general — not that the original intent was necessarily noble to begin with. There is also this certain general Western (especially in New England) philosophy that everything has to be “just so” and you are practically *ungodly* if you don’t do everything “in order”: go to college, get a job, date, get engaged, buy a house, get married, have kids. It’s like you have to portray complete control over every aspect of your life — even though life isn’t always that way — or you’re undisciplined and irresponsible.

  • eaglecam

    I don’t know if you are familiar with Arthur Burk and his work. He has developed a teaching on the Seven Redemptive Gifts: prophet, servant, teacher, exhorter, giver, ruler and mercy. Each of us is strongest in one of the gifts, and they are not what one would think at first glance. For example, a prophet may never bring a prophecy in his life, and a giver may be poor as a mouse. I had always thought I was a teacher until I read his material and found I was a classic servant, with the strengths and weaknesses thereto. Your post says to me that you are likely a servant as well. Matthew fits the description of a classic exhorter. I could show you some of the material when you come. And, by the by, my home has become such a refuge even though it doesn’t have the Rivendel charm.

  • twentysixcats

    Hehe I am SO with you about being introverted!! Unfortunately, my husband is more introverted than me, which leaves me to be the extrovert unless we want to be reclusive. So we don’t entertain. At all. We’re horrible at it! I would MUCH rather be behind the scenes, and Paul too, so we end up hiding in the kitchen, peeking out to see if our guests are still having fun with the dog or cats. Sigh. We are both lonely, but it is soooo hard to make friends after college! We’re actually considering changing churches to one with a more active young career program. (Or rather, to one with an existent young career program.) Anyways, that’s all besides the point. I love your idea of a Bed & Breakfast. Can I hook up with you for my design services? “Stay at Miller Miller & Miller and get your newsletter done!” (Okay you gotta change the name. It sounds like a law firm!)

  • hannahbarton

    I LOVE that you said you are “plumb wore out.”

    Oh, how I know what you mean about entertaining. I am usually pretty good for the first couple of days with a limited number of people, but after a while, I just want to be alone and quiet. I actually had a co-worker from the Oklahoma side of operations in town last week, staying with me (My aunt, uncle, and seven children left on Monday morning. Dena arrived Monday afternoon and stayed through Saturday; Ben arrived Wednesday and stayed through Monday). Once Ben arrived, I kinda forgot about Dena. In fact, I was at the dinner and fashion show Friday night (I had sent Ben contra-dancing with my friend Alesha– my Bugaboo, as it were) when I remembered her. “Oops! Where is Dena?” I had TOTALLY forgotten that I was “responsible” for someone else.

    I was talking to Laura the other day about the Rivendell B&B. It was of interest to her because her sister and brother-in-law are with Wycliffe in Panama, and they be returning for a short time to the states with no home to go to. It will be such a great way to bless people who have given up their earthly homes to give others a heavenly home.

  • jlc2you

    You and I always did get along because we’re both introverts!  One thing that’s helped me with it is that the Bible says that God is strongest in our weaknesses.  So it doesn’t surprise me anymore when he pushes me into something that I feel completely inept at – simply because he will be able to have all the glory.  It’s such a beautiful experience to feel God working through you knowing that it has nothing to do with you, other than being a willing vessel.  That’s one thing that I’m always preaching to my friends who don’t think God will use them in any great way – the only thing He requires is a willing heart, talent and gifts are secondary to that.  If you want to be used to help fulfill his glorious plan on this earth, you can be – in spite of yourself!

  • gwyneth

    i’m glad it makes your morning.
    also…i don’t know boston restaurants at all. sorry.

  • Liosliath

    It amazes me that any introvert could have such a passion for being hospitable. I find it very difficult, most of the time, to open up my house for an evening, let alone an extended period of time. Casey is always getting it in his head to have someone over and, like you, I enjoy preparing everything and making my home hospitable. However, when the guests actually arrive, I feel ill at ease. And Casey *doesn’t* handle the entertaining and social part of it! He will often leave me to make conversation while he disappears somewhere. So I am learning by neccesity. :)

    I do enjoy having people that I know very well over and can handle them for greater periods of time without breaking down. I am learning to enjoy spending time with couples, especially if we seem to have things in common or if they are more extroverted and don’t mind carrying the conversation. Fortunately, we now have three or four couples that are like that.

    This post reminds me. I must remember not to plan anything for the 4th of July this year!  

  • Monyikka

    i love how God puts people together to bring balance– here’s hoping that you get some r&r for YOURSELF soon.

  • karlitacat

    I think I’m very similar.  I’m not an extremely social person, and even if I have FUN at certain functions, too much interaction makes me feel extremely exhausted and emotionally drained.  It’s definitely a good thing to know your limits; you want to be at ease and feel capable.  I’ve tried so hard to just “get over” myself, and that just doesn’t make it any easier.  I think I tend to ASSUME, or ANTICIPATE, so sometimes I’ll avoid situations altogether; on the flipside, you could just make sure you do set aside that time to recharge, rather than immediately thrusting yourself into more social things.   

    We had some of Phil’s family over the other night, and immediately upon the suggestion I was like, “Eh…” I could just imagine having to clean and entertain and make sure everyone was happy and check myself to make sure I wasn’t cleaning up before they left.  Phil was like “they’re just family!” but of course he doesn’t take it the same way I do. 

    BTW, I think running a B&B would be completely different than having houseguests… and family, at that.  You might see them in the morning and evening, but generally they would be on their own during the day. 

  • airborneschloss

    What a blessing to know yourself at your age. I didn’t understand introversion until last year and thought myself horrible for dreaming of a vacation “all by myself.” Now I understand why my early morning quiet times were so valuable (in addition to that time alone with the Lord) or even being by myself late at night doing lesson plans. It is important, even with children who “need” you 24/7, to find that daily time alone to re-energize yourself. God made each of us unique and that is one of the reasons that we are in covenant relationship not only with Him but with our mates–where one is weak, the other is strong. Glad you had a few moments to recharge before you go meet up with Lindsay. Email me your article you did for St. John Stone; l’d love to read it.

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