In early 2014, I was happily residing in sunny, south Texas. Everything was right in my world. All aspects of my life were extremely fulfilling. I LOVED my work. For the first time in my adult life, I was completely and utterly in love with my church. My circle of friends was deeper and wider than ever before. My neighborhood was lined with palm trees that swayed like angel wings with each gust of wind. And I could go to the beach ON A WHIM if I desired.
Yet, one evening, after a customer dinner in Laredo, Texas, I audibly heard the Lord call me to move closer to home.
I was mindfully recounting how much I loved my life, my customers, my job and Corpus Christi. And in the next moment, the Lord said to me, “You love all these things, yet think how much more your parents love you. How much more I love you.” And just like that I started to ponder a return home to Louisiana after saying NUMEROUS times I would NEVER move back.
Of course, I argued with Him over ALL the reasons I couldn’t move home. Specifically, for all the reasons listed above. My life was essentially perfect!
Yet, I couldn’t let it go. I began to explore the where of what moving home would look like. Because my career places me on an airplane relatively frequently, I can mostly live where I want. I remembered my company didn’t have representation in Arkansas, so after working up the courage to share my heart with my VP, I offered to take over a cold territory in addition to keeping some current Texas accounts. My company graciously allowed me to make the change, and my search for a new city was on.
The purpose of moving home was to be closer to my parents, who live in Springhill. But Springhill was too far from an airport. I began to search all over north Louisiana, east Texas, and south Arkansas. My sister lives in Little Rock and my brother in Forney, so either of those could have worked also.
I longed for the feeling of Mayberry. Where you actually know your neighbors. Where the azaleas and roses bloom full. Where community is valued. Where old architecture is appreciated. Where the drawls are slow and long. Where the food is slow cooked and a bit spicy.
And in December 2014, when I found my cottage, I was convinced Minden was the perfect location for me!
Chances are, if you are reading this post, you already know Minden. But perhaps you may have forgotten what an amazingly beautiful, little southern gem Minden is! Minden is charming and quaint, full of rich history and southern hospitality. Main Street is constructed of bricks and lined with antique shoppes and unique boutiques. Steeped in German history, Minden was established in 1836 and later settled by pioneers hoping to create a Utopian society. Later, during the Civil War, Minden served as a supply depot for nearly 15,000 Confederate troops camping nearby. More recently, Minden has played host to many blockbuster Hollywood productions, so they are no stranger to the entertainment industry.
Another thing I love about Minden is there is ALWAYS something happening to promote community. I’ve watched in awe over the years of Minden’s outpouring for St. Jude each January. This little town consistently pulls in over $1,000,000 through the auction, races, meals and other fundraisers. Minden raises more money per capita for St. Jude than any other city in the nation!
From the Fasching Season Celebration, to vintage car shows, to the annual Christmas Tour of Homes to BBQ cook-offs, there is no shortage of community activities to be found in Minden. There’s always a reason to get outside, have fun and engage with your neighbors! Minden also celebrates Mardi Gras in a big way with a lengthy, bead throwin’, music playin’ parade that winds through the Historical Residential District and through the historic downtown area.
Something special is happening in Minden, y’all. Historic homes are being renovated (i.e. Simply Southern Cottage, The Shadow House, The Baird Home plus others). New businesses are opening. One of my biggest laments of moving to Minden was the lack of a good coffee shop. And LO AND BEHOLD less than 150 yards away from the cottage, The Broken Bean just opened! (I almost cried when I heard this news. It’s evident the Lord delights in even our smallest desires!)
I am thrilled to call Minden my new home and cannot wait for the cottage to be finished so I can move in. Won’t you come and join in on the revitalization efforts? I think you’ll find a little Mayberry in Minden too.
*This post first appeared in the May/June 2017 issue of The Minute Magazine.
I can hardly wait for my cottage to be finished so I can finally move to Minden. Every time I’m there, I almost cry because I can’t believe it truly all worked out. When I look around my new neighborhood, with historic homes as far as the eye can see, I am completely overwhelmed by the Lord granting me a desire I’ve carried for as long as I can remember. I’m sure there are many more amazing qualities about Minden I missed above. What else would you add? Please share in the comments below. (And wouldn’t it be fun to see Minden turn into the Waco of northwest Louisiana?! Just sayin’. 🙂 )