Staring at the half painted walls and ignoring the sticky spots on the couch cushions, I rolled over to my husband and took note of the ancient-falling-to-pieces-why-do-we-still-have-it chair. Far too long I came home each and every day embarrassed of our tiny home. Embarrassed of the old black and white kitchen tile filled with grime in the corners. Embarrassed of the college age furniture and even more embarrassed of the way our son would crash off his medication in the evenings.
I wondered how much we had missed out over the last two years because of unmet expectations. I longed to have friends over, gathered around our dinner table and spilling out into the living room with children running through the rooms while moms called out warnings.
I had forgotten the sounds of wine glasses clinking and the stove timer beeping while my husband simultaneously hollered hello from the kitchen, pulling out the freshly baked dinner rolls and snapping me with a towel.
I had forgotten about the conversations with girlfriends sharing moments “Can you believe it” work stories and “I don’t think I can do this” mom moments while the men talked of the weather, sports or pilfered through the garage for some tool to fix some “problem.”
And it wasn’t until I realized that the problem wasn’t the house – it was us and our unmet, overly warped American Dream.
Chris and I were waiting for the next stage in life like we all do. We marry, find a tiny home meeting our needs and budget. We grow a family, move up in pay on the corporate ladder, buy a nicer car and then a newer home.
As I laid on our couch, I mentally threw out each dream one by one and began to embrace the home surrounding my family. Who cares if the walls to the basement are uneven and half painted, odds are, friends can’t wait to hear the story behind the sheet rock.
Who cares our office door has a mural on it or that the ceiling is warped or that our living room is combined with our dining room or that the paint is peeling in the bathroom? Chances are friends will leave our house with full bellies, feeling nourished body and soul. They’ll leave with memories of laughter and knowing someone else understands where they are in this crazy journey of life and motherhood.
With the holiday season fast approaching, I’m wondering how many of us need a shelter from the world and how many of us are afraid to open the doors to our humble homes because of things like the “American Dream” or long “Honey do” list still on the fridge.
If the idea of showing hospitality overwhelms you, here are four tips to keep in mind.