The Real Welcome

by - April 27, 2012

I pull into the garage and my dog and daughter meet me three steps into the kitchen. "Shh," she says. "Adrian's boss is here recording." 

I hear his lilting tenor waft sweetly through my disheveled house and I melt from the beauty of the sound and from the messiness of my house.

I have a valid reason not to get further into the house than the kitchen. I don't have to face him if I don't want to, you know,  because dinner has to be cooked and the morning dishes and after school snack leftovers await me in the sink and on every counter.

The kitchen alone is appalling.

Instead, I swallow my embarrassment and step into the den, where there are four loads of laundry. Neatly folded, mind you, but splayed unabashed across the love seat and the coffee table nonetheless. Bras, socks, and stringy, eight-year-old towels, most of the cotton fibers long gone.

I resist the urge to look at it. I force my gaze toward the sound of beautiful music.

I round the corner to the piano room and see Eric sitting at the desk with the recording equipment. Reagan's shoes have been kicked off. They lay where they landed in the middle of the floor. A blanket she was under two nights ago has been kicked in a heap to the corner. I spy two dirty glasses. I cringe on the inside but pretend, steel-faced, I don't see any of it on the outside.

It's Thursday—four, maybe five, full days since our last real effort at housekeeping. The place is a wreck, evidence of living fast and hard, with all the trappings of a complicated, American lifestyle complete with lots of stuff, mostly not put away.

When he finishes the song and presses stop on the computer screen, I smile, genuinely smile. My home may say that real, dirty living happens here and we were not ready to receive you, but my heart is saying, "Welcome."

I hope he judges me by my warm welcome and not my less than perfect presentation, because although community happens in a home, it also happens in the heart, and is often impromptu amidst life's messes. In either place.

What does your life say about you? Do you welcome others along the messy way?


Today's one-word: Community

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  1. My house was always so clean growing up, never a thing out of place. Both my parents are perfectionists, maybe its why they divorced after two years. So when I go into houses that are lived in like yours, as a child and now, I feel at home, like I belong and I dream about what that feels like to live in that kind of freedom. Embrace the mess, it says your living.

  2. Thanks, Shelly. I noticed that you failed to mention whether or not your house is perfect or looks lived in. Don't think I didn't notice. :)

    My housekeeping was much better when I wasn't working full time.

  3. Good for you that you didn't take the easy way out and stay in the kitchen! Community is welcoming - no matter what. I bet he didn't notice the house near as much as the welcome.


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