Day Nineteen: Touchably Beloved

My husband and I joke about our “young kid sofa.” We have no plans to replace it any time soon, though you can see the living done on it plainly. Its plaid is impervious to root beer, playstation tournaments and the occasional family movie picnic. I don’t mean it is Teflon-coated. It is just that the spills and worn areas are starting to make a pattern of their own.

I joke about it, but a beloved home fully lived in by young people cannot be a “no touch” home. Most of our spaces are “clean but comfortable.” There are not a lot of things that are off limits, and especially in the rooms where we spend the most time, we are not too worried about the surfaces. They’re either extremely durable or replaceable.

This does not mean that our kids have no respect for our belongings, or that we’ll never have anything “nice.” As our boys have grown, they have a longer chore list, there are fewer spills, and we work together to take care of our home. But a home with things we can touch, snuggle, munch on, where we can put our feet up, values the living and the people who live within.

I can imagine, in fewer years than I’d like to count, I’ll have that new sofa and a swept floor will stay that way for more than a moment, and I’ll miss those tennis shoes and cries of “Touchdown!” So for now I’ll take the crumbs and footprints and the hugs and laughter with them.

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7 thoughts on “Day Nineteen: Touchably Beloved

  1. Trish

    Yes, Missy a house where you can feel comfortable values the people who live there and the ones who come to visit. Don’t we all feel most at home in places where the home is not picture perfect? Oh, if we as women could all give each other the grace to say, “It’s okay if your house looks lived-in when I get there. I’ll feel more at home.”

    Reply
  2. adailyportion Post author

    Trish– this is so good- we all do feel that way ourselves, but it seems hard to extend that, communicate that to each other. And yet we long for that kind of “back door” intimacy with others.

    I definitely feel most at home in really comfortable , lived in spaces. I can appreciate lovely, “untouchable” house decor, but more like a museum and less like a home.

    Maybe the key is just saying it, simply and graciously as you did in your comment, over and over until we begin to believe it.

    Reply
  3. Pingback: 31 Days of Belovedness in October « adailyportion

  4. Ruthi

    I agree with you as well, Trish. I am more comfortable in a home when I don’t feel like the keeper of the home has spent all day cleaning things up. And Missy, I so appreciate how over and over I have heard in your words, you talk about valueing all who live in your home. Many women make their homes what they want and do not consider if her home “feels” like home to her family.

    Reply
    1. adailyportion Post author

      Thanks Rutho– it has definitely been a learning curve for me– but I think it leads to more contentment as well– if I am not constantly going against the flow of family life, trying to keep the home “my way,” I’ m apt to be less frustrated when things get out of place. Bottom line, I want people to be welcome here and I want my boys to love being here over anywhere else. 🙂

      Reply
  5. Kristin Blankenship

    Missy, I need these reminders that you have so lovingly communicated in your last few writings. It is a challenge for me to give-up some of the control of how things look in order to make sure everyone feels like they are represented. Like you mentioned in yesterday’s post, I try to provide the framework with some flexibility. My 7-year old son has definitive ideas of how he would like things to look and be arranged, though, and sometimes I find myself battling him from trying to take over the whole house…His room definitely says, “Ben” all over! I guess he keeps me in check!

    Reply
    1. adailyportion Post author

      Kristin,

      It is hard to give up that control– and it can feel like a slippery slope. I think kids’ rooms are the best, most logical place to start giving freer rein to their self-expression, as you have done. In our public rooms, the furniture is old and comfortable, I frame the kids’ artwork, and we have plenty of space for books and some for toys and art supplies. We have to really live in every room, so I try to have something for everyone in each room.
      When I get overwhelmed, I try to subtract as much from a room as I can, and add things back in when they are genuinely missed.

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I am writing a few days ahead of when things post, and I am feeling like the Little Engine That Could about now– will I make it to 31? “I think I can, I think I can. . . “

      Reply

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