Living in the Messy

Shortly after we moved here, we were visiting with some friends after church and they spontaneously invited us over for lunch.  As we walked into their home, I noticed breakfast dishes on the counter and a sink piled with dishes.  I was in shock, not because of the mess, but because our hosts didn't care.    

They welcomed us into their home, mess and all.  They were inviting us to live life with them.  While lunch was prepared, the children played, the husbands visited, and the wives worked side by side with sleeves rolled up cooking and cleaning up.  It was comfortable, relaxed, and real.

There were no excuses made, shame felt, or apologizes given.  There was no need.  This is how life is meant to be lived among real, genuine friends.  We traverse the mess of life together.  We wade through the garbage, pull up the weeds, and nurture the growth and change.  

How often do I let perceptions of others hinder me from living a real life, a good story?  Instead of being real, vulnerable, and a little bit messy, I strive to uphold the perceptions others have about me.  If they knew the "real" would they still love and respect me?  As I have been learning over the last few years and seen in the past month, if you are real and honest it doesn't pull people away but draws them closer into your life.  True, genuine, real friends want to navigate the difficult times as well as celebrate in the joyous times. They want to be your anchor when sinking and your cheerleader when you succeed. There is no shame or embarrassment.  There are no excuses or apologizes.   These friends are there to offer love and grace, things that are often difficult to grant to ourselves. 

I am blessed to have some friends in life to encourage me, support me, laugh with me, challenge me, and love me, messes and all.

do you have friends who will navigate the messy with you?


Janelle said...

Yes yes yes!!! Being real gives others safety to do the same.

Great post! I consider you one of those people even though we have never met. Love ya!

Denise said...

this is a great post.


i just wish you lived next door.

my house is messy right now, and i feel messy in my soul today. you love me "messes and all."

yes, a true friend helps you navigate through the difficult times and the joyous ones.

oh, i do love you kristen!

All My Monkeys said...

Great post. The "story" one too, though I never commented on that one.

I agree with Janelle. "Being real gives others safety to do the same." I struggle with these same issues, but unlike you, I lack the skills or even real desire to create such a perfect image. My insides fight against it at every step, and then I end up with my mess exposed and now I'm stressed about it. I am who I am, imperfect, flawed, messy, fat (ok, that one I want to change, but for me). I feel like I'm comfortable in my own skin, and then someone else comes along with their expectations, and darnit if I don't feel myself being pulled to perform according to what THEY need or want. Ugh. So tiring. I am so comforted in seeing other's mess - raw and real though it may be - as then I, too, can feel a little better about just being me. Thanks for sharing your journey, Kristen.

Susan said...

I loved this post. So full of truth. I'm trying to be more real with my house. It's a struggle for me to take a photo without kicking the toys off to the side so they won't show. Not reality at all

I want to be a hostess in the true sense of the word. Jesus didn't care what peoples houses looked like.

Stephanie said...

Amen to friends like that! Your post sure makes me think about me as a friend and my friendships. I just pray that I can be one who is open and "real".

Simply Sara said...

oh how i love your heart.
i want to be real, but struggle with fighting "the perfection." with being vulnerable.

more and more though, i am learning that being honest does draw people in. i see it in my writing and long to see it more in my "real life friendships"
i long to be the type of friend who will navigate the messy...