Friday, March 9, 2018

Ignoring what the empty chair says...

Sometimes we are so unkind and think such terrible things about ourselves that we allow the conversation to spill over to the piles of inanimate objects in our lives. We create entire monologues where we imagine that they speak about us and for us and it is soul killing. In the past couple of weeks, I watched as women who are articulate and intelligent and capable worry that the objects in their lives are speaking for them and saying truly awful things.

They believe that someone will judge them based on what their jean size says about them, or what their brand of shoes says, or what their well-worn sofas say. In the end, they don't believe that they can speak for themselves with the way that they carry themselves, or the way that they love deeply, or the way that they keep showing up every day. Showing up is a big deal, guys. It is a huge deal to keep showing up.

I hate to think that these women think that they are unworthy of being loved and respected and how often they just want to slink away because they think that the things speak louder than they do. I don't know who listens to those things but they are probably not worth worrying about if they spend that much time listening to things that don't actually speak.

For the record, I don't care what size jeans you wear. I don't care if you wear cheap shoes. I don't care if your couch looks like it was dropped off a cliff and scraped up and dumped into your living room. I have eleven children and I cannot even tell you what my children have done to my sofas over the years. Oh, actually I can.

My youngest daughters jumped on the sofa until the front legs came off and then kept jumping until the front edge collapsed days before the oldest boy was coming home for Christmas. I ran to Walmart and bought the cheapest little metal futon designed for skinny college kids who probably aren't home much. It ended up lasting a year but only when it was carried along with electric fence wire and duck tape and I am totally serious. We were sitting on a cage of electric fence wire because we are classy like that.


This is my sofa. Was. It has since been replaced but we are still us and I am still me. We are basically animals. I am the mother of children who jump on sofas until they are practically ground into dust. I will still invite you over and make you tea and coffee and visit and I won't worry about what your possessions say. I don't listen to things, I listen to you. I just want you guys to know that.

So, if you are the kind of person who cares more about people than things, come sit by me. We are going to get along just fine. If you care more about things, well, enjoy your things. I hope they are good company. If you get lonely, come sit with us. You are always welcome.

13 comments:

  1. Oh, you would feel right at home in my home, Melissa! A wonderful old Greek woman gave me our couch 7 years ago and the left side is sunken down and there are stains all over it and the feathers fly out everywhere (it's goose down stuffed). She probably would be horrified if she saw it, but, maybe she would not even care. So happy to find your blog!

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    1. If it were my couch, I’d be happy that it was in a home full of love!

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  2. I have been thinking about this too and also about being there for people who are struggling. Beautifully written!

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  3. I always tell people, "My house is more friendly than tidy." We can be tidy when we're dead.

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  4. Oh I am crying right now, this is precious, true, raw, god like and the best thing I have ever read!!!!

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  5. I’ve always said my messy home is a ministry to those who think their house is messy. They can come over and definitely see from the moment they walk through the door that they won’t be judged for their stuff. I’d like to say that having 11 kids is the reason things are always cluttered, but my house was that way before I even had children. But that is how hospitality works, isn’t it? We come just as we are and welcome them to leave the expectations of the world at the door. I hope we can meet some day. I’ll slide the laundry over for you and we can enjoy tea together :)

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    1. Hospitality is so lacking today. We just need to have people in our lives and not worry about the things! Also, I’m glad to know you and every time I’m mistaken for you, it makes me happy. You are a wonderful woman!

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  8. I once had a friend who walked into my house and said, "I always feel so at home here because you don't feel like you have to clean up for me." (Spoiler Alert: I HAD cleaned up, or thought so.) Anyhow, better a crust of bread where love and a beat-up couch live than a feast in a fancy room where you're afraid to drop a crumb, right?

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Keep it clean, people. Remember, if you cannot say something nice, say nothing at all.