Thursday, February 27, 2014

Do I Feel Welcome In My Own Home?

I love to entertain.  Normally, I really do love having dinner guests and movie nights and football watching parties and all kinds of stuff.

A couple of days ago I was bemoaning to Derek that we never have company.  Even his sister won't come to our house... we have to always go to her.  And it bugs me.  Immensely!  I mean, the road IS the same distance either direction.  He finally admitted that she doesn't like our dogs.  She's upset because sometimes they don't have the best of manners.  Okay, quite often their manners are kind of atrocious.  And that makes her feel like she can't bring her dog.  As if he has to go everywhere she does?  Don't get me wrong - I love her dog!  I think Boudreaux is darn near as awesome as my boys!!  But he's not perfect and making him a scapegoat still kind of sits wrong.  I guess this is just another one of those times when I have to breathe deep and remind myself to be a duck (as in water runs right off a duck's back) because my discomfiture at the situation isn't going to change... her.  It's a simple fact of life I can only change my side of things.

Photo from
I share the above little hurt to my pride only to give you an insight into my frame of mind when I tripped over this blog post on Cottage in the Oaks on how you go about making people feel welcome in your home and one of her first questions, after voicing excitement about hosting a group of 8th grade girls for the coming weekend, was: "Do you feel comfortable in your home?"

I've admitted here before that I don't.  Our finances have been so tenuous the whole time that I've never allowed myself to relax and feel like this house is mine.  It's never been home because I've constantly felt on the edge of having it taken away from me and that's fostered an attitude of it's not worth the effort to even try to make it my own.  Rather than being less than comfortable because I've been trying to be someone other than me as folks writing for Cottage in the Oaks suggest may be a hinderance, I've made it less than comfortable because I've been no one.  Not even myself.  The sentence "It's hard to welcome others in... when you may feel that YOU don't even belong." just about jumped off the page and slapped me across the face!

The advice to walk up to the house approaching it as a potential guest was great!  I did that. And oh my... do we have some work to do!

Which is not to say that appearances are everything.  I've been in some very aesthetically pleasing houses that still didn't exude that comfort of being home and I've been in the homes of very poor people and been completely at ease.  I need to work on me as much as I need to work on the house inside and out.  And I am doing that!  And I probably need to just cut everyone some slack and realize that it's going to take time to get comfortable and feel like it's a real comfort.

I genuinely want a home that's both comfortable and a comfort.

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