The joy in imperfect, messy lives

This morning Chris and I sat in our new living room doing quiet time, half focused, half smiling at each other nonstop. We couldn't believe it - this is our house. And we live here! The first Monday morning in our first house. The beginning of the newest beginning. As the unusually humid, 50-degree February air blew through the windows, I wondered if every Monday will feel this happy forever and ever.

Just tell me it will. ;) 

Chris has been traveling nonstop for work, so having him here on a Monday morning felt like pure magic. As he made us coffee and I started my tasks for the day, I felt like I was going to explode with joy at the simplicity of it all. 

And then you know what happened? The coffee he made was really bad. As I took my first steaming sip, it felt like the moment in movies when the perfect song is crescendoing, the couple is about the kiss and then the record scratches and everything suddenly stops. We both made eye contact after the first sip and I said: I think this tastes like coffee in KenyaWhich is our code for this coffee is not so good because it tastes like the instant grounds we mixed together for 30-seconds in our rural village. He laughed. I think the grounds were the wrong size for the filter. 


As we start creating a new life in this house, it would be easy to want everything to be perfect. I find myself tempted to want our dish towels perfectly straight, the pillows fluffed and a wonderful candle burning at all times. I stared at our bathmat this morning, wondering how I ever used to like it. We need a new bathmat, I thought as I brushed my teeth. 

It hit me then, though: we don't actually need anything. I don't want to become someone who is more concerned with making a house look perfect than living in it. I don't want to worry more about whether our pillows are fluffed than if our friends are comfortable lounging on them, enjoying a glass of wine with us. I don't want our house to be a performance - I want it to be a home with love and comfort and rest and joy. 

I want it to be a place where people can laugh at their mistakes and make messes. As we prepare these four walls for a baby in May, I want to remember that so many seasons - from weddings to child rearing to vacations and everything in between - can tempt us to live a Pinterest-worthy life. But those photos are staged. And this life we're living here? I yearn for it to be wild and free, not staged and stifled. 

So we drank the coffee, in all of its bitter glory. And it was the most perfectly imperfect cup of wrong-sized grounds I've ever consumed.