Our home has looked like an “in progress” episode of Fixer Upper for the last, well… decade. There are a few rooms that are *almost* finished, and a couple that have not been started yet. And then there are some projects (ahem, wood floor restoration) that will likely not happen on my watch at this house. I mean, seriously, where am I going to put 6 people, 2 dogs, and all of our bedroom and living room furniture for several days? Not happening.
There are also some projects that have been completed multiple times over in the last several years just because of wear and tear. Basement, I’m looking at you. Also, living room. Needless to say, I’ve been living in a state of semi-construction for most of our marriage.
Because of this, most of the time we’ve been too afraid to have guests. We’ll have our parents over, of course. But really when anyone else is over, I find myself apologizing and explaining various stages of construction – half hoping they’ll believe it’s not like this all the time.
So how do you get past the apprehension that your house is not anywhere near Pinterest-worthy?
1. What I’ve realized is that my friends are not coming over to see my house or its progress.
They’re here to see me and my family. They don’t care that my bathroom has gold and ivory 1950’s tile. They don’t even care that some tiles are missing. Those things bother me far more than they bother my true friends.
I’m sure they notice the missing trim and the worn-out wood floors. I’m sure the lack of a ceiling in the guest room has not escaped their eye. This house is a work in progress and it is far from perfection.
Recently, we’ve had a family stay with us on a regular basis, once a week. These are great friends – solid, wonderful people. They are from a town about 90 minutes from “the big city” we live in and they come to town every week for activities, so they end up staying with us or with another family every week for an overnight or two.
We love these friends, and showing them hospitality when they need a place to crash is waaay more important than the unfinished projects they’ll see. Which brings me to:
2. Your friendships and relationships are far more important than your house projects.
My renovation has taken 10 years because during that time I had babies, homeschooled, and volunteered a lot. If I had put off having friends over because my house wasn’t picture perfect, I would’ve missed out on so many great memories, conversations, and joy.
My house is used. A lot. It will never be absolutely perfect because there are 6 humans and 2 dogs living here and making messes every day. Yes, we do a lot of cleaning, and we work on projects as we have time. But in the meantime…
3. I’ve also realized I’m not the only one.
Whew! Do you know what a relief that is? My friends’ houses are not perfect either. Shocking, I know. I thought they were. Maybe your house is perfect, and that’s great. Maybe it isn’t, and I can relate. But what really matters is showing hospitality to friends, family, and those around us whether or not the curtains are frayed.
They say that comparison is the thief of joy. And it is when you’re comparing yourself to Pinterest. But honestly looking around you and realizing that no one’s house or life is perfect frees you from trying to be perfect.
I may never be “done” with my house. Sure, the renovations will be complete at some point (probably just before we move, if ever). But there will always be another leaking sink, another appliance to replace, another repair to make. That’s homeownership, stuff happens.
The point is to not let those renovations, repairs, and embarrassments rob you of building relationships and showing hospitality to those around you.