Kyle had just brought out two steaming cups of coffee, freshly pressed and full of the goodness of our favorite roast from Elemental. We sat on the porch, listening to the girls play with neighbors next door and to the staccato sound of pecans falling all over the neighborhood.
As we settled in to porch rockers, a minivan slowed down in front of our house and then pulled right into our driveway. It took us a second to realize it was full of some of our most favorite people from the town we moved away from recently - our pastor and his wife, kids, and parents. They piled out of the van and we flew off the porch into their arms. We called the girls over and there was so much smiling and so much hugging and so much surprise.
They had left the van running, they meant to stop by only for a minute, but some of them hadn't seen our new digs, so we insisted they come in just for a minute.
"I have to warn you," I said as I pushed open the front door, "it's not very clean."
And I wasn't just being modest.
Just picking up the clutter in a room leaves me breathless and winded these days, and it's been weeks since the house had a proper cleaning. The wool rugs delight in shedding all over themselves and smirking at me with their lint-y rebellion. Dinner dishes were still on the dining room table, homework folders were laid open and school papers littered most surfaces. There's no telling what's under the furniture because when anything rolls under there these days, I tell it, "Okay then! See you in the spring!"
But we love this house so very, very much. The home we waited our whole married lives to buy. The home we still cannot even believe is ours.
Their visit was painfully short, but we waved them on their way and grinned into the dusk as the street lamps came on and our hearts were so full.
Later, I looked into the fingerprint smudged mirror and laughed. Not only was the house a mess, but I was a mess, too. For reasons known only to my body, the throw-ups returned with a vengeance yesterday, and my eye make-up had smeared under my eyes and my once-neat high bun now looked positively pre-castle Cinderella.
I picked up my phone to text my friend to apologize for the state in which they had found us.
I'm sorry our house was a mess.
I'm sorry I was a mess.
I almost did, but then I didn't.
They could not have possibly been more gracious when they were here, and I somehow didn't want to invalidate that, to say their ease and comfort wasn't enough.
And we all talk about wanting to be real, to be transparent, to be authentic these days. To resist the facade of Pinterest-perfect and embrace the realness of a whole life. But then the moment comes when we have to decide if it's all just talk or if we really, really are okay with being real.
And you know what? I am. I'm okay with being real. With opening the door and saying this is life. And not indulging in vain apologies afterward for all that I've revealed. This is life. And I'm not sorry.