21 October 2007

The Fun House

Growing up with a mother who was sanity-challenged (is that the politically correct way to say she was nuts?) my life as a teenager was very small, and dark, and difficult and revolved around her moods, whether manic or depressed, who she hated or loved, and sometimes something as simple as what side of the bed she woke up on, whether or not her coffee was the right temperature, or if her ashtray was clean (an OCD issue). I lived in a house where we hid when someone knocked on the door. I seldom had friends over, and when I did, my mom would use the opportunity to cause me more shame and anger than it was worth. Living like this is quite miserable. I would see other people that got together on weekends, or had parties and events at their house and it seemed I always lived on the outside edges of those moments that make all the rest of life more bearable - the laughter, enjoyment and company of friends. I promised myself when I grew up and had my own kids and my own home, I would have an open door policy. I wanted my house to be a place where the kids in the neighborhood wanted to hang out. I wanted our home to be the place where people would gather. I wanted people to just love being there - no matter what. When my neighbor comes by for a cup of coffee, I set aside the chore I was in the middle of and invest 30 minutes into her life. When my kids' friends want to come by - I almost never say no. Tonight a neighborhood boy came by while Kaitlyn and Kullen and I sat on the porch playing Clue in the cool night air. A little while later, Michael stopped by even though he knew Kendra was at work, and joined in. I popped a huge bowl of popcorn and we drank iced tea and watched A Nightmare Before Christmas (poor Kendra - we missed her!). There was no pre-planning - people showed up and we made room in our lives for them and it was a super evening. It makes my heart so happy that people like to be here. I am also so thankful for a husband that never minds how many people are sitting at the dinner table or lounging in the living room. No more hiding. No more shame. I am living in the fun house!!!! (and often the nut house!) Come on over!


  1. Awesome Jewls :)
    I didn't have that growing up either, I was never home, didn't want to bring friends over etc...

    Now I have the neighborhood *fun house*


  2. Sounds like a fun place to be. Good job!

  3. It's amazing how the things we experience God has a ministry purpose for them! My house is similiar, there are usually teenage boys hanging out over here, drinking up my Dr Peppers or snacking on the tortilla chips. I'd rather they all hang out here than elsewhere though!

  4. I think I might just swing on by! Oh, yeah, that might take a while. I have no idea what the years to come hold for us, but I, like you, want our house to be a place where people feel welcome and comfortable. What a picture of Southern hospitality.

  5. That is what I would like too. Way to make lemonade out of a sour experience as a child!


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