Thoughts on House Guests

The kids and I all have some sort of cold this week, and I’m hoping it filters out soon, since we dealt with some sort of tummy bug last week. The only real outing I’ve had in almost two weeks is a trip to Wal-Mart with Kim, whose family is staying with us until next week, when they move into their own home. (Oh yeah! Have I mentioned yet that another dear friend has moved back to the Springs?! Well, now you know.)

In spite of the bugs, I have managed to stay caught up on dishes 99% of the time these past couple of weeks. This is due in large part, I think, to Kim just sort of taking over the laundry since she’s been here. It’s awesome. With twelve (did I mention the number of people in our home at the moment?) people in the house, that is quite the accomplishment, and I will bask in the glory of it for at least an hour after they head to their own nest. At which point, it will probably all come crashing down, and I won’t know what to do with myself!

Let us be optimistic, however, and assume that I won’t fall behind for at least a few days.

After all, having these friends in my home is far from a drag. It’s been a blessing. A delightfully exhausting blessing. I’ve gone to bed each night filled to the brim with genuine fellowship, and worn out from good work. The kind of sleep that comes to the hard-working is somehow more satisfying than any other kind, and I hope that Kim feels the same way.

We have both managed to get math and reading finished almost everyday that they’ve been here, and have been able to offer encouragement to one another in the moments when the kids are all playing, and we’re just sitting for awhile. Our kids get along very well most of the time, and haven’t had any more squabbles than if they’d lived together as siblings all their lives.

Part of me is beginning to think that every home should have two families. Given enough space, I like having two moms and two dads in the home. It’s much nicer to team up and work together than to try to do it all by myself everyday. Frankly, I’m a better mother with Kim around to encourage me.

The unspoken accountability goes far, and I hope the ways I’ve grown these past couple of weeks stick with me. She’s one of those friends who inspires me to maturity in my faith and in my motherhood.

It’s cool.

As ready as we both are to have our own nests again, I don’t think either of us will look at this time together with any regret. I’m only half looking forward to next Wednesday, when they officially move into their own place. These past two weeks have been a wonderful, tiring, joyful, growth-inducing time for me. Sharing family space and time does a lot for a friendship, I think.

And I’m grateful.

How have you been stretched the past two weeks? How did you handle it, do you think?

Grace & Peace,

**UPDATE** Not long after I hit “Publish,” Dain-boy and Audrey both started puking. Seems 2011 is the Year of Immune-Building for our family. I don’t remember the kids getting sick as much as they have this calendar year…