Day 30 :: That Time We Lived With Friends

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S
tories this and these are what keep giving me the courage to invite folks into my home amidst imperfections, messes, and a full season of life.  But the story below is what started me down the road to real, simple hospitality in the first place.

We Lived With Friends

Once upon a time, the Hubs and I were at a crossroads in job, housing, and life-calling situations. We had just sold a house and didn’t want to commit to a long lease.

We knew a change was coming, but we didn’t know if it would mean moving overseas or just across Texas.

And then our dear friends offered for us to move in with them.  For however long we needed.

So we did.  We put most of our stuff in storage and camped out in their guest room.  For five months. With our two cats and their (unstable, possibly possessed) cat and new puppy.

It was a three bedroom home and they gave us a bedroom, a bathroom, and let us mostly take over their office.  My friend said I should bring decorations or framed pics to hang, just so I would feel more at home.

Her husband sawed a kitty-sized hole in their garage door so our cats could come and go as they pleased.

Yeah.  I know.

It Was Awesome

We celebrated holidays and birthdays together.  My friend and I taught at the same school, so we drove to school together daily.

I’m not sure if our students knew we were living together. Our co-workers knew and it was weird enough to them, let alone teenagers.

It also weirded out our families.  And some of our friends.

I mean, it’s not like we were even in a really hard spot.  We had the means to rent an apartment.

But there was so much comfort in walking through a season of such uncertainty with friends.  We would talk through all the factors related to our upcoming decisions.  We could pray together when I felt like I was stuck on an emotional roller-coaster.

We could watch endless episodes of Gilmore Girls together and laugh at our insane pets.  And we were able to save some money that later gave us flexibility in lease options.

Sometimes I wondered if we were the couple + cats version of Dupree, but mostly we just enjoyed our stay.

You,-Me-and-Dupree

It Ended Well

After a time, we got some clarity about our next steps and it seemed like the right time to move out.  My greatest fear going in had been that conflict would arise and hinder our friendship in the long run.

Conflict did arise.  Not much, but enough to require a few hard conversations.

Thanks to honesty and grace, though, issues were resolved.  When we moved out, I was thankful to have some more personal space and time, but also so sad to go.

The manner in which we had shared life was unlike anything I’d experienced before.  And the way they made room for us, considered our needs, and treated their home as simply a gift to share with others left an impression that’s still working itself out in my life.

At least I hope it is.

So, how about you? Living with friends: way cool or way weird? 🙂

This is a post from a 31-day series on Real, Simple Hospitality.  Read all the other posts here.  Check out all the other 31 Day-ers here.

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About Jenn

Jenn is a mommy of three and wife to her best friend. She enjoys good books, having dinner guests, and elevenses. She is not afraid to lead a one woman crusade against the rampant misuse of the apostrophe. She is afraid to adopt kittens before the baby turns three.

  • The cats. Oh, the cats. Unstable, possibly possessed. That was hilarious.
    Having lived with family for a total of 6 months, I can’t say it’s way weird and I think it is terrific that it worked out as well as it did for you.
    We stayed with friends in NZ for a month and it worked out brilliantly and was such a provision. We mostly just did our own thing, re-connecting in the evenings and exploring the city on the weekends. =)

    • So great about NZ. Y’all basically lived Ryan’s dream. 🙂

      I do wonder if the whole living with people thing tends to work out better with friends than with fam. Or vice versa? Probably depends on the specifics of each…