Erika and I initially met somewhere along the way with the non-profit ministry we were both a part of, but truthfully found friendship through the blogosphere, a common love of all things Tina Fey, and the Giants alike. I love her raw authenticity and so will you – so read her thoughts on community & cushions & friendship alike, and then head on over to Down the Aisle and cheer her on!
My couch is a grey sectional that was purchased at a “going out of business” sale by my husband right before we got married. It was the first thing he bought for us and he was nervous if I would like it or not.
I did, do, and will always love this couch.
Now that we have had our son for 15 months, our couch has been pooped on, peed on, barfed on, boogied on – the nose fluid, not the dance – you get it. It’s a bit of a hot mess now. The cushions are a little lumpy and some of them sink in. There has been a copious amount of tea spilled on them, and come tax return time our treat to the couch is a trip to the dry cleaners. We live dangerously, I know.
But I love my couch. I love what my couch means to our home. In the almost six years we’ve had our couch it has been a source of comfort, a comfort that cannot just be found in any old piece of furniture.
The first six weeks of my son’s life was spend on that couch because he couldn’t be put down to sleep yet. So for those 42 days, I’d half-sleep – a term we moms know very well – on that couch with my newborn in my arms.
A year earlier I was working for Young Life; four years worth of kids were over almost every day sitting on that couch, laughing, talking, eating, playing and watching movies. There was loudness on that couch but there have also been quiet moments there too.
Hands have been held on that couch, hugs have been given, tears have been shed. Bibles have been read and most importantly God has been revealed though amazing conversations on that couch.
Prayers have been said on that couch.
I’ve received heartbreaking news of miscarriages and the loss of a child.
I’ve been led to tears by books and laughed out loud by movies.
There are pen marks and tea stains and there are now, I am certain, goldfish crackers smooshed between the cushions, along with a few hot wheels.
My marriage has been mended and conflicts have been resolved, sitting, even if on separate cushions across from each other, but none the less on that couch.
I’ve always had these elaborate dreams of having this big house where people just walk in and out, like a Kramer from Seinfeld kind of vibe, but if I don’t ever get that, I would settle for just a big couch.
I realize these types of life experiences can be found anywhere, but even now that I get to be a stay-at-home mom I realize how important it is to just sit, and to have a friend over and hear her struggles, joys, see her tears, and let them fall on my couch. It’s a safe spot.
When I think about my favorite moments of community and being in great conversations it is either on my couch or on someone else’s couch. Maybe that is why thousands of years ago churches started in homes. Maybe they knew the secret of something sacred and simple. That secret that we have tried to flash up with flat screen TV’s, purple stage lights, and a live band.
Maybe what we as human beings crave for in relationships with other people comes down to the simplest form of cushions under out butts and good conversation.
That environment sounds ideal to me. It sounds safe. It sounds like the best form of community I can imagine. Comfort, cushion, and conversation.
I just looked over at this six-year old grey sectional soiled in baby; it’s piled with pillows, blankets, along with a few of my son’s books, a toy cell phone, and a sippy cup turned on its side leaking carrot juice. It looks a little messy, a lot of comfy, it looks used and real.
It looks a lot like friendship. And I love that.
Thank you, Erika. Would you like to write a post about how your community has made the difference in your life? Message Cara today! Otherwise, help Cara’s writing continue to grow by becoming a fan of Be, Mama. Be on Facebook, or by heading the Home page, and clicking on FOLLOW button in the left-hand column.0