Beyond ecstatic, I hung up the phone overcome with gratitude.
After seventeen years in our home, the home with five children (four teenagers), three dogs, and two cats tearing up the same worn carpet and ripped vinyl floors, one of my favorite flooring brands invited me into a partnership to replace those nasty things (the floors, not the kids.)
Sure, it was an absolute “want,” not a “need,” but since we’re committed to paying cash for all our purchases, it felt like a hug from above that skyrocketed this superficial purchase housed at the bottom of our “To Do” list right to the top.
Told that they wanted our flooring done within two weeks, I spent the next few days pondering all the laminate and hard wood flooring choices. Wow, I had no idea there were so many options. How does one make such first-world decisions?
Dreams of sleek floors filled my thoughts. Thoughts that no longer included positioning furniture over nail polish spills, coffee stains and dog accident residual allowed the creative juices to flow.
I hosted a large gathering later that weekend, and as I shared my plans for new flooring, a close relative exclaimed her excitement, “I am just thrilled for you. You deserve it, plus these floors look so tacky now.”
As the evening continued, my eyes gravitated toward those tacky floors.
Those tacky floors that welcomed guests from cities and countries around the world. Those tacky floors that invited children to wrestle and giggle and build forts. Those tacky floors that told stories of a life well spent.
It’s been nearly one year now since that pivotal week. The week I spent dreaming about my new floors. That same week my old floors screamed “tacky.”
Throughout this past year, not a month goes by that our ten-year-old daughter doesn’t ask, “Do you think that company will ever follow through with their promise about our floors? They shouldn’t break a promise like that.”
“You’re right. They shouldn’t, honey, but it happens, and our floors are just fine.”
“No mom, they are tacky. You know they are.”
The last time she reminded me of this fact, I pulled her down on the sofa and began to reminisce.
“Do you see that stain? Remember when Lola got into the chocolate and we thought she might die? But she didn’t. The Lord took care of your special puppy and that stain reminds us of that.
And the tears in the kitchen vinyl? You crawled for the first time in that spot and took your first steps right by that crack. Now you are ten years old and dropping cookie dough that you’ve made from scratch, all by yourself, on that same tacky floor.
This coffee spot? I smile every time I see it because women shared life together that evening. We cried and giggled and assured each other that we will make it through the exhausting days. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and it’s a joy to welcome them into our home and remind them of that regularly.
Sweetie, I know you don’t like these floors, and it’s OK to think about buying new ones, but for now, I want you to love them and all that they symbolize. LIFE. Life to the fullest.”
As we cuddled together reminiscing, contentment covered us. Our home life flows from God’s abundance.
Yes, worn carpets stare back at us. Yes, ripped flooring is still a reality, but they are ours.
Our home, our memories, our reminder of God’s faithfulness throughout a decade of uncertainty.
Sometimes, all we need is a perspective change and this time the Lord used a seemingly insignificant and superficial disappointment to remind us of His goodness.
Don’t let this moment fool you. I’m still saving my pennies to replace those floors, but for now, I’m embracing each moment that we have left with them.
So, let’s give three cheers for my tacky floors.
Floors where thousands of feet have walked during hundreds of gatherings. Floors that have celebrated new life and floors where mourners lay grieving from death too early. Floors that witnessed grace in action and floors that still hold secrets from foolish decisions. Floors that have shared Life – a life well spent.
Thank you, Lord, for my tacky floors.
They are messy, just like me, and there’s something awfully beautiful in that.
Do you have your own “tacky floor” story?
Why don’t you join me in the comments to celebrate our perspective change?