Thursday, April 7, 2011

live dangerously-invite people over.

Why is it that having people over seems so hard?

Is it because you have to clean, plan, and sacrifice that time that could be for yourself or your family?

Does it often seem more of a burden than a blessing?

Hosting is often like dealing with conflict in friendships. It's a chance to go deeper, either with grace or with disaster. B and I once hosted a couple where the husband got sick in the middle of their visit and had to leave. Sadly, we were never able to connect with this couple again. Instead, it became an awkward situation when we saw them around town--maybe they were embarrassed, or perhaps we didn't handle the situation better.

But, honestly? That's life.

You mess up.
People get sick.
People will bring over germs and get you sick.
Kids will spill things on your carpet.
Your stuff might get messed up--maybe even broken.

Which leads me to your heart. It could get broken too.

People might not have a good time.
They might think your decor is tacky.
They might think your house smells bad. (one of my worst fears--especially when you're in your house all day and you have no idea that the trash reeks!)
Your child might have a potty accident.
Their child might have a potty accident.

They could leave and never talk to you again.

I'm going to be honest. It could all happen.

But the risk is worth it; I truly believe it is. I'm working on being braver--letting people see the reality of my life in my home. That my laundry room is a disaster. My kids sometimes have meltdowns. My food doesn't always taste good. I'm incredibly clumsy. And even more.

But, like I receive grace from a Great God, I'm also want to give it. He loves me despite my messes, so I want to invite others into my real life in hopes that that they would find refuge in the imperfections. The reality is, I cannot stop my life to invite people into my home, so why not invite them along?

People could love spending time with you.
They could rave about your food and ask for the recipe.
Your kids could charm your guests with their adorableness and talents.
They could ask you where you got that yummy-smelling candle that makes your home smell so good.
Nobody would have a potty accident, including you.

But most importantly, they could feel at home because everything is not perfect, and yet, you honor their visit by engaging them about their life and offering them the chance to be a part of yours.

It's a dangerous thing to let people cross your threshold. Are you so bold?


Lacy said...

I really loved this post! I'm really struggling with this right now. Wesley's dad and stepmother whom I've never met are coming to visit in May and they will be staying at my house. I'm totally freaking out, trying to make everything perfect, and have not even thought about the positives of it all, like building new relationships and a new family. Thanks for writing that!

Becky said...

I love this! "The reality is, I cannot stop my life to invite people into my home, so why not invite them along?" PERFECT. We don't have people over often, because we don't have enough room, it's never clean, our kids go crazy when people walk in, blah blah blah. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I love it. Eventually be able to do it too again.

AnniePearl said...

Amazing words. I have all of these thoughts floating around my head prior to inviting people over or while they are visiting. What a wonderful post to read...and next time we have guests over I am going to sit back and enjoy them more than a ultra clean house!

Amanda said...

Alison, this was so good. I tweeted the link the other night. I've thought about it every day - even today as a friend of mine came over and the floors really needed to be mopped. :)

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