I have been apprehensive about inviting people into our home. Why? Because I feel like it’s not “flawless” or “cute” enough and it’ll never be clean enough. The kitchen and bathroom are outdated and our cat is afraid of the dog so unfortunately he hangs out on the kitchen counter (trust me, we keep the counters sanitized). There is always some sort of clutter somewhere or dust bunny under the coffee corner. I LOVE our home and I’m learning to love it better through the slow project stages. But opening your house to others isn’t just about letting them see the inside of your home; it’s about letting them into your life.
It’s intimidating to get into the habit of having friends and family over on a regular basis. But that’s what I want for Daniel and I. I want our front door to be the most used door in our home. I desire for our kitchen table to get worn in and leaned on and lovingly smacked when an old friend recalls a hilarious memory.
But inviting people in doesn’t come easy for me. I am a HUGE fan of writer and speaker Shauna Niequist who is known to be a big believer in gathering people around a table and seeking honest relationships. I watched a YouTube video of her and Henry Cloud having a conversation about friendship. I remember her mentioning that “introverts are exhausted reading my books because it’s like ‘I threw a party and then went for a walk and all my friends came over and we had salad!’ ” (it’s definitely a video worth watching). I don’t consider myself an introvert OR an extrovert. Everyone has bits of both running through their veins and I think we have the capacity to practice both and refine the parts of ourselves we would like to change. As I’ve grown (in life, age, marriage etc), I have noticed the itty bitty pieces of myself I would like to develop. One example is that, lately, I can sense how I have been trying to define my worth in the things of the world which are temporary.
1 Peter 1:23-25 …since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for “all flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
Being relational, creating and nurturing relationships are what I have been desiring to shift to top priority in my life. In that same video, Shauna says that work, money, the way you look are not the most important things, but the way we connect with one another is what matters. She believes friendship is God’s greatest evidence of Himself here on earth. Nothing is worth giving more of yourself to than the people in your life. And to those statements I say: AMEN sister!
In our little world down on East 11th Ave, we spend time laying on the couch watching old 90s movies, hanging up things that have been leaning on the wall for months, praying morning prayers, daily sweeping up black dog hairs and cooking simple meals. We don’t have a ton, but we have enough in terms of the ‘things’ and the ‘stuff’ of home (no matter how much I tell myself otherwise). Our thirst is that more than just our lives will be lived here.
Romans 12:13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”
How have you built relationships in your homes? Are you apprehensive to open up? Ask God to help you get out of your comfort zone this week and perhaps take a chance by inviting someone in.