October 1, 2012

31 Days of What Matters, Day 1: Hospitality

I'm a little late to the party, but I caught wind of The Nester's 31 Days blogging challenge and decided it's just what I need to get back on track.

Every day in October you can expect a short, simple post about what matters - to me, to my family, to our community. And possibly to my closet, but I'm going to put off being superficial for a few more weeks if possible.

As the month progresses, I'll list each new post on this one so they're easily found.

Day 1: Hospitality
Day 2: Little (Big) Joys
Day 3: Every Ounce
Day 4: Fun
Day 5: Mac
Day 6: Tigertown
Day 7: Affection
Day 8: Work
Day 9:
Staying Comfy
Day 10:
Day 11:
Packing Smart
Day 12:
A Quick Squeeze
Day 13:
Saying Goodbye
Day 14:
Catching Up, Getting Sick and Getting Out
Day 15:
Sweet Cheeks
Day 16:
My First Giveaway!
Day 17: Running Tunes
Day 18: Sweet, Awkward Moments
Day 19:
Day 20: C-L-E-M-S-O-N
Day 21: Old Friends
Day 22: A Case of the Mondays
Day 23: Boy Mom, Girl Mom
Day 24: Dimmest Bulb in the Box
Day 25: Driveway Conversations
Day 26: Truck Stop Trade Off
Day 27: Solo Saturday
Day 28: Home Again, Home Again!
Day 29: Sick. Again.
Day 30: Pearly Whites
Day 31: A Sweet Halloween

So to get started: Today what matters to me is hospitality.

When we looked for a "new and old" house, we prayed to be led where we could grow our family, open our doors to friends and create a ministry of sorts just by being hospitable. By inviting the world in - not our strongest suit, believe it or not.

It's so tempting to throw on yoga pants, close the drapes, ignore your phone and hole up with the people who are required, either by law or genetics, to love you no matter what. That's not what we wanted anymore.

We envisioned having an open door policy, being in the center of things, living close to our friends and closely with them. (Think Romans 12:13 and Hebrews 13:2.)

It's not always easy for me, as I have a nasty perfectionist side. If I can't get it just right, in my own eyes, then I'd rather not do it at all. If my sunroom needs a bit more furniture or a hallway wall is missing the 'right' framed print, I feel sheepish letting people traipse through at their leisure.

Not to mention the dog hair! And diapers, stacks of correspondence, iPhone chargers, random boots strewn about. No matter how much I try to kick the clutter, it follows me everywhere I go.

You know what? That's not important. Hospitality isn't about pulling out my china and serving a spread that would make Paula Deen proud; it's really about being welcoming.

It's not about my feeling prepared, comfortable or proud of my surroundings - it's about making sure others feel at home, invited and valued here.

Small Group pre-party on the porch

Yesterday, as I stashed tote bags and toys before our small group arrived, I had to remind myself of this. We prayed for a place we could call home so that others could feel at home here, too.

I hope I remember, as supper clubs, showers and holiday parties line up, what hospitality really means. Know this: You're just as welcome at 9pm in your pajamas, face streaked with mascara from a long day's cry, as you are in your "get out into the world" grown-up gear at a pre-appointed hour.

My door's always open, even if I wince at the dust bunnies when you walk in.


Blue-Eyed Bride said...

I love your topic and I totally agree with you. Our home is right in the middle of things, but we go through phases where we kind of make excuses for it. It's too cramped, we don't have an actual dining room, there's dog hair everywhere and even more toys than dog hair. But I always have to remember that a family lives and loves here, and it's okay to show that to people. We've been having people over more often and it's comfortable for us and for our guests, I think. Your house is one of my favorites, and not just because one of my favorite families lives there!

Perfectly Imperfect said...

I happen to find your house more than inviting and love being there. It has never mattered to me what it looked like (though it has ALWAYS been perfect), but more that I feel comfortable there. It feels homey and well loved and that's all a home needs to be.

The Gaymons said...

Matt and I appreciate your hospitality more than you know! Thank you for serving us....especially in an area that doesn't come easily for you.


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