There was a time when Mike & I used to make it a point to regularly invite people over to have dinner with us. We haven't done it all for a long time (with a few exceptions). We can make excuses ("Our house is barely big enough for our family, how could we fit more people in?") but the truth of the matter is this: I am too embarrassed.
The house we live in is old. And a mess. I am severely lacking (read: I fail) in the areas of landscaping, cleaning, and decorating. We have rodents in our dining room (pet hamster and chinchillas), stains on the carpet, and scratches on the cabinets. So, to put it bluntly, it's my pride.
God opposes our pride. Having people over to our home is going to mean swallowing my pride. Here we are: our home in all it's grubby not-so-glory. A few weeks ago I told Mike that I was feeling like we should start inviting people over to our house for dinner. Then today I was reading the book "7" by Jen Hatmaker. This is what I read:
"There is something so nourishing about sharing your living space with people where they see your junk mail pile and pee wee football schedule on the fridge and pile of shoes by the front door. Opening your home says, "You are welcome into my real life." This square footage is where we laugh and hold family meetings and make homemade corn dogs and work through meltdowns. Here is the railing our kids pulled out of the wall. This is the toilet paper we prefer. These are the pictures we frame, the books we're reading, the projects we're undertaking-- the raw material of our family. It's unsanitized and truthful. We invite you into this intimate place, saturated with our family character."
After I read that, I knew God was sending me a message. I have to respond, no matter how uncomfortable it makes me feel. I am going to try to be more purposeful about engaging in hospitality and using our home to build relationships. So, who wants to come over for grilled cheese sandwiches eaten next to a chinchilla cage? I'm just kidding of course...
We don't grill our cheese sandwiches.
With Fear and Anticipation,