It crept up on me so subtly; this feeling of insecurity as I welcomed people into my home. Quite frankly, it permeated to the core of who I was just hours before guests were to arrive, and I was taken back.
My desire has always been to make our home a haven, a place where friends are welcome to share both their beauty and bedlam moments and feel safe. Yet when it came time for me to put aside the fact that the physical beauty of perfect decor and a manicured yard was not going to be finished, and the reality that only my bedlam would show through, I was unnerved.
Never before has the thought crossed my mind to cancel an opportunity to open our home, but this time, I was truly tempted.
And this is why….
A UFO landed on my back deck in the form of an unfinished gazebo, and no matter how much I willed it to completion, it was not going to happen.
I am in no way, shape, or form a Type A perfectionist, but even for me, the Martha Stewart wanna-be that pulls inside of me whispered, "This is NOT a good thing."
Could I really welcome these ladies and their children to an outdoor event, when my back yard looked like this? I was the "leader," the "mentor" of this organization.
In my defense, this wasn't for lack of effort, or laziness, or even procrastination (which I am known to lean towards), it was simply an issue of man power, plus the minor detail noted in the direction's small print that stated we needed ten people to lift the roof. Oops.
Now, I knew these friends would understand my junk yard debacle.
I also know that hospitality isn't about perfection, or even near perfection.
In fact, I share continually that hospitality is about just being available, and that it's about the time spent connecting with one another. And yet even though inviting people to share life with me is what I do, it's what I desire, I couldn't shake "Martha's" increasingly loud whisper.
As the families arrived, I spent far too much time explaining my UFO dilemma, and giving my excuses until I finally heard Him shout, "This is NOT about you! This is about ME."
GULP! He is SO right.
1 Peter 4:9 guides us to "offer hospitality to one another without grumbling." And in a sense, my story of excuses were just subtle grumblings.
My desire for a "Welcome Home mentality" can not be about me. It must be a reflection of Him through me. To open one's door, it means offering a time when one person, if even for a few minutes, feels welcomed and valued. That means providing a haven of safety and acceptance no matter if the schedule to "too full", the house is not spotless, or the food is store bought. It's about being available in the midst of both beauty and bedlam.
Are you willing to embrace that Welcome Home mentality?
What may be standing in your way?
This reminder reaffirmed what I've known for so long, but the Lord allowed me to put it instant action last week when we hosted a week long spontaneous twenty-one person family reunion , just after this UFO gathering. If you still have reservations, read about Hospitality for the non perfectionist and maybe it will change your mind.
Ignore Martha's whisper; it's not about perfection, it's about being available…and that is a GOOD thing.