This is my kitchen and dining area in all its unfinished glory. Just one project of many that I don’t have much time to work on but am working away at, little by little.
I’m tempted to feel embarrassed about it and not want people to see it.
However, I also want to regularly invite people into my home, and I believe hospitality is very important no matter what the state of your home is.
I’ve decided I won’t let a messy house, dog hair, or unfinished projects keep me from having people over.
Because it’s not about the house or how clean it is or even about the food although good food can go a long way when having people over.
It is about having a home to welcome people into.
It is about allowing people to see our family and our home—real and messy.
It is about making other people feel a little less worried about their homes.
It is about good conversation over a warm cup of coffee or a glass of wine.
It is having little kids running around while I step over the mess of toys and have a conversation with another mom.
It is about late nights talking with friends not worrying about the dog hair that somehow ends up all over them as they leave.
It is about warm, delicious food that inspires conversation and closeness.
I never want to miss these opportunities because I am worried about my house not being clean enough or that it is in between never-ending projects.
God has given me a home that I can welcome people into.
He never said it had to be big and clean and look like it is out of a magazine.
What He has said is that I need to love my neighbor, and one of the ways for me to do that is to have them in my home.
Of course, I do my best to clean up and make sure my home is inviting and not a wreck, but there will always be dog hair on the floor no matter how much I vacuum.
There will always be crumbs on the floor and fingerprints on the windows in this stage of life.
There might be a basket of laundry waiting to be folded and stuff that needs putting away.
But I bet you I am the only one who cares about this when I have someone over.
Because the people coming into my home aren’t worried about how it looks and the fact it hasn’t been dusted in months.
They will remember how they felt when they entered my home.
Did they feel at home? Was the conversation encouraging? Did the food fill their bellies and the coffee warm their hands?
Were my kids kind and welcoming? Did they feel a little bit closer to God when they left, like they spent time with someone who really knows Him?
These are the questions that really matter and what I want to remember when I’m tempted to worry about what people will think about my imperfect but treasured home.
So go ahead and tidy up a bit and then invite someone over. Don’t worry about what isn’t perfect but open your home to your neighbor.
I guarantee they won’t be concerned about that weird paint color in your living room.
But I bet they will remember that someone cared enough to open their home to them, and maybe when they see that your home isn’t perfect, they will feel a little more encouraged to invite others into their home too.