The Open Door

Our front door.

I do not have the gift of hospitality. Now in my defense I spend a lot of time working with people, and my home houses 10 children. I usually like to come home and close the door to the rest of the world. My husband’s mom is the opposite. One of the first things I remember about dating Matt was the open door policy at his home. His mom was always genuinely glad to see whoever walked in the door, and she was quick to set another place at the table. I tend to like my life to be more structured and planned. I’m great at scheduling play dates, outings, and sleepovers. I like to see them all beautifully colored coded on my calendar, calm and structured. I’m not naturally the kind of person who flings open the door and is truly happy to see anyone standing on the other side. I’m not a fantastic cook and a surprise dinner guest is reason for me to dive deep into the pool of anxiety. Also, as you can probably imagine with 12 people living in my house it’s not always clean. I have been embarrassed more times than I would like to admit by unexpected company.

But every week after church on Sunday (and sometimes even before service is over) my children are peppering me with requests for friends to come over. And I am learning to say, “Yes.” I’ll admit it’s not always easy and some Sundays I put my hands up and announce the big fat, “No,” amidst the pleas. But I love their hearts. They just want to spend time with their friends. And they don’t care if the house is clean or if I make macaroni and cheese for the millionth time. They are not interested in impressing their guests and they have no ulterior motives in inviting them over. They just want to be with the people they care about. So, I try to let go of my own perfectionism and insecurities and learn from my children. They remind me it’s not about a clean house or a gourmet meal. It’s about being real with people. It’s about spending time with those you care about. It’s about opening the door.