One of the things I LOVE to do is to have guests over and to entertain in our home! ANY guests: family, old friends, new friends, neighbors, our kids’ friends, anyone really.
I think this hospitality “gene” was passed onto me from my parents. I have SO many fond memories of my parents hosting family and friends in our home. This warm hospitality seemed to come so effortlessly to my parents. They were always (and still are) GREAT hosts.
However, I don’t invite people into our home nearly as much as I’d like to . . . and why? Well, it’s my own “perfectionism” that often keeps me from practicing something I love. Something that, honestly, I feel is one of my “gifts.” You see, like many of you, we live busy lives.
My husband and I have three active girls (11, 6, & 3). I homeschool, my husband and I both work from home on alternating schedules, we’re active in our church, and we LOVE spending time exploring the beautiful Charleston area and going to the beach.
So often, I’ll feel like inviting someone over for coffee or for dinner and then I look around and think, our house is too “messy” to have guests over or I don’t have enough time to prepare a made from scratch dinner like my “friend” just posted on Instagram or I’m still in my leggings from the day before.
But listen to me, sweet friend, is this REALLY helping the comparison trap we as moms often fall into in this age of beautiful, filtered Instagram feeds? Isn’t it refreshing when you are invited over to a friend’s house and there are kid toys laying on the floor, dishes in the sink, and crumbs on the floor from the precious little people that “live” in her home? The definition of hospitality is “the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.” I don’t see anything in the definition that says your house (or your appearance) has to be photo-ready to welcome friends into your home.
I really want to be that friend who comes over and chats with you over a warm cup of coffee during the middle of the day, while helping you fold laundry on the living room floor chatting about how difficult being a mom can be (while we’re both in our leggings with hair that hasn’t been washed in two days). I feel like in today’s “social media world” we’ve lost touch with actually “doing” life with other moms. Instead of inviting a friend over who has been on our heart, we will check her Facebook page for a “life update,” and then we have that false feeling of connection.
So, for 2020, I challenge you (and myself) to make a conscious effort to listen to that voice that puts a friend, or family member, on your heart and invite them over. Even if your house won’t look perfect . . . even if you won’t have time to get “ready” (okay, maybe put on a bra) . . . let’s make this the year that we practice “imperfect hospitality,” and create bonds with other moms who we can do life with, side-by-side, because we all need that connection and support that comes from the wisdom and fellowship of other mommas.