Our family enjoys an open door policy to our home. We love having people here. I think it’s so neat to watch others make friends and enjoy themselves. There’s something strangely simple and yet deeply enjoyable about opening our homes for others to use.
Yesterday, Jim, my husband shared a thought that occurred to him last week when he was talking to one of our sons about why we open our home so often. You see, there is some work involved when you have people over and sometimes we complain to each other about it. It’s not easy to allow others to see our hidden dirt. We have to help each other remember why we do it.
Anyway, it occurred to Jim that opening our home is akin to opening our hearts. We’ve been aware for years that when we have someone over, our friendship is closer the next time we see them and for the most part this is why we do it. We like knowing others better and we like facilitating the opportunity for others to get to know each other better. His thought took this idea a little deeper. When we see people at church or at the office, there’s an unintentional barrier in the friendship that seems to be eliminated after we share a meal together in the comfort and relaxation of a home.
Opening our heart to another person is a risky business. Opening our home can be too. Will the guests see my dust bunnies under the bookcase? And what about the goo under the edges of the refrigerator that I forgot to clean…. A MONTH AGO? Oh, and the ever dreaded left over food in the back of the fridge. What will they think of me if they see all these “no-nos?”
It’s the same with my heart. Will I be accepted when the real me pops out when I start to feel comfortable in a group? What will others think of me when I boss my husband in front of them? Yep, I’m bossy and I hate it. Oh, how I try not to do that, but it happens. Will they look down on me? Will they see the graciousness of Jim’s response to me and see what a strong man he is or feel sorry for him that he has to live with ME?
Opening my home and opening my heart are risky things but with great risk is great reward. What kind of friendship is forged while masquerading as a perfect, flawless princess in a gorgeously kept castle? A lifeless, solitary one. No thank you very much!
Waging the War
I’m so not perfect and my house needs many things but long ago our family made the decision to risk being measured by our home and actions. Every single time we open the door I wrestle those stupid thoughts about what will they think about….? But, I will not change our open door policy to protect my insecurities. It’s kind of like I’ve sworn a war on those stupid thoughts and stubbornly set out to win the battle by not giving in. *Bossy has it’s good side too*
Maybe a real princess is flawed and in need of change. Maybe her castle needs remodeling and would this be such a bad story line? I think not. Cinderella started as the maid, Rapunzel as a prisoner, and Beauty as a peasant girl before she fell in love with the Beast.We love rags to riches stories so why do we think we’re supposed to be riches from the get go? Hum…..
My husband’s right. Opening the door of our home is opening our hearts. While it’s threatening, the alternative is as uninteresting as a novel with a perfect protagonist. Nope, not for me.
What about you? Is it hard for you to let others see and know your dirt? What do you think about perfect princesses and spotless castles?