Evolution of a Princess, a Real Protagonist


photo by Barcari Irina

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.

Risky Business

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?

Want Help Starting Your Book Club? Read This Post.

Want Help Starting Your Book Club? Read This Post.


  1. Love this! We longed to do this for a year, but we were in a basement apartment that was not conducive to having people over. We bought a house 2 months ago and are enjoying having a bunch of people over even though there is still so-o much that needs done. It is a risk, but we have found it to be worth the risk. And – if I waited till my house was “completely fixed up” I would never have anyone over. I’m also glad to hear that I’m not the only one that goes through those “stupid thoughts.”
    God bless!

    • Congrats On the house. I too am glad to hear you understand the stupid thoughts and press through for the sake of love.

  2. What a wonderful post, Ali! I love the analogy of an open door being equivalent to an open heart.
    I went through a tough time in a friendship not long ago and ended up getting hurt. Since then, I’ve been very cautious about getting close anyone. Unfortunately, that limits my opportunities to really meet some great people. But your post puts things in perspective for me. Maybe its time I start opening that door a little more.
    Thanks for sharing this!

    • When that kind of thing happens to me I try to remember all the different ways Jesus was rejected, even by his family and he kept opening his heart to love. It’s the hardest thing ever, but a calling he promises to give us grace to endure and live out.

      Thanks for sharing and being so vulnerable.

  3. It’s such a wonderful gift to let others see us as imperfect. The relief rolls off my shoulders once I realize, hey! she’s not perfect either!


  4. You have a gift for hospitality, Ali, and are one of the most gracious hostesses I’ve ever met. And I’ve never noticed a single dust bunny at your house, either. I thought we had the monopoly on those over at OUR place!

    • Thanks, Jennifer, for the complements. Dust bunny monopoly resides with me. Sorry my friend. Blessings to you.

  5. Ali, this is a great topic to share. Opening our homes and our hearts is very threatening. It is so much easier to play it safe, but with much risk comes much reward. At the same time we all should take an inventory of our spiritual gifts, and some do not have the gift of hospitaity. Exercising the other gifts can be just as threatening. Whatever your gift, make use of it. And wheather it is your gift or not, have a friend or two into your home. If you have been craving to transform some of your friendships, this can be a great way to start.


    • You are the reason hospitality is so successful in our home. You do so much that makes it possible from supporting my desire for it and helping get the house ready and entertaining our friends. I love your desire to hospital others.

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