Do It Anyway

3Jn1v5Several times a year we host big get-togethers.  Summer kick-off (aka Princess birthday party in June), BBQ dinners and fire pit s’mores all summer long, TV premiere parties, movie nights, New Years Eve, Passover, Easter, Cinco de Mayo, birthdays all year round, and any other excuse we can find.

“I love that you have gatherings in your tiny place.” My friend’s words made my heart soar.

She knows my heart.  She knows our commitment to being in community and sharing life.  And she knows how ridiculous it is for us to try to host gatherings!

You see, the carpets in this place are a nightmare. But we open our home anyway.

Our dining table is a not-so-cool garage sale find. But we invite people to it anyway.

Our little kids expose our desperate need for the Holy Spirit every day.  But we let people see our family dynamics anyway.

Our kitchen is a two-butt kitchen only.  But we squeeze in as many as want to cook with us.

Our budget is limited and it’s embarrassing.  But we put aside pride and ask our guests to potluck.

To sum it all up… we don’t have the kind of place we want to have.  We don’t get to serve our guests how we’d like.  Most of our friends own beautiful homes.  If anyone should be hosting gatherings, it’s not us. But we do it anyway.

Why?  Because it’s what life is all about:  we were made to share life.

I have a dream home.  It’s beautiful.  Open floor plan.  Lots of space.  Big kitchen.  A yard and veggie garden.  And every part of my dream is strategic.  Every design idea is for a single purpose:  I want a home where people gather and life is shared.

And there it is:  The heart and vision of my dream home can happen anywhere.  Even here and now.  Despite it all.  If I’m willing.

And, let’s be real: That gorgeous dream house may never be mine.  We may live in this apartment forever.  And what I really want is community.  What I really want is to love and be loved.  To share life.  And, although my pride and hospitality dreams want a beautiful home to do that in… I can’t wait.  I won’t wait.

And so we do it anyway.  Tiny space.  Gross carpets.  Small food budget.

Because if I am brave enough to open our meager home just as it is… our guests may be brave enough to open their hearts just as they are.

Do it anyway, friends.  Open your home.  Love people.  Share life.  It’s beautiful.

Happy New Year!

Dear friend, when you extend hospitality to Christian brothers and sisters, even when they are strangers, you make the faith visible. 3 John 1:5 (MSG)

Keep open house; be generous with your lives.  By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:16 (MSG)

4 thoughts on “Do It Anyway

  1. Lauren says:

    Gosh, I love this. I love it, love it, love it. “Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16, MSG) So inspired and moved on the opening of this first day of 2014. Thank you, sister.

    And by the way, this resonates with me in part because not just my physical home, but my LIFE does not look the way I thought it would at this stage in my life. I’m 34, single, a nanny (not the original plan/dream), living with (wonderful, btw) roommates…. And sometimes my pride and embarrassment make me hesitant to welcome people in to THIS life…one that isn’t what I thought it would be. But the thing is, life IS meant to be shared. Life has EVERYTHING to do with relationships. With God first and then with OTHERS. God asks me to be generous with who I am…to keep open house. To share my journey, my struggles, my joys, my resources, my encouragement, my gifts, my weaknesses, my HEART. Glory to God alone (and I mean that wholeheartedly, because I seriously fought Him on some of the ways He wanted me to keep open house in 2013; He won in the end, but not without a fight from me first), I grew in some of these areas in 2013. This post is inspiring me afresh to really give Him everything this morning, today, this year so that I can truly be generous with my life, welcome others in (to my home and my heart), and watch Him MOVE and work and bless to the glory of His Name.

    THANK YOU, sister. So much. Beautiful post. I am praying for your beautiful, amazing, inspiring family this New Year’s Day. May our generous God continue to make that little apartment a place full of grace, true community, and blessing in 2014. With so much love – and respect – to all four of you.

    Lauren

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