|One of my kitchen windowsills...after I cleaned it! You don't think I'd take a picture of it dirty, do you?|
Notice the birds on the bird feeder outside my window? That's what I look at...not the dust and bugs.
As I was washing up the dishes following our leisurely (thank you, Lord) Memorial Day breakfast this morning, I noticed that the windowsill above the kitchen sink was rather dusty and had a few love bug carcasses in the corners. It's unfortunate that I didn't take care of that before we had a house full of company for a holiday indoor picnic a couple of days ago. Actually, I have to admit that I had noticed the dust, etc. prior to our gathering, but it wasn't high enough on the priority list to get it cleaned up in time for company. I mean, having enough food to eat, tables and chairs set for everyone to have a place to sit, clean bathrooms with extra toilet paper and hand towels, etc....those are the priorities for a crowd! When you work outside of the home all week and don't have a housekeeper (except for my husband, who is still learning to be a wonderful house-husband and I don't want to push TOO hard), well, some things just don't make it to the absolute must-do list!
|The tomatoes are ripe and juicy too!|
My point is this...so often we put so much pressure on ourselves to have the picture-perfect house, like something out of House Beautiful or Country Living, before we will even dare to invite people into our home. We tell ourselves that unless we can cook like Martha Stewart or Paula Deene or decorate like some decorating diva (I don't know any names for this one since I'm really not into that...) we can't possibly consider having a dinner party or picnic at our house. And so we don't ever open our homes to family, friends and especially not strangers. We hide within our safe haven, where our immediate family doesn't really care if there are dust bunnies under the furniture or if the food isn't gourmet...and we never even try to practice hospitality because "it just isn't my gift."
I could do that too, and I have done that...my last house was too small in which to do any entertaining, or at least that's what I told myself, and so we never made any friends in that community. We had very few gatherings in that house, and it just never felt like home to me. Yes, it held all my "treasures", and our family had space to live and eat and breathe, but we never allowed ourselves to experience much laughter and fun with friends and extended family because I didn't think I could do it in that house. That was a lie. I could've done it, but I convinced myself that no one would want to come there, so I didn't even try.
When we moved to this house in the forest, I determined that we were really going to live in this house, but we were not going to keep it just for ourselves. This home was meant to be shared with others. Yes, it is bigger than the last house, but it isn't newer, or cleaner, and it certainly isn't close to any real city. But my spirit is better here...my heart wants to reach out and make friends and entertain strangers...
"Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels." Hebrews 13:1-2Who knows? The next person we meet here could be an angel in disguise! I wonder if an angel would care if there was dust and dead love bugs on my windowsill? Probably not.
So now, who wants to come be the next party at our house? I will warn you, the windowsills may be dusty and buggy again by then. I keep opening them every morning to let in the fresh cool morning air and to listen to the birdies singing while they eat their breakfast at my birdfeeders while I fix our breakfast before heading off to work. So the dust blows in and sometimes some bugs work their way in around the screens too. Also, when I throw a party, I usually ask our guests to bring a dish to share, because I don't want to do all the cooking! I like to sample your cooking too and it is so much more fun to have a pot luck than to try to eat my cooking alone. Trust me on that one. And you may get stuck helping to wash the dishes or put the leftovers away...and maybe even get to take some home with you. This past weekend we had a lot of coleslaw left over thanks to a wonderful friend who brought enough for an army...I'd love to share some with you now! We also forgot to cut the huge watermelon before everyone left because we had already had too much to eat! So now we are eating watermelon and coleslaw for days...but the memories are so sweet. The laughter is still ringing in our ears...and we feel SO blessed.
|This is the watermelon we forgot to eat! It's juicy and ripe!|
Happy Memorial Day!
Thank you Lord, for those who have given their lives so that we may live in freedom and peace.