What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Dust and Bugs? Who cares?

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!
So this morning, being a holiday and a lovely rainy, cloudy day with no particular place to go or any pressing urgencies, I decided to clean the windowsills.  After the fact as far as having them perfect for our party, but guess what? Not one of our guests mentioned the fact to me that those windowsills needed cleaning while they were helping me get the food ready for the dinner, nor did the wonderful ladies who assisted in washing the dishes after the dinner complain that my windowsills were dusty and buggy.  No one refused to eat at my table because I had dusty, buggy windowsills...no one pulled away from giving me a hug and laughing and smiling and sharing happy stories and sweet memories together because my windowsills were not tidy.  If anyone noticed them at all, I don't think they really cared.

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 13:1-2
Who 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. 

Again I say, "Dust and Bugs? Who cares?"  My final word is: "Mi Casa Es Su Casa"....My house is your house...so come on over!

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.


  1. This post really speaks to me Pamela. I am one of those who either exhausted herself cleaning before company came or simply stopped inviting because it was too much work. I missed out on so much because of silly perfectionism.
    But having grown kids come by with friends etc has helped me get over myself and see that the dust is not the problem, my insecurity is. Thanks for this wonderfully written reminder! A home really does become sweeter when you have friends within the walls.

  2. Yes, Susie...I love the memories of the "halls ringing with laughter" long after the guests have all gone home. I'm still learning about how to cut corners so that I don't exhaust myself too much to enjoy my company. My mother always spent all of her time in the kitchen when people came to the house, and she'd miss out on so much. Then when we were getting ready to leave to go home, she'd want us to sit down and visit with her. I promised myself I would NOT do that to my family. It's difficult...but that's all a part of allowing others to help out and not feel like I have to do it all myself. It's never too late to start!

  3. Bugs? Dust? Where was that?? I was too busy looking at the birds too!! Everything was wonderful---but that watermelon sure looks good right now!!! and----I liked your little house too! It was always pretty and it was fun to look for your owls!!---I can relate to Recovering Church Lady---you know I can! I seldom have anyone over for all those reasons mentioned above. Hopefully some day soon, I can get out of my "funk"!!!---but Christmas was the best time I'd had in forever--when everyone was here! That really was a first since --I can't remember when! For now, I'll enjoy my birds and kittens---my best entertainment!!lol

    1. Yes, Christmas and Thanksgiving was wonderful! Your house was decorated so beautifully! Like a regular Christmas Shoppe! Thanksgiving too...you have such a knack for decorating for the holidays. I should've had you bring some decorations for my table! I'm glad you enjoyed the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees! LOL! That's what I want people to enjoy when they come here, along with the good company! Hang in there...one day at a time...one room at a time! You could have a wonderful yard sale...decorate each room like a season or holiday and sell your over-stock of stuff that way. It would look like a real store!
      Hey, you need to take some pictures of your kittens and post them on facebook!
      Glad you were here...thanks for writing. Love you sister.


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