The Reluctant Hostess
I have a dear friend who is flying in next week for one night for a business meeting. She needed a place to stay and asked about nearby hotels. I offered her a place at our house. She gratefully accepted.
I wish I could say that I immediately asked her to stay with us. I wish I could say I was filled with instant enthusiasm at the idea of hosting…but I wasn’t.
I was thrilled at the chance to see her, but I quickly scanned the house in my mind. Here were some of my thoughts:
- “Is the house in a guest worthy state?” (the answer is no, not yet)
- “Where would she sleep? Will she be comfortable on the futon…or one of the twin size beds?”
- “We have gotten rid of a lot of things, but not enough. The place still looks cluttered.”
The truth is, our house is still in progress. We have cleared a lot of clutter, but with 5 people who are constantly bringing things into the house more than out – there are always many things lying around.
Things aren’t put back in their “home.” The habit of putting things in their designated places is not fully developed in any of us. I could follow my sons around picking up all the little and big things they leave lying on the floor, but then they wouldn’t learn to take responsibility for their things…and I would drive myself batty.Are you a reluctant hostess? Me too. How I'm viewing #hospitality as a gift and not a burden. #reluctanthostess Click To Tweet
Our House Isn’t a Mess, It’s…Relaxed
Our family is comfortable with messes, or as we like to think of it, relaxed. Neither my husband or I are super concerned with small piles here and there for the short term…except when a guest is scheduled to come over. Only then do we finally see and deal with the piles of things that we’ve been blind to for several weeks…or months.
How Hospitality is a Gift
Hospitality for an evening or a night, offers our family the opportunity to get our home “guest ready.”
- It offers us an opportunity to look at and deal with the piles that we have been ignoring.
- It offers us the opportunity to clear flat surfaces and make the sinks shiny.
- It offers us the opportunity to work as a team to straighten and clean.
- It offers us the opportunity to see people face to face – a rare gift in this high-tech age.
We used to host a weekly small group meeting in our home for our local church. We were always scrambling around straightening and cleaning the night before, but it was always so rewarding. Not only was the clutter dealt with and the basic areas of the home clean, it was always a joy to gather together with friends. Hosting every week meant that the house didn’t slide too far along into “clutterdom” before the next gathering.
We haven’t hosted a group for a few years, but we have started implemented a weekly 5 minute pick up at the end of the week. This makes a huge difference in our weekend and starting the week off right.
How to Get Your House Guest Ready
Nony at A Slob Comes Clean has a great post on how to clean a messy house and get it ready for guests. One great point she makes is to focus on the rooms that your guests will actually be using. I can definitely get distracted and want to clean out a closet or the basement when I really need to be cleaning the bathrooms and the guest room (that the boys have overtaken).Need to get your house and heart ready for guests? Here's a tip to remember #hospitality Click To Tweet
As I was chastising myself for the house not being guest ready all the time, I could hear the absurdity in my thinking. My dear friend is not coming to inspect my house. She is coming to spend time with me. I had a choice – I could spend all my time being self-conscious and fretting about the cleanliness of our house, or I could do my best to clean the main areas before she arrives, and then be truly present with her during her short stay. I choose the latter!
Are you a reluctant hostess? How do you get your house and heart guest ready?
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