Bringing People Into Your Chaos

table
Image via Pinterest

Happy Monday!  After another longer hiatus, I’m back!  We’ve been on the road quite a lot this past month and every time we return, we’ve had just enough time to unpack, before we had to repack.

This past weekend was the first in four weeks where we were finally home and I can’t tell you how much I needed it.  We saw friends every day, we napped, we slowly checked things off our to-do list, and B and I spent time alone just chatting–something that sounds so simple, but is sadly more rare than I’d like.

We also decided it was time to finally host our first dinner for friends in our new house.

Having people over for dinner and cooking for friends is definitely our love language–we love cooking and preparing and hosting and then sitting with people we love as we eat, drink, talk, and laugh.  (Plus, with kids, it’s now become a great babysitter-free option!)

When our invited guests confirmed, we were so excited, but I’ll be honest, by the time Friday rolled around, I was ready to cancel.  I was exhausted and running about 2 hours behind on life, Little B was fussier than usual, I still had to run to the grocery store, and our house was FAR from ready to invite people into.

But as we thought about it, we came to the conclusion that for the next few weeks and months, it’s always going to be like that, so we just needed to push through and resolve to have a great night.

Let’s be honest, there are always excuses for not being able to have people over.  We will always have messes and eyesores we wish we could hide, but rather than keep people out, afraid of them seeing, “the real us” we just needed to invite them into our chaos and enjoy.  

And so they came and it was wonderful–I’m so glad we pushed through!  Dinner was far from ready when they arrived, but the baby was sleeping, the table was set, the drinks were ready, and the appetizer was good to go.

There were still framed pictures resting on the floor needing a home, there was a closet, I shoved all my bills and papers in at the last minute, and our kitchen flooring still has a huge hole in it, but we didn’t let any of that deter us.

In a moment of weakness, I even let them see the mud room, which is a room so horrible I’m too ashamed to show you a picture of it on the blog.  It’s basically a big room piled high with junk we have no idea what to do with–tools, paint cans, tupperware bins, old window treatments from the previous owner–it’s a disaster zone.  One day, we will tackle it, but Friday night was not the night.

Friday was time to relax, have fun, and finally host people in our unfinished, slightly chaotic home.

And afterwards, I felt like in so many ways our house had been christened.  It’s definitely not “show ready,” but rather than hiding away until it is (which could be years), I’ve decided it’s time to bring people in.

Friday night also inspired me to finish reading Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist.  I’m embarrassed to say, I’ve been reading this book for over a year…ugh!  (I started when Little B was nearly six months, and now I’m finishing it as I’m nearly six months pregnant with baby girl).

I absolutely LOVE it, but I have a horrible habit of reading books, loving them, but then never finishing the last 1/3 of it.  So Friday night was the push I needed to wake up Saturday and start finishing the rest.

In it, she recounts a New Year’s Eve dinner that was slightly different than how she envisioned it going, but evolved into an “imperfectly perfect” affair and had this to say about hosting:

“Entertaining isn’t a sport or competition.  It’s an act of love, if you let it be.  You can twist and turn it into anything you want–a way to show off your house, a way to compete with your friends, a way to earn love and approval.  OR you can decide that every time you open your door, it’s an act of love, not performance or competition or striving.  You can decide that every time people gather around your table, your goal is nourishment, not neurotic proving.  You can decide.”  

Well said, Shauna.  Well said.

People aren’t looking for perfection or performance, they’re looking for love, warmth, and invitations to be brought into your life, no matter what it may look like.  So let’s open up those doors and bring people in to our real lives and whatever version of “happy chaos” we may be living at the moment!

 

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