When you open the door to people in your life, don’t let it cause anxiety, stress, and general cringy-face-feelings. These five ideas will help you feel more confident when it comes to welcoming people into your home. *Spoiler alert: There is a time when good enough is perfect, sweet friend…
When I was growing up, the quotes in our home went something like this:
“Good enough never is.”
“If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all.”
While I get the gist behind such sayings (“do your best, no matter what’) – there is a perfectionist line drawn that (for me) easily finds it’s way into focusing so much on the outward, that I miss the focus on the hearts of people.
*Note: this is NOT a slam on my parents. They were incredible, amazing people, and genuinely showed love and hospitality to many, many people. Things were just done in a certain way, on a certain timetable. No ifs, ands, or buts.
For me, that mindset makes me so consumed with having everything perfect and in it’s rightful place that I tend to feel defeated before I even begin.
Perfectionism is a tough row to hoe, with standards nearly impossible to keep. It’s taken me a long time to retrain my inner voice (to be honest, I’m still working on it).
And that “everything has to be perfect and just-so” mentality has kept me from living an “Open the Door” life.
I say “No more”.
When we open our doors to love on the people God brings into our path, we open the way for Him to do some pretty amazing things.
Five Ideas to Help You Open the Door
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1.Tidy One Room
If the thought of cleaning your home top to bottom freaks you out, tidy just one room.
Maybe it’s the dining room, where you’ll sit and share stories.
Maybe it’s the kitchen, where you’ll laugh over store bought treats at the table.
OR you could even just sweep off your front porch. Sit out there, listen to the birds in the trees, and chat Life over coffee, tea, or lemonade. When you only focus on one area, it doesn’t seem so overwhelming.
2. Don’t Worry about having Everything White-Glove Clean
There. I said it. If the toys are generally corralled and the clutter is gone (even if you just throw it all in a clothes basket to be dealt with later – it’ll be our little secret), give yourself grace to let your home look like you actually live there. Because – hello – you DO. 😉
Pinterest, blogs, and HGTV have given us all a major case of Comparisonitis. And it needs to stop.
Here’s an insider secret….lean in…*whispering*…”No one’s house actually looks like that for longer than it takes to shoot those photos.” Whew! I feel so much better now, having told you that.
But seriously. I’ve got four boys and a dog running around – and you’ve got your Lovies running around, too. Let’s give ourselves a break, mmmkay?
3. Make use of cute storage containers
The toys, excess pillows (not that I have that problem – ahem), and Random Stuff looks so much better when it’s thrown into a cute basket, crock, or wooden box.
You can’t go wrong.
We’ve got a huge vintage wicker basket in our living room and All The Things get thrown in there before someone arrives.
While we’re *not* going for white-glove perfection here, we do want to make our home as peaceful as possible – and let’s be honest…it doesn’t matter what anyone says, clutter is not peaceful.
4. Have one or two food options on hand
When you have something delicious to offer, you feel like a rockstar.
Notice I did NOT say “something-made-from-scratch-homemade-organic-pristine”. Nope. We’re just going to set that idea aside riiiiight over here.
*sets idea on precarious ledge. idea teeters, falls off the ledge, down…down…down…and shatters on the floor*
Ok – now that we have that out of the way, this is what I’m talking about…
A store bought pound cake, sitting in your freezer, ready for a moment’s notice. See some fabulous ideas here.
A package of pretty muffins (or cinnamon rolls) you bought at the store that morning, set on a cute plate.
A box of brownie mix that takes all of 2 minutes to whip together and bake – bonus points for having a house that smells like chocolate heaven.
Even something as simple as a pot of tea or coffee. Iced tea and coffee for warmer months.
And for kids? Root beer floats and/or popcorn are always a hit.
Keep is simple, keep it sane.
5. Don’t wait until you feel ready. Just open the door.
I can’t say it better than Jen Schmidt, in her new book, “Just Open the Door: How One Invitation can Change a Generation” – so I’ll quote her here.
“When we least expect it, comparison sneaks up like a thief and attempts to rob us of all joy, especially when it pertains to things as personal as our home.
And you know what – no one has time for that. It’s exhausting enough making sure the toilet set is down and the bathroom is clean, without the arrows of comparison taking target practice on our “Martha wannabe” skills.
Perfection is the enemy of done. Wait, forget that, sometimes perfection is the enemy of even starting.”
She goes on to share her home’s desired purpose and it’s one I think we’d all like to have…
“May our home be a safe, refreshing haven where everyone is loved, valued, and welcome; a soft place to land where real life happens. When guests arrive, may they sense a joyful “Welcome Home” spirit that points them to Christ, and may it permeate in such a way that every single person feels as if they can truly make themselves at home. Our home is a place where everyone is welcome, yet may I never wait until I’m ready to swing those doors wide open, because if I wait, it will never happen.”
That last part sure hits home, doesn’t it? Because let’s be honest. If we are left to our own timing, we’ll never be ready. I can always find an excuse, a reason, a justifiable explanation for why we’ll get together “next time.”
I’m writing this as a challenge to myself, too. I don’t have it all together and it’s something I’m working on. Maybe if we all worked on it together; if we caught Jen’s vision; we really could change a generation by the simple act of opening our doors.
Will you join me?
Visit Jen over at her blog, Balancing Beauty and Bedlam for more of her encouragement and recipe ideas.