I am not a very clean or organized person. I’m also not much of a decorator. All of these things are very apparent as soon as you walk in my front door. Parts of my house would be more at home on an episode of Hoarders than in a design magazine. None of my dishes match, there is nothing on the walls in my living room, and there may at any time be a pair of dirty underwear on the bathroom floor. Usually none of that bothers me much (except the dirty underwear) until we have company.
When I know people are going to be coming over and venturing out of the main areas of my home I start to notice all that I “should” be doing, areas that aren’t as clean as I would like them to be, projects that haven’t been finished, projects that haven’t even been started, etc.
Last weekend my niece and three of her friends came into town and stayed in our guest room. They are all in college and were the nicest girls. Of course the whole time they were here I was noticing all that bothers me in my house. I was embarrassed about the Halloween decoration/costume boxes that were still in the downstairs hall. I also commented on the fact that none of the bedding in the room matched. Luckily I was able to make the beds with sheets that didn’t have Lightening McQueen on them but it wasn’t easy.
Opening my house up to guests is a very vulnerable thing for me. I feel like so many of my weaknesses are apparent to anyone who walks through my house. It always makes me worry about what they will think of me when they see the layer of dust on the shelves downstairs or the disaster of a storage room.
On Sunday I came home from church a few minutes early and my niece and her friends were getting ready to leave. When I got home I went right into Baby B’s room and put her down for a nap. As I was sitting in the rocking chair rocking her I heard one of my nieces friends say, “I love this house. It’s so cute.” I don’t think she knew I was home and I know she didn’t mean for me to hear her but it totally made my day.
I’ve been thinking about this subject lately and realized that the way my house looks doesn’t really matter to me. If it did I would put more time and effort into making it look different. When I have people into my home I don’t need them to be impressed by what my home is I want them to notice how my home feels. I want them to feel loved and accepted and welcome. I want them to know that I care about them and for them to feel comfortable.
That doesn’t mean that I’m giving up cleaning, although I definitely wouldn’t mind. As a matter of fact, I’ve been working all day to clean up parts of my house because we are having people over this weekend. Knowing guests are coming is one of the best motivators for me to do things that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. This time when the party starts, whatever isn’t done I’m not going to worry about. I’ve had people over enough to know that it will definitely be messier when they leave than it was when they came. I hope that I can forget about the mess and the projects and just enjoy the company because I’m pretty sure they are coming over to spend time with me and my family, not to check out the cleanliness of my floors.