I haven't forgotten 'my list' yet and frankly, I don't think I can. Why? I'm wrestling, y'all. And not Sumo style. Oh, the wrestling I am doing. The Holy Spirit just keeps tapping me on my shoulder. Tappity tappin'. A few times I've just wanted to shout back, "I KNOW ALREADY!". Because, you know, conviction and all.
I'm not sure the good folks at Kroger are quite ready for my brand of crazy at this time. Or ever.
The Lord has been dealing with me on many things in my life, but one little sticky area that just KEEPS coming up is HOSPITALITY.
Now, for those of you that know me (like truly KNOW me), know that I'm one of the most social people you have ever met. I could talk the hind legs off a donkey, so to speak. (Don't you just love Southern idioms? For real, though!). I truly don't know a stranger and one would think that could easily translate into natural hospitality, right?
Not so much.
The jig is up, y'all. Here it is for all of the Internets to see...my confession of why hospitality is so hard for me. Ready for this?
My house is dirty. Because people live here, don't y'all know this? My pride is bigger than my desire to be obedient to Jesus and so I choose to marinade in my stubborn will and not invite people over because, for the love, can these children NOT pick up a dang dirty sock already! And that is the truth.
I don't want anyone to see that I have dirty dishes ALL THE FLIPPIN' TIME! Or that my floors haven't been mopped in weeks. Or that I have paper piles on my counter, my table is sticky, my windows have fingerprints, or there's dog hair on the couch and what will people think of me for letting the dog on the couch? But I keep a sheet on it so that's okay, right? Oh and there's marker on the walls from 3 year years ago, drawers are broken in my kitchen, the ice maker on the fridge doesn't work, our bathroom sink fixtures are outdated and gross, my ceiling fans have an inch of dust on them.... and the list goes on and on. And yes, this is how my brain works. Scary, right?
My desk. Mercy.
An endless myriad of excuses that I try and justify over being obedient to what Jesus truly wants for my life.
We've lived in this 35 year old house for 19 years. We have raised 6 children here, with 4 of them still here and 3 of those 4 not leaving any time soon. We have stuff. Or crap. Whatever.
The point is this...if I am constantly waiting for the right time or the perfect house in which to invite people over to then I'm missing SO many opportunities for true gospel community. I'm missing shared laughter, shared tears, shared stories.
And I'm tired. Tired of wrestling against this. Tired of telling the Holy Spirit to get lost when I'm reminded time and time again that this life is not about me. It's just not. It's about sharing life with others and loving others and showing people how Jesus is SO good and He is worth sharing. Worth talking about. Worth choking out this cancerous pride with humbleness and laughter and food and community.
Jesus is working this (amongst other things) out in me and has been for months now. It is at the forefront of my brain every day. What does this hospitality look like for me? Us? Our family? I truly don't know. I have no idea if people will be in my home all the time or if just the simple act of saying, "yes, Lord. I'm willing.", is all that's being asked of me. I highly doubt it's the latter and I'm okay with that. What I do know is that having the right heart about this has been hard. No wait ....HARD. I won't deny it. But I do know this... obedience, while sometimes painful, WILL bring joy!
And I look forward to finding joy and peace with this hospitality gig. I mean for real...the house can't be a mess forever.
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Phil 1:6