Coffee Talk Thursday
I enjoy having people over (once they get here), but the lead-up to their arrival is usually quite stressful for me. Partly, it's because I'm a perfectionist--nothing ever seems quite "ready" enough: there are always more toys to be picked up, more clutter to clear, more spots to wipe, more sweeping to be done, more vacuuming, more tidying, and on and on. If I do succeed at getting things where I want them, then I feel like I should bake something (which creates more stress and mess). The issue really is I care about the "show," the presentation of my house. I don't want guests to be uncomfortable or see the way things usually are around here for fear they will think, "Look at all that clutter. Cheryl's really doing a poor job of keeping up."
This week, as I was talking with an older mom about this issue, she said something that really stuck with me: God is love, and He wants us to love people. A great way we can do this is by opening our homes to friends and acquaintances. I know all of this in my head, but it was helpful to be reminded that the higher priority is showing love; the lesser priority is having a spotless house. Most people, when experiencing the graciousness of hospitality and the sweetness of fellowship that accompanies it, will completely overlook clutter, unmopped floors, dishes in the sink and toys on the floor. They're so grateful to be shown the love that they will forgive (often not even notice) a less-than-perfect house.
For those of us who are perfectionists, it can be helpful to set a limit to our cleaning before company. Set a timer for, say, one hour. When the timer goes off, we're done. Period.
By remembering the real priority, and setting a limit when it comes to cleaning, we keep our spirits (and those of our families!) ready for company.
How do you respond to having people over? Let's have a cup of coffee and talk about it!