Monday, October 19, 2015

Opening Our Life And Home

Studies indicate that one out of two people who visit your home, are likely to go through your bathroom cabinet and drawers. Reading this little bit of trivia last week, may have sent me off a small cliff of panic, as we prepared for company on Friday night.

Thinking about people peering at my toothbrush and makeup didn’t bother me. Dog hair that floats effortlessly across the wood floor in the kitchen and gathers into colonies of dust bunnies, enough to stuff a sock monkey ––that bothered me.
I’m hardly exaggerating. Our corgi, who is super cute and adored, is in her full, all-out, fall shed.

One of three, complete, on-going, sheds a corgi does every year. One more shed than the average canine. And when she hears that company is coming she will just sit in the center of the living room and release her hair in large tufts. It would be funny, except that it’s not.

Just a few days before, my spinach and blueberry shake blew up all over the kitchen cabinet, reaching to the ceiling. I had mopped some of it up, but found good reasons to ignore standing on the counter to get the rest. Now, it was a purple and green mosaic of concrete like texture, on light cabinet doors.

The past month has been a complete influx of stuff, as I may have mentioned, like nine-hundred and ninety-nine times. I feel as though I've lived through something epic.

My sister became the 'Keeper of the grave d├ęcor' and I became the 'Protector of the Polaroid and Kodak moments' of our entire family throughout their whole lives. Both of us accepted these jobs assignments and their respective crates, with some reluctance.

My new lifetime responsibility, literally lines the garage, so that you have to shimmy sideways to go from one end to the other. I warned my husband, “…you watch football, so use your skills to tackle anyone who dares to put a hand on the doorknob which leads to the garage.”

Since the North Central region of the United States just received its first frost, the entire garden blew up into my house the evening before. I decided to hide it all in the garage as well, along with a sack of very ripe bananas that someone gifted me, requesting I return them as banana bread.

While the kids were all home for my dad's auction, we squeezed in family pictures ––and the flu.

After I personally recovered from that flu, I sprayed and washed and wiped, but just thinking about our guests using the same bathroom where people may have hung out in the throes of throwing up, made me obsessed with toxic cleaners. The kind which would not make an environmental friendly blog post.

I was accelerating to a desperate state of mind. Who wants to hear that people came to your house for dessert and went home losing their lunch?

While using the noxious disinfectant, I went off on a teeny-tiny tangent.

This does annoy my husband, as I found out when he shared that information with our newly formed married people group. The very group I was stressing getting ready for.

After the glue-on-the-bathroom-vanity-incident, I could see he does have a point.

So, I may have taken Gorilla Glue and tried to address a problem with our bathroom vanity.

It was just a small problem, caused by grandchildren trying to reenact Noah’s flood in the bathtub. I can testify that water does weird things to veneer vanities.

This glue is good, and maybe better than duct tape for many odd jobs.

Unfortunately it added a new dimension to my dilemma, once it ate through the paint and formed a hard foam that will have to be sawed off and is of course, now, the first thing you notice when you walk in that room.

One more element to my crazy, was a black, extremely agile spider that galloped across the room while I was vacuuming.

I ended up rearranging the furniture in the basement.

I realize that spiders have to live too, but his timing was bad.

The black spider situation, really happened because my husband is a handyman.

One of the things I did not share with our new Grow Group, is how his handiness can be annoying, especially if someone is trying to talk over the screaming.

Not us screaming. Our vacuum. It screams.

This vacuum has died many times, but JQ keeps resurrecting it. It may be true, that this vacuum is the pinnacle of JQ's handy-man-ness.

He has repaired or replaced every part possible.

Even when flames came out of the cord, he somehow fused the wires back together. And it works unless you stretch the cable too far, then it makes a weird snapping sound.

The advantage is, we haven't had to spend the money we've setback for the newest, most amazing dog-hair-picker-upper machine on the market.

The disadvantage is that our old, but faithful machine makes a high-pitched screeching noise that causes black spiders, small children, and of course dogs to run.

Think fingers on a chalk board, only louder and more disturbing.

We vacuumed the couches and the silverware drawer.

Because nothing says, “welcome”,  like a clean silverware drawer right?

It was at that point that I realized how crazy I was being with, “what will people think.”

I want to open my home to real and meaningful relationships, with the folks one pew up or one house down.

It's risky to be known by others.

It doesn't always work out. Sometimes I'd rather put up a protective wall with a neat and tidy external appearance.

Me, trying to cover up the messy parts of my house could be my best attempt to hide the messy parts of my heart. 

It's a gift to gather.

It's a gift to push through the uncomfortable and the panic and invite people to just come and sit.

Romans 12:13 says, "Take every opportunity to open your life and home to others."

To do that, things are bound to be messy and unplanned and even uncomfortable sometimes. But the request is simply to be open with my life and home.

That takes the pressure off of having things perfect and puts the focus where it should be––on "others."

What if all I did was invite people into my mess and real life?

What if all I cared about was making them feel truly welcome?

That is where real community could happen and how God is glorified.

If you come to my house, feel free to check the cabinets, but enter the garage at your own risk. You already have an idea how things are around here.

How about you. How do you open your life and home to others?

Do you strive for perfection or relax in the details?


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© Rhonda Quaney