What would it look like if you invited another mom you know, or one you don’t know all that well, over for coffee today? Among dusty shelves and your kids’ dirty socks poking out from underneath the couch, would you do it? Maybe like me, you have a sink full of dishes and toothpaste on the bathroom mirror, toothpaste that no matter how many times you clean it off or ask your kids to not use it as finger paint, it magically reappears. Toothpaste that you are so used to looking at that you’re sure you’ve overlooked it when you’ve had company. In all your mess, are you brave enough to extend an invitation?
Your throw pillows don’t match the rug and you haven’t bought wall decor since you moved in, 7 years ago. The couch? It came from Freecycle. Latest trends? Not in your house. Joanna Gaines might be your soul sister but she has most definitely not decorated your home. In the home of your reality, not of your dreams, are you confident enough to extend an invitation?
You wish your kitchen was nicer and you’re embarrassed of that old almond colored fridge, the one that makes you question everything about the previous owners but still works like new so you can’t justify replacing it. Your dishes and coffee cups are a mish mash of leftovers from years of chipping and breaking dishware and there’s a good possibility the linoleum floor is older than you are. It’s not the entertaining space you envisioned you’d make it years ago, but even so, would you be humble enough to extend an invitation?
You live in a small house that you wish was larger. You live in an apartment that you wish was a house. You think you’ll be judged because your guest has more. You say to yourself, when you too have more, you’ll extend an invitation.
Moms, don’t wait until the house is perfectly decorated or you’ve moved into a larger home. Don’t wait for that small window of time that the house goes from clean to disaster zone, thanks to your kids. Don’t wait for later. Don’t wait for the perfect time.
That mom you pass in the hall of your child’s co-op or see in the pick-up line at school. The mom you exchange smiles with every week at church or the mom who says hi to you and makes small talk. Extend the invitation.
The mom you’re sure doesn’t like you at all. Extend the invitation.
The family member you disagree with or haven’t seen since last Christmas. Extend the invitation.
The parent or grandparent who has expressed that you don’t make enough time for them. Extend the invitation.
The neighbor who you haven’t yet met or the one you wish to know better. The neighbor who you had a disagreement with which caused a falling out. Extend the invitation.
When we wait, or delay or worry about what others will think of our home or our housekeeping or the food and drinks we serve, we miss out on an opportunity. We miss an opportunity to serve. To connect. To find common ground. To learn about someone else’s story or their culture. We miss out on an opportunity for friendship, for relationship building and for community. What if those people need connection as much as you do?
What would happen if you put aside your worries, your hesitation, and just gave of yourself? What if you offered friendly hospitality and forgot the rest? What if you have nothing to lose but everything to gain?