Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Open House

Next week I am hosting a Christmas Coffee Open House at my home for the ladies in our church. My hope is that ladies who are new to our church or who have been attending for awhile and may not have had a chance to meet other ladies will come and make some new friends. Or that some of the ladies who work and care for their families might be able to take a few minutes and stop by for some much needed fellowship. I am offering two different time slots one in the morning and one in the evening in hopes that everyone would be able to join us. Yes, I know we could of set up a huge coffee at the church and planned a two hour event in which everyone showed up at the same time, (nothing wrong with this idea) but I felt strangely impressed this year to make it simple, unassuming, and inviting. My only prayer is that no one will stay away in fear of coming to a strange home.

As I have been busily preparing my home in the midst of our day to day lives and routine I have been thinking alot about the idea of opening up my home. My first thought is that it could give the impression that the only reason I am doing this is to "showcase" my home. Which is the opposite of my whole reason for doing this...simplicity. I even felt compelled at one moment while setting out some of my snowmen I have had for years to run out and buy some new things. And then I thought if this was the reason for someone stopping by they would be greatly disappointed. Yes, my home is decorated, and some may consider it elaborate depending on your taste and style, while others may consider it plain and simple. My point is that it really does not matter. My hope is that no one comes to just see my home, but rather to see those who will be in attendance.

A couple of ladies came up to me this past weekend and told me that they were looking forward to coming. One lady told me I was so brave for doing this. Another lady thanked me for doing this. I have given some thought to these comments. I am fully aware as women we put alot of pressure on ourselves to perform. We would never call it that, but most of the time the expectations we have are those we have inflicted on ourselves. My home is just that, "my home". It is a dwelling place for my family. We live here. I would NEVER ever want it to be a place for show. Yes, I like my home to look nice...we all do. Our homes should be comfortable and a place that is warm and welcoming first to our husbands and children, never to what others think or expect. Oh, if I had only understood this when I was first married. The many opportunities I missed out on to invite others into my home out of fear that they would think differently of me.

Things have changed alot. Children have a way of keeping us very humble. Yes, I promise the bathroom will be clean, the coffee will be warm and the treats will be plenty, but I can't promise that you won't see something like this...
(Christmas tree ornaments being dragged across the table by a lego)

This morning while I was putting our dinner in the crock pot, Coleman had several tree ornaments set up across the table and was using them as part of his train. I have to admit initially upon seeing all those things off of the tree, I wanted to immediately scold him and remind him not to touch, but then I reminded myself that his sisters and brothers had been given this exact freedom during their toddler years and that the tree has always been decorated by the kids and most of the ornaments were things they could touch and look at. And guess what, it is my home and I wouldn't have it any other way!


Tina said...

I love this post. I can totally relate. I hope the same for this great gathering. That many will come and make new friends and be blessed.

although, I have to admit, I secretly hoped that ALL 200 wouldn't come...for your sake. :)

But, I know your heart, and I know you would be perfectly fine with it if all 200 did come.

God Bless you friend. You are an incredible woman of God.

Heth said...

Love this Chris.

Linda said...

Chris, I think it is a lovely idea. The Pastor's wife who had the most influence on my life as a young mother had such a gift for hospitality. She did as you are going to do - opened her home on different occassions so that we could get to know one another better. I still keep in touch with her. Her warmth and openness and unconditional love spoke volumes to me.
It really didn't matter what her home looked like or how it was decorated. I don't remember those things. I simply remember the wonderful impression she made on my heart and life. I still keep in touch with her.
Have a wonderful, blessed time.

Susanne said...

Loved this post, Chris, and it's a wonderful reminder to me at this time.

"Our homes should be comfortable and a place that is warm and welcoming first to our husbands and children, never to what others think or expect." This sentence was very powerful for me.

Nadine said...

What a lovely idea. I think it's more personal in someone's home. People are more at ease and feel comfortable. I'm sure it will be a huge success. I stopped by (via Tammy) because I was curious about the name of the blog - very nice by the way.

Jenileigh said...

Wow, what a great idea!! Can't wait to see how it turns out!

Lisa Spence said...

I'm a little behind in my blog visits, so I hope your open house was just as you'd wished: a time of celebration and fellowship. Your thoughts on your home echo some that have rattle around in my head lately. May God set us free from attempting to gain significance or identity from our homes!