I once ran into an old acquaintance from high school who, after some catching up, told me she thought I was a bit of a snob back in the day because I never invited her over. Little did she know the real reason so few of my friends ever crossed the threshold of our troubled home.
I dragged that fear of being exposed and judged into adulthood. To come into my home was to enter into my most private domain..it was as if my entire house was the master bedroom and I was always mildly unsettled about people (adults, not my kids’ friends) being in it. Don’t get me wrong, we had people over..but I was never truly, 100% comfortable.
Maybe that’s why I still marvel at all those couples searching for homes on HGTV. “OH, this will be so great for entertaining friends and family!” they gush.. I used to wonder..are they all exaggerating? Do they really LOVE to “entertain” that much?
I have so often thought of our home as a sanctuary, my personal retreat and safe space in a crazy world. And while there’s nothing wrong with the image, that vision tends not to include people outside my immediate family. It took MANY years for me to embrace the idea that my house could be a private sanctuary AND a welcoming, open home as well.
So what is so special about my new friend’s home that I was immediately filled with a sense of wellness and belonging- a feeling I want MY friends to have when they stop by.
Visually her house is “happy” and bright, her decor is casual and there are homey touches around the rooms: family photos, uplifting quotes, sea shells, a few orchids. Her place is so comfortable, you can genuinely relax. The surroundings are clean, but not spit-shined, which makes me feel better about my own home knowing that it doesn’t need to be ‘hotel-spotless’ before I can invite someone in for a visit. This sweet girl has food and drinks out on the table when you arrive..it’s just there..she tells you to help yourself..and I do. 😉 Last, but not least, she is SO welcoming at her front door as is her adorable Frenchie who snorts and wiggles as if you are his long lost best friend.
But there’s something else going on..
It’s hard to explain, but my friend’s home is less inanimate structure and more like a living, breathing organism. It is a palpable extension of her heart and soul. This girl loves people; her home is her mission field and you can somehow sense it when you are there. It’s not about the furniture, the view or the food although all those things do create a wonderful atmosphere, it is the connection between her heart and her home that makes each visit so special.. When you come into her home you are entering her heart.
Do you have a friend like this?
Does this describe you?