I’ve spoken a bit about scruffy hospitality recently. Of opening your home and most definitely your heart to others outside of your inner family unit.
I am a naturally tidy person. I like my home to be ordered and aesthetically pleasing on the eye.. But this poses a huge drawback because 99% of the time, with a family of 8, our home doesn’t look like a magazine cover or one of those perfect captures on an Instagram square.
My home will have dishes in the sink and clean dishes in the dishwasher. We NEVER see the bottom of our laundry basket. There often is a back-log meandering it’s sneaky way outside our laundry door.
We cook and eat very well, courtesy of hubby being a chef. But that doesn’t mean I don’t often sigh at how long the meal actually takes to cook and how quickly it’s devoured. To be swiftly followed by even more cleaning up.
My knickers hang over the radiator. A sign nobody should have to see – and the washing turnover is a solid 6-10 working days before we start all over again .Come to mention it, we never actually finish it, so I’m defeated on that score.
We have cobwebs lazily hanging about creating ethereal, dusty whispery threads. And speaking of dust – well I never bother try and beat it. Living in an old onion barn, I swear creates more dust from the nature of the building than most. Oh that and the fact we have a zillion animals and kids.
Dusting? Who has time? You know it settles right back onto the surface of your furniture in record time right?
Those dust particles are tricky buggars to manage so I, quite simply don’t manage them anymore.
My bin will always be full to overflowing and Lordy there are papers everywhere! School worksheets, bills, blog notes, advertising junk, sweet drawings my kids give me daily to the point I am drowning in pictures of unicorns, horses and tigers with coats and top hats (don’t ask). I have given up on the paper war and left it in peace, figuring one day it will become obsolete and I can bin, burn or cry that my children no longer give me those strange scribbles of creative imagination anymore.
So what is the beauty of walking into someone else’s home and seeing life unfolding everyday? It’s so very refreshing. Because behind doors, we all struggle with the same things, the cleaning and tidying and doing life. Rather its much more wise to focus less on the look of your home and more on the precious souls you share it with. Which includes your friends too. Just as you are and just as your home is.
I truly believe when you invite someone into your home, you are inviting them into your heart. That most special of places where you live and do life. The good and the not so great.
To embrace people in that space is so precious. Even more precious is not having a perfect ‘company ready’ home that many of us can’t emulate.
Sometimes the bar is just set too high to have a magazine worthy home, a beautiful meal and flawless conversation.
Instead, inviting people into your home to share a simple meal with authentic connection is something I think we would all love to be a part of.
I love the term ‘scruffy hospitality’ and hope that I can focus less on the look of my home and more on the heart of the people who are right in front of me.
A few years ago a friend of mine popped by to see how I was faring through my horrendous Morning Sickness condition, Hyperemesis Gravidarum. I couldn’t lift my head owing to violent vomiting from the tiniest and smallest of movements.
My friend gave me a hug, a dry cracker and a glass of ginger ale. Tucked me in bed and then set about to clean my house. For two hours she worked in silence. Just so happy to be a blessing and boy did I feel enormously blessed.
My friend saw my home at its worst and most definitely me at my worst and through her act of service, she loved me. Right where I was at.
And this taught me a valuable lesson. Don’t be anything that isn’t your true self.
We all have times of being poorly or incapacitated. When a friend can see a way to help, that is them showing you love and support, don’t let pride get in the way of accepting that help. We all need it at some point in our lives.
Even though scruffy hospitality, as detailed in this blog by Mother Nature Network, may be very challenging for some, how wonderful would it be to open our homes, free from the unrealistic expectations we place on ourselves?
Maybe, little by little, you (and definitely me) could lessen the grip on the bar of pristine, set so high and lower that expectation of perfect to begin to incorporate some scruffy hospitality into the home.
So if you, like me, panic over the fact that opening your home to company is a judgemental act.
Think again. If those friends judge you by your not-perfect-home, do you really want to be friends with that sort of heart attitude?
If they come in and kick off their shoes, plonk themselves on the couch and relax, that for me is the true meaning of a real friendship.
And those people are your keepers.
Choose friends wisely because a true friendship encompasses love, affection, trust and most of all, acceptance. Just as you are.