By: Susie Davis
I wish you could see my Monday morning house. Laundry sitting in piles. Dishes in the sink. A plate of uncovered, stale banana muffins on the counter top. Weekends at the Davises are rowdy – filled with all kinds of activities that leave little time for tending to the house. So Mondays are messy. I think my messy Monday house is an expression of my biggest blessings – a house reflective of the people and the opportunities we’ve enjoyed all week. But I haven’t always felt that way.
When I was newly married, I would have never invited you to my Monday house. Mondays represented my worst self, my unorganized self, the self I never wanted anyone to see. That’s back when I thought a beautiful, well-organized house was a picture of my best self.
It took a lot of years for me to unlock the lie that a perfect house was what people needed – or even what I needed. It took years of inviting people over and having them sit at my table before I finally realized my Monday house is not such a bad thing. And in some ways, it’s exactly what people need most. Me included.
A while back, I wrote down some goals for my home. Maybe you could do that too? Because it’s a great way to keep your house – and all the lovely stuff in it – in proper perspective. And it’s the best way to remind yourself why you’re inviting people to the table in the first place.
I want my home is to be a place where people receive love and grace. A place where they find encouragement. I want my home to be a comfortable place where people have an opportunity to contemplate deep questions about their relationship with God. When people leave my home, I pray they’ll feel inspired, hopeful and refreshed. And none of that requires a spotless house and a perfect meal. But I think it does require vulnerability, transparency and some good old-fashioned courage. Author Karen Burton Mains says it’s actually fear that drives perfection …
“Because we are afraid to allow people to see us as we really are, we welcome the false idea of entertaining. We must hint broadly that we manage our busy lives without difficulty. Working hard to keep people from recognizing our weak points, we also prevent them from loving us in our weakness.”
I want to be loved in my weakness. I’m betting you do too. So we have to put aside the drive for pretense and perfection.
This month will you pray with me that we’ll all have courage to create a time and space for IF:Table that is simple, honest and real? And that we’ll not be pushed around by fear to create something that makes our friends feel as though we “manage our busy lives without difficulty?”
Let’s be brave, put aside the false idea of entertaining and love each other exactly as we are – messy Mondays and all.