The recent topic in an online homeschool community I’m a part of was “How do you feel about surprise visitors?” The overwhelming response was something like this: “I don’t even answer the door! I don’t care if they can see me sitting in my house, I’m not answering!”
Honestly, my first radical thought was “How DUMB! This is what’s wrong with America! We have people who won’t even answer their door when they can see people knocking on it! Where is the love?”
Then I took a deep breath, read the comments, and had a little more understanding for those that chose not to answer the door all the time. There were all kinds of reasons; some of them I thought were fairly valid.
For me though, I suppose you could say I am quite fond of guests. 😉 How could I not be when within the last week one visitor brought gorgeous flowers, another sweet May Day treats, and one to ask for some help? That last one is my favorite form of community building, but the one I struggle the most with- ‘how can my gifts serve you?’
When I went to put this photo on Instagram with the hashtag #community, this tag popped up: Community Over Competition.
Finally! Words to describe the way I feel!
This place of contentment with growth is a place I’ve only recently arrived.
I’ve learned I HAVE to step outside of my comfort zone to grow, and I so desperately have wanted to grow for so long. This feels good.
Take time to build community by answering the door with a friendly smile.
Someone came on Monday to ask if we were interested in his lawn care business. I wasn’t. But it was still so nice to visit with him for a few minutes before he went on his way. Kindness counts.
Just last week we were able to meet a nice family from out of town who unfortunately had their car break down on our road. Because of some basic principles I keep we were able to confidently welcome their kids into our backyard to play and the parents into our home while they waited for the tow truck.
Here are my simple rules to be ready for company:
Always be up and dressed with at least mascara before 9am. It’s rare to get a visitor before 9am here (aside from Fedex, but they don’t wait for me to answer the door anyway), so that’s worked well. I’m a gal who loves makeup, so mascara is a must. You could maybe forgo this step.
Keep a batch or two of cookies in the freezer. Sometimes these are store bought cookies and that is just fine with me. I’m not entering a contest, I’m serving a guest. I don’t judge myself for it.
The majority of the kids’ toys are in the basement. They still have to keep them cleaned up, but at least I don’t have to do a 10 second tidy when someone walks into the house- or worse, try to move a half completed Lego set on the spot. I ALWAYS break them, then my kids end up in tears…. it’s quite the ordeal and for good reason, those sets each have like 100,000 pieces.
Clean in the morning. I wipe down the table & counters and vacuum each morning. I’d do it before bed, but by that point I’m exhausted. Besides, I enjoy cleaning so it’s a great way to start my day.
Choose to Love and Serve. I pray each day for God to use me for his Glory. Even when I’m tired and don’t necessarily ‘want to’, I do it anyway because I know it’s what I’ve asked for, and it’s what I ultimately want, even if my body says otherwise.
Love your neighbors, invite them over, and give them grace.
Give Yourself Grace.