I recently read this post about how one mom felt about the need to be 'presentable' in order to be friends with other moms.
I have many girl friends who loved this post & shared it & resonated with it I'm sure.
After rolling it around in my own head I wanted to share my thoughts - about our need to be 'presentable' to others & what we really have to offer each other.
First, let's talk about having a 'clean house'. Do I have one? At this moment, for the first time in a week, all our toys in the playroom are not all over our house & have been put away. I have a waxing & waning relationship with my diligence on making our boys clean up after their toys. So, when I read the original post above, my house was also coved in toys, discarded shoes & socks, blankets & pillow forts, and more toy cars & superheroes & transformers than I understand.
But I would like to offer up: I have a neighbor, whom I adore, who comes over when I'm still in my pjs & haven't washed my hair. and loves me anyways. My house is a mess & my kids are wild. I love having someone who doesn't ever look at the 'state' of my house while they visit. Also? I have a girl friend who invites me & others over every week & always serves us a clean house, fresh pot of coffee, & muffins. We are welcomed & we feel loved. We sit & catch up & watch our babies play.
What is the difference in both of those scenarios? nothing.
In both of those environments I.AM.LOVED. My neighbor loves me & isn't concerned with my appearance. It is mutual! I am welcomed at her home in all of the ins & outs of our days with little ones. My girlfriend who welcomes me to her home loves me & is offering me her hospitality, her best! She sacrifices for that gathering, as I do when the roles reverse. It is such a lovely thing to offer your friends your hospitality - your work & time - as a gift! It is a form of love.
That takes nothing away from the love of a friend who accepts you as you are.
That takes nothing away from the love of a friend who offers you their hospitality, in opening up her home.
If we live in fear of how other think of us, it may matter how you look or how your home looks. If we are unsure of the love of our friends, if we fear their judgement, it may matter. If we are striving for acceptance of others, or striving for the acceptance of yourself, it may matter.
I would like to say thank you to my neighbor & my girlfriend. For their love, for their hospitality, for their generosity, and for their friendship. No standards to live up to. All is given as gift & none is wasted if it is noticed, felt, and appreciated.
So please hear from me. Freedom. There is freedom, in Christ, to live & move & breath in this life, in your real, messy, chaotic life. But don't be deterred from giving away your gifts. Be generous with the talents you have been given & give them to others without measuring their worthiness. Whether that be acceptance 'as you are' or acceptance 'as a favored guest'.
May our Lord keep you, securely hold you firmly in his grip if you find yourself feeling unloved or unlovely. Peace to you my sisters!
Thanks for reading. and if your house is clean or not, either way, we can be friends. ;-)