Our door is always open at our house - we love to have friends over. We love love love hosting the young adults every Tuesday night. We thrive when we "entertain." After 26 years of marriage, Mark and I have learned that we entertain "well" together - it is something we have in common. If I didn't have a job, I might invite friends over every weekend (but I do love my job!!). Laura brought this kitchen towel to me a few weeks ago (when she was out of town for a wedding) and I think it is just perfect. Can't you just hear me saying, "Welcome y'all" with my southern accent? (which must be more pronounced than I even imagined since several folks commented on it last week when we were in Kansas) When I was younger (and maybe not so tired?), I always thought our house had to be totally immaculate in order to entertain. Everything had to be just so-so. Something happened to me in the last few years - I realized that people love to come even when the baseboards are dusty. Now . . .they might talk about me on the way home. Example of car conversation: "Honey, can you believe that there were cobwebs on the chandelier at Lisa's house?" or "Dang! I can't believe they haven't finished that bathroom yet." It's ok if folks notice those things (I told you that I gave up worrying about that a few years ago) . . but I hope this is the car conversation: "I love going to Mark and Lisa's house. We always laugh so much. The food is good. I love sitting around that big table." or "I always feel so at home at the Elliott's house."
So come on over. Sit awhile. Visit with us. Welcome y'all! The door is always open! Do you know why? Max Lucado says it well in his new book, "Outlive Your Life." He writes, "As you welcome strangers (and I add friends and family) to your table, you are welcoming God Himself. Something holy happens around a dinner table that will never happen in a sanctuary. In a church auditorium you see the backs of heads. Around the table you see the expressions on faces. Hospitality opens the door to uncommon community." Another reason our door is always open is that I grew up in a little two bedroom (finally added a third) house in a very blue collar community. I always said that if I grew up and lived in a "nice" house that I was going to open the doors and use that home for God's glory. I don't think my parents ever invited friends over. I remember family coming to eat and I remember going to my grandmother's house to eat but I never remember my parents inviting friends over. I remember going to Andalusia to visit my best friend's family when we were young . . and they were having a party. I remember thinking, "I love this and want to be like them when I grow up." (They were having their Sunday School party at their house!!) Another reason is a selfish one - my parents are not living, my sisters both live out of town - so if we fill our home with joy and laughter from others, I am blessed. So now you know my secrets (or some of them, I might say!). . .so come on over - the door is always open. Welcome Y'all!