Rule No. 1 - Don't Stress

Most times are default is to stress when we know someone is coming to visit. How can we have a different response? I'd like to introduce you to my friend, Ruth.



Ruth and I met at church and instantly clicked. It was hard to say good-bye when our Sunday service had ended. I felt like we just could visit forever! Later that week, my doorbell rang. I had two young children who liked to play - so you can imagine what my living room looked like. I was dressed, but I'm not sure I had presentable clothes on. Nevertheless I answered the door. It was my new friend Ruth.

My friend smiled and laughed to herself and explained two things very quickly when she saw my look of surprise.

  1. She said she came to see ME, not what my house looked like and

  2. She wanted me to drop over at her house anytime.

That was over 30 years ago, and that was the beginning of my freedom! No more stressing out when my house was less than I wanted it to look like. To be honest, I did pick up toys when my kids were napping and tried to keep the guest bathroom presentable, but Ruth made me realize that hospitality is not showing off or acting like you have it all together when, in fact, you don't. None of us do all of the time! Ruth and I had a wonderful visit and there were many more unannounced visits to come. Such pleasant surprises!

Today I joke to my guests that they best leave their white glove at the door. It breaks the ice and makes us laugh. It also admits that I am like you and hope you are like me. Having a guest over is so much more than a clean house - or room! If you are able to let it go and be present with your guest of the moment, you will discover some hidden treasures.

Perhaps your guest is in need of an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on. If you are too concerned with what your house looks like, you may miss that sweet opportunity to encourage or uplift your friend. Or maybe your guest stopped by just to keep in touch, or to share some happy news. Whatever the reason, I do know that the time together will fly. Afterwards you will have a smile in your heart for taking the time, setting aside your "shoulds" (I "should" have cleaned the house today), and remaining in the moment. A blessing for both you and your guest.

When you do have an unannounced guest come to your door, be glad! Be glad that someone is thinking of YOU! Invite them in. Offer them a drink of hot tea or cold soda or whatever you may have on hand. Water is great too. Lead them to the place that at the moment is the most cozy and condusive to talking. Take a breath and close your mind to what you or your home may look like. Revel in the fact that you have a friend! With the recent pandemic, friends dropping by doesn't happen nearly has much as it should.

Be a friend and drop by someone else's house. Be sure to emphasize that you are there to see THEM and not their house. Try it and see what happens. And let me know how it goes.


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