Joy Stealers

Sometimes I’m just too tired to think about other people, let alone open up my home to them. Some of the "joy stealers" and the excuses that often run through my head are:

* I really don't need anyone
* My life is
full enough
* I'm just too
* It
costs to entertain
* My house isn't adequate
* I need to
look the part (Marthaidious Lie)

For others it might be:

* It's too risky to open myself to family and others
* I'll look foolish if I
reach out
* My house is always cluttered
* I'm a horrible
* It's too hard with
* I'm not a good
* I need to be a
* It’s too much work after a
long day
* My spouse
isn't interested in entertainin
* I'm just not
spontaneous enough
* I am fearful and freeze up, just thinking about it
* It's always a disaster
* I'm too much of a perfectionist

I wonder which one of these rings true with you?

I know that I get the JOY sucked out of me at times, because I want things to look a certain way.

What if we all pasted this quote on our front doors?

"If you want to see us, come on over; if you want to see our house, make an appointment."

(photo: beautiful blooming Mandeville in our backyard)


Jammy said...

hehe love the quote!! I really want to start having people over here. And all of the above 'excuses' are very familiar ;-) I am starting small with 2 or 3 people and will take it from there. I am having a couple moms I don't know well yet over for a playdate lunch on Wednesday so I hope the weather holds out and everything goes well.


Barb said...

Yay for trying! I'd say at least half of them apply, but once I took the attitude that my failures could encourage others, hosting hasn't been so fear-inducing. And it's usually a great blessing for all, by the time our guests depart, no matter what transpires while they're here!

Elizabeth said...

I just love that final quote, Sandy! It's perfect.

An Ordinary Mom said...

I know I am guilty of some of these joy stealers! Thanks for the gentle reminder!

ValleyGirl said...

Man, you got me pegged!! I love that final quote too. I'm going to print it out and stick it on my fridge to remind myself people are here to see and spend time with ME, not inspect my house.

Anonymous said...

I am so thankful for your blog. I know it takes time and effort to keep this blog going. It has been so inspiring to learn more about the art of entertaining! Thank you for that wonderful quote! I so need to put that up in my house because I am the perfectionist that can't handle failure. However when I wasn't so worried and had people over, like you said, once the occasion is over everyone leaves having had a wonderful time even if I didn't happen to be perfect, which never happens no matter how hard I try. Thank you so much and God bless you for being a blessing to so many!!

ellen b said...

The quote is great.

Andrea said...

Love the quote too!

I struggle with a lot of those excuses too. But the truth is -- when I get invited over to someone else's house, I don't care about the house looking perfect or whatever. I'm just tickled pink that I was invited over somewhere. So why should it be any different the other way around??

Keep on blessing people with your gift of hospitality.

Rachelle G. said...

I love that quote! I think my main "joy stealer" is that I feel our house is too small to really entertain well. I guess I need to get over it, huh?

ValleyGirl said...

P.S. There's something for you on my blog!

Joy said...

Cute quote - I love it!

p.s. Trying being named "Joy" - people expect you to always be happy! lol

Kerry said...

What a great quote! Since I've started reading your blog I've been challenged to do more entertaining in our home. I do find myself saying several of those things to myself...the big one being cost. But just today I had some mom's over with their little ones and we ordered take-out and just enjoyed sitting around fellowshipping with each other. No stress on having to prepare a meal.

Nadine said...

Oh how I love that quote. It's freeing and yet very appropriate.

mandy said...

oh i LOVE that quote!
i might have to put it on our apartment door...

Scratchin' the Surface said...

I'm with everyone else - love the quote.

RealEstateGirl said...

so many of those reasons ring true for me! I can make lots of excuses!

I love that quote!

GiBee said...

A previous pastor's wife of ours shared this quote with me ... and I still use it to this day. Especially with moms, because it instantly puts them at ease, and makes them feel like you are NOT there to judge their housekeeping abilities, or their house. You're just there to enjoy them!

Christine said...

Lovev this post! I'm the perfectionist type (which then leads to the cluttered, kids, and other thoughts...). I'm a frustrated perfectionist, though, and I never am able, at this stage in my life, to be organized or tidy. Aaaarggghhh!

Thansk for your words of encouragement!

Elise said...

Love the quote, too. :)

A regular schedule of cleaning and a regular menu where we have dinner together every night ensures that when an unexpected guest comes over, there is a meal and a tidy house to greet them. Nothing fancy, nothing over-the-top, but just us. It's the way I'm most relaxed while we visit. Candles that are easily accessible are used in our regular meals from time to time, so pulling them out for guests is easy as well.

One thing I confess to doing beforehand, if I have warning, is thinking of three things to talk about. I am painfully shy, even in my own home, but I've learned over the years how uncomfortable that makes people. So I think about the person/people, then about what they're doing in their lives, and then when there is a lull in conversation or my talkative husband steps away for a moment, I don't freeze up. I pull out one of the three topics! :) I'm actually getting better at this as years go by - don't have to do quite as much pre-thinking, but it was a good lesson for me.

I hate to let my joy be stolen - thanks for this post as reminder, friend!

Amy said...

I keep coming back to this post because it really made me think the first time I read it. Thank you!

KATIE said...

i love what you say at the end, the quote to post on our front doors... :)
yeah... totally!
God Bless you for your genuine encouragement and honesty!!!