Meet my Guest:
Amy from Designing Life I Love
I'm truly honored to introduce you to Amy, who resides over at Designing A Life I love. It’s a place where she talks about decorating, family, and life in general. You're going to want to save Amy's site to your favorites, as she's so spunky and fun. I knew right away that her entertaining story would be an excellent fit here on 4RE!
Sandy asked me to tell you a story about a “reluctant entertaining experience” that happened to me recentaly. I was gushing about the confidence she gave me a few weeks ago to actually HOST a party, when I'm really not an entertainer. I rarely entertain.
My hubby and I are very busy people.
I know this is a real solid statement, right? I mean, isn't EVERYONE busy? Well, not counting sleep, I usually only spend about four waking hours a day in my home. FOUR. With a full-time job, a family, college classwork, and LOTS of church activities, I'm officially in OVERLOAD all the time. And, to let you in on a little secret. . . MY HOME SUFFERS BECAUSE OF IT.
Because of this busy lifestyle, my hubby and I don't entertain a lot.
And we have sort of settled into an existence at home where we keep the clothes on our backs washed, and even cook occasionally and clean up the dishes, and every now and again we dust and vacuum.
So, we continue to live this way, and it becomes a vicious cycle. We don't entertain because the house is a wreck. The house is always a wreck, because there’s no one in our house to notice it, and we become immune to seeing it, and settle into a comfortable existence. If we did entertain, what if someone really noticed the way we lived?
Actually, we could NEVER entertain. Until last week.
Before I knew it, my hubby and I RELUCTANTLY agreed to invite our new neighbors over for dinner. The meal wasn't fancy. . . just burgers and hot dogs on the grill. I fixed a side of oriental salad, and an ice cream sandwich dessert that would make your toes curl up with envy. And, you know what? I even had a few dishes in the sink. That's right! When my company came over, I had picked up the house here and there, but I did NOT polish anything. Oh, my mother would CRINGE if I told her that! I rolled my eyes as I looked over at those dirty dishes, when suddenly, I heard the doorbell. And I did what I never thought my little state of mind would ever let me do.
I swallowed that lump in my throat, wiped my sweaty brow, and opened the door to let my new neighbors in.
Then the funniest thing happened. My new neighbors repeatedly commented on how well my home looked. (What? Are you kidding me!?) Almost to the point of frustration, I asked, "Why are you being so complimentary about my home? It's filthy!! Look at this horizontal surface! You can't even see it!! And the dishes!! Aren't you appalled at how I LIVE!!?! I DIDN'T EVEN DUST!!" I was to the point of almost yelling before I could help myself.
I really like these new neighbors of mine, but I wanted to keep it real. If we were to build a lasting friendship, they needed to know how "off my rocker" I really am. So you know what happened? They didn't run out the door in tears.
They weren’t appalled at my home. They really and truly enjoyed being in my home.
And, after a while, I stopped gawking at my dusty floor and dirty dishes, and I actually started HAVING FUN. Since then, we’ve even had the new neighbors over a second, third and FOURTH time!
I’m so glad Sandy gave me the courage to just LET GO. Let go of all the reluctant feelings I felt about inviting people over, and focus on more important things...like opening my home to let new friendships, fun, and laughter in my home again, dirty dishes and all.
It was the most rewarding thing I've done in a long time...to just let go of any inhibitions I had, and open my door to strangers who left that same door as friends.
Are you reluctant to entertain, because you feel your house doesn't quite measure up?
Or what tips can you share in how you got over this hurdle?
Amy and I would love to hear your stories!