Most of you are probably looking at the title and thinking, “But you’ve never seen my home!” And you’re right. I haven’t. But I love it. Why? Because it’s part of you. It reflects your personality and passions in so many ways.
I used to be ashamed of my home. I’m not a great housekeeper, and I can’t really decorate. If you walk into my home at any given time, there will be clutter. Despite my love for organization, my house will be unorganized. You might arrive on a day when the bathrooms have been cleaned recently or the trash cans emptied. But, it might also have been a few days since either was done. And the fact that housework gets done at all is a testimony to the willingness of my children to participate in household chores.
So, for those who love a spic and span, well-organized house, I’ll give you fair warning: You won’t find that within these doors. But, you’re welcome anyway, because it would give you a chance to get to know my family a little better as you walk in and see the combination of our personalities poured into our living space.
That’s what I’d find in your home, too, isn’t it – personality reflected in your space? And that, my friend, is why I love your home, even if I’ve never seen it.
Recently, my family joined hundreds of other Arkansans for a one-day mission trip to southwest Arkansas. The girls and I, joined by three others, spent four and a half hours prayer walking one portion of Arkadelphia. The thing that stood out to me the most was how closed up all of the houses were. Closed windows. No screen doors – just closed, solid doors. Closed garages, even when the occupants were home. Back yards closed off by privacy fences, such that even if the residents were playing together in the back yard, it was impossible to see.
It brought me face to face with the reality of our culture today: So many of us rarely see the inside of one another’s homes. We rarely get the chance to know one another on that level. And I am as guilty of that as the next person. I live much of my life behind closed doors as well. Although I’m always happy to welcome others into my home, I don’t go out of my way to make sure they know my home is open.
Because our homes reflect our personalities, our closed homes reflect our tendency to close ourselves off from one another. We hole up inside ourselves and hide what we consider to be a mess. We don’t want others to see our clutter – whether it be physical, emotional, or spiritual. We want to be particular about what we share.
Honestly, as an introvert, it makes me a bit nervous to think of living with an open home, because I need my protected space. And, there will be times when I must close my doors and focus on just my family. But, I want to be more open. I want to welcome others in more readily. I want others to see the real me.
And I want you to know that I love the real you. Yes, I really do love your home!