Today I Gave: the gift of hospitality.
We invited friends over for dinner tonight. Nothing fancy – I made pizza, they brought salad and fruit. I think one of the keys to a good life is to have friends who don't expect perfection from you. Friends who you aren't afraid to invite over when your house isn't spotless. These are the kind of friends we were lucky enough to have over this evening.
This is my own personal battle. For a long time I was too caught up in how I thought things had to be in order to have people over. Either we didn't have enough space, or the space wasn't clean enough. I didn't have time to plan a menu and make everything from scratch. My kids might not behave perfectly. I know, it's silly isn't it? But still, I would put these barriers up, and we never had anyone over. Something about moving here from Nashville loosened me up a bit, and I've been so much better at spontaneously inviting people over. We always have a nice time, dirty baseboards, rowdy kids, and all. I think opening up your home in whatever state it's in spreads a wonderful message to those around you. It says that it doesn't have to be beautiful to be perfect, that hospitality and a genuine happiness to welcome others into your space is more than enough.
Today I Received: The gift of helpfulness. My parents kept the kids at their house last night. Mike and I both had plans the evening before. My parents are always willing to watch the kids for us, but then they go above and beyond: they nearly always keep them overnight. So not only do we get an evening out, but we get a few hours of extra sleep in the morning. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: we are blessed beyond measure to live so close to such helpful grandparents. Sleep well tonight, Mom and Dad. You earned it.