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Monday, December 15, 2003

....more on hospitality......

Hopefully I didn't come across as disgruntled in my last blog entry - we actually have gotten together quite a bit with other people, and there are some good relationships developing. It is not like people are generally unfriendly - it just seems that visits don't happen in homes very much.

I am on a home school e-mail list, and someone asked the list a while ago if they ever had anyone over, because she didn't. Out of the women who responded, close to 80 percent indicated that they had people over to their homes either very rarely, or never. The reasons given were:

- my house is not clean enough to have people over (number one reason)

Next in line, in no particular order, were:
- it is too much work (because of reason number one (crisis cleaning), and fixing a fancy meal)
- We are too busy
- we don't really have a lot of friends/relationships

The last reason made me very sad. And I think that there is sort of a cause and effect relationship there - could it be that their lack of relationships was connected to not asking people into their home? But just the thought of not knowing anyone you would like to invite over makes me sad....

The first reason made me sort of mad. I think people expect a house to look lived in, not spotless. And I'll be jiggered if the fact that my house is not looking like the cover of "House Beautiful" will keep me from inviting others.
I have always had a problem with keeping the house clean - I am not one of those "born organized" people. Keeping up with housework is a struggle for me, because there are so many things I would rather do. This is somewhat connected to Beth Keck's recent post. I think it comes down to this - our bodies, our money, our homes, etc, were given to us. If we start using or abusing them to the point where they get in the way of who we would like to be and how we would like to live as part of the kingdom, then it is time to take action for change, instead of finding ways to justify the status quo. When I realized that the state of affairs concerning my housekeeping started to get in the way of how I would like to live, I started seeking out resources to help me in becoming better organized.

For the record, I DO still end up cleaning when I know someone is coming over - I all of a sudden see my house with critical eyes. But when it does get to the point where I would be embarassed to have someone come in, I know I better get off my duff and do something about it. Between lowering my expectations and improving my housekeeping skills, I am (most of the time) in a comfortable place now....

posted by Birgit
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