Lately I’ve been thinking about hospitality.
But not the kind where I’m hospitable to others, I mean, wait… hold on, I need to back up.
For awhile (I’m looking at you 2013 and 2014) I’ve been doing and doing like a crazed person. And even though having people over to our home is the best thing Chad and I do together–one of our greatest joys in life, even good things have their limits.
We were supposed to have new friends over for dinner last night. Yesterday at lunch we cancelled.
I’m not even sure what Chad told them. Maybe he told them I was sick? It wouldn’t be a lie, because in a way I am, but it’s not because I have a fever. It’s because I haven’t allowed my house to be hospitable towards me. He texted me that he cancelled, I read it and then I cried.
I cried because I really wanted to have them over and get to know them.
I cried because I was so glad he cancelled so now I could stay in my yoga pants and dirty hair.
I cried because I want to be a person who has the margin and clarity of thought to welcome new friends into our home and ask meaningful questions and then listen to their answers. Right now I am not that person. It’s not fair for me to invite people into my home if I don’t have the room to listen.
If I don’t have room to listen that means I need to pay attention to myself and make a change.
If I can’t set a table graciously for myself, how can I set it for others?
If my home isn’t a place for me to rest, be, learn, hide and grow, then it will never be that place for others, no matter how passionate I am about it.
I’ve been a guest in a home when the people should have cancelled and it’s agonizing–for everyone. I wanted to call a time-out and explain that we all know that we have no business being in their house right now and that I’ll pack all the dinner prep in the refrigerator and clean up and that they should just go to bed. We’ll show ourselves out. No hard feelings.
I’m learning to let my house minister to me first, so that I can then minister to others. I’m fooling no one if I try to pour out to someone else, when I have nothing to give. And I’m wasting all our time if I try to fake it. INTJs don’t fake things. It’s one of our strengths that get confused with being mean.
One of the ways I’m letting my house love on me is by creating a space where I can go to think, read, pray, hot glue random things together, paint my nails without four menfolk telling me how stinky it is, and drink a perfect cup of coffee. All by my lonesome, so I can be better for everyone. My place happens to not even have internet access.
In the past my spot has been a desk in a sunroom in the back of a two bedroom condo, once it was a desk under the stairs, today, I’m lucky enough to have a tiny detached office and I dream of using it for a guest room–but first, I just might need to be the guest.
I’m thinking realistically about what this room needs for both me and others.
Last year I told you how I realized I’m cold for approximately 50% of my life. I”m literally cold right now as I write this and it was so normal to me that I didn’t even think about it until the words just now came out. Why do I do this to myself?
In my office/guest room I have a bed and the world’s fluffiest down comforter, a cozy soft blanket, a furry husband pillow (please world, can we change the name of this?) two space heaters and a wood stove that’s going to be hooked up (all for a 350 square foot room). I also keep a few spare pair of socks hidden away. This will all be great, and necessary for our guests, but I need it as much as they do. It’s okay to cater to my own needs first, then I can put that proverbial oxygen mask (or furry husband pillow) on my guest and they can benefit from it too.
- I can take naps in my office and I planned it that way.
- I can’t get on the internet in my office and at first I was annoyed but now I think it’s great.
- I drink the best coffee in the house–in my office.
Last week I got a new fancy coffee machine. I have a great love for appliances (does a coffee/espresso machine count as an appliance?) and I have a great love of special coffees. The delivery guy offered to carry it to wherever I wanted it so I had him carry it to my office/guest room/cozy warm internet-less space. But then, I felt bad, like I was hogging all the good coffee for myself and that I needed to put my sweet new coffee and espresso maker out in the real house so I could share it. So then I carried it to the house.
And today? I carried the coffee machine back to my office. This where it belongs.
Chad and the boys don’t use it, and when I have guests often times we end up in the barn or in my office anyway. We are having Thanksgiving in the barn and using my little office kitchen to store the drinks and this will be perfect for everyone to make their own coffee with whichever kind of coffee they want. I’ll use it the most in my office and I’m the one home the most, isn’t it okay to put it where I’ll use it often? Why do I do these things?
Something as simple as delicious coffee (even espresso that is easy to make because pods mean I don’t have to measure or even think! and perfectly frothed milk, y’all!) brings me such joy, and helps me start my day along with my extra warm room and some alone time. It’s not being selfish, it’s kind of the opposite, I do this, so that I have more to give.
And I’m happy to share my warm socks, husband (the pillow not the man) and make you the best cuppa you’ve ever had if you come to my house.
What about you?
We are a week away from Hospitality Day, I mean, Thanksgiving, is there something you can do for yourself in the next few days that will allow you to be more fully present and hospitable to the people in your life?
If you are like me and good coffee is good for your soul, check out the Nespresso ( 25% off through Monday). It’s less expensive than you might think and if you are a coffee connoisseur you’ll recoup the money you pay for your coffee shop habit. If you click “coffee” at the top there’s a section that pops up with some AMAZING coffee recipes that you’ll want to use too.
Or maybe you just need to hide in your closet, paint your nails and snuggle with some sort of husband.
We have permission to say no. We have permission to say nevermind, we have permission to choose to take care of ourselves first so that we can more fully give to others.
This post is sponsored by Nespresso who encouraged me to write about hospitality, but who puts up with me writing about being hospitable to myself first so that from there, I can be truly hospitable to others. Words and opinions, obviously, are mine.