8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:8-9New International Version (NIV)
I am a mom and I mom hard. We currently have 5 children in our home, 3 biological, 14, 12 and 8 and two littles we are fostering and loving on and being shocked into remembering all the things littles do. Like make messes every place their little selves go. We adore having them and also the stage of life our bigger kids are in with competitive sports, social activities and youth group for sure, but what is left for me and my husband and our HOME is not much. Not much at all.
I look around our home and think if someone came over right now I’d just have to pretend I died because this disaster is atrocious and how would they ever understand that I am doing mom stuff, wife stuff, oh yeah and work stuff and somehow I let our home look like this. I mean I could NOT sleep I guess. I could pay a cleaner to come weekly if maybe we didn’t have kids whose sports and activities suck any extra income we have, but then why would I need a weekly cleaner!? Ack! So as you are picturing, and probably accurately, I am a mess and our home is a mess, but our kids are cute and spoiled loved and I totally could have a cute Pinterest type framed sign in our home that says “excuse our mess memories are being made” but I don’t have time to make or even buy and hang it.
Have I mentioned our half hung curtains? My intentions were so good. And half the room is adorable. So yeah….
So as you can probably imagine when it is my turn to host our book club my anxiety is through the roof. What? Why? I just hosted 8 months ago! Why must I have incredible friends who all have this beautiful gift of hospitality that I just simply don’t. Hospitality is not my gift. My mom and my sister have it. Why did I not?
Now because these friends are so gracious and incredible and amazing I already know any pressure I feel to feed and host is all on me. They would sit on dog hair covered couches and eat delivery pizza and talk about our book we are discussing and laugh and have a good time of fellowship. BUT I would not be comfortable with that. And let’s be honest, even your besties don’t want to sit on a dog hair filled couch.
So the day of book club I went flying through our local grocery store throwing whatever ready made stuff seemed good to eat in my cart. I vacuumed. I cried. Not really, but almost when just about 5 minutes before my guests were due to show our little guy, 21 months, spilled goldfish crackers all over the floor. So I vacuumed again. Sigh.
And they showed up. They ate crackers and brownies and whatever else I had out and we sat and we laughed. We talked about the book and we laughed some more. We all enjoyed each other’s company and our 9 month old because our laughing woke her up. Oops.
But here is the thing I realized as we all sat on my couches and had fellowship with each other… no one cares that my house is not pinterest worthy. They love me for me. They will come back again and again and that’s what hospitality is all about. I had it all wrong. In my brain I thought having the gift of hospitality is having a picture perfect home with delicious treats to entertain your friends, and don’t get me wrong please invite me over if that’s your gift, but even if it’s not my gift, I am still loved and I can still open my home to my friends. And even to children who aren’t mine, along with their caseworkers and licensing workers and everyone else involved.
Opening my door to everyone is what God asks me to do. Regardless of how it looks, he cares more about how I make those people in our home feel then what they think of my floors and half hung curtains.
He takes my weaknesses to remind me of his greatness. He uses little ol messy me to show imperfection is his driving force. God doesn’t want perfection, he just wants us. It just takes me anxiety ridden moments to remember what he really wants from me.
Is there any greater feeling in the world than having a Father who delights in his daughter weaknesses as well as her strengths? How loved am I?
2 Peter 1:2
Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord
But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
Where in your life can you push past the feelings of I can’t and still do because you can trust that God will carry you? I bet you will surprise yourself, but not God.