Do you ever see people and try to picture what type of home they live in or the way they might decorate that home? Do you ever drive through your neighborhood and look at house after house and wonder what it looks like inside?
Maybe I’m a little weird, but I do.
When I listen to audiobooks, when I watch work out videos, when I read devotionals or even meet random people, I find myself picturing what type of home they might live in.
I’m really not sure why haha.
Maybe it makes me feel that if I knew, I would know that person on a more personal level. I guess I want to know them deeper than just a face on a screen or a voice on a podcast.
Recently I’ve done something way out of my comfort zone.
I’ve invited people in at the spur of the moment.
Into my home, my introvert safe place.
I was fine inviting people in on social media, hiding behind a screen. It’s so easy to stage your house~just shove all the stuff you don’t want people to see out of the camera’s view. Even better, you don’t have to actually see people’s reactions to your pictures after they’re posted.
I was okay with having people over, as long as I knew way in advance so that I could prepare. Even then I would stress.
I’m such a Martha. (Luke 10:41-42)
None of this spur of the moment thing.
As little as a year ago this was something I never would have done, because of fear.
Fear that my house wasn’t clean enough, but mostly just fear over what people would think.
I believed the lies I told myself~ if I invite people in they might think I’m bragging about my home, they don’t care about how I decorate. They don’t care about antiques. This is not Pinterest worthy. They might think I’m nuts for decorating this way… and on and on.
The lies were my escape route.
But God was nudging my heart.
Let them in Charisse. Just let them in.
And I realized it wasn’t just about my home. It was about me, and the fear I had over the perception I thought people would have of me. My dumb pride always getting in the way.
If you’ve followed along on my blog journey you know this “introvert thing”, and my worry over what people think is not something new to me. I’m continually sweeping that “hospitality thing” Christ talks about under the rug. (1 Peter 4:9, Romans12:13, Titus 1:8) It’s something God has really been getting on me about for a while now.
I’m a mess in progress with a Hope in heaven and a God of great grace.
And so, I took the plunge and at the spur of the moment with no tidying, with no cleaning, with no worry that my floors were covered with grass clippings or beach sand or that dirty dishes were in the sink, with no worry that maybe I had left my sports bra hanging on the bathroom doorknob or that one of my grandkids did not flush the toilet,
I let them in.
And then something funny happened, again and again and again opportunities came up and again and again I let them in. And every single time I was amazed at the gratitude, the smiles, the appreciation, the kind words. I felt a freedom, I felt a happiness, I felt a joy in the fact that my home was lived in and traces of my grandchildren were everywhere I looked, because my home was filled with love.
Just yesterday, on a whim I invited a sweet acquaintance in to see my home. I’ve known who she was for years and always thought “she seems to be the kind of person I’d like to get to know”. But that’s where it ended. I admired from afar. Introvert Charisse never got to know her.
And so I invited her in. I’m so glad I did.
She completely surprised me with her kind words~ “Who knew this was in Caseville! It’s beautiful! Do your neighbors know this is what your home looks like inside?”
Her last comment is what got me.
No, no they probably don’t. Because I’ve always convinced myself that they wouldn’t care.
After she left I really thought about it. Why had I convinced myself that others wouldn’t care to be invited in when I readily admit that I would LOVE to peek inside the homes of others?
Our homes are an extension of our hearts. Our safe place. Our comfort. That’s why I don’t necessarily think that the gratitude and smiles really had so much to do with opening my front door and showing people how I decorate, but more so with opening my heart and sharing that comfort with them.
Maybe you are the very opposite of me. Maybe you aren’t an introvert and thoroughly enjoy having people over all the time. Maybe it’s not hard for you at all. But sometimes I think it’s a little hard for all of us to truly open up our hearts. To be vulnerable with others and allow them to see that vulnerability~ sports bra, unflushed toilet and all.
And so I encourage all you introverts today~ open your home to others.
And to you extroverts~ good for you!! I strive to get to that place.
But for both~ open your hearts. Let others in. If we never open our hearts to others, we can never truly care for each other, pray for each other (Ephesians 3:14-21) or lean on each other.(Galatians 6:2) If we never open our hearts to others they will never see the goodness of God inside of us. (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12) They won’t ever get to meet our Jesus Who lives there. (Revelation 3:20)
They won’t get to see His light and glory and love. (2 Corinthians 4:6, Matthew 5:13-16)
They will just see us.
The outside of a house. (Psalm 127:1)
Always wondering what it looks like on the inside.
Today I invite you. Come on in and let me show you around… 😊🥰