I grew up in a house that didn't entertain others very often. That's just the way it was. We had a lot a fun family memories and with a house full of 6 people, sometimes it felt like you WERE having a party!
So when I got married and then moved to a smaller town where so many people DID entertain I was nervous. I was excited about the possibility of having an open house, but actually opening it up to others was a difficult thing for me. I was afraid that people would see the imperfections in my home that are glaringly obvious to me. I didn't know what to cook, prepare, or say. My biggest fear was (and still is) that the conversations would be stagnant and that awkward silence would creep into the room.
We have lived in this house for three years now and each time we have people over it gets a bit easier. I realized that stressing out days before an event only stressed out my hubby so now my goal is to make it through from the invites to the first guest without snapping at the hubby or running around the house like a crazed lunatic.
I have been pleasantly surpirsed what happens when we open our door to others. I have realized that it's not what's on the table or how the house is decorated that matters. It's how you make the people feel. If you care for others, they feel comfortable. If I am open, they will be too. The biggest surprise of all is how blessed and happy I feel that these people are seemingly having a nice time. There is such a warmth that fills the house with other people's laughter.
We have had some strange/awkward/miserable experiences once we opened up this big front door of ours but to look back on them makes for great stories and a lot of incredulous laughter. I have learned so much and have so much more to learn but am enjoying every opportunity.
Our social life is one I have felt God speaking to me about. The hubs and I are very comfortable staying in and our favorite times are relaxing in some sweat pants and maybe a "Top Chef" episode. However, I am feeling lead to spend a bit more time this year fellowshipping with others. I'm not talking about filling up our calendar with every playdate under the sun, but a once a month commitment to welcome others. Let's hope someone accepts the invitation!