It keeps happening. The people I regularly invite into my home keep asking me if they can help clean up after a big meal. Most typically they want to help with the dishes. As the consummate hostess it is within me to decline their help. I love to open my home, serve people, and cook for them. I've learned to embrace the realities of that: an overflowing sink, messy counter tops, and a dining table littered with reminders of time well spent.
I don't expect much when I welcome guests into my home. An invitation to dinner at my home is really an invitation to share stories. That's the best part of the meal. I take the full responsibility of cleaning up upon myself. It's a worthy trade-off to gather around the table with people and make memories. Lately however I've noticed a pattern in my guests. They don't want the night to end. But specifically there's more of their story they want to share, often privately. So the request to help wash my dishes is a façade. What they're really asking for is an invitation to linger...
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