Wednesday, October 28, 2015

What My Best Friend Reminded Me About Hospitality (Day 28)


Several weeks ago I woke up not feeling well. At 9:00 in the morning I was in my pajamas, unshowered and on a business call that had been rescheduled so I could go back to bed. During the call I started receiving a series of odd text messages from my best friend. I thought perhaps they were supposed to go to someone else and that her timing was poor.

After my meeting I noticed she had sent me a picture of an ad here in Houston. I was confused and excited and finally I figured it all out. My friend Christine and my husband had surprised me with her flying in for a surprise visit. When I talked to her on the phone she told not to do anything to get ready for her arrival.

I want to remind you that I was in my pajamas and hadn’t even had my coffee yet, much rather breakfast. I'd been stuck on the couch for days and my house was a bit of a mess. And the airport is roughly 20 minutes from my home. So not only did I have very little time to prepare for her visit, I was not feeling well enough to do any of the things I would have liked to do. So I wrote a welcome message to her on the chalkboard in our dining area and started to prepare my breakfast.

By the time Christine arrived I was still in my pajamas, still unshowered, and finally eating my breakfast. The guest room was not prepared and there was dog hair everywhere. And she and I had one of the best weekends I've had in a long time.

We ate delicious food and cooked together. I tried to show her a bit of the city and we went on bike rides. Jason did a bit of cleaning and Christine and I talked endlessly for the first time in months. And it was all so good for my soul.

And I remembered that some of the best moments of connection have little to do with the state of your home but the openness of your heart. As we develop new relationships in Houston, it is tempting to want to present our best selves and only have someone over when the details of our home are just perfect.

And that is why I'm so thankful to be in relationship with my neighbors. They have seen my home at its best and its worst. And as I expose who I am more and more, they are seeing me in my best and worst states. And this truth, of lived in homes and imperfect lives, makes people feel welcome. It encourages them to be vulnerable and reminds them that they're not "the only one."

Are you practicing authenticity and vulnerability with your neighbors? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.

This post if part of the 31 Days of Neighboring series.

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