Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Extended Stays....

Ah, my opinion on this topic runs very deeply into my sentiments.

I enjoy having company - for dinner get-togethers, even short visits. [short: adj; not extended in time]. But when days stretch to weeks and weeks stretch to unexpected months, this Type A, introverted, OCD, non-confrontational girl has sad issues.

In complete honesty, I sometimes desperately hate my personality. Order. Perfection. My way, or the highway, buster! Get it right or take a flight... But, shh, don't worry, I'll just harbor all these bitter thoughts without you even knowing.
I know that part of it is understandable. This home is my nest. I am mama bird. When another bird tries coming in and residing; my feathers will be ruffled. No, I don't like anyone helping themselves to my linen closet. No, I don't like cleaning up the already-but-very-poorly-cleaned-up-kitchen. Yes, I would like an alone moment with my hubs. Hold up! I'm really not a perfectionist/OCD person in all areas (currently there is laundry seeping out of my room into the bathroom, and crawling down the stairs. Dirty or clean? -- I have no idea.) The point is, even when there are messes, I hate to feel ashamed of them - on my guard - every single day. When I invite someone over, I make the place look good. But in-between, when daily, busy life takes over, things get a little crazy.

I feel weary and heavy laden. Unfortunately, after over six months of people living with us, I've done more than my share of grumbling and complaining. I'll show you what the Lord is telling me.

      But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh.
      Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceablegentle, willing to yieldfull of mercy and good fruits, without partialitywithout hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.      ...He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.
from James 2 & 3

I'm pretty broken up about my attitude towards hospitality lately -- which is basically summed up in that-there-picture I made; my new motto. Whenever I have a bitter conversation develop in my mind, I repeat "pure, peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, without hypocrisy". I measure myself up to the standards the Lord is calling me to. Of course, I never meet up. I will not lose hope because of my failure, but as I abide in Him, He will transform my heart.

All that being said, (in theory) I think it is a great idea to set guidelines with extended stay "guests". And if I ever, God save me, have to burden someone for a long period these are standards that I hope I would stand to.

  • No entering the private family space (bedrooms, closets, etc) without permission. 
  • Ask how the host likes things to be done - dishes, cleaning - before performing them.
  • Perform tasks with detail and precision, better to overachieve than under.
  • Seek ways to finish up projects that the host is incapable of accomplishing (due to time, energy).
  • Compliment and share gratitude for invading the host's home.
  • Maintain boundaries - people need their personal time together -- don't hover.
  • Don't nettle, or eavesdrop, into conversations that are not one's own business. 
  • Leave minimal trace of one's presence through everyday messes.

So... when would you like to come over for a visit!?

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