i have issues – and not the radio show kind

DSC_0530I am learning to stay at other people’s homes and not be weirded out by it.

Some people have panic attacks; I have staying-at-other-people’s-houses . . . issues.

{This, consequently, has nothing to do with chubby pink pigs and random red pitchers. Or does it?}

Like all good millenials, I blame this on my childhood. We didn’t stay in friends’ or family’s homes when we were on vacation or traveling. We stayed in hotels.

This means that, as an adult, if you give me the choice between a hotel and a friend’s house, I will always choose the hotel, even if I adore the people who have invited me to stay in their house.

I am learning to overcome this, not because it’s a weird issue I have (although it is) or because my sister Lauren recently told me to suck it up and deal with it (although she did) or because it’s immensely inconvenient (but it is that too).

It’s because caring for your neighbor and being cared for by your neighbor is a part of the Christian life.

That’s what we do as Christians: We care for, we care about others. And we do this by welcoming them into our homes: feeding them, giving them a bed to sleep in, creating a calm place for them to relax their shoulders and un-scratchy pillows to lean their heads on at night. (My husband tells me that one is important.)DSC_0177

And then . . . gulp . . . we let them do this for us in return.

Evangelical women get this kind of hospitality. They have blogs and Pinterest boards and books and Instagram accounts filled with white duvet covers and perfectly plumped pillows, with cranberry and orange scones strategically placed in guest rooms that also boast teapots filled with strongly brewed tea and monogrammed tea towels. But it comes from a place of wanting, from seeking to live a “life with purpose,” from attempting to be “intentional in living.”

I don’t know what that means.

I do know that the subject of hospitality and caring for others will pop up again on this blog (with guest bloggers, like my sisters, weighing in no less) because I feel more strongly about it the more I consider it.

And because working from home by myself all day gives me a LOT of time to think.

And to watch farmers chase cows down the road.

But mostly the first one.

So you’ve pretty much been forewarned.
DSC_0191

What I do know is that that our Lord “puts the lonely into families” (Ps. 68:6), big families, families the size of the Church, and that even when we don’t understand our families – when they are odd ducks and annoying as all get out and sweet and downright insane and intensely lovable – we care for them, and they care for us because that’s the way Jesus would have it.

I love having people into our home. I love cooking dinner and setting pretty tables that make them feel special. I love making up the guest room and having fluffy towels ready for the people who will stay in it.

And I am learning to say “yes” when others invite us into their homes so that they can cook dinner and set tables and make up guest rooms and so fulfill their own vocation as my neighbor.

Yep.

There it is.

My name is Adriane, and I’m learning to be okay with staying in other people’s homes. What’s your issue?DSC_0193

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4 thoughts on “i have issues – and not the radio show kind

  1. Same issue here. And also being a good listener is easier than pouring out your doubt-filled heart to good friends. Learning to BE served is a life long process. Learning to calm down and let other people help out; oh the agony. Being the strong is sort of cooler than being the weak. But oh the blessing of being one of the sisters and brothers in Christ who have everything in common (except for our spouses – contrary to the world (Tertullian)). Oh the blessed fellowship of Christ and his Church!

  2. I have the same issue, Adriane. We have had literally dozens of houseguests since we bought this house three years ago. I can have people live with us for months. I love to have guests. But I have a really hard time sleeping in others’ houses. I’m working on it. 😀

  3. This has been weird for me too, but mainly because growing up in a small town in a farming family we took no vacations that didn’t include a tent and all of our family (I mean ALL to second and third cousins and great-aunts and uncles) lived within easy driving distance. It has been such a blessing for me and my family to stay with our relatives “back home” now and we absolutely relish the opportunity to welcome them as well.

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