We always eat dinner earlier than I’d like to admit. I’m a hungry girl who chases toddlers all day and I somehow feel like the day is beginning to wind down once I start cooking dinner. This often leads to, “whoops! dinner at 4:45!” moments in our house.
But I digress.
Our neighbor girl was over. She is the sweetest and such a positive influence on my boys. She can keep right up with them while somehow creating a climate of happiness and cooperation around her.
The boys asked if she could stay for dinner and honestly, my first thought was no… Only because dinner was probably going to be ready before 5:00pm and it was only spaghetti and meatballs. I felt inadequate. Like I should be serving something more balanced and serving it at 6:30pm like a real grown up. I internally acknowledged that those were silly reasons, though, and said, “of course she is welcome!”
Each night, we go around the table and say our favorite thing and our worst thing that day. Company goes first! Eric and I were standing in the kitchen still serving up bowls when our sweet neighbor shared her favorite thing…
“My favorite thing is eating dinner with you guys, of course!”
And I was reminded right then, right around 5:00pm on that Thursday that all I need to have is an open door and open heart for everyone around me: my husband, my kids, my neighbors, my friends. It’s really all anyone requires of me. They don’t need gourmet meals. They don’t care what time we eat. They just want an open door to me and my home.
One of my best friends has a quote hanging in her house: “Hospitality is not inviting people into our perfect homes. It’s inviting them into our imperfect hearts.”