Hospitality is a lost art. People tend to be too stressed about the state of their house to have anyone actually walk through the doors. As a result, community is lost, conversations fail to happen, and ultimately, people -- I think -- are lonelier.
Here's what I think.
Nobody gives a crap about how your house looks.
In fact, it would likely give someone such FREEDOM to see that your son's -- shall we say "misfires"? -- are still right there on the underside of the toilet seat... and yet here you are STILL asking the over. Because you were too busy heating up that frozen pizza for you guys to eat that you didn't have time to deep clean the freaking bathrooms.
There dishes still in your sink: SO?
Your baby's blocks are still scattered across the living room: Obviously a child lives here.
Your makeup is not done: Big deal.
Still haven't figured out what to hang on that collage wall: Maybe the friend you invited over is good at that.
Inviting people over doesn't have to be a Pinterest worthy event. You don't have to Instagram your meal. It can be as simple as a bagged salad or boxed macaroni-and-cheese or a frozen pizza.
What matters is not the food, but the company. The conversation. The shared lives.
Don't apologize for the state of your house. Truly, these people don't notice the mess. Do you notice theirs when you stop over? Probably not. Because you were probably too busy talking and socializing to pay attention to dust bunnies.
I remember when I was in the freaking weeds with my first daughter and I attended some event at our church where a mom-of-a-million asked me to come over for lunch. Like right then. I was blown away. And so grateful for the invitation. Because I was LONELY for some female company. My husband was a full-time grad school student and I was new at this Supermom Gig and the idea of an afternoon talking with another woman was JOY-inducing.
Her house wasn't pristine. Don't remember what we ate. But I enjoyed it so much. And we became close friends as a result of her invitation.
There is something so special about spending time in someone's actual home. It is intimate and inviting and it draws out transparent, honest conversation. It allows for closer relationships. It lays the foundation for doing life together. Real life.
So throw open the doors of your home. Don't stress about the piles. Cook something easy. Brew a pot of coffee. And have a seat beside a soon-to-be friend.
You'll be glad you did. Trust me. :)