Our house has always been home to many. During our time in Taiwan we’ve called a lot of people family. One group of people that this title is placed on are the awesome interns that come through our organization, Envision. Four years, and thirteen interns later… goodbyes can still be tough! (See Kennedy’s face in the picture above?) Our dear sister, Laura (Who’s also featured in the picture with us above.), has lived with us for the last year and now she’s heading home. We get to say, “until next time” to her as well as our new(er) sister, Lindsey, who’s been staying with us for two months.
You learn a lot by opening your home up to people. The do’s and don’ts. What’s really necessary and what can wait. Regardless of their age, culture, or citizenship and especially regardless of whether or not they stay for long here are a few things I’ve learned about bringing people into your home…
Opening your home means sacrificing your stuff and money.
Whether they scratch up and completely ruin your favorite pan or you have to invest in a really good plunger because your new roommate is having bowel trouble. You’re going to have to pony up to host well.
Opening your home means making room for new family.
These new roommates might only be home once every day right before you’re going to bed. (This was me in high school.) Or they might just be around all too often. Either way; we treat them like family and we open up the time we are together to spend with them, too. Cry sessions on the couch. Watching movies on a raining weekend afternoon. You’ve gotta’ make that space to be family.
Opening your home means doing ministry together.
A family that doesn’t do ministry together is in trouble. After all, as Christian’s we’re called to go out and make disciples. What better way to demonstrate Christ’s family than to take them with you when you leave your home. Sometimes that’s really difficult. The more people the harder scheduling becomes… but it’s so worth it!
Pet peeves are a small chance to extend great graces.
When we first started bringing people into our home I remember going over pet peeves together. I did this in an effort to be “considerate” to each other; however my intention was always to let my new roommates know what I did and didn’t like. These days I don’t so much care to discuss such things. Instead, when someone doesn’t put the dishes away just the way I prefer them or forget to turn a light off at night I can extend grace and I actually have peace knowing that me not breathing down their neck about small things brings them comfort in our home.
After all; that’s the goal! Creating a comfortable and safe space for my fellow brothers and sisters to call… home. Friends, it’s worth it. Despite the discomforts, the beauty of sacrificially giving to each other and taking care of one another is worth it. My family is growing and I get to check in on them even when they’ve left our house. I couldn’t be more proud.