Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wearing out your welcome

Today was cleaning day at my house. As always happens, I start one project and it's a domino effect...one leads to another to another....never ending. Today my "dominoes" fell to the carport. As I was taking out the trash, I noticed that the carport was a real mess. My husband had been doing a bit of carpentry and there was sawdust everywhere. So back into the house I went to get the broom.

The first thing that needed sweeping was right at the door, so I of course moved my welcome mat. After dusting it off, I started to put it back into place but I had trouble figuring out which way to turn it...the word "Welcome" could barely be seen. I had literally "worn out my welcome."

That of course got the random thoughts going. I wonder how long my "welcome" has been gone? It must have happened over time, because the rug is pretty old. I don't have a ton of visitors at my home - unless of course kids count. However it happened, the words had just faded away. Does that happen in my life as well, I wondered. Has it even happened with my family?

When you first move into a home, you make sure that everything is "just right". But over time, you get comfortable with routine and maybe forget to make home a place where everyone, especially your own family, feels welcome. I don't want to be like the husband who never told his wife he loved her. When she asked about it, he replied he'd told her he loved her when they got married and if anything changed, he'd let her know. We assume that those around us know they are "welcome" or loved, but often neglect making sure they know it.

What about my friends? I tend to be somewhat of a loner at times. I love my friends, but I often neglect making time to spend with them. I let the "welcome" just fade away without meaning to. Hospitality doesn't come naturally to me, probably due to insecurity and from the way I was raised. Still, I can't use that as an excuse. I need to make sure that the "welcome" in my life is always evident....that my door is always open. I may never be the "come over for coffee" kind of person, but I can make sure that the door to my heart is always open to a friend.

So, I guess it's time to go and buy another rug. I think I'll look for one with the word "WELCOME" in big, bold letters....then I'll work on wearing them out by making sure my home is a place where my family feels loved and where we can all invite our friends in. This time I want to "wear out my welcome" on purpose.

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