Cultivating a home with open doors
My mom taught me many valuable lessons throughout my childhood. You know — don’t chew with your mouth open, say thank you, don’t drink your calories, and it’s okay to treat yourself.
However, there is one lesson that always sticks out to me.
The one lesson that comes to mind is to always have open doors to my home (figuratively). I didn’t realize it at the time but this way of thinking has always been one of the most valuable lessons I have learned through my childhood.
When I think about it, I am sure this is a mentality that has been in my family for years. My mom’s parents (my grandparents) have always had open doors– literally and figuratively. My grandpa is a pastor and so they have use this as a way to minister to people. In fact, my grandpa’s pastoral office is in his home! They love people coming to their home; LOVE IT. They always use people in their home as an opportunity to minister without seeming overbearing. I mean, how can you not listen to Christ driven stories over a mouth-watering bite of homemade pie?
So this has been something that has been taught in my home since day one!
My mom bought a large home when I was really young; not because she was materialistic BUT because she knew that the home would be filled with guests.
As a mother, she was often wary of my sisters and I (little towhead blondes with bouncy curls) spending the night at other family’s homes. With the evil that lingers in this world it’s hard to take chances on things like that. Because of this, my home was often the slumber party/prom after party/ get-together home.
With that said, here are the reasons why I love cultivating the idea of open doors in my homemaking! (In no particular order)
1. To minister
Having a home with open doors is one of the best ways to minister to other’s as a homemaker — that and bringing meals to other homes. There is just something about the warmth, the laughter, and the comfort that makes people want to stay and more open to talking about Jesus.
My husband and I often use fun games such as Telestrations as an ice breaker. I know there are many families who aren’t fond of games but this is what we found works best for us. Telestrations is great because it’s a non-invasive game. Meaning, their really isn’t a winner and you aren’t put on the spot (for shy people). I love games but I am an introvert so playing something like Taboo has always been scary for me — I don’t want to be on the spot for a minute spilling out silly words.
Whenever we are invited to a group event or family reunion, we are always asked to bring Telestrations; it’s THAT fun! Long story short, the game is a mix between telephone and pictionary.
You are not obligated to games, though! Like I stated previously, my wonderful grandma uses her talents of cooking and crafting as a way to warm people up.
2. For safety
I love all my friends and I am 99% sure that nothing would EVER happen at their house. However, what IF? We are all human and there are times that, as a momma, we have to take our eyes off of our children.
I’m not saying to cultivate an environment similar to a bubble. However, we were called (as parents) to take care of the children God has blessed us with to the best of our ability. All I am saying is that having open doors to my house minimizes the worry about my daughter being somewhere unsafe. So far I have not had to deal with this much because my daughter is not quite two but there will come a day when this becomes an issue on my mind.
This is the reason my mom loved the idea of having open doors. She knew what we were doing and she could keep an eye on us without being overbearing. She knew that there would be nothing demonic or sexual in our home.
3. For the ease
Honestly, it’s SO much easier to have people come to my home. Some people may argue that it means I have to cook more — which is true. But, it also means no driving with an angry toddler. Plus I can put my little girl to bed whenever she needs to sleep! And then there’s that I don’t have to run around the house trying to find all the things I may need, drive 30 miles and then I realize that I forgot the most important thing.
I’m not scatter brained, I promise. 😉
I’m just a mom of littles.
There has been many instances where someone tries to invite us to their house to give us a break. However, 99% of the time it ends up being MORE of a hassle. That’s when I try to invite them to my home instead.
4. Less awkward for an introvert
For me anyways, I find that having people over at my house is more comfortable. I don’t have to ask where the bathroom is, where the cups are, and if I can throw away a poopy diaper in a specific trash can. I, unintentionally, have always been an introvert but I am aware of the importance of ministering to people! Doing this through my home eliminates many of the situations that I find awkward.
So how do we cultivate a home with open doors?
The best way (I found) is to have an open attitude. Inviting people over continually, smiling, and willing to host are ways to get people to your open doors. When someone drops by, invite them to stay for dinner or ask them to come sit down. I have to admit, my husband is better at the first invite than I am — introvert speaking here. However, I am always thankful that he extends invites to people! My husband and I work as a team. He’s the outgoing one so he lures them in with smiles and I make them stay with homemade cooking.
I have also learned that the way our home is set up often tells (without words) someone if they are welcome to stay.
Here’s an example: When my husband and I first were married, I set up our living room in a way that would be comfortable to watch our new TV. However, I noticed that it created an awkward space to talk to people. When someone was at our home we would be craning our necks to talk to each other which just felt… well… awkward. A month or two later, I moved our two couches in a way that we could see our guests while talking. I noticed that many people looked more relaxed and they didn’t feel like they had to yell or do acrobats to get our attention.
On that note, I also have added little welcoming signs to our home. These signs set the mood right away! They let our guests know that A) we want them here and B) we love that they are here.
Sayings like “take off yours shoes and stay a while”, “welcome”, and “hello” are great ones.
This may seem like a no-brainer but my husband and I also pray over our home. This helps keep a more “G0d-like” atmosphere circulating through our home and keeps the energy in a positive light.
Do you keep the doors “open” in your home? What habits do you partake in to keep a feeling of being welcomed for your guests?
P.S. Here’s a free printable because I am so thankful for you! Just click the picture and print.