Cultivating a Home with Open Doors

cultivating a home with open doors

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.

(Thanks, mom)

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.

cultivating a home with open doors

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. 

cultivating a home atmosphere with open doors

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?

cultivating a home with open doors

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. Here’s a free printable because I am so thankful for you! Just click the picture and print.

Cultivating a home with open doors

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Comments

  1. This was a great read! I lived with my dad growing up….although BOTH my parents had the “open house” policy, they were completely different! My step-mom was a stay-at-home mom/homemaker….our house (besides the messy teen room! Hehe) was ALWAYS spotless….could pass white glove test! My mom & step-dad had a smaller house (both had 4/5 kids at home after I’d left..ranging from 5-21 years younger than me!), so it was “tight” with just the household….plus they both worked & had to keep up with the kid’s activities….very chaotic & usually cluttered. BUT, my mom’s house had the “welcome” feeling! Being a single mom with 3 girls (within 5 years age difference or less, then after a ten yr gap, I had a boy), full-time job, dance competition, school, etc….we moved a lot & were busy 24/7….I couldn’t keep up with the housework EVER….BUT we also had an “open house”! The “if they’re hanging out here, I know they aren’t running the streets” overrode the often disaster of house or any “quiet time”! Lol! For 2-3 years, I took in 2 other teens….I’m called “mom” by MANY! Love the signs! I have a few already….mostly the “funny” ones about crazy, loud, messy house but still a happy home….can’t wait to see the ones you have!!

    • Hey Lexie, thanks for sharing! Although “open doors” looks different in every home, it’s always very easy to tell who practices it! I like to keep a neat and good smelling home for my guests while my mom has never been held-back by the mess her home may hold. She is more of the “come in, do what you gotta do, grab some food on your way out” type of person which I really admire. Maybe someday when I grow more weary from the years of “mommyhood”, I’ll loosen up a bit (or a lot). 🙂 But, I definitely like the policy of an open home because like you said, “if you are here, I know you aren’t running in the streets”!
      Tenesha recently posted…Women and Sexual Power: What You Need to KnowMy Profile

  2. Love this! We are in the process of selling and buying a home and hit some bumps. Trying to decide at what cost do we just ‘make it work’ because this new house is the perfect open doors space and I sooo have that desire for all these reasons, safety, ease, being an introvert, and ministry! We do this as best we can in a smaller home but its really hard to do as much as we could and would like to!

    • Oh, I definitely understand what you mean! My husband and I are currently in a smaller home and we “try” to be hospitable and invite people over but we have found that because of our cramped spaces, most people would rather meet somewhere else.
      We have never officially bought our own home. I mean, we have gone through the process but have never actually “closed” on a house because for one reason or another it’s just not what God wanted for us at that time. I am sure the bumps you have hit are an extreme nuisance right now, BUT, from my experience you will undoubtedly look back at those moments (at a later date) with clarity and see lessons learned or God’s mighty hand coming to your rescue.
      I wish you and your family all the best this Christmas and will keep you all in my prayers this week (and for however long you need) for a smoother transition!
      Tenesha recently posted…What Would Your Life Look Like If….?My Profile

  3. Tenesha, I love this because we are a open door home. My husband and I host in our home all the time. For purpose of ministry, gatherings, and any reason we can find. We love it! We also bought our home and fruniture with our guests in mind. Evertime we choose a piece of fruniture, it never fails that we think of all the people that may sit in it and would they find it to feel comfortable and homey. Because we have a open door policy I also pray in each room regularly. I open the windows in every single room of the home (including garage and laundry rooms, anoint the doors and windows with oil and pray for protection, clensing, joy , laughter, peace, love, and whatever else the Lord places in my heart. Great post!!!
    Carmen | MarriedbyHisGrace recently posted…2016 Christian Blogger Roundup.My Profile

    • Hi Carmen, thank you for sharing! The furniture and arrangement is such a great tip (and one that took me a while to learn after my husband and I were married). We noticed that our guests seemed to have a harder time connecting with us when our furniture was faced towards the TV because our arm rests are really high and awkward. Once we angled our couches towards each other, our guest’s demeanor seemed to change drastically. I have never thought to pray in each room individually so I may have to give that a try! 🙂
      Tenesha recently posted…How to Decorate Your Home Like Joanna GainesMy Profile

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