When we got back home from Allume Monday night, Taylor gave me the longest hug she’s ever given me – she literally did not let go for a full minute and a half… And then all three kids talked nonstop for the next hour. Usually they’re exceedingly sensitive about who started talking first and who interrupted who, but last night they didn’t care that all three of them were talking at the same time – they just had to get their stories out. It was really nice being away, but it was good to be home.
When I’ve been gone for any length of time it’s an adjustment getting back into the routine. Can I get an Amen? I mean – people were actually expecting me to do stuff for them. Dinner time came around and I hadn’t gotten enough work done, dinner was only half cooked, the dining table was full of stuff, and if it weren’t for my mom and dad living with us for a few months the kitchen would have been overflowing with dishes and the laundry would have been piling up. (Thanks, Mom and Dad!)
Right around the time I was looking around panicking at all I had failed to accomplish and feeling generally overwhelmed, Taylor came up to me, put her hands up for me to take her, and asked for Curious George. Well, that sounded like a good idea to me – keep them occupied while I finished dinner. And then she said:
“You sit and watch it with me for a little bit?”
Ha. Um… yes. I sat and watched. Because I had been gone and she missed me.
Because, if I went to Allume and talked about and learned about hospitality all weekend, but said no to that request at that moment, then clearly I would have learned nothing about opening myself to others.
Because I think, as Shauna Niequist said so well this weekend – I have sometimes “confused efficiency for love…” And I don’t want to just be really good at getting a meal on the table and picking up as quickly as possible. I want to let my kids know that I love them and that I love hanging out with them. That I like them. And if I’m not showing hospitality to my own family, well, what does it matter if I’m extending it to anyone else?
Isn’t that the heart of hospitality? Making room for others, welcoming them into your schedule and your space, and saying yes when it’s not exactly what you had planned.
Dinner was going to get cooked. Toys could wait.
Will I always be able to say yes? Probably not. But I want to say yes more. I want to be very careful that I’m not saying no just for the sake of efficiency.
Love should always trump efficiency.
// I am so pleased to share with you the keynote sessions from Allume this year. What a rich, helpful, uplifting and stretching time! Looking forward to writing more about it once I get my thoughts collected! //
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This post is part of 31 Days – “an online writing challenge started by home blogger, Myquillyn Smith (The Nester) where bloggers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day in October.”