Only a few friends see my house when it’s a mess. They’re the same ones that let me in their messy homes. Only a few friends hear when my life feels like a mess; they’re the same ones who’ve shared their messy lives with me.
But I wonder how many times I don’t host an event because my house looks less-than-perfect. Wouldn’t someone appreciate hospitality even if my home looked less Martha Stewart and more Ann Stewart?
Sometimes Martha can intimidate, but Ann can be approachable. How many times could I bless a neighbor if I called and said, “I’m ordering out for pizza, would you like to join us?” Or how many times could last night’s leftovers become a laughter-filled lunch with an appreciative friend?
Oh there is a time for presenting an inviting home that says, “You’re so special I’ve really cleaned up for you.” But if that process of perfection halts our hospitality then we need to think about what our guests truly need. Or if the hospitality intimidates, is it really blessing someone?
Similarly, I wonder how many times I’ve missed opening up my heart because I didn’t want to blow my cover. But if I don’t appear to be a real person with real struggles, how can I connect with someone in need?
Recently I went through a bump in my marriage. I didn’t call on friends who seem to have it all together, I phoned a friend from my Bible study who had nearly divorced. But, I would learn, that by the grace of God, her marriage was more than surviving, it was thriving in ways she didn’t know possible.
It’s sometimes our imperfection that is most attractive. With our mess, we need to reach out and bless with the light of God shining from our hearts.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Cor. 4:7 OR We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” 2 Cor. 12:9
Reading God’s Story Schedule today, 2/25/13: Prayer & Meditation. Pray and meditate on the previous week’s reading.
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About Ann Stewart
Ann just won the Christy Award for Best Debut Novel of 2017 with Stars in the Grass, originated AMG’s Preparing My Heart series, and writes “Ann’s Lovin’ Ewe” for The Country Register. When she's not writing, she's waving her arms directing musicals, teaching middle schoolers, or watching UVA Basketball, This is Us, or Madam Secretary. In her free time she hangs out with her husband, raising two lovely daughters and a whole flock of fuzzy sheep on Skye Moor Farm, in Virginia--where unscripted drama provides plenty of entertaining material.
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