Trading Stress for Peace

A couple of months ago,  my pastor husband asked if I would mind letting a traveling band of musicians stay in our home for a night.  We were scheduled to be out of town that evening, the church was needing to find them a place to stay after they performed a concert for the congregation, and it seemed like an all-around easy solution.  I said sure, it would be no problem.

Fast forward to T minus 6 days, and it was no longer an easy solution and was in fact a huge problem.  What had I been thinking?  A group of people I didn't know staying in my home without us there?  This called for some SERIOUS CLEANING!

I've always thought of myself as a clean person.  (Almost) everything has a place, and (almost) everything can be put it in its place in pretty quick order in my house.  But, this was not the usual scenario for company.  These people weren't just coming over for dinner or coffee, they were going to shower, sleep, prepare their own breakfast, and possibly do laundry here.  They were going to see into closets, cabinets, bathtubs (shriek!), and who knows, maybe behind couches?

So, I spent the better part of two days cleaning from top to bottom. 

Floors.

Couch cushions.

Bathrooms.

Ceiling fans.

The works.

And what should have been a natural display of hospitality turned into an exhausting ordeal.

All because I was worried what someone I didn't even know would think if they saw dust on the baseboards or dog hair on the couch.

Until I finally realized, enough was enough.  The house was cleaner than it ever is for the people who LIVE here, so it was just going to have to be enough for those who were visiting. 
My tired family was thrilled to hear this decision as it meant they were spared the deep cleaning of their closets. 

The last thing I did before we left town was shut every single closet door and hoped no one would have a desire to see if I know how to fold fitted sheets (I don't) or if all the pieces of our board games have made it back into their boxes.  And then I walked out, and tried not to think about it anymore.

But, now, two weeks later, I've been thinking about it.  And I wonder why I allowed myself to get stressed out when our home is a lovely, homey place.  It's not perfect and its furniture is showing signs of being well loved by a family of six, but it's full of peace and comfort and joy and life.  It's a beautiful place to relax and be yourself.  And maybe the imperfections around the house are a lot like the people who live here, the people who aren't perfect, but are growing up and changing for the better and not ever staying the same. 

And maybe there are just a lot of things more important in life than correctly folded sheets.