Busy, busy, busy… c’est la vie. Recently I went on a trip to Seattle for a concert with my best friend. We had so much fun! I also got a chance to have breakfast with my mom, dad, and sister, along with my best friend. The trip was on a weekend, and the day after I returned home, I had a woman’s bible study hosted at my house. That very same Thursday was life group… hosted at my house. I feel like more people have been visiting my home than ever before, and I love it, but it’s quite a vulnerable thing. Welcoming friends, even strangers, into your safe haven for a few short hours of the week opens up the possibility of judgement and well-intentioned comments that just don’t hit the right note. The more I have thought about it, the more I realize that these are only side effects of a greater cause. I am providing a service and serving where the need is great in my church.
From the very beginning, Taylor and I approached our house search very intentionally with the main goal to be serving those around us to cultivate meaningful relationships. We have discussed the opportunity of opening up our home to host a small group at some point, but I was thinking that would be a few years down the road. Our current life group was still pretty new and I didn’t think we have enough experience under our belt to host a group on a regular basis. Although this life-group-hosting idea was not an immediate need, we made it clear to the pastor of discipleship that we were open to the idea if the church ever needed a new group.
Our church has grown -so- much in size since we started attending last winter, so there has been a bigger push into life groups for new attenders. The current life group we have been a part of is so wonderful, I absolutely love and cherish every single person in that group. We have a good mix of people, the majority of which are young families like ours, but there’s also single people, some younger, and some older. I appreciate the diversity in our group for the differing opinions and perspectives in our conversations. The current host of our group is a young family of two kids (one of which is one month younger than ours). They generously open their home every single Thursday night and also provide dinner for everyone. I don’t know how they manage every single week!
Somewhere along the road we had a conversation with them and they projected that the group is growing at a consistent rate and their home isn’t big enough for that many people. Taylor and I were quick to jump on the idea of hosting life group, while they continued to lead. I didn’t think we would be able to serve in this capacity quite as soon, yet here we are. It made sense on paper: our home is centrally located for most of the attendees and it has a separate space for children to play so the adults can focus on the discussion without it being too loud. If it all makes sense on paper, then why am I feeling anxious about it?
It’s putting myself in a vulnerable position to open up my home.
On one hand, I’m serving where the need is great in our church and providing a place for life group. That should be all that’s important. Everything else pales in comparison. As much as I’d like to believe what I know to be true, part of me still gets nervous. I scrub the bathroom twice over, vacuum every corner of the house, spray febreeze four times in the day just to make sure there’s no gross cat or dog smells lingering about. I just can’t help it!
On some level, how I present my home speaks to how I present myself. As a woman, wife, mother, and homemaker, my home is an extension of myself. I spend most of my time at home making it my own style and filling it with things that reflect and represent myself. If someone were to come in my home and make a comment about something, I would take it very personally! We’ve hosted two life groups so far and luckily all I’ve gotten has been positive comments. Still, I always get nervous and anxious the hours leading up to everyone arriving.
When I start to feel this way, I look up to the sign that is hung in our living room.
“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord -Joshua 24:15″
I serve the Lord…. I don’t host life group for the approval or praise of my peers, but for God’s glory. That is such a strong and firm reminder for me. All these feelings boil down to this: there is a need in the church, a need that I can meet. Why am I letting my insecurities and pride get in the way of serving the Lord by serving His people? The need is great; wherever the need is, there I am too, willing and able.