A Place on the Counter

While we were home in the US this winter, we stayed in 10 different homes. We realized that when we entered a new home, we usually plopped our water bottles, snacks, Pop-Tarts(!), and cereals on our hosts’ counters, where they would all stay for the duration of our time there. It looked like what you see below, the kitchen counter of Nate’s brother and sister-in-law, Chris and Carrie. Almost all that stuff is ours. What a mess!

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Carrie was so gracious, though. She even said, “Before you came, I cleaned off our counter so you could put your things on it. So I’m glad you’re using it!” Like Carrie, all of our hosts were so hospitable, and never minded that their counters were cluttered up with our odds and ends.

It made me think about when we have people over to stay. A lot of them bring their own tea, water bottles, medicine, and snacks and leave them in our kitchen because they have nowhere else to put them. Our guests are totally at our mercy whether we resent the presence of their stuff or if we welcome it, and, in a sense, making room on the counter is a sign of making room for guests in our hearts. It’s a proactive way to show people that we want them to feel at home. And the fact that their things are there, mingled with ours, is a cool symbol of what’s going on in the rest of the house – we’re all reading stories to the kids, watching Chuck or playing games, and staying up late and talking. For a brief and sacred moment in time, we get to experience the daily rhythms of life together.

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So we say a big thank you to all the friends who hosted us and made room for our family this winter. We loved living life with you for a few days, and we’re grateful that our stuff found a cozy place on your counter. Now visit soon so we can return the favor!

 

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