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Ready to receive.


Years ago a woman I greatly admire divulged a few secrets for how she manages to be so pulled-together all the time.

Number one on her list was something she called ‘ready to receive’ — her house was picked up, clean and ready for guests by 10 a.m. every day.

Every day.

At the time it seemed like a great idea, but I’ve never been very consistent in following it. My life tends to be messy and more often than not, my house is her version of ‘ready to receive’ only when I have at least a 24-hour advance notice.

And sometimes not even then.

Today an old friend was in the neighborhood and stopped by unexpectedly. I’d started the day at 6 a.m. working on a client project, which meant I didn’t even shower until 11. When she came to the door I was in my bathrobe with a towel wrapped around my head. I was mortified, but I invited her in and we had a great time catching up.

After she left and I returned to my kitchen, I noticed with dismay the dirty plates piled in the sink, the mail and grocery bags on the island, the couch pillows strewn on the floor. I immediately set to work washing dishes and clearing piles, mentally scolding myself for not being ready to receive.

Then it dawned on me – in the past I’d have greeted my friend at the door, pointed to the towel on my head and suggested we get together another time.

But this time I didn’t.

And I realized that ‘ready to receive’ means something a little different to me now: my home is always open to those I care about, ‘ready’ or not.

Photo credit: ‘Leave’ Doormat@, Anikó J. Bartos and Alan C. Baird

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Jennifer from DC permalink
    11/09 8:19 PM

    Wonderful nugget. I love the way your posts are like a deep breath. Thanks for sharing how after your friend left you observed, accepted, and let go– not with any iota of self-loathing, but with self-respect.

    • Jennifer permalink*
      11/09 8:34 PM

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment, fellow Jennifer. Trust me, there was indeed an iota (perhaps more) of self-loathing initially, but I am grateful for the gift of letting go.

  2. JJJ--Jennifer J. Johnson permalink
    11/09 10:35 PM

    GORGEOUS story, Jennifer.
    I do think I have the “towel-headed welcome” part down, but am newly re-committed to the other!

    Note: Don’t you think this is a “Jennifer” thing!

    • Jennifer permalink*
      11/09 10:45 PM

      Thank you, JJJ — and it’s most certainly a Jennifer thing! I’ve seen a few advance photos of your gorgeous new pad and am convinced it’s in a constant ready-to-receive state. Pointers?

  3. Darcey permalink
    11/16 3:58 PM

    The best part to that story is yet untold….I left that beautiful girl-in-the -towel’s house thinking, “how come my house never looks so put together, her house is always to clean and fresh feeling!” No kidding. So…the other part to that story is, people aren’t really noticing the dirty dishes or the piles of papers, they are noticing the gorgeous fresh faced smile, and the warmth in which they are received, which I saw and felt both that morning! I definitely felt “received” and welcomed into your heart!

    • Jennifer permalink*
      11/16 10:29 PM

      Only a true friend would be able to look past that mess — thank you, thank you! And you are, always, welcomed into my heart. xoxo

  4. Karen permalink
    12/26 8:40 PM

    This newly found site is a breath of fresh air. However, it looks like it has come to an end. I am not seeing anything new in 2014 soon to be 2015. Karen

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