Last night I started making dinner around 4pm. There were 4 children in my house, only one of which was my own. By 4:30 Maddie and Whitney were home, including the 4 others. Add 2 dogs to the mix, flying couch coushins for fort building, a few arguments over who should be the “teacher” and who was too afraid to play hide-n-seek in the dark, it was pretty crazy around here. Crazy and fun and loud, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I want our house to be a house of joy. I want kids to come here and play and have fun, learn to love each other while they are learning that they are loved.
I almost automatically set an extra plate at dinner time, knowing someone will invite a friend over to eat. I love this. I love that our family welcomes their friends into our home without fear or embarasment.
When we eat dinner, we always go around the table and talk through our “Highs and Lows” for the day. Everyone shares one high–a great thing, and one low–a not so great thing from their day. Our little guests have come to love this part of our dinner. “I want to do that up and down thing!” One of Belle’s buddies said last night.” He took his time and shared lots of details of his day. When we were saying a prayer for dinner, Rob said, “…and God, thank you for our guest Ethan”. Ethan smiled like every night he’s over. Once I prayed and accidentally left his name out. He reminded me as soon as I was done praying, saying, “You forgot to thank God for me!” I prayed again, thanking God for Ethan. It made me giggle, but it also touched me deeply, knowing he feels important and loved at our house.
I know lots of parents who don’t let children in their homes. I don’t know their own reasons, but for us, our children and their friends are why we have this house. Stuff gets spilled and broken occasionally, but it’s just stuff. We tell our kids all the time that people are more important than things because God made them.
We want our house to be a house of joy. When I was serving up desert to our three girls last night, I noticed a line had formed, and there were suddenly seven children total. I just laughed and kept dishing it out. I’m glad our home is becoming a house of joy more and more every day.