Invite Her Anyway


“Do you want to come over this morning?” I rushed out on the phone, half expecting my late invitation to be turned down. “Yes, actually that’s exactly what I need today. I can be there after you drop the kids at school.” It was an early morning phone call with a friend late in her pregnancy. I called to check in on her and tell her something funny that had happened the night before. As we were on the phone I felt the pull, the same pull I often succumb to as an extrovert. The pull to bring someone into my home for tea or coffee and laughs and real life. But I hesitated that morning. As I looked around my house I saw, in every corner, that it wasn’t as tidy as I would usually prefer for someone to come over to. I definitely wouldn’t have time But that voice in my head won out: invite her anyway.

So I did. And I didn’t rage clean. You know the kind. Where you sprint through the house, felling any and everything in your way like Paul Bunyan in the Midwest. Shove that in a closet. Here grab this and hide it upstairs. I left it. I left the piles of artwork from the previous day of school out on the counter. I hadn’t put the toaster away from breakfast. My son’s shoes, ever strewn about my home, were in the middle of the living room floor. The laundry, half finished, sat on a chair in the front room. But I chose to invite her anyway.

She showed up as I was unloading the baby after school drop off. I waved and grinned and invited her in. She came and sat and shared that she’d been having a hard time. She was scared about the upcoming labor. She was being short with her husband. She was tired of being pregnant. She shared her heart and burdens with me. She trusted me with the good and the hard and in between. She invited me in.

She didn’t notice the laundry or the piles. She had been to my house before. When it was the way I prefer. Tidier. Less mess. And she didn’t seem to mind stepping over my son’s shoes. “I needed someone to invite me over today…” she said over her cup of tea. “I’m glad you’re here.” I told her. And I was.

I was so glad I invited her anyways. And it made me think of the times I’ve been invited into the mess. Should we even call it that? Let’s start saying inviting someone into the normal. Into the ebbing and flowing of every day life where kids don’t pick up after themselves and you leave it for them to pick up after school in hopes that you’ll shepherd disheveled little people into organized adults. The normal where you can’t throw away homework papers without some tears and objections so they have to sit on the counter for a few days before they’re forgotten and you can toss some of them after bedtime. The normal where it sometimes takes several days to fold a single load of laundry and by the time you do someone is already out of underwear.

That morning taught me a lesson. And it’s my call to women everywhere. Invite her anyway. That new friend you want to get to know more but don’t want her to see your junk drawer… invite her anyway. That old friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with but the tasks of every day keep getting stopping you…leave them another day and invite her anyway. That older lady on your street that you could be gleaning so much wisdom from but for some reason you’ve convinced yourself that she probably never lived in quite this level of chaos…first, you’re wrong. She’s been there done that and wrote the book on it and would love to walk with you through this season. Second, invite her anyway.

I’m not one to pretend my life is perfect. I’m not one to keep a perfectly tidy home. But I do like to have things running a little more smoothly when I have people over. But that morning, as I sat with my friend on the couch and laughed and shared I thought of all I would have missed if I hadn’t invited her over. I know one thing for sure, because I invited her anyways, she invited me in. And that’s what we’re all looking for in a friend, isn’t it?  Someone to sit in the struggles and cheer from the sidelines. Someone to hold you up when you want to sit. And someone to force you to sit when you feel like you can’t stop. And I can confidently say: you’ll never get there without an invitation.

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Kalie Vidales
Kalie Vidales is a lover of Jesus, her husband, their two children, and all things floral. She has been following her Active Duty Soldier around the country for the last 8 years to 5 different duty stations. She spends her days leaving half-finished cups of coffee around the house as she chases her kids, reads C.S. Lewis when she has 5 minutes alone, and desperately tries to keep her black lab, Skip, off the couch. She loves to write about her faith, family, and the grief of losing her mother way too early. She has an M.A. in Linguistics which has aided her very little in convincing her kids they have to wear pants every day. As an Army Brat who grew up and became an Army Wife, she enjoys plugging into church, building deep relationships, and making a home wherever the next PCS sends her.