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(in)courage is a virtual living room where we build community, celebrate diversity, and become women of courage.

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  1. Jen,
    It used to be a joke in our home that whenever I got out the vacuum cleaner and started vacuuming furiously, the kids would invariably ask, “Who’s coming over?” They knew, instinctively, that I wasn’t cleaning in high gear just for their benefit. I’ve relaxed tremendously about how my house looks in having people over. I also don’t have the energy I once did to fix elaborate dinners, so inviting people over for pizza, or for cake and conversation is more the norm. I find that the simpler the better for me and everyone else. As the hostess, I want to spend more time with my guests than standing and cooking in the kitchen. Why this didn’t dawn on me years ago, I’m not sure, but simplicity and focusing on “There YOU are,” vs. “Here I am,” is the rule of thumb I go by. I’ve signed up…
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

  2. Jen, I did not grow up in a home that had a “Our Door is Always Open” sign on the front door. Instead my siblings and I lived in a house that had a cross×bone on the door alerting anyone who dared to approach it that ‘You are not at all welcome here.’
    So of course from the first time I held the keys to my first home there as always been an ‘Open Door’ sign, placed squarely on my doors in big bold letters.
    Doing so has brought many people into my life some I still have relationships with 45 years later.
    My biggest challenge has been keeping the Open Door sign visible while being married to my beloved who is an expert introvert. This opened up a whole new set of questions, ideas and stories.

  3. My Mom wasn’t a clean freak, but she practiced the “clean enough” theory too. No neat freak genes for me to inherit. BUT, I am single, I don’t have kids…although I do have a cat who sheds constantly. So those excuses don’t work! My house is small and the bathroom is down the hall past the bedrooms. I am trying…to relax a little about messiness and hospitality, and also to keep things a little neater so i don’t need two weeks to prepare for company! I think the trick is to have friends over often enough that it doesn’t get beyond me between visits, lol.

  4. Jen,

    My parents were neat freaks. We moved furniture & vacuumed the carpeting each & every week. Also we had to dust everything. It wasn’t that we had people over. They just wanted the house perfectly clean. We even wiped the shower down. I try to follow their example some. I don’t have carpet any where in the house except the stairs. When others invite me over to their house I go to be with them. I want to share time & life with them. I don’t judge how tidy the house is. I say hey it’s your place & your life. Do what you want. My motto is “Martha Stewart doesn’t live here”. I’m just me. I don’t want to impress people with a “gorgeous, clean” home & make them jealous. I want time with you.

    Blessings 🙂