I had a surprise knock on the door this week. Jehovah's witnesses. Two lovely ladies who have been here before and strangely remembered my name, the ages of my kids and the dog's name from the last time they stopped by. They know my husband is a "preacher" but they still want to convert me, I suppose. I have wondered why these two have been more persistent than others that have come over the years. Usually when we tell them that we're ministers for the Assemblies of God, they quickly stop their sermon and bid us adieu. We've even had one tell us that it was "ok that we were pastors"...he was just going to keep right on going until his partner tapped him on the arm and motioned that he could stop. Poor guy...they just don't seem to know how to take people that are just as committed to a belief as they are to theirs. But these ladies...well...like I said, they are so nice...and persistent I was pondering this persistence after they left this week and started to think about what it is they see when they randomly knock on my door in the middle of the day. And it became all too clear why they keep coming back...if I happened upon a house as crazy as mine, I think I may try to come back and "save" that family as well! Upon ringing my doorbell, they are welcomed with the following:
A barking dog...who does he think is at the door? Surely it is an army of hooligans here to kidnap the children or so it would seem by the crazy, wild-eyed carrying on of our 11 pound killer Yorkie!
The wiggling of the doorknob as my two year old does her best to open it on her own.
They can also probably hear me "whisper-yelling" to leave the door alone until I can see who it is. By this time it is pointless to pretend that we aren't here...Rhylee has locked and unlocked the door so many times in 15 seconds that she may qualify for a place in the Olympics. Hailee is running after her screaming to "let Mommy open the door! We don't know who it is!" (She has obviously been lectured enough about the dangers of opening the door to strangers!) So after I realign my face from the not-so-friendly smirk and stop the rather large eye-roll that began after looking through the peep-hole, I open the door and try to have the most "I'm really busy, but may I help you?" look I can muster. At this point, the dog and the baby are my best friends as it looks perfectly understandable why I am not a very gracious host. I am standing on one leg while my other leg holds Rhylee on my side of the doorframe. I now realize that at some point in the morning, she has gotten ahold of markers, the only thing she is now wearing is underwear and she is colored blue and black from head to toe...amazing how you only notice this kind of artwork when guests randomly appear! The dog is in my arms wiggling like crazy...he apparently has determined that the hooligans are actually angels from the dog-treat factory here to deliver $1,000 worth of anything worth licking! Hailee is peering around my body still trying to determine if these are safe strangers or the kind mommy has scared her about. My hair is plopped up on top of my head in a very messy 6 AM-get-Ethnee-out-the-door-before-she-is-late-for-school kind of way. I am in workout clothes, no make-up and the look on my face is now saying, "Talk fast ladies, you have 3.2 seconds to tell me what you want or this craziness is going to get past my legs and you're going to have to take it all home with you!" I am sure this is the message that was coming across because the only thing they said was, "Is this a bad time?" Ha! What was surprising was the calm, cool, collected voice that came out of my mouth (it was a very different voice than the one in my head!) "Well, we were just getting ready to leave for the store" (which was the truth...I just had to clean up the marker-kid and redo my hair). The Jehovah's Witness kindly handed me her paraphernalia, told me something about end-time prophesy and said they would let me go. What? You don't want to see what other kinds of craziness you could find if you actually stepped through door #1? Oh that's right, you can't get through my leg-barricade!
After I shut the door, I began to think about the fact that I'm a pastor's wife...and they know that. I'm supposed to be dressed in my best casual/trendy/conservative clothes to answer the door. My children are supposed to be sitting around a spotless kitchen table having a Bible study while I prepare cookies in the kitchen...that way I could invite them in to share those cookies with the girls while I put on some tea. We could then pursue a hearty debate about the beliefs of Pentecostal Christians vs. Jehovah's Witnesses. None of us would probably convert to the others' beliefs, but we would all know at the end of the day that we had done the best we could.
And then my imaginary bubble popped...
I took Rhylee upstairs, did my best to rub the marker off of her arms and neck but left it on her belly and legs because her clothes would cover most of that. I grabbed a brush and dealt with the mess on top of my head, finished my grocery list, threw on some flip-flops and headed to the store.
What was the point of this whole, ridiculous story, you might ask? Well, it's to remind you that it would be wise to call me before you come over. I would love to be dressed fashionably (but not too fashionably) when I open the door. My hair can be neatly pulled back to show that I've been cleaning like a good housewife (but not too much because I keep a very clean house by habit). We can sit at the kitchen table and have a lively debate, and I'd be happy to make some cookies and put on some tea...but those things would require that I go to the grocery store first. Our children can play and we can have a lovely afternoon.
Ok, now your bubble can pop.
It's wise to call me before you come over because it's just plain courteous. My house will probably be a mess, although I will try my best to pick up a few toys and move the dishes into the sink. I may still be in my workout clothes and my kids may or may not be dressed. I probably won't have homemade cookies and tea but you're welcome to an Oreo and a sippy-cup of milk. That's my real house, my real life. I'd love to share it with you if you can handle the craziness! If you want the "bubble picture" above, you'll need to give me at least a week's notice!