When I was a little girl, I remember my mom having the neighbors over for coffee on a somewhat regular basis. I always loved to sneak in and listen to them talk about what was going on in the neighborhood. Of course, my mom only tolerated my invasion for a short period of time before I was scooted off to go play. But now that I’m a big girl, I can have my own coffee parties (despite the fact that I can’t tolerate the flavor of coffee) and Mom’s not here to shoo me off.

After a small gathering of some church friends last December, I started thinking about what it is that keeps me from having people over more often. If I’m to be totally honest here, my not-so-tidy house is usually what stops me from opening my doors to friends. But really, that’s stupid. It’s not like I’m living in a hoarders kind of house, and people generally don’t stop by to see if your desk is cleaned off. (It’s not.) So, I’ve decided to just not worry about perfection and start being deliberate about inviting friends in.

I want my house to be a place where people feel important and loved. Isn’t that really more important than perfection? I remember lamenting to a friend when my kids were little that the house was always a mess. She said, “Nancy, when I look at your house I see a house that says, ‘Kids are important here.’” That meant the world to me. While I don’t have the kid mess anymore, I hope my home still says, “Kids are important here.” But not just kids, everyone—you’re important here.

My goal for this year is to be intentional about having friends over, to not waste any more time waiting for perfection but to start inviting. Several years ago, a friend invited me over for lunch. She put out some bagels and lunchmeat and encouraged me to make a sandwich. I still remember it as one of the best times ever, because she wasn’t presenting perfection, she was presenting friendship. And, it was perfect!

In this day and age of social media friendships, I want some face-to-face time with my friends. I want real conversations, real honesty, and real food. I hope you’ll stop by, or invite your friends to your house for some “real face time.”

Here’s to a year of perfect imperfection.