The Ornaments that Come Once in a While

Ever heard the phrase: "The ornaments of your house will be the guests who frequent it"?

I believe it is SO true.

In order to impress my guests with my supreme homemaking abilities, I used to think I needed 
to have the house immaculate and exquisitely decorated, the floors scrubbed, 
everything vacuumed and in its place.
I might even have had to go buy something to complete the vignette in a corner, 
 so that it didn't look like I actually leave some things undone.

I used to wig out days ahead of time in preparation for company 
(even if it was just for a simple dinner), and get ever increasingly filled with angst 
(I like this word) as the time approached.

Boy, was I a beast-monster. 
I didn't want the girls to mess anything up or take anything out 
(toys, books, clothes, food- just kidding about the food).

And so, when I would occasionally announce that we were having so-and-so over for such-and-such, 
there was a collective moan, knowing the torture that would accompany the 48-72 hours prior 
to the arrival of so-and-so.

Once, not so long ago, my younger daughter, 
while I was barking orders to her in full-on clean-up-the-house-and-perfect-it mode, 
she said: "Mom, I hate having people over."

I, in shock and disdain, asked her "why?"
She replied, through gritted teeth: 
"Because you are so mean to us before they get here, 
and then act like we're this perfect, happy little family when they get here."

I was leaving a nasty legacy to my girls: perfectionism.

Why was I so ugly to those that I loved the most and ready to treat the visitors as first place, 
while treating my own as second place, or worse: servants?

I wanted my daughters to learn to love showing warmth and love to others, 
yet while I was in preparation for others, I withheld it from them.
Oh, the conviction and tears!

The solution to my ten issues (tennis shoes), 
was to have a better time budget that consisted of regular straightening and cleaning of the house...
that's another post (or 10) altogether.

Anyway, once I organized my own time better and and made my OWN self responsible for it, 
the house is (or can be) ready at a moment's (or at least a few hours') notice...

Our homes should be a first place of ministry, and, out of that love we share as a family, 
should flow sincere concern and benevolence towards everyone else.

So, rephrasing the phrase:

The treasure of our house will be the family who lives in it 
(and until you treasure them, you can't appreciate the ornaments that come once in a while).

Who are you treasuring today?


  1. You are so right my friend! This is a lesson I am learning too. May we remember who is important in our lives. Thank you for that great reminder!

  2. Hi Alicia, I just couldn't believe that my daughter didn't LOVE me barking at her! ;)


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