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?