Had kind of an epiphany the other day...I don't put my family first.
Now before you start throwing rocks (or tomatoes or whatever you use to throw at someone), let me explain myself.
I have been a stay-at-home mom for 13 years, since my daughter was 3. God provided my husband with a job (and my college loan was paid back early) which allowed me to stay home and it was an answer to a long-prayed prayer.
I gave up a career in management without any hesitation and I don't regret that decision for an instant. I devoted my life to homeschooling our daughter and learning how to be a loving, caring wife.
But in one area my priorities are waaaaaaay off. It's in how I take care of my house.
I'm not Suzy Homemaker...never have been. My grandmother and aunts have homes that are never out of place, no matter when you drop by to visit. Not my house. It's not dirty, just cluttered.
As we were working on getting the flower beds ready for spring (yes, my back is still struggling to get back to where it was before...my chiropractor told my husband that he might need to tie me up so that I don't over-do it like this again) I realized that it has been years since they were cleaned out.
What prompted me to get out and get it done this spring? Because we're planning to put the house up for sale and this is one of the first things a potential buyer will see.
But it's one of the first things WE see...or have learned to not look at...
My teenage daughter asked recently why I insist on manners be used at home. She said that home is where we're supposed to be comfortable and relax, isn't it? So why do I make such a big deal about it?
I told her that it's because how we live at home is how we will act around others. That the people we live with are the most important in our lives and that they should get the best we have to give.
After dinner, as I was washing dishes, I looked around the kitchen. And the dining room. And the living room. And the rest of the house. I really looked around as if someone called and wanted to come over in 15 minutes.
Little piles of clutter are scattered everywhere. Some lingering winter decorations are still scattered here and there, lost and out-of-place with spring just around the corner. Piles of mail that need to be shredded are taking up space on the end of the table.
And then it hit me...I would do things so much differently to get the house company-ready than I do for my family.
So today is the new start. I won't get everything done today. It's OK. I'm taking a room and going to look at it with fresh eyes. Some things are going to have to go. But that's OK, too.
Because it's not the things that are important. It's the people.