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If charity begins at home,
Do I give Jesus’ love to me?
Do I walk in His dignity
For all the world to see?

If charity begins at home,
Do I extend to me God’s grace?
Or let sin’s shame my joy erase,
While endless sorrows stain my face?

If charity begins at home,
Then let me be the first to give
The grace of God I need to live
To me before I others give.

Then charity will be at home
And fully fill my life’s own cup:
I’ll share good gifts from joy filled up
When Jesus’ love to me is known.

by GwennonR
December 7, 2016

Christmas is my favorite time of year, but for me it often seems to come at a price: I am so busy thinking of how to bless others that I shamelessly (and actually shamefully) neglect myself. This does not lead me into fields of bliss, I must say, although I will admit that my “selfless” little treadmill fosters a number of increasing resentments and discontent, not to mention a heaping helping of good old fashioned fatigue. Magnifying my discontent is an entire childhood history of a Christmas wonderland that my husband can never duplicate, or even begin to approach. So, here I am, feeling like I am giving out too much, while at the same time, believing deep down that I am receiving far too little in return.

Well, on Tuesday I had a break-through  moment: I realized that I need to take care of myself first (oxygen-mask-in-airplane principle) so that I can equip myself to serve others. This year, without overspending on myself, I plan to do some gentle (un-critical, self-paced) housekeeping, take some small steps to bless the housekeeping of my personal spaces in my house, and then after that start taking care of the rest of the family. What that means in actual practice is instead of killing myself this morning to try to keep up with laundry that never stays done (and which others have plenty of time to help with here), I used about thirty minutes cleaning off the top of a china cabinet where I store some of my heart’s treasures (think triceratops collection, plus). Don’t worry. I am cleaning other parts of the house. But in cleaning my own things first, I discovered a bunch of lovely items I can be thankful for that kind of fulfill my need for endless gifts and appreciation. Because some of those were little treasures I had forgotten i had. In the cleaning I rediscovered the joy of possessing them. And now I feel more motivated to clean the rest of the house.

Years ago, my favorite aunt used to always tell me, “Charity begins at home!” Remembering Jesus’ words to “love our neighbor as ourself”, I will remember to start loving myself. The housekeeping martyr will be fading, while my enjoyment of life will be growing. Wouldn’t FLYLady be proud?

Thank you for stopping by my blog today. Now go do a little something kind for you.