Leave It Better {My Mom’s Wise Words}


My husband and I have a rental property. We have it by mistake. We never intended to have one, but when we married and couldn’t sell his house, we rented it. We have been landlords for almost nine years and we hate every bit of it. We are quick to fix a problem and be attentive, but renting is not our jam. We watch the home improvement shows and find the house flipper shows fascinating but wouldn’t want to make a career out of it.

We recently had our renters move out. We have been working every single moment that we can to fix up the house and get it ready to sell. It has been a ton of work, cleaning and scrubbing, tearing out carpet, and everything else it needs.

They didn’t leave it better.


I tell my big boys all the time that when they leave someplace, they should leave it better than when they found it. Wise words from my mom that ring in my ears over and over again since she passed away several years ago. I remember living with a sweet family for my college internship and my mom would say, “Leave it Better.” And I did just that; left the room I was staying in spotless, even cleaner than when I moved in.

I’ve been thinking lately about how leaving it better applies to more than just cleaning.

Leaving it better applies to how we treat people. Leaving them better.

Leaving it better applies to how we react to social media. Leave it better.

Leaving it better applies to how we do our job. Leave it better.

Leaving it better applies to how we raise our children. Leave them better.

Leaving it better applies to how you react to people in the marketplace. Leave them better.

Whatever the situation, you have a choice; you can take the situation, the rental property, the job, or whatever, and leave it better than when you found it.

What a different world we would live in if we would just leave it better. I’m going to keep trying and focus on just that… after I finish cleaning that rental property. If the renters had only known my sweet momma and heard her wise words!

Special thank you to today’s guest blogger: Cheryl Brackemyre


I am a contributor for Dayton Mom Collective. I grew up in Centerville, but I now live in Wilmington with my husband, Tony. Together we have six kids: Joe, and his wife, Allison, Austin, and his wife, Hannah, Sydney, Andrew, Max, and Eli. Did I mention we are a little nuts starting over with this parenting thing when we are 45+?! My husband and I are both ministers in the local church. We were both married before and brought our families together in 2010. After a few years of marriage, we felt God’s leading for us to adopt. We added Max to our family in 2014 and Eli joined us in 2017; our quiver is officially full! Blending our family has been an adventure! Add some ex-spouses and two birth mommas, and we have ourselves a crazy crew! Coffee is my love language, I just finished binge-watching Parks and Recreation, and love me a Ron Swanson. The beach is my happy place and I long to have my toes in the sand.


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