Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Happy Kitchen

My preschooler left the house one morning with his backpack, ran around the yard, then knocked on the front door. When I opened it, he grinned and handed me a bouquet of our recently planted tulips. He had decided a bouquet would "cheer me up and make the kitchen happy".

I hadn't realized we needed cheering up that ordinary morning. Breakfast preparations were started and the laundry was sloshing in the washer. Several items were already checked off my to-do list. I thought we were doing fine.

We juggle a dozen sticks of fire, plug a hundred dike holes and find ourselves so easily pulled from project to project, moment to moment. But, a child does not notice productivity. A child noticed that when I wasn't sparkling on an ordinary day, neither was the kitchen.

Through practice one learns to maintain a clean sink, uncluttered floors and sparkling counter tops. Pretty flowers or interesting rocks can grace even the most humble of tables. A diligent, disciplined woman who keeps watch over her home learns good stewardship of her time, energy and resources.

But cleaning up messes is one of the trade-offs for loving your family and celebrating life. Throw in a side order of ministries, career and soccer, and a tidy kitchen can be cluttered repeatedly by nightfall.

A clean kitchen is not the goal. God calls us to continually have a gladsome heart, to be a woman filled with praises, walking in joy regardless of sleepless nights, broken hearts and work stresses.

That table with fresh flowers, fresh strawberries and fresh muffins?  That's just one of the surprises God tucks into the corners of ordinary days to keep a busy mom going.

Train yourself for the purpose of godliness. Pursue a peaceful home. Dance joyfully through chaos. Hug those precious children. Keep planting your tulips.

The heart of your home is not your kitchen, it's you.

See also Making of a Woman

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