Tuesday, February 23, 2016

a kitchen perspective


so much of life is perspective.

i sometimes hate this kitchen. actually, a lot of times i hate this kitchen. it's funny how you can start to love sad, ugly things though. like this kitchen. i really, really don't like the fake wood laminate countertops and back splash (who does?!). or the really bad caulk job on the sink. or the peeling paint. or all the nooks and crannies that just never seem to get clean.

so much of my life seems to take place in the kitchen these days. it amazes me sometimes how many meals there are in a day (and snacks! sometimes snacks are like another meal altogether!). how so many people with multiple kids get around to baking or home-made yogurt is beyond me. i am truly maxed out in the kitchen, right now.

also, i feel like this season of illnesses has been exponentially longer than any i've ever experienced. i'm sure it has to do with adding another kid to the mix and having little friends who are school-age, too, but we sure have been through the ringer. (will it ever end?!) and so it seems like every sunday i am cooking up a big batch of chicken rice soup and then putting a pot of bone broth on the stove, too.

sometimes i wish i had more time to feel relaxed and happy in the kitchen instead of my usual, frantic chaos, just trying to get food on the table before someone falls off a piece of furniture, gets smothered by their older sibling, starts to meltdown and/or demands to be held. right now the kitchen feels like my angry place, haha.

and, yet.

this kitchen takes care of this little family of mine.
because of this kitchen, i can stay home with my babies.
because of this kitchen, i am able to feed and nourish the little (and big) bodies in this house.
and because of this kitchen, i feel the satisfaction of hard work.

when i'm washing the dishes and wiping down all the surfaces every night after a long day, i feel a little joy in it. it is a place of work, yes. but it is also a place of satisfaction. i think that's the dividends from hard work for the ones we love.

and it's also, my little kitchen. it's not much. it's really poorly made. none of the cabinets are flush. the drawers are too narrow for utensil organizers. it's kind of ugly. and dirty. but it's ours. and it reminds me of the blessings we have. the blessing of being home in these precious years.

i think part of the joy is in taking care of it, even when it's not much. even when it seems that all my efforts of cleaning don't pay off all that much (and have to be repeated every.single.night). there is joy in the simple, hard things that are ours. that are imperfect, flawed. sometimes, ridiculously flawed. and yet, they are ours.

i really am talking about my kitchen, but i believe this applies to so many other things in life. lately i've been thinking about how happiness is a choice. how so much of what we love is a choice.

sometimes, it's hard to see. this kitchen might be (and yes, often has been) a depressing space for me. the overhead fluorescent lights are exposed. the fridge is too small, too beige. everything is a sickly shade of orangey-yellow (you should have seen it with wallpaper!). there's not enough counter-space and i'd love a full-size oven. but it has also been so full of things that transform it into something to cherish, to love. it's a space i work hard in and work hard to take care of, to keep clean, to make comfortable and useful. it's a space to make pancakes with my firstborn. it's a space to watch my littles help me unload the dishwasher. it's a space for collecting the art work wilder has made us. it's a space for our family to-do list. it's a space for holding my grandmother's fine china. those things make it beautiful.

so many things in life are hard, are ugly, are sad, are hopeless-seeming. but also, so much of what i've thought was hard, ugly, sad, hopeless, depends entirely upon my perspective. and my choice. on my willingness to see past the defects, the imperfections, the flaws. to believe in what is good about it. to let it overwhelm my feelings, instead of trusting what i feel.

the more i look for the good, the more i believe in the good, the more i find it. it's everywhere! of course, truly, sometimes it's easier to find and sometimes it's harder. sometimes it's impossible. but we often have a choice of what we will allow ourselves to be open to. what we allow to overcome ourselves, even. our expectations, our desires, our limited sight, our hopes, our feelings.

obviously, i'm not talking about the really, really hard things in life. there is hard. and then there is tragedy and trauma and heartbreak. and those can't just be made beautiful and good by looking for it.  i would never tell someone in grief that they should look at things differently. or that they even have the choice. none of us knows what anyone else's choices really are.

but for me, i'm starting to realize that with many things in my life, i have a choice.

and even though this kitchen is ugly, i choose to see the good in it.

i would still love granite countertops and a fireplace and etc. but i'm thankful for the opportunity to love the ugly things, too. the things that are my blessings, though i don't always recognize them.

i've bathed my beautiful baby girl in this kitchen sink (it's also the sink that caught all wilder's throw up yesterday!;).

and how could i ever hate a kitchen that contained all this beauty and love and joy?


i adore adore adore her.

i love you, you old, ugly kitchen!


  1. First of all I think your kitchen is darling...but I get that that is not the point of this post. But also thank you for reminding me again to be grateful. Robert and I lately just keep marveling about how much of our life is just spent maintaining our life (laundry, dishes, babies, laundry, cooking, laundry, diapers, snacks...), but I guess the point is that that IS life. And the more we touch God in the midst of it, the more we get Life.

    So glad you're blogging again!

  2. Kristin, exactly! i am always thinking that life starts after i get all these dishes, laundry, meals, etc. done, but i am starting to learn to enjoy and be in those moments. where God is!