When we built our current home, my favorite room was the kitchen. After leaving my career as Electronic Data Interchange Coordinator for Chief Executive Homemaker years before, my kitchen had become my “office”. I spend most of my time there so I put a lot of thought into the layout and décor. Ten years later, I still love this space, even if it’s probably getting a little dated. The pale, warm, butter yellow walls, light oak cabinets, and accents of sage green, cream, and tan never fail to relax me. My favorite time of the day is (late) morning when warm sun pours in through windows dotted with sticky fingerprints, reflects off those yellow walls, and fills my kitchen with a sense of calm that belies the chaos it’s usually in. The counter tops are a magnet for things like forgotten homework assignments, chapstick tubes, and Hello Kitty erasers. The refrigerator is decorated with masterpieces created by grade school artists on one side, and the front sports a hard working calendar that schedules five precious souls. My “drop spot”, well organized with slots for unpaid bills, things that need to be filed, and hooks for keys is usually overflowing and accompanied by an assortment of chargers and their accompanying electronic devices. The sink is full of evidence of a well fed family and my stove top constantly needs to be cleaned because of pots that have boiled over during busy evening meal preparations. My oven is never clean for very long and the proof is the smell of apple pie drippings when you turn it on because as soon as I clean it I am guaranteed to forget to put a cookie sheet under my next pie or overflowing casserole large enough for our family. My office is not perfect. It is well worn, hard working, well loved, and the center of our home. I can only pray that it is a reflection of me, as it is the place I am most comfortable in.
I know some amazing women who diligently spend time with Jesus, every morning, in their “cloffice” or “war room”. If you’ve read some of my other posts you will know that I’m not talking about myself. My current Valley finds me with three young children and two of them now with medical concerns. I spend much of my time on the “needs” of my little family but I am slowly learning to incorporate Mom’s time with Jesus. And what I’ve discovered is that there is something special about my kitchen. Maybe because, as the esteemed Homemaker, this is my office. Or, maybe it is simply because I spend so many hours there surrounded by dirty dishes, school work, meal preparation and clean up, and the never ending scheduling required of a family of five. Or, it could very well be because it’s the place my children often avoid for fear of being put to work. Whatever the reason, I realized yesterday this seems to be the place He comes to me, and I to Him, most often.
As I’m prone to do, I was doing my morning chores, undoing the damage to my kitchen the night before, and worshiping while I worked. This time, I was singing and dancing to Third Day’s “Revelation” while emptying, filling the dishwasher, and washing pots and pans. A quick peak into the living room confirmed the toddler was content with important robot building. I had a moment to pray.
Father, please show me what to do. I can’t see the completed work of this valley, but you do. Tell me, please, do I stay or do I move? I truly need a revelation here Lord!
And once again, I was brought to the floor of my beloved kitchen. Staring at those hard wood floors Hubby labored to give me, which were currently covered in dog hair, cat hair, a few crumbs, and a Lego I would find again later with bare feet. This time though, it was with grateful tears streaming past lips curved into a smile on a face upturned in gratitude to my Father.
Child, I’ve been telling you. You just haven’t been listening.
I sat on the floor shaking my head as the pieces that had been eluding me for months rolled around and miraculously fit themselves together.
Thank you, Father!! I am so sorry for not listening. Thank you for once again pursuing me. For pouring out yet more grace and love and meeting me where I am to gently and persistently open my stubborn eyes!
You see, He had answered my prayers. Several times it turned out. But, because it wasn’t the answer I was looking for, one of the options I had in mind, I didn’t see it.
Psalm 23:3 (NIV)
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Psalm 17:6 (NIV)
6 I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;
turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.
Toddler robot construction completed, he was hungry. He may have been a little surprised to find Mom on the floor, crying and smiling. He may have even been questioning my sanity. I set him up with his lunch at the kitchen table. As usual, he ate his pickles first and asked for more. I assured him I hadn’t lost my marbles and that he still needed to eat the rest of his lunch before he got any more pickles. Two minutes later, maybe testing my mental status, he asked again. I told him we go over this every time, just because you are looking for a different answer, doesn’t mean I’m going to change my mind. I don’t know where he gets this from?!