Cleaning the Kitchen and Ordering My World: Soul Food

Yesterday, my kitchen and dining room was an outward expression of an inward condition. A collection of displaced items, useful items like shoes, books, platters, bowls, foodstuff, mixed with things beyond their usefulness like empty boxes, trash, dead flowers from weekends past, and a grimy counter. None of it required urgent attention, but the mess noisily taunted.

Of course, I could have retreated to my computer to assuage the echo in my head of all the undone to-do list items, like, oh yeah, WRITE A BLOG POST, dovetailing nicely with the burgeoning angst of what will this ever amount to? The restlessness has been palpable, a host of ideas without clear plans to implement, seemingly stalled in the fast lane of life. Clean, write, plan, develop recipes and projects, exercise, read, learn new technology, laundry, dinner (just to eat), and the demands of family all weigh in at the same time. With all these things thrown together without a plan, tackling life is more akin to Whack-a-Mole game than savored living, hence the restlessness.

However, just the day before, the greater need with the quieter voice brought this plea to the forefront, “God, order my world.”  I decided I should cooperate with my own prayer; starting the day quietly with my bible, I then began to return each item in the cluttered chaos to its rightful place. No inspired music to move me along, just whispered conversation with the lover of my soul, wooing me to loosen my grip just a little from the cares I held.  It did not happen all at once, there were plenty of interruptions–this life I lead is real–but I did not miss the lesson.

In the still, UN-busy and quieted place, yielded before God, I gained the intangible peace and confidence for all else before me. It is not an escape, but a solace–a soul-centering constant–momentary, yet lasting. Whether by drip or deluge, this renews me time and again when my self-imposed, imbalanced struggle for _____ has tipped the scales once more.

It is a simple petition, “God, order my world.” He knows the details of the request. He has watched the fruitless flailing and held-back tears. Waiting, wondering when it will be enough, what will it take for me to relent and yield. It is all right there–peace, revelation, strength, provision, guidance, wisdom–ready for my cooperation with the divine.  He has shown me in this stillness is the exchange of restlessness for repose.

As you might guess, when the counter was free of crumb and crust, the last item secured, creativity returned as I imagined what I might cook next. It was okay no post was written and I still do not know what all this will amount to … with my world in order, both external and internal, I am refreshed and renewed for whatever lies ahead.

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21 responses to “Cleaning the Kitchen and Ordering My World: Soul Food

  1. I have to do this soon, not just the kitchen but the backyard as well, winter in my part of the world is nearly over now its time for spring clean.

    • Ah, just about the time you are done with comfort foods and ready to grill, I will be making soups and casseroles … the nights are getting cool here, there will be plenty of yard clean up here once the trees shed their leaves.

  2. It’s getting cool here too and night and in the morning. I love your kitchen- the backsplash is so pretty.

  3. Your kitchen looks like a relaxing, peaceful place.

  4. Order and peace to the kitchen…ah something I’m always aspiring towards. 🙂

  5. I, too, have a cleaning day ahead of me in my kitchen. Although I dread its start, I will certainly enjoy the benefits later. You fearlessly blazed the trail. I won’t be far behind!

  6. I love the look of that kitchen! We’re currently thinking of redoing our entire kitchen which is scary but also exciting.. Your kitchen looks like my kind of place…

    • It is scary! We remodeled ours 8 years ago down to the studs, did the work ourselves–THAT was a challenging season of life–but so worth it! Good luck with that, what ever you do, make sure you work a pot-filler faucet into the equation 😀

  7. I loved your post as much as you love the order you’ve restored to your life.Have a great day. Blessing..Mary

  8. Thank you, Mary, I appreciate you saying so. 🙂

  9. Sometimes it takes a bit of doing to rid the chaos from our life and our kitchen as a matter of fact. Happy that you have order again.

  10. When I get overwhelmed with life with 5 kids, I find that visually removing the clutter is so quieting and rewarding. Thank you for some Sunday morning refreshment.

  11. There is such a valuable lesson in this, and you’ve written it so beautifully. Thank you so much for sharing this heartfelt and meaningful post with the Gallery of Favorites.

  12. My internet was intermitten the last week as our company was trying to upgrade our service and commenting on my phone is extremely dificult, but I have wanted to tell you that this post really touched me. I realized when I read your that these were the exact words that I needed to pray! Thank you for sharing your insight with the Gallery of Favorites.

    • Aw, thanks Alea, for coming back to share that with me. It is always good to hear that someone else can relate with what we are going through … glad it was helpful 🙂

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