We have no excuse for this:
Note the packing tape, the piles of paper, the enormous lamp. It all takes my breath away. And not in a good way. The only thing in this picture that makes me happy is the blue Hubbard squash. It was the only product of an entire packet of seeds.
This is often the corner where detritus accumulates, because it's sort of hidden by the island ledge.
This counter is a constant battle zone. Bananas are not the prettiest fruit,least of all when a peel is hanging ingloriously over the bowl's edge. The basket: not good. Meant for resale, but put to use by my practical, organized husband. I'm going to re-display this area with all vintage and "Made in USA" items.
Here are my weapons. I couldn't do without Barkeeper's Friend, and the diluted bleach is great for both counters and floors. To wash my floors, I spritz a clean rag and swipe the wood floor until all the spots are gone and the edges are dusted. I do this with my foot, folks. That's how you roll when you grow up in the jungle.
It took about an hour of scrubbing, de-cluttering, and styling to get this "After" shot. I couldn't take down the Kangan water ionizer on the far side of the sink. And of course I couldn't instantly install concrete countertops and a white subway tile backsplash. But this cleaned-up kitchen allows me to breathe easy. And in a kitchen where I can breathe, I can pray.
From back to front: Red Wing pottery holding lotion and scrubbers, wire basket full of beautiful apples, old camp stove for our phone chargers.
Hotel silver tray, vintage shaker with cinnamon sugar, toothpicks, and - surprise! - a llama butter knife among the silver spoons from my European sister-in-law. Ahhh. I never appreciated the llama stuff when I could acquire it easily. Now it's precious.
The coffee station. Old scales always look right in kitchens.
Sometimes I feel like I've spent the last 21 years standing in this very kitchen. It's a wonder the floor by the stove isn't worn down. This room has been the gathering place for our four kids and their friends, for countless meals and games and chaotic conversations. It's held more noise than I can usually handle. It is the room where I learned how to cook, and where I taught my daughters how to bake. It's the definition of home for my sons, who are away at college.
I decided a long time ago that it was okay to need beauty all around me. God put that desire in me. I think of the Tabernacle, of the symbols and objects made by the best craftsmen. All to remind the people of the Presence, to glorify the Name.
And here, in this room, I can be in the Presence. I can bring glory to His Name. There is no ordinary space. All is holy, even a messy kitchen.
"Clutter is something that no longer serves you."(Julie Morgenstern)
"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139:23,24)