Sunday, October 5, 2014

Chaos in the kitchen

Put GOD in charge of your work, then what you’ve planned will take place. – Proverbs 16:3 (The Message)
My husband makes breakfast on Saturday mornings—and it’s not a bowl of cereal hastily thrown together. No, my sweetie makes eggs—over easy for him, scrambled with cheese for me; diced potatoes fried in olive oil; and either bacon, loose or link sausage, or fried ham. This mid-morning feast is complemented with orange juice, tea and toast. (I think he’s practicing for retirement.)
Now, far be it from me to complain when the man wants to make a meal, but Dean’s idea of cooking is tossing it into some grease and letting it splatter. But if he’s going to clean up, that’s fine by me, and most Saturday mornings he does.
Last Saturday, however, with the shrinking daylight hours, he wanted to get out and cut firewood as soon as possible. So I agreed to clean up. But after he left, I took one look at the kitchen and groaned. Where to start?
There were some dishes in the drying rack. I’d start there. When I opened the drawer to put away the silverware, however, I spied the accumulation of what I call “drawer chips.” Where does all that stuff come from anyway? I couldn’t put clean silverware in dirty baskets. So I dumped all the contents of the drawer on the only clean countertop space I had and put the containers in hot, soapy water to soak.
That’s when I spied the potatoes Dean left on the counter by the sink and decided to make crockpot seasoned potatoes for supper. The problem was the small crockpot I wanted to use was in the back of the cupboard where I keep such appliances.

While I was emptying that cupboard, I spied my four-cup coffeemaker and decided to make a cappuccino to put some gas in the tank. I am not a morning person. The problem was I was making it from scratch. Which meant dirtying more dishes—a bowl to heat the milk and sugar in and a hand mixer to whip up the hot, sweet milk into a frothy foam.
When I opened the cupboard to get the sugar, I spied the empty pitchers on the counter I’d wanted to put in there but had no room. So I emptied that cupboard, too.
Meanwhile, the greasy skillets and dirty dishes waited patiently.
Me, I wasn’t so patient. I decided to sprinkle nutmeg and cinnamon on my cappuccino. That’s when I spied the spices, brown sugar, and Crisco I’d bought the day before and left on the counter because I didn’t have room in the spice cupboard.
So I emptied that cupboard, too—and found four containers of cornstarch, three of baking powder, two half-empty ones of baking cocoa—some were unopened and most were old. Really old.
Then Dean texted me from the woods that he needed more water. Would I fill up a jug and bring it out to him. Sure. Anything to get out of that messy kitchen.
When I returned, though, no kitchen fairies had visited to clean up the chaos.
“Help!” I shouted on Facebook.
My friend Judy Rathmell responded: “Set your timer for 15 mins. and work like crazy - no interruptions - then stop and have a nice cup of tea!
Done! 1 drawer and 3 cupboards ..
Wow! I didn’t know I could get so much done in 15 minutes!
Life gets like that chaotic kitchen at times, doesn’t it? Sometimes it’s our own mess, sometimes it’s someone else’s, sometimes both. For things to get better, they often have to get worse. And when it gets overwhelming, it’s always nice to have words of wisdom from a friend to guide you and give you some focus.
No one will come and in one fell swoop clean up the mess. But you can do it—with words of advice from a wise friend and one cup of tea at a time. 
When things get overwhelming, Lord, remind me to set the timer! Amen.

Special-Tea: Read Philippians 3:12–14
After the day's work, we enjoyed a campfire supper.

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