Getting the kitchen in order for practical purposes is all well and good, but it lacks heart without the why.
My goal is to live my life by two principles: Love Jesus. Love people.
So how does this work out in the kitchen?
Because I love Jesus, I obey him. And while I believe that there are many valid configurations of God’s role for women, as I listen to God, I know that right now mine is to be a stay at home mom to 5 small children. This is the sphere where I am able to glorify him in the mundane and humdrum. Washing the dishes doesn’t feel very spiritual sometimes, but only if my mind creates a false separation between the sacred and the secular, instead of remembering that God is Creator and as such is Sovereign over all of life. Not only that, but he has given all good gifts for us to enjoy on our earthly sojourn—beauty, flavors, memories, relationships. My pleasure in his good gifts brings him pleasure in return. I can glorify him and love him and worship him through the womanly gifts he has given me to make a house a home. The hours I spend in cooking and washing up don’t have to be restricted by my own thoughts. My kitchen can become a sanctuary of prayer and service.
And loving people? Obviously I love my husband through food. And at this time in my life, I get to pour into my little ones. This is not just discipling their souls, but also filling their hungry bellies with nourishing foods that will help them grow into the healthiest people they can be. It’s nurturing their hearts with beauty and sweet memories so that they grow emotionally whole. It’s showing love by preparing their favorite foods, some of God’s wonderful gifts.
In addition, through the kitchen I get to show hospitality to those God puts in my life—friends, neighbors, and sometimes strangers. Even the simplest meal prepared in their honor says, “You are important to us. Eat with us and tell us your story.” Doesn’t service and listening open hearts?
God is not separated from daily life. If we ask him to be, he’s there (as Brother Lawrence said in his Christian classic The Practice of the Presence of God) among the pots and pans, not only our Savior but our ever-present Friend. All of life, we remember, flames with God…