A Grand Illusion

Clean kitchens. We see them on TV, we see them in magazines, we see them we see them online, and in home decor books. Perfect kitchens. Everything in its place. No clutter. Everyone must keep their home looking like this…after all, they wouldn’t lie to us, would they? And if you have a kitchen that looks nothing like the picture perfect ones you see, there must be something wrong with you, and why can’t you just keep tidy?! Well, I have a confession to make. It may come as a shock to you, but my kitchen doesn’t usually look like this. In fact, it rarely looks like this. I cleaned it for the express purpose of taking this photo. Most of the time my kitchen somewhere between the extreme of the photo above, and the photo below:
I’m convinced you can’t keep your kitchen immaculately clean and still cook in it. This Martha Stewart ideal that we have in our minds of being able to cook, garden, craft, and entertain in a spotless home is false. Martha Stewart is not only a woman, she is a corporation. She doesn’t do all that on her own. Or how about Real Simple magazine? Anytime I flip through it I want to throw out 3/4 of my stuff so I can have a home that looks like one in its pages. Every one of those photos is professionally staged – people don’t live like that. They just don’t.
It dawned on me a little while ago that every time I clean my kitchen, it’s so I have room to make a mess again. It never stays clean. And that’s fine. Really! Now that I finally understand that it’s not realistic to keep my kitchen spotless all the time, I don’t mind a little mess so much. A little mess shows that people live here. It shows that food is prepared here, and bodies are nourished here. I’ll take a messy kitchen and the smell of homemade lasagne baking in the oven, over a clean kitchen and the convenience of frozen food any day. I’m thankful for a God who provides, and a husband who works hard, so that I can be at home to make a mess with real food in my kitchen.

2 Responses to “A Grand Illusion”

  1. Becky Fehr Says:

    Amen:) Right on! Glad you can be okay with it cuz we don’t have much choice do we?! I still find I grumble about it needing to be cleaned OVER AND OVER daily but like you I love knowing it is messy cuz I am making and enjoying real food!

  2. Allie Says:

    Amen again!! I feel the same way. At night the baby goes to bed, the husband watches TV, and I clean the kitchen – and it looks so shiny! And then all day, when we are, well, USING it, it’s not exactly spotless ;) And sometimes a person gets called away from those dishes by more important things … like people who need you! Thanks for writing out my thoughts :)

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