When Perfect and New Wears Off
- Sandy Coughlin Author, The Reluctant Entertainer
- 2011 10 Oct
It was over 5 years ago that we enjoyed a brand new kitchen at our old home of 10 years.
I remember the freshness of moving in, unpacking from the garage, having brand new things -- and feeling on top of the world.
Then life became ... reality. The once sparkling new kitchen didn't seem that new any more. The glitter of it all started to fade as I still had to do dishes. Just when you think you have the kitchen clean, all the kids come home, food is left out, and dishes are left in the sink.
My stacks of "stuff" piled up on the counters... mail to be opened, reminders to put on the calendar. The kids make huge messes, the cupboards need wiping down because of the spaghetti sauce that ran over. My busy life left my new kitchen looking not so pretty anymore.
My happiness began to wane.
Those of you who have followed my blog know that we recently got a new kitchen in our current home. It was a long process to get it done, doing much of the work ourselves and working with a tight budget. We've had to make decisions to cut things that we wanted, to add in things that were important to us, to make it a place of comfort, rest, healing, and satisfaction to many bodies who will be congregating in our kitchen in the years to come. I've been getting that taste of "newness" and "freshness" and thinking my life will be happier when ... my new kitchen is done.
I want to remember the lesson I learned with the old. My happiness doesn't lie in perfect or new. Because perfect and new wears off. In fact, it becomes old rather quickly, and as life settles in again, I know I must keep my priorities straight.
As the newness fades, I need to stop and remind myself that it's what goes on in our kitchen that really matters. It's about the love that transpires, the bonding with friends and family, the nourishment that will be provided and shared together. Bringing our kids and their friends back into the "center of the home," last minute get-togethers, planned holiday events, my Balcony Girls group, and sit-down dinners with our friends. It's sitting back and relaxing; what I call sharing "the common life."
Even though it might take some time for us to complete our flooring, God blesses us with exactly what we have each day. It's perfect for the day, whether old or new, and he meets our needs down to the finest details.
I want to daily create a place of love in the heart of my home called "the kitchen," where food is served and real sharing takes place.
"What I'm trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You'll find all your everyday human concerns met." Luke 12:29-31, The Message
Originally posted November 19, 2009.
Sandy Coughlin is a mom to 3 teens, wife to one awesome man, and author of the popular Reluctant Entertainer blog. She loves to cook and entertain in her home, and look for creative ways to give to those around her. Her book, The Reluctant Entertainer, will be released summer 2010.