Have you ever been riding in a car and notice a lonely chimney standing in a pasture? This morning I was listening to some music that was recorded live by one of my favorite bands, Sister Hazel. The band leader was setting up the next song they were going to perform and he mentioned seeing a lonesome chimney in a field was the reason he wrote the song.
I have seen them many times and each time I run across one I imagine the family that grew up being warmed by its fire, the food that was cooked in the fire that it held, and the mother lovingly sitting beside it, mending socks and rocking the cradle as she told a story to her young children. I am reminded of the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder that I read as a third grader.
That fireplace was the heart of the home. It was their light, heat, and a means to cook their food. It heated water for baths and to wash dishes. In their tiny cabins they didn’t have much, but what they had they used every day. They had loaded up their wagons with basics and headed west to find a place to call home. I guess the Conestoga Wagon was the original tiny house.
Everything they needed was loaded into the wagon for trail. As I think about those powerful pioneer women, they were the heart of the home. They made even a wagon seem like a wonderful place to lay you head. It was their spirit of survival that kept them going, along with her ability to make do and enjoy the journey. She set the tone for the whole family.
You have this same pioneer spirit; you may not have to cook in an open fireplace, but your kitchen has become the heart of your home. Your kitchen island or dining table is where your family spends time together; playing games, eating meals, having family meetings, and family worship. This room has a whole lot to do with the way you feel about yourself.
This week we have been focusing on our kitchens. How does your kitchen make you feel? Do you avoid it like the plague? If you dining table filled with junk mail? Are the counters covered in last night’s dirty dishes? Is the dishwasher filled with clean dishes? Is your sink shining? Do you know what’s for dinner?
I want you to set your timer for 15 minutes and get started making this room something that will bless you and your family. Yes I know it is Saturday! Spend 15 minutes putting away dishes and reloading the dishwasher; then sit down at your table with a piece of paper and make a plan for 15 minutes. Write down every thing that you see that needs to me done. Let me help you with that list. Work for 15 minutes then rest sorting papers for 15 minutes. It will not take long to get the heart of your home beautiful again.
- Fill your sink with hot soapy water.
- Empty the other sink and stack dishes to be washed or loaded into dishwasher.
- Start to the right of your sink and work your way around the kitchen clearing dishes off the counter.
- Wipe down stove
- Water plants
- Wipe countertops
- Clear off island, throw away paper and put away important papers. Wipe it down.
- Clear off kitchen table and wipe it down.
- Wipe window of splatters
- Empty dishwasher and reload to run again
- Wash any dishes that will not fit in dishwasher and put them away!
- Wipe the front of your cabinets. Don’t obsess just wipe.
- Wipe the front of stove, dishwasher, microwave.
- Put away any appliance that you are not using, crockpot, mixer, or anything that is on your counters that is clutter.
- Wipe down canisters and coffee maker.
- Sweep the floor. If it needs it; mop the floor.
- Empty the trash and put in a new trash bag.
- Empty dishwasher
- Wipe down your sink and make it shine!
Now stand back and admire what you have done. This does not take as long as we imagine it will. We set ourselves up to procrastinate when we dread things. It is much easier to keep a house clean than it is to clean a house that is trashed from our procrastination. Don’t abandon the heart of your home.
I know you are tired and you really don’t want to mess up your kitchen but do you know what’s for dinner? Get it started now and clean up after yourself as you go. You have a family to feed and a home to bless with your presence. Now smile because you are the heart of your home.
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