Monday, July 25, 2016

Lessons from my kitchen cabinets.

My kitchen cabinets need to be refinished....
and so does my heart, apparently.
You see, refinishing the cabinets in the kitchen and bath has been on our to-do list for over a year, but it's not yet in the budget. The home AC went out, the car AC went out, we had to replace the washer and dryer...there's always something, right?
So these ol' cabinets have gotten pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. But last week, someone was in my home, and mentioned that boy do I need to update my kitchen cabinets....and counters. She showed me pictures for ideas, and while I know she had the best of intentions, all of a sudden, as I looked at those renovated kitchens, I began to see my home as less-than. Not up to par. Honestly, it's gotten shabbier by the day, in my eyes.
And just like that, discontentment sets in.
I "need" this and this and this,
and instead of my heart being focused on praying for all that's going on in my world today, or loving my family and friends well, or anything that would bring God glory, my mind is whirling with projects and budgets and potential debt.
They say "Comparison is the thief of joy," and have you ever heard a truer thing?
When I compare my kitchen cabinets, or my husband, or my children, or my parenting skills, or my job, or my church, or my friendships, or my vehicle, or my purse collection, or WHATEVER....there's always going to be someone who has it "better," who is doing it "better."
And just like that, my joy is sucked down into the vortex of "I wish" or "if only" or "when this happens, I will finally be happy." It's a slippery slope, and today, I'm going to wipe down those shabby, beat-up cabinets and choose joy. I'm going to remember why those cabinets are so rough:
we've cooked and eaten a million meals in this kitchen, my beautiful little family and I
we've had water fights with the kitchen sprayer, laughing until our sides hurt, water dripping down to the floor
we've welcomed thousands of people into our home, and they've stood over these cabinets to wash their hands before sharing a meal with us
my children have banged a step stool into those cabinets hundreds of times, wanting to play in the sink or help mommy cook or just see what's happening
our children and our youth and our college students and our friends have all jumped up on the counters to sit and talk with us, banging their shoes onto the cabinet doors as they tell us about their day
Tens of thousands of precious moments have led to cabinets that really must be refinished soon. But for now, I will remember those moments and choose joy. And it's really not about the cabinets at all, is it? It's much more about my heart.

I shared this on Facebook last week, and it has been shared over 1,000 times....this comparison game is so common to our human experience, isn't it?  I love when social media makes our community a little closer, when we can share mutual struggles and encourage each other through them.  There are over 80 comments on the post, and so, so much love.  I know social media is detrimental in so many ways, but I love when it creates a little tribe.

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