Posted: 8:30 am Friday, August 29th, 2014

Grateful for an outdated kitchen and other things 

By Helena Oliviero

Hi everyone,

I wanted to share a brilliant piece by Glennon Doyle Melton of momastery.com. She touches on something many of us can relate to — whether it’s wanting to update the 1980s kitchen or getting the cutest bedroom set for our kids etc., etc.  She looks at her kitchen — and life — with fresh “perspectacles.” (and she was happy to share with AJC readers).

Here it is:

 

 

Recently I posted a picture of myself in my kitchen, and I immediately started receiving generous messages from people wanting to help me “update” it. Along with their messages came pictures of how my kitchen could look, if I’d just put some effort and money into it.

I’ve always loved my kitchen, but after seeing those pictures I found myself looking at it through new, critical eyes.  Maybe it was all wrong. Maybe the 80′s counters, laminate cabinets, mismatched appliances and clutter really were mistakes I should try to fix. I stood and stared and suddenly my kitchen looked shabby and lazy to me. I wondered if that meant I was shabby and lazy, too. Because our kitchens are nothing if not reflections of us, right? I decided I’d talk to Craig and make some calls about updates.

But as I lay down to sleep, I remembered this passage from Thoreau’s Walden: “I say beware of all enterprises that require new clothes and not a new wearer of the clothes.” Walden reminds me that when I feel lacking- I don’t need new things, I need new eyes with which to see the things I already have. So when I woke up this morning, I walked into my kitchen wearing fresh perspectacles. Here’s what I saw.

You guys. I have a REFRIGERATOR.

kitchen fridge one

This thing MAGICALLY MAKES FOOD COLD. I’m pretty sure in the olden days, frontierswomen had to drink warm Diet Coke. Sweet Jesus. Thank you, precious kitchen.

kitchen refrgerator inside

Inside my refrigerator is FOOD. Healthy food that so many parents would give anything to be able to feed their children. Almost 16,000 mama’s babies die every day from malnutrition. Not mine. When this food runs out, I’ll just jump in my car to get more. It’s ludicrous, really. It’s like my family hits the lottery every freaking morning.

kichen water faucet

THIS CRAZY THING IS A WATER FAUCET. I pull this lever and CLEAN WATER POURS OUT EVERY TIME, DAY OR NIGHT. 780 million people worldwide (one in nine) lack access to clean water. Mamas everywhere spend their entire day walking miles to and from wells just for a single bucket of this- and I have it right here at my fingertips.  I’m almost embarrassed to say that we also have one of these in each of our two bathrooms, and one in the front yard with which to WASH OUR FEET.  We use clean drinking water to WASH OUR FEET. Holy bounty.

kitchen microwave

This is the magical box in which I put uncooked stuff, push some buttons, and then a minute later- pull out cooked stuff. It is like the JETSONS up in here.

kitchen medicine cabinet

This is my medicine cabinet. Since my Lyme is in remission and each of my babies is healthy- there is nothing in here but vitamins and supplements and tea. Thank you, God. This medicine cabinet is a miracle to me. Every time I open it I feel like I should kneel down and kiss the ground. I have an inbox full of letters from mothers whose medicine cabinets look very different.

kitchen floor

Speaking of ground-  this is our kitchen floor. It’s not fancy, but it’s perfect for our most important kitchen activity: DANCING. When Chase was three a librarian asked a roomful of kids, “what do we do in the kitchen?” Everyone else called out “cook” or “eat!” But Chase yelled “DANCE!”

kitchen coffee

I can’t even talk about this thing. Actually, let’s take a moment of reverent silence because this machine is the reason all my people are still alive. IT TURNS MAGICAL BEANS INTO A LIFE-SAVING NECTAR OF GODS. EVERY MORNING. ON A TIMER.

kitchen school corner

And look you guys: LOOK. This is the kitchen corner where I keep all my kids’ school stuff.  My kids go to a FREE school with brilliant teachers and a loving administration and they’re SAFE there. The school sends flyers home about PROGRAMS and CLASSES and CLUBS to make my kids’ hearts bigger and softer and their brains sharper and their bodies healthier. This corner reminds me everyday that my kids have at their fingertips what so many around the world  are giving their lives for: quality education. When I wear my perspectacles I can’t look at this corner without a heart explosion.

My perspectacled kitchen tour taught me two things this morning: I’m insanely lucky and I’m finally FREE.

In terms of parenting, marriage, home, clothes – I will not be a slave to the Tyranny of Trend any longer. I am almost 40 years old and no catalog is the Boss of Me anymore. I am free. I am not bound to spend my precious days on Earth trying to keep up with the Joneses- because the Joneses are really just a bunch of folks in conference rooms changing “trends” rapidly to create fake monthly emergencies for us. OH NO! NOW IT’S A SUBWAY TILE BACKSPLASH WE NEED!  No, thank you. Life offers plenty of REAL emergencies to handle, thank you very much.

I’m a grown up now. I know what looks good on me, and that doesn’t change every three months. I know how I like my house. I like it cute and cozy and a little funky and I like it to feel lived in and worn and I like the things inside of it to work.  That’s all. And for me – it’s fine that my house’s interior suggests that I might not spend every waking moment thinking about how it looks.

Sometimes it seems that our entire economy is based on distracting women from their blessings. Producers of STUFF NEED to find 10,000 ways to make women feel less than about our clothes, kitchens, selves so that we will keep buying more. So maybe freeing ourselves just a little from the Tyranny of Trend is a women’s issue – because we certainly aren’t going to get much world changing done if we spend all of our time and money on wardrobe and kitchen changing.

BUT. Listen. I’m nothing if not a tangled, colorful ball of contradictions. I like a good make-over as much as anybody else. So . . . HERE WE HAVE IT. HERE IS THE MELTON KITCHEN MAKEOVER FOR YA! READY FOR THE BIG REVEAL?

Before:

kitchen one

After:

kitchen after

Ba- BAM! Extreme home makeover! My kitchen IS beautiful because it is full of beauty. SO IS YOURS.

Today I shall keep my perspectacles super-glued to my face and feel insanely GRATEFUL instead of LACKING and I will look at my home and my people and my body and say: THANK YOU. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. THIS IS ALL MORE THAN GOOD ENOUGH, ALL OF IT. Now. Let us turn our focus onward and outward.  There is WORK TO BE DONE and JOY TO BE HAD.

Love,
G

PS For stories about people around the world with all different kinds of kitchens, or for help creating your own pair of perspectacles, visit CWS!


– See more at: http://momastery.com/blog/2014/08/11/give-liberty-give-debt/#sthash.4AV75VDD.VzEr1f0d.dpuf

Glennon Doyle Melton is the New York Times Bestselling Author of the Books for a Better Life Best Relationships Book of 2013: Carry On Warrior, The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life. She is founder of the award-winning blog Momastery and the non-profit MSMD. Follow Glennon here on https://www.facebook.com/momastery, https://twitter.com/momastery, /posts, http://www.pinterest.com/momastery.
15 comments
Stuffy
Stuffy

Truth to power! I love it. That was beautiful from beginning to end!!!

mistyknapp
mistyknapp

Love it! We need a reminder every now and again about how fortunate we are with what we DO have.

TiffanyBlue
TiffanyBlue

I really love this! I love her kitchen and her family. Very cute!

RickinGrayson
RickinGrayson

I also loved this...can't wait to have my wife read it.  Just another reminder that we take all the things we have for granted without considering just how lucky we are!

motherjanegoose1
motherjanegoose1

I loved this. Especially in the age where people feel the need to post FB pictures to let everyone know how amazing their house is. FYI my house is not too amazing inside or outside right now. This is because I am on the tail end of almost 65 nights away from home this summer. Due to deaths in the family and work. I have no idea where the summer went. This week I am in Florida. . I left my husband home after minor surgery on W. I cleaned before I left but there is a pile of clutter just like the picture above. If anyone stops by they will have to just deal with it.

Jarvis....I am neither late nor disorganized, due to the clutter. I am contracted for 15 different library visits and one workshop. I do have to know where I am headed.

Question: we have white cabinets that I am not replacing. We have black granite countertops that I did replace. Our white appliances need to be replaced. I am inclined to go with black as I am not really crazy about

stainless. Is that a bad idea? At least the appliances would blend with the uba tuba granite. We have hardwood flloors. Just thought I would toss it out there.

RealKat
RealKat

Her family is beautiful BTW.

RealKat
RealKat

@NewName Youmean that you're now a fan of Momastery's blog, right?

NewName
NewName

This is a beautiful and grateful column. 


So many people who have so much take it for granted. 


You've made me a fan in one column. :-)

jarvis1975
jarvis1975

I've never read another thing from her.

I will take bets on her family being fairly disorganized and chronically late.

usedtobejct
usedtobejct

What a wonderful perspective.  Thank you for contributing.


RealKat
RealKat

This is fantastic. Very thought-provoking. I question that her kids go to a "free" school, but other than that - nice!

Motheroftwins
Motheroftwins

Wonderful!! Thanks for sharing this. I'm already feeling much better about every aspect of my home :)

jarvis1975
jarvis1975

@motherjanegoose1 My disorganized comment was based on the amount of stacking and stuff jammed into the box above the desk not the outdated kitchen.

mistyknapp
mistyknapp

@motherjanegoose1 

Glad you're hubby is recovering quickly. I'm sure you're ready for a small break :-) if you don't like black appliances or stainless, go with a color (unless you're talking about refrigerators, dishwashers, etc.). 

motherjanegoose1
motherjanegoose1

Husband is fine. Our kids ate touching base and he can work from home. We can't both work from home. My job description changes into waitress :) Not a good fit for me.