There are bits of cucumber and tomato that never quite make it into the salad. The kitchen floor is lightly dusted with flour. She’s asked about a million times if she can lick the spoon and I’m pretty sure she did when I wasn’t looking. She is four and she is standing on a stool next to me, eager to do the very things I tire of doing day in and day out.
You see, the kitchen is a difficult place for me. I’ve even gone so far as to call it the “bane of my existence.” It is a needy, never-ending mess of pots and pans and last night’s dinner. In fact, I’d rather be anywhere other than my kitchen.
Yet, despite its blatant lack of counter space and 50 year old appliances that won’t break so I can get new ones, it holds a certain charm to my little daughter. She is a M.I.T. (Mommy In Training) and she knows the kitchen is Mommy’s domain.
So how is it the one room in the house that is almost entirely mine happens to be the one room I dislike the most?
I’ve toyed with the idea of sprucing it up with paint and pictures, adding touches of fancy to make it more pleasing to the eye, but deep down I know aesthetics aren’t the issue. It’s attitude. Mine, to be exact.
When I look at the kitchen I see messes to be cleaned. When my daughter looks at the kitchen she sees an amazing place where individual foods become an entire meal right before her eyes.
I see the end, she sees the beginning.
It would do me good to adopt her view of things. Instead of seeing a scummy blender, I should see the blessing of not having to bother with cleaning it before making smoothies in the morning. Instead of seeing a dirty skillet, I should see the potential of a clean skillet for browning meat for tomorrow’s lunch. Instead of seeing a cluttered countertop, I should see a stunning (albeit small) workspace for rolling out a pie for company this weekend. I should see the beginnings rather than the ends.
In fact, I should see a wonderful beginning when my daughter crawls up next to me on that little kitchen stool. What she learns from me is the beginning of her journey to womanhood. Every time she stirs the batter, shreds the lettuce, or salts the meat, she is learning. She is also learning when she sees me sigh at the mess before me or when I slam a cabinet door in frustration or when I am short with her because I just don’t have the time to play a round of 20 Questions. Is that the beginning I want for her?

The only thing I have with my children are beginnings. What is sown today will take years to bring to fruition. In fact, I may never know the full impact of the beginnings I share with my children.

So, what matters here and now is that I take my life’s calling as wife and mother seriously; that I set about diligently to be someone worth emulating; that I remember all my daily tasks are to be done as unto the Lord. I have to stop fussing and fretting over the ends of things and start preparing for the beginnings. And when my little daughter slides that stool across the floor and climbs up next to me, I should see things from her perspective…a beautiful beginning.

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23 Comments on Beginnings

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23 thoughts on “Beginnings

  1. Well my Princess is 21 months and already jumps up on the stool and wants to help. What will she be like at 4? My goodness! I enjoyed your post. Visiting from GTNY over at Lynette’s blog. Blessings!

  2. Congrats for being featured today on Lynnette’s blog!

    Also thanks for sharing this post, gave me much to ponder and you have encouraged me. :)

  3. Amy,

    I guess a kitchen for us moms, is much like a garage is for dads! Sometimes we can love it and other times we can feel chained to it!

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  4. Hi Amy,
    I really appreciated this post.It really got me thinking that I need to treasure those moments in the kichen more while my girls are small.It is not the nicest of places but it can be special still.It is the time spent with Mom they will remember,not the ugly floor and walls.

    • I agree Completely! I often give up working with them after only a little while, although I DO spend a good amount of time letting them help. It feels bad when I get so frustrated with them, as they only want to help and learn. I will take some deep breaths and think about positive beginnings tomorrow as they all clamor around me.

  5. Amy~
    Your post is so true of who I once was! The light went on for me about 5 yrs ago. I seemed so frustrated at every thing but prayed to have a new attitude….I told the Lord my vision for my family…what I wanted my family to look like….the happiness with out all the rushing around and yelling….I am 41 and still have many young ones and praying daily that God will bless our family again with another little one!
    I had to envision my life the way I wanted it to be and move towards the vision….with God’s help!
    So the past five years I would say I have grown leaps and bounds to become the gentle,loving,easy going mom I am today!

    Great post….you really can write!
    You are awesome!
    You are such an inspiration!


  6. Thank you for this:) The kitchen is my favorite part of the house, but the laundry room is my “bane”. And my twins are always wanting to help and I shoo them away:( No more. I can let them help me fold and maybe they will enjoy doing laundry when they grow up:)

  7. Amy,

    This post spoke to my heart. I struggle with my attitude about the kitchen, with all the work that I “see” in there. I have children that find it an exciting place, and I dread every minute of it. Thanks for challenging me today!

    I see that you were featured on Lynntte’s Getting To Know You!


  8. I think its like alot of things, when you only have to do them a few times they are fun. When its a daily thing it loses its shine. I remember getting excited about what to cook for dinner, now i get fed up with thinking of meals to keep everyone happy. Blessed is the innocence of youth. xx

  9. You put so perfectly what I have been needing to hear! And my husband just remodeled my kitchen!!! Still….so much work in there! So thank you for your wisdom! :)
    So funny, I was stopping by and hadn’t been to Lynette’s yet and realized you were featured!!!! Congratulations!!! I do so enjoy Getting to Know You!!! :)

  10. Hi Amy…..came over from Lynette’s blog. I am so sorry about the loss of your precious baby and VERY grateful God brought you and Lynette together. Who better to walk with wehn you’re facing a moment that impossibly hard?

    I’m afraid my attitude is often like yours and my daughter’s is completely different, too. Still is and she’s 18. She always sees the kitchen as full of promise. (She’s hovering over a pan of chili I just made and happily anticipating a cornbread about to come out of the oven.) Thanks for the reminder to see my blessings – not my obstacles! :)

  11. I have a small kitchen with mostly old appliances. When we moved into our house the fridge and stove were left for us. They were both about 15 years old at least. We purchased a new fridgs fairly soon after moving in but kept the stove. I wanted a new stove so bad. Mine was ugly. One day I decided the old stove wasn’t so bad. The more I thought about it the more I decided I really liked it. It was bigger than most and I could fit more in the oven. Wouldn’t you know, as soon as I decided it was fine it broke.

  12. So, Peggi…
    If I start loving these funky brown appliances, they’ll break?!! LOL I’ll have to try that!

  13. Awww, Clara,
    You’re so sweet! It is so encouraging to me to know the things the Lord lays on my heart are encouraging to others as well.
    Send me the link to your blog! I’d love to read it!

  14. I just love to read your blogs they are well thought out and very uplifting.
    I just started blogging the other day and it has been such a outlet for me.
    You are inspiring Amy
    Clara from momys (ilove2bmom)

  15. It’s refreshing to find that I’m not the only one with a kitchen like you described. I want to love the kitchen, but I have negative feelings about it because of my mom. And I can see that I may pass the same negativity onto my daughter…horrors! You pray for me and I’ll pray for you! Blessings!

  16. I somehow missed this one. It feels like “Declutter Me” and an article from Above Rubies, I believe it was titled “Living the Dream”.

    Another gem, Amy!

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  20. Thank you for sharing this. My oldest little loves to help in the kitchen . I get so caught up in getting it done that I just have her watch. From now on, I’m gonna have her wash those little hands and help mommy. She is my little MIT

  21. Loved this post. My fondest memories of my grandmother were when we were in the kitchen (my own mom meant well, but had next to no patience to teach, she just wanted to get in there and get it done). As soon as I could stir dry ingredients, I was in the kitchen helping my grandma. I look forward to giving my daughter the same memories. She is almost 4, yet has always been eager to help with any chores, so she has spent plenty of time helping me cook.