A Day in the Kitchen

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bee pic.jpgBy Kristen Johnson-Well, harvest is now in full swing. Gone are my carefree days of doing what the kids and I wanted to do. Now, we are kept busy with the demands of helping with harvest.

Last Saturday began like most of our Saturdays do. We all got up at our usual time, and I set to work making pancakes and bacon. Shortly after breakfast, my husband began to unfold the plans of the day to me. Some family was coming to help pick up tree limbs out of our field. (We had just had a bunch of trees taken down do we could have some more farmland. Limbs and branches were the only survivors.) So, after I cleaned up breakfast (dishes are one of my least favorite chores!), I headed to town with the kids to get some items to feed everyone for lunch.

After the trip to the grocery store, the kids and I whipped up some boxed brownies. Then, my sister-in-law reminded me that I had ordered some homemade, authentic tamales from a friend of hers in town. She was bringing them over. Right then. I altered my plans for lunch. We would have the fresh tamales (YUM!). I got toppings ready for them. Salsa, cheese, sour cream, and fresh garden tomatoes.

The eight of us ate and then dispersed. I set to work cleaning up the kitchen again (Did I mention I dislike doing dishes?). The cleanliness of the kitchen only lasted a short while. Once the kids went down for a nap, I decided it was time to make muffins for church the next day. For some reason, I decided to make homemade, cinnamon roll muffins. And while they are quicker than cinnamon rolls, it is still a process. I decided the end product was worth the effort, so I got to work.

My husband then called me to say they were picking beans. I would need to bring out supper, and also, would I like to bring our son out to ride in the combine? So, with hamburger thawing and my muffin batter half way done, I took my son to the farm. My daughter and I spent the rest of the afternoon working on the muffins and making lasagna, complete with homemade sauce.

After bringing supper out to the field and feeding my own kids, I, again, had to do the dishes! ARGH!

At last it was bedtime for the kids! Sweet relief! But, oops, the muffins had to be glazed! Easy enough except then, I had to clean up. Again!  (They really are worth it though!)

When I finally sat down at about 9:30 that evening, I realized, I spent most of the day in the kitchen! What was I becoming?

In my college days, I had plans. I would work as an English teacher, get a Master’s degree or maybe two, have a couple kids, and keep working. But some alternate plan was put into place during our premarital counseling. My then fiance stated that he would like it if I would stay home and raise our children. Seriously, I never thought I would actually do it! My semi-feminist college attitude was fired up! Why would I sacrifice my career and my education to just stay at home with my children?

Well, it’s pretty common in my life for God to change my plans. I can now say I’m blessed to stay at home and raise my own children, a privilege many women would like to do, but can’t for one reason or another. God has a sense of humor and a better plan, that’s for sure!

But now, I had literally spent all day in a kitchen! I felt my feminism flaring once again! What could I say I actually accomplished that day besides cooking and cleaning? What had I contributed to the world?

Thankfully, at this more spiritually matured station in life, I could answer my own questions. I had fed my family and some hard working hungry people. I had fostered an atmosphere of hospitality when we had our extended (soon-to-be) family into our home for lunch. I had, in my own way, assisted with the farming operation, providing food for the farmers so the combines would not have to stop picking the beans. I had helped my kids learn about cooking and farming and working.

I had accomplished quite a bit, if I do say so myself.

“Work willingly at whatever you do as though you were working for the Lord rather than people.”

And might I add, Colossians 3:23 adds a deeper meaning to any work that we do.