Kitchen Diaries Part 6: Embracing the not yet
This post could also be called: accepting the incomplete and imperfect whilst hopefully expecting the fulfillment of promises.
Okay, so the time it is taking for our kitchen to be finished has moved past the ridiculous and I think we are resigned to it just being done when it is done. What we do now have is some cupboards so we have been able to move most of the kitchen things back into the kitchen and use it!
I was hoping to be able to share photos of a completed kitchen when it was all done, but one of the things God has been talking to me about is accepting and being grateful for the incomplete and imperfect whilst hopefully expecting the fulfillment of His promises. If you had overheard some of my conversations you may or may not have heard me say (“I think the kitchen is never going to be finished!”)
I am an idealist and an ex-perfectionist - I want things to be done well, but having the kitchen slowly done with its little imperfections here and there which only I will notice and you wouldn’t, has been a discipline in accepting the imperfect and being grateful and loving it anyway!
One of the positive things about our kitchen taking so long is that we have been able to fully appreciate each little thing that has been done as it is completed - I have had little bursts of joy for over a month now!
Firstly, with a combined effort from our community over two weeks and an 8-hour non-stop stint one Sunday afternoon-evening with a paintbrush, all the plastering and painting (and repainting of the ceiling which peeled off after its first paint!) has been done. Part of the waiting to find someone who could paint the kitchen led me (and the kids!) to drawing all over the walls in chalk, coming up with a design to be painted on top. It gave me time to think and press into the Holy Spirit and be inspired! Daniel and I walked around the kitchen and I asked him what Bible verse we should use as an inspiration and he came up with the two verses: ‘Let everything that has breath praise the Lord’, and ‘Give thanks to the Lord, proclaim His name, make known among the nations the things He has done.’ - They seemed like perfect verses to represent the worship and discipleship that goes on in the kitchen.
Another breakthrough was finally getting a new oven after our old one had stopped working properly. It finally arrived and then when they came to install it we discovered that a part was broken so it had to go back to the shop for 2 weeks to be fixed. (This is Peru - they said 7 working days!). With the new oven the boys have been keen to get baking and have turned out many a cookie and ‘secret recipes’ (basically cake-cookies), to share with the community. Last week Daniel’s secret recipe turned into a cake and because Joel had also made cookies, we iced the cake but left it until the next day. The following morning the lady who helps clean turned up with her son and announced that it was his birthday - it was so fun seeing the boys icing the cake and trying to find candles to give José a birthday cake for morning snack time and singing him ‘Happy Birthday’.
I love our new double sink - it is so much easier to do all the washing up in and to have two people using it at the same time. And the boys have even been known to help out after their cooking adventures (Okay - not totally off their own backs - I may have uttered the condition: 'no helping with washing up, no baking'!). Dishwashers still have two legs and two arms in Peru so having a functional sink for all our washing up and washing-up-ers is something I am very grateful for.
We also chose a tap that has a water filter system included in it so that we don’t have to have a separate filter sat out on the worktop. We have had a few problems with the new water filter which is installed under the sink - it doesn’t seem to have been working properly and the water tastes like dirt and stale fish! Hopefully that will be sorted soon! (We still have our old filter which we have been using to fill up a large water dispenser so we can drink nice-tasting water!)
I was so fed up with the tiles in our old kitchen that I didn’t want a tile in sight near the worktops in this one! We have installed a plain piece of glass behind the sink to stop the paint from being damaged long term by constant splashing.
One of my favourite bits of the kitchen was the inspired re-design: having a worktop / breakfast bar across the middle of kitchen. This is great for having the kids near when preparing snacks, for eating breakfast together and for the kids to all have their own space to do their baking. I am also loving having a huge worktop to put 15 plates out onto when we serve up at lunchtime! Before we were always looking for places to lay half-filled plates down (on the microwave, on the hob, in people’s hands…) but now all the plates can be laid out and served at once.
Last week's joyful surprise (surprise because we had been told they were arriving three times before without them showing up, so we couldn’t actually believe they were here!) was the wall cabinets and pantry cupboards. We never had enough space to store things before (cooking weekly for so many people means lots of large bags of rice and pasta etc.), so I am thrilled with being able to have spacious cupboards to put things in. The pantries are larger than I imagined (we measured them out, but they look bigger in real life) - so big that when one was laid out on the floor Joel thought that it could be a bunk bed for 5 small children!
We still have the drawers and under work-top cupboards to be installed and the dining area, but I am learning to be grateful and joyful with the blessings we have been given now and to really enjoy the community aspect the new kitchen facilitates, and the fun of baking with the boys.
We are off to the UK in just over a week - will the kitchen be done finally before we go?!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. - Psalm 150:6