Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Prayers for a kitchen in Advent

Lord, help me remember that I WILL NOT DIE if my kitchen isn't finished before Christmas.

Dad, if you even hint at the words "I told you so," you won't be getting a Christmas present. :P

How in the world am I going to host Christmas Eve for Scott's family without even a kitchen sink?!

Lord, help me remember that Christmas will still be Christmas even if I don't have a kitchen yet...

Such have been my thoughts and prayers the last few weeks. One-track.

It felt like a small miracle when I finished prepping and priming the cabinets, and we could finally bring them out of the weather and into the house. I knew there was little chance of having the kitchen ready for Thanksgiving, but I still hoped we could move things along in time for Christmas.

Scott has worked every possible minute of the last three weekends on the cabinets, adapting, levelling, installing, matching the new to the old, even building one from scratch where we had an unexpected hole. Every bit of this kitchen project has been tedious, one person working at a time, step by tiny step.

There is no speeding the process up. There is no HGTV or DIY Network crew standing by to help get the job done in four days flat. There is no budget for hiring a team of experts. This is our DIY project, and we are doing it ourselves, however long it takes, and with the understanding that the ability to do any of it at all is a blessing.

It seems the theme of the last several posts here has been waiting. As I learned from Kimberlee Conway Ireton, wait is also the watchword for this first week of Advent. I'm thinking it's also my personal watchword of the year.

In any case, I am clinging desperately to the knowledge that this season is about CHRIST.  Not about having a pretty, decorated house. Not about baking cookies to give away. Not about being a good hostess, or making everything perfectly "Christmasy." Not about me.

I have struggled the last several months with the guilt that this kitchen remodel has taken so much of my focus, time, and energy, that I have been so unavailable to do for others. I have wondered if it will feel like a stolen blessing when it's over.

I absolutely must rest in the knowledge that this project is even more temporal than this life. That every moment is a gift, but the greatest gift is Christ. That I need only to praise Him in thankfulness -- no matter the circumstance, no matter how chaotic my life looks and feels, no matter how I fail to be like Him.

I want to infuse my veins with the Gospel, a constant reminder that He came, He died, He rose again -- His work is done, even if mine is not.

I will await His coming expectantly, doing what I can to prepare, but knowing that ultimately, His perfect timing does not, and will never, depend on me.

May our hearts and minds remain focused on the Lord this Advent as we anticipate and celebrate the holy day of Christmas. Amen.


Melinda said...

I don't know if this will make you feel any better, but I am amazed at that pic of your hubby in the kitchen!! Is this really the same space?! It is already looking great, Amanda. Do you have your oven yet? Are you washing dishes in the bathroom? LOL
Maybe you will host Christmas dinner and it will all be very comical, with lots of Hollywood mishaps, and will be The Christmas To Remember. =-)

Amanda said...

Thanks, Melinda. :) But no - no oven, no countertops, no sink. No cooking here, and my bathroom sink is too tiny to bother clogging with scum from dirty dishes! Just lots and lots of paper plates and microwave burritos.

I'm thinking Christmas will look like take-out. I'm not so into Hollywood mishaps. ;)

Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

I'm always amazed at how articulate you are when expressing your deepest inner stirrings...beautifully put!

Heather said...

LOVE this line:
"I want to infuse my veins with the Gospel, a constant reminder that He came, He died, He rose again -- His work is done, even if mine is not."
Thanks for the reminder, Amanda.

mandi said...

I love your thoughts on the temporal. Isn't it strange how the temporary takes such hold over us ( I say this with first-hand knowledge!). Oh to have the mind of see things the way He does.

I am so thankful for His grace. That He knows above all that our ways are not His ways. That our thoughts are not His.

Big hugs to you.

<(.,.)>The Imperfect Housewife said...

Just found your blog and enjoyed this post :)

<(.,.)>The Imperfect Housewife said...

Just found your blog and enjoyed this post :)

Mandy said...

You are a patient girl, Amanda! I'd be nuts by now!

Diane Gauthier said...

HOORAY!!! HOORAY!!! those cupboards have NEW LIFE!!! they are astoundingly beautiful and fresh from what they were, forsaken in the backyard, in the heat and sun of summer. I am AMAZED!!! and so happy for you that this project's end is in sight!

Anonymous said...

hang in there. I am in a mess too, can't say it's in the's in my bathroom and closet. actually all of my closets contents are in bathroom I have to climb over stuff to take a shower or brush my teeth.

Here's praying for your patience...have you thought of buying a precooked meal? Just a thought. God bless.

Mary P said...

Oh I can just imagine your feelings right now. We were pushing to finish our complete kitchen remodel in time for Thanksgiving last year, working late into the night every evening the week before Thanksgiving. Hooray, we got it done, and then - the something came up and our guests couldn't make it :-) I got to see that I had my hope in the wrong thing. My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness! I "borrowed" this prayer from another blogger friend - "Lord help me to be blind to the mess and disorder in my home today! Help me to see what it is important, and make me blind to those things that are not! Thank you God for this messy, overflowing life!"

chaz said...

So Amanda, are you still alive sweetie? ;)

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