I subscribe to a number of pages on Facebook, including Homespun Wife and My Farmhouse Love. (If you are on Facebook you can see their pages by clicking on the links.) I like these pages, because they are a perpetual source of good thoughts and smiles with home and country scenes in paintings and photographs. The images remind me of all the blessings in life, regardless of what else is going on.
One page I like has photographs of country kitchens in farmhouses, which I love. The kitchens are gorgeous with the latest designs featuring all the beautiful ways you can have a kitchen designed with a country and farmhouse theme.
I have had many different kitchens in my lifetime, including some very small and shabby ones years ago. When I was a single parent with two little boys to raise, I lived in the upper unit of a 1920’s duplex. It was old and worn, but it was roomy and met our needs perfectly at the time. The kitchen still had the original sink, however. The landlord painted the old cupboards white and put in an inexpensive counter top for the small stretch of counter that was there. The linoleum was faded yellow, and it was old. My aged fridge that I bought from a sale at an apartment house and a gas stove were the only other features of that room. I put up a cheery, bright set of curtains, and that was about all I could do. But it’s funny, I have warm memories of that old kitchen.
That was where I made popcorn with my two little fellows in their pajamas, chopped veggies for soup and cut up apples for their snacks. That’s where the old radiators hissed and clunked around, but kept the heat evenly warm on the coldest nights. We had all we needed, and we were cozy, and we had love.
For nine years, up until we moved this summer, Tom and I lived in a nice home, the only downside of which was a very small kitchen. It was something I overlooked when we bought the house, because several other things about the house distracted me at the time. Pans regularly fell out of the one cupboard I had for them, because they all had to go in there, stacked on top of each other. It was love’s labor lost trying to organize it. There wasn’t nearly enough cupboard and pantry space or floor space for a family our size. When the oven door was open, it was difficult to walk. I mentally complained every time pans came crashing out at my feet. It was a secret (albeit wry) joke to me, and I would think, “This kitchen is part of your sanctification process, Ingrid. Patience. Some day you’ll maybe have a better cupboard situation!”
When we moved this summer, the ONLY house we found in our small town that worked for us in our situation had one outstanding feature—a kitchen with a long length of counter top, an unusually large number of cabinets, TWO built-in pantries for groceries, and a built-in hutch in the dining room. As a bonus, the shelves even pull out! For a small ranch home, it was amazing and delightful. I have said “Thank you, Lord” many times since July and have smiled looking up, because of the small joke between the Lord and me. He knew what we needed, and He amazingly provided it. He made me wait a while, but, the smallest kitchen in America is a palace kitchen to the rest of the world. Perspective helps everything. I am very, very grateful.
In the end, though, it’s the people in the kitchen that make it a happy place…or not. You can have a gleaming magazine kitchen with all the mega, super, ultra counter tops and appliances, but if you don’t have loving people around you,, it’s not a very joyful place. (If you have both, you are doubly blessed! Enjoy!)
As a bonus, the floor space is big enough for my sweet grandsons to have their own little table when they come over to eat, and the smooth floor is great for hot wheels cars, also. Much fun to come in our kitchen, Lord willing, as baby Gianna joins the other two grandbabes. Thank you, Lord, for the people who make any room, be it fancy or shabby, a little bit of heaven. Thank you for love that makes it that way.
Here is just a part of my new kitchen. Room for Em’s Betta fish, the famous Princess Frilly, and my rooster cookie jar!