One day, not long after having moved in with my husband, I was going about my then regular kitchen cleaning routine. At the time, I hadn’t been using our dishwasher (call me country– where I’m from, the dishwasher was considered insufficient). So everything was manual, slow, and very unrushed.
I was washing by hand, wiping by hand, and storing by hand. I got around to sorting my kitchen knives that were freshly washed and dried, and slid them into the knife block, haphazardly. I mean, at this point, I was just ready to be done with everything.
Yet YAHUAH slowed me down, urged me to be mindful of what I was doing, and to make sure each of the knives were facing the same direction.
I thought, how silly and minute a thing, to be concerned about the order of these knives. But, Yahuah is the Capital B Boss, so I fixed it with a shrug. Saw it looked more aesthetic so I nodded, went about my routine, and did my best to keep it orderly from that moment on.
Flash forward one day 12 months later (almost a YEAR to the date), my husband lent a hand in the kitchen routine, and was tasked with putting away dishes. I was grateful for his help, and glad the process became less of a chore for me and more of a bonding moment.
When he was finished, he decided to relax, which is what we had planned. As always, and like my mother taught me, I did one last final spin in the kitchen to make sure every leaf had been turned. The sink was clean, the cabinets wiped, dishes stored, and appliances back in place. There was one little detail awry however.
The knife block. And I gotta say, it was the greatest kitchen eye sore if I’ve ever seen one. I mean, it leapt out at me so strongly that I physically winced. The knives were not in their proper slots, and were not all facing one direction, having the handles protruding at varying angles. It was a mess. And in a kitchen as small as ours, it is the small details which carry the greatest visual weight.
I walked closer, preparing to correct it. Then Yahuah spoke to me just as I was reaching for the first knife,
“Do you see now? Do you understand? It is about order.”
Oh boy did I finally understand, how one soldier astray can disrupt the entire army. I hadn’t given it much consideration until then, that correcting the small things could impact the big picture so much, if even at all.
I realized I had ‘crazy little knife blocks’, if you will, all throughout my home and my life. Small things that were slightly out of order, that were creating unease. The unease always felt tolerable and manageable, but much like weeds do, they grew and began eating the fruitfulness of what DID have order in my home and in my walk.
In homemaking (and in any profession really), perfection isn’t attainable. So I admit that while I keep my kitchen knife block orderly and straight, my other knife blocks do become chaotic at times.
And you know what? At times, there isn’t much we can do about it except aim to keep tilling the ground. Yahuah told Adam his job was to subdue the earth, bring it into submission, and have dominion over it. So it really comes as no surprise that homemaking isn’t a one and done fix all job, nor is chaos a sign that we aren’t applying ourselves and our gifts.
We are Adam, too, having been created of his rib. And the earth in need of our dominion and rulership is the wild, wild weeds and gardens of rest found right under our own roofs.
The earth and gardens thereof can be beautiful, bursting with life, colorful places full of joy and pleasure and sensuality. But as you know, the earth is indeed a wild place in need of pruning, care, and maintenance. Our homes are on and therefore part of this earth, making them no different in nature.
That we must work within them is merely a reflection of our working without them.
Though taking on a whole home may seem a daunting task, it is the order of knives, book shelves, dinner tables, and bathroom cabinets; the freshness of carpets; the clarity of windows; the folding of laundry; and the emptying of trash– all the small details– which are not too much for our little hearts to manage.
What’s your crazy little knife block? An area in which you settle for less than order? Maybe it’s your bathtub, your hall closet, or maybe even your family vehicle. Or, perhaps, it could be how you spend your free time, what media you consume, which conversations you choose to engage.
We cannot take on the task of a perfect and holy life all at once. And we don’t have to, either. We can and should, however, be willing to take little steps towards order.