I have a difficult time with clutter. There is a direct correlation between the condition of my home and my stress level. It’s hard to keep a clean house with eight people who insist on eating and touching stuff.

I am married to a man who loves to cook. This works nicely because well, let’s just say it is safer if I stay out of the kitchen. Put me in the kitchen and I’m like a duck in the desert.

The only thing I know how to do in there is clean. I love clean, clutter-free counter tops so I often put (hide) necessary cooking items into the cabinets.

One day, as my husband struggled to pull the cooking utensils out of their “hiding place” in the cabinet I heard him say, “This kitchen is not functional.”

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In that moment my feelings were hurt. His words stung a bit because I strive for cleanliness. Couldn’t he see that? Why isn’t he enjoying the clear counters as much as I do? Is it that difficult for him to pull down the utensils from the cabinet or the toaster from underneath the stove?

Yesterday as I was putting away some clean dishes I struggled to get those utensils back up into the cabinet. I thought why in the world am I doing this?

And I heard the answer in deep in my heart.

“You do it for the people who don’t even live here. You do it to impress your visitors. You do it so no one will see your mess.”

Ouch. Those were my own words. And they stung.

So, I grabbed the utensils out of the cabinet and moved them next to the stove.

I don’t want to be a woman who hides her mess so others can’t see it. I want to share the difficulties of daily life with you so you know you aren’t alone. Because the reality is we all have stuff in our cabinets, we all have junk in our lives.

Recently someone expressed to me how difficult her journey has been, although she “knew I wouldn’t understand.” Immediately I corrected her because I’m no stranger to pain. But if I hide it in the cabinets how does that glorify the God who graciously brought me through it?

God has given me grace upon grace. He took my mess and made it into something beautiful. He redeemed my story.

And He can do the same for you.

So let’s pull our stuff out of the cabinets and let God be glorified in our mess.

Originally published on the author’s blog

Jennifer Kish

Jenn Kish is married to her high school sweetheart, Jared and together they are raising six (mostly) precious children. She loves to connect women to one another and most importantly to Jesus.