...it's a longer way from yesterday to where I am today." Home by Switchfoot.
I wrote a column for my church newsletter (created and edited by my mom) and she gave me permission to write it up here. We are almost done with building our new church building, and I wanted to talk about some memories from the old place, and hopes for the new one. Here's my article: (photo of the old church building)
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;…contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. (Rom. 12:10,13, NASB)
I was raised in the old building, and I am delighted (if somewhat nostalgic) as our church grows and new opportunities arise. There are innumerable benefits to this change—but there is one area that I hope does not get lost in this new era: the life of the kitchen.
Perhaps it is my southern roots that have made me see most of my feminine life as centralized around the kitchen. Beyond the art of food-making and hospitality, there is the simple truth that fellowship and friendship is fed (pun intended) over a meal. My best and dearest friends are the ones with whom I labored in the kitchen for innumerable potlucks, pastor/elder appreciation banquets, graduation parties, and fund-raisers. Even when there seemed to be no room for me anywhere else, there was always space in the kitchen, and a job that I could do. We slaved over decorations and preparation and then, what with maintaining and refilling, we usually did not eat a thing, and ended the evening instead at McDonalds or Sonic, enjoying a sundae together as we laughed at some of the disastrous messes during the course of the event.
This may sound silly, but I spent my first Sunday back after graduation reconnecting with some of my ladies at the new member and baptism reception. Again, I marveled at the fun of spending time in a kitchen with women. The most surprising part of my enjoyment with all-things-kitchen-and-food is that I am not a very girly-girl, yet I have been mentored by incredible women at our church—and these relationships were not formed through formal meetings and coffee appointments (though I love those too!) but rather through our kitchen-time.
Yes, there is something about slaving over a mountain of greasy, mismatched dishes with our fellow women that forms a bond. You do not know her until you have made 500 Navajo tacos with her.
In our new kitchen, there are so many exciting improvements! I was thrilled to hear that our old kitchen would have fit in less than half of the “dish pit” and cleanup part of the new kitchen, and that does not even include the cooking side, with gorgeous maple cabinets (installation occurring as we speak!), beautiful brown tiled floors, commercial kitchen fittings, an ice-maker, and two refrigerators.
As those of us who spent lots of time in the tiny, crowded old yellow kitchen know, this is a cause for celebration!
I am excited about the new kitchen, and I look forward to new friends who will be able to teach me not only new recipes, but also about hospitality and the church family as we continue to eat (and grow) as a body. There is always room in the kitchen for one more.
Isn't it ironic?