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Kitchen Remodel

June, 2024 Blog

By: Joyce K. Picker

Julia Child said: “The more you know, the more you can create. There is no end to imagination in the kitchen.” I think we can all agree that the kitchen is the focal point of gathering in the house. There is something about the warm, delicious aromas and beautiful creations of food that come out of the kitchen. It helps when the kitchen is open and inviting too.

We bought our house in Washington State one year ago. The house was built in 2008, needless to say, certain rooms need updating. One of those rooms is the kitchen. We hired a wonderful Contractor who is part of our church. We have been so blessed by their work ethic and excellent work. We decided to keep the bare bones of the cabinets and install all new doors and hardware and crown molding. We went from a 2008 light type of wood grain that was dated and worn out to a new wood that is painted white on the top and navy blue on the bottom. Our countertops are white granite with blueish veins and the back splash is white tile. What struck me during the remodel is the reaction of our 5-year-old 50-pound Hungarian Vizsla dog named Caleb. Blame him for this blog!

The Contractors installed a plastic tent in the kitchen. This is so they can sand, prime and paint the cabinets without the residue getting all over the house. I have a plastic tent up in my kitchen from floor to ceiling. There is an opening in the front of the tent that closes with magnets. This serves to seal in the fumes and dust. (all the bad airborne chemicals) I watched day after day as Caleb tried to get in the tent. First, he barked at the tent, next he wanted to explore it and make sure it was safe. Every time I told him to stay away, he only became more curious. It’s not good for him to go in there and smell the fumes and dust. But he had other ideas. Too much curiosity and not enough trust.

1 Corinthians 10:23 says: We are allowed to do all things, but not all things are good for us to do. We are allowed to do all things but not all things help others grow stronger.

God gives us free will and the ability to make choices. This scripture says even though we can do all things, not all things are good for us to do. Makes spiritual sense, right?

I wonder if this picture can be likened to us and our will. If we know something is not good for us because the Bible tells us so, why then are we curious about it and want to try it? If we know God says no, why would we persist? Why would we even desire something that is not right?  And why would we go back to it repeatedly? I remember a story my Mom told me when I was a teenager, trying to explain self-control. She was a smoker for twenty years. When she was pregnant with me, she came to the realization that smoking was not a good thing. She had no willpower on her own to quit. She said she prayed a simple prayer: “Jesus, take the desire to smoke away from me forever.” Guess what? He did so immediately. With sincerity of heart and a desire to kick a habit that was not good for her, Jesus delivered her. She never touched another cigarette again for the rest of her life.

It’s not enough to say “no” to Caleb one time, he keeps going back again and again trying to get into the place that’s not good for him. He even tries to go in when we are not looking!

Proverbs 25:28 says: A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. 

This verse emphasizes the importance of self-discipline as a safeguard against potential harm and vulnerability.

From Oxford Languages - the definition of self-discipline is the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it. This is a perfect definition for us mortals who try and try to be more Godlike every day.

Here are some practical ways we can improve our self-discipline.

1. The Bible tells us to love ourselves. This may be difficult for some of us but it is a commandment, not a suggestion. Forgive yourself and make a fresh start every day.

2. Remember, Yeshua died for our sins, past present and future. This means He has already made atonement for us. Let’s not put Him on the cross repeatedly by sinning repeatedly.

3. Remove distractions and temptations that would try to make us go down a path that is not the right one for us.  

4. Prepare ahead of time, most things are out of our control, but when we can control our environment, be prepared for things you know might be a detriment to yourself.

5. Baby steps are fine. Don’t overwhelm yourself with failures rather overwhelm yourself with success.

I’m sure there are many more ways to improve our self-discipline. This list is not exhaustive, rather my goal is to provoke our thinking. A change in our behavior first comes when we are aware of what needs to change. I hope I have given you food for thought or food good enough to eat!

Heavenly Father, I thank you for the awareness you give us of things that need to change in our lives. Thank you for gentle reminders and thank you that we are diligent in making these changes. Just like our kitchen is a place where wonderful aromas are present, let our character be a wonderful aroma to you all the time. In Yeshua’s name. Amen.

Please check out our other blogs. There is something for everyone! It is my hope and prayer that they minister to you.

Until next month!

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