As a pastor’s wife and a caterer I have the privilege of ministering in the gift of hospitality, i.e., cooking for people. When I say privilege, I truly mean it. I so enjoy cooking for and serving to people the food that I make and then watching them enjoy it. Today was one of those days for me, I worked all day on Saturday preparing food and then spent the better part of Sunday, with the help of an awesome group of volunteers, serving the food to a dedicated group of small group leaders at our church.
Everything went seamlessly. I arrive at 9:00 AM with a car full of food, enough to serve 100 people. We served chicken salad on croissants, home-made pimento and cheese, and sun-dried tomato turkey roll ups. For dessert, they had their choice of banana pudding, bread pudding or chocolate chip cookies. Then of course, after the serving and eating was done, it was time for cleanup. My least favorite part.
I cook like this all of the time…it’s what I do…and I love it! But today I did it while feeling awful! I’m not sure why I felt so bad, and it doesn’t really matter why, the point is I felt BAD!
After everything was washed dried and put away I finally made it home around 2:00 and the first thing I did was hit the bed (this is where the day of rest part comes in). It felt so good to just plop in the bed and forget about my kids, Mr.Wonderful, and my messy kitchen….it was all gonna have to wait!
My nap was wonderful and I felt a little better when I woke….not perfect but better. At 4:00 I stumbled from my room into the living room and into papa bears chair. I looked around the house….it looked like one of those houses featured on Hoarders! Not really…but that’s what it felt like. Shoes, socks, cups, throw pillows, homework and various food items strewn about the room….it made me feel sicker just looking at it!
After gathering up enough energy to pull myself out of papa bears chair (it was juuust right) I began to access the problem and delegate duties. I got in the kitchen and washed all of the big bowls and pots to get those out of the way. When I was finished I yelled for Cassady. “Cassady”, I said, “can you come here please?” “yeah mom?”, she said, “what do you need?” “I want you to empty the dishwasher”, I said, “and when you’re done I’ll have Caleb to fill it.”
She paused for a minute…I could see the wheels turning…then she said, “why do I have to empty it? Why don’t you get Caleb to empty it and then I’ll fill it?” Before I could even spout off the 173 reasons why I wanted her to empty dishwasher, like because I said so, she said, “Caleb, do you wanna switch?”
Caleb had no idea what she was talking about…he had not heard any of our conversation up till this point (the gift of selective hearing starts early) “what are you talking about?” he asked. Cassady continued, “do you want to empty the dish washer and then I’ll fill it?” Caleb replied, “I have other things to do, besides that’s a woman’s job!”
I was on my way out the front door to go check on the chickens and gather eggs when I heard it.
It stopped me dead in my tracks.
I paused a minute and asked myself, did he just say what I think he said? As soon as that uneducated statement came out of his mouth, his dad came walking in. I heard Devin say in a low, stern tone, “boy, you better watch out.” Then I knew my suspicions we true. He did say it! I turned on one heel and said, “Cassady, you don’t have to empty or fill the dishwasher, because Caleb is gonna do it all!
With this dumb, shocked look on his face he said, “what?, what did I do?” Then I heard Devin say, “boy, that was pretty stupid. Take my advice and don’t ever say that again.” still confused Caleb replied, “say what?”
Bless his heart. He just don’t know!
“The remark about the kitchen being a woman’s job…just don’t say it!” Devin said. Dazed and confused, Caleb began to clean the kitchen.
When the kitchen was almost done Caleb came to me with a half grin on his face and said, “do you forgive me mom?” “Caleb”, I said, “there’s only two things in this world that is considered a woman’s job… those two things are, giving birth and breast-feeding and I’m not asking you to do either one! So next time I ask you to clean the kitchen, you just say yes ma’am!” Then I hugged him and said, “and yes you are forgiven”.
I’m pretty sure he will never like cleaning the kitchen and he may even think deep down inside that it’s still a woman’s job but he for sure won’t say it out loud. One day his wife will thank me for that 😉
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
Thanks for reading! I love you more than a clean kitchen.