Thursday, January 03, 2008

Deep Cleaning

Yesterday at work, a few partners and I were given some special projects involving taking down Christmas decorations and doing a new set up. And some deep cleaning. Our store is very clean, but there is always a few spots that need some attention. We moved shelves and cabinets around and got underneath them for instance. We got up high and dusted hard to reach spots. It was a very good feeling to go finish my shift knowing that my workplace was at its very best.

Today, on my day off at home, I'm re-organizing and deep cleaning the kitchen, inspired by my efforts at work the other day. It's harder than at work. I've been practicing hit-and-run cooking a lot--that is, making a meal in less than 15 minutes and cleaning up in less than 5 minutes. It takes its toll in the small galley-size kitchen without hardly any counter space. Plus, I promised Dennis that I'd give up a table that I was using for all my coffee paranphanalia--espresso maker, syrups, demitasse cups, etc...

I have a small toy cupboard that my grandfather made for my mother when she was a little girl. It's made out of scrap wood and missing pieces, like a door and a pull out cutting board, but it is beautiful in its rustic way. I like it on my countertop, but finally I realized that the sacrificed area for aesthetics was too high a price. I need room to cook, not be sentimental. So, I hung it in the dining room. I would rather put it in the kitchen where I'll see it everyday, but I gotta do what I gotta do.

I don't have room for things I don't need in my kitchen and although I gave a lot up for the yard sale earlier this year, I still have too much stuff that I don't need. So, I'm culling still more junk out of my cupboards. A baker's rack I bought five years ago for storing my cookbooks became a catch-all for junk. And then, I had a drawer reserved for oven mitts and potholders which basically became a junk drawer by some wierd process. I didn't have room for my oven mitt. So, I threw everything in that drawer out.

After a while, I noticed that I have a lot things in my kitchen with berries on them. I like berries to eat, but also they remind me of living in Seattle and my childhood of visiting Seattle. As a kid, I'd go out and pick blackberries and gooseberries in the empty lots around my aunt and uncle's place. When on our honeymoon, we stayed in my aunt's cottage by the ocean in the Olympic Peninsula. It was early September, but the blackberry bush outside the back door was still producing fruit. I made breakfast for my new husband with them. While backpacking in Idaho, a friend and I stopped to pick wild strawberries along the path--they were tiny but the best strawberries we had ever tasted. My friend was a new Christian and it was so great to see her growing in faith, and have that time to spend together talking about God. So, the motif has a special meaning for me. It helps me remember everyday of what is important to me.

Spiritually, I also need "deep cleaning". Of letting the Holy Spirit get to those places in my heart that are hard to reach in order to scrub out the dirt, get cluttered with junk and bring out momentos that guide me into the right direction. Only He can "create in me a clean heart". Psalm 51.

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