When Scott and I got married, on the top of my gift registry list was a microwave. Not being much of a cook (and not much improvement since then either!), I simply HAD to had a microwave for all those easy meals that were in our future.
Because they were so pleased about us getting married, some of Scott’s family bought us the biggest, fanciest, most-bells and-whistles-ever-microwave they could find. It was a mighty fine, top of the line microwave. It was big and brown with a faux wood finish. Honestly, however, it had features I never figured out how to use, but that’s beside the point here.
We got married over 20 years ago, so it was a 1980’s model microwave. We still had that microwave when we moved into the house we live in now. That was 12 years ago.
The kitchen in this house is probably the smallest kitchen we have ever had any place we’ve ever lived. A friend described it as a galley and that’s exactly what it is. There is not really room for two people at the sink. You have to shut the refrigerator door to exit the kitchen. All of that is fine with me. Like I said, I’m not much of a cook so I don’t need much of a kitchen.
When we moved in to this little house and kitchen with our mighty microwave, there weren’t many options for its placement. We put it in the corner because that was the largest portion of counter space there was. That left little continuous counter space for anything else.
A couple of years after we had been in this house we bought a new microwave. We passed the old one on to another family member. The new one was a small, white, simple model that matched my cooking skills more appropriately. When we took the old one out, we put the new one in the exact same place on the counter and it’s been there ever since. I guess we did that because it was convenient and it was where the microwave had always been. I guess we forgot that size and space was the reason we chose that space initially. That’s been about 10 years or so by now.
Last week I stood in my little galley kitchen and all of a sudden it hit me. I realized the arrangement of appliances and utensils and other stuff on my counters made absolutely no sense. The microwave, the toaster, the blender, the electric can opener, and of course, some decorative Homer Laughlin Fiesta pieces… It was as if my eyes were finally opened and I was seeing their horribly inefficient placement for the very first time. It took me 10 years to realize it. I guess I’m not too quick on the uptake, huh?
So, I spent the President’s Day holiday the past Monday rearranging it all with space-saving efficiency as my top priority. Can I just say it? WOW. What a difference it makes. It’s like I have twice as much room now just by switching places with some things. I didn’t throw anything away, I just moved it around. I’m still surprised by all the extra room every time I walk in the kitchen. Let me say it again, WOW, what a difference. It’s still refreshing to see all that counter space.
Have you ever done that? Got used to something and lived with it for years before you woke up and realized there was a better way? Why do we let that happen? Well, it was easy. It was comfortable. It was convenient. There are a million other reasons. All of them have a way of disguising the fact that it just wasn’t right. When you finally see the light (and the extra counter space!), you wonder what took you so long to come around.
There are so many things in life like that. I just keep doing things because they seem to be working out OK the way they are. When some space opens up, I fill it with the next available thing without even considering how it might affect everything else around me.
The truth is, if I would open my eyes and take a good look around before I make any actions, I might just see a better way and the greater blessings in store. And I wouldn't waste 10 years doing it the hard way.
Open my eyes, Lord.
Say to those with fearful hearts, "Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you." Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Isaiah 35:4-5