Monday, January 5, 2015

{Stewarding} Toward A Better Life

I only meant to clean up the breakfast dishes. Wipe down the counters, maybe a quick sweep of the floor. It was Saturday after all, and I was still in my husband's pajama pants, entertaining the idea of cleaning out the boys' closet. I was almost finished when I got distracted by little splashes on the woodwork above the sink.

Ever since we came home to the dining room painted freshly white, my kitchen has been bugging me. We moved in this house 7 years ago, and 7 years of heavy daily use leaves its mark. The white walls look dingy, the paint chipped here and there around the windows. In comparison to the more recent paint in the other two downstairs rooms, my kitchen looks...awful.

I wiped at the splash, and then remembered what a friend and fellow home-renter had recently posted on facebook, her trick for cleaning walls when a fresh coat of paint isn't an option. Hot water and vinegar. Vinegar water can be awfully strong, so I added a few drops of peppermint essential oil and set to scrubbing. I didn't mean to get carried away, but about an hour later, I found myself apologetically explaining myself to J while standing on the counter top, pulling curtains down so I could better wash the walls above the windows.

"I, uh, kinda got carried away."

The walls look great. I won't divulge how many times I had to change out the dirty water (how, HOW do walls of all things get so disgustingly filthy?), but the mixture worked amazingly well. It almost looks like fresh paint. I keep admiring them when I walk through and keep thinking to myself - see? Stewardship. It really makes a difference.

I can be a bit of a dreamer. A "cart-before-the-horse" type. Instead of finding ways to improve what I have, I find myself wishing for something different altogether. But lately I'm really thinking this stewardship thing is a key. A key to happiness and contentment, a key to a more fulfilling life. Instead of wishing away what is now, seeking to improve, to cultivate what I have to the utmost. If I approached my life, my work, my family, my home this way - what sort of change might I see?

I turned these thoughts over and over in my head while washing every inch of my kitchen walls, woodwork and all. How I could just go on hating how my kitchen looked and felt, or I could do something about it. And, having done that thing, how wonderful it feels.

There will always be a million reasons why not. A million defeatist thoughts to give you the out, if that's what you're looking for. I don't want an out anymore, no more excuses. I want to find the way to that wonderful feeling of knowing I did everything I possibly could.

Tonight my kitchen sparkles and I'm all lit up inside with possibility. Purposeful stewardship. It's a game changer.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to future posts.  Thank you.


  1. the same thing happened to me this weekend - I went through both kids' closets, pulled everything out, sorted, pared down and reorganized it all. it felt so amazing, and no one even sees the closets like they do kitchen walls! enjoy the new, fresh ambiance!

  2. Yes!! Thank you! I needed this so much. Great reminder and encouragement to work with what I already have (which is a LOT if I think about it!) in several areas. Thanks Lyd! :)

  3. I just did the closets yesterday. I feel like a new woman just knowing that's done!


Thank you so much for stopping by! I love hearing from you! While you're here, don't forget to click "subscribe"!