I Cried In My Kitchen

I cried in my kitchen…yes, you read that correctly.

The other day I was in my kitchen tidying things up a bit before a short trip out of town.  I wanted the kitchen to be neat and clean upon my return home so I began shelving my dishes and organizing items into their proper places. My only intent was to do “light cleaning” but as with most domestic tasks, it soon became something much greater.

You see, I have this wooden dish rack on my kitchen counter that sits to the right of the sink.   Its purpose is to allow dishes to dry before placing them into them cupboard.  However, due to its convenient location it has become a permanent home for many dishes and utensils.  Rather than returning the items to their proper location once they’ve dried, I tend to leave them in the dish rack.  Why? Because it’s just so much easier to lean over and grab a plate off the dish rack when I’m rushing in the morning, than to reach high, open the cupboard, and grab a dish.

“Ughhh…that’s so ugly”

I thought to myself.  I glanced over at the wooden dish rack and noticed the ugly eyesore it had become. So, one by one, I began to grab every dish nested on its thick wooden fingers and I began to put them away.   When I reached the last item, I came across a small black measuring cup that I hadn’t seen in months.  The last time I saw it was 4 months ago during my homemade granola bar craze–I had a brief obsession with making granola bars from scratch that ended abruptly once I grew tired of oatmeal.   Most of my meals don’t require me to measure beyond  ½ cup so I hadn’t noticed its absence.  Now reunited, I gazed around the kitchen to find a place to store it.  I peaked into the drawer that held my other measuring cups but there was no space.  Not wanting to waste time fiddling with the cup, I set it to the side and continued to clean.

The kitchen was finally beginning to look spotless but if only I could find somewhere for that little black measuring cup!

Within minutes, everything but that small cup was neatly stored and out of sight.  Like a mad woman, I began opening every cupboard and drawer in my kitchen to find a place for this small cup when suddenly, I came across a cupboard full of empty space.  Shocked to see an entire cabinet full of empty space, I thought “I’ve lived here over two years, how in the world do I still have an empty cupboard?”  I peaked inside the cupboard a little further and noticed there was also a plastic ziplock bag laying inside, full of other household items like can openers, potato peelers and chip clips that I’d also forgotten about.

What happened next was a bit extraordinary but I began to weep when I saw that empty cupboard.

How did I not notice this large empty space?  

How had I never opened this cupboard for over two years? 

How had my desire for convenience and comfort caused me to overlook so many useful items?  

As I stood in the middle of my kitchen crying, it was in that moment that I realized God was trying to speak to my heart.

It was greater than just being lazy and leaving dishes unattended on a wooden rack.  I had become so set in my ways that I missed out on a good thing.  Sometimes, we become so comfortable and familiar with a job, a person or a relationship that we too, overlook our most valuable spaces.   We know the relationship is not meant for us but we want it, so we settle for what’s convenient.  We know the friendship is not helping our walk with God but she’s been our friend since childhood and we don’t want the challenge of making new friends.  We choose comfort over change and miss out on the things of God. We fail to understand that God longs to do new things inside of us because we’re fixated on the old and familiar things.   We become comfortable.

If only we could become brave enough to move away from our comfort zone, imagine the wonders we would experience God perform in our lives.  Imagine the unimaginable contracts we could land in our careers, and the healing that could take place in our heart.  There’s another level of splendor and goodness that exists outside of our familiar ways and beyond our stubborn comfort zones.  God is rich with more than we could ever imagine (Ephesians 3:20).  The key to discovering those untapped empty spaces is establishing a relationship with God that allows Him to speak to us, and one that requires us to listen.

Are you in a familiar place right now?  

Is there something or someone that God is nudging you to remove? 

The first step is always the toughest but the journey thereafter is always worth it.

Be bold and dare to walk away from familiar people and things.  Like the soldier whose courage rewards him with honor, God will reward your faith by showing you a new thing.

Scripture: Isaiah 43:19-21 (MSG)

 “Forget about what’s happened;
    don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
    It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
    rivers in the badlands.
Wild animals will say ‘Thank you!’
    —the coyotes and the buzzards—
Because I provided water in the desert,
    rivers through the sun-baked earth,
Drinking water for the people I chose,
    the people I made especially for myself,
    a people custom-made to praise me.”




  • Roselyn
    July 23, 2015

    Great post Erika! This post reminded me of how empty and broken I was and how I filled all those spaces with things and sometimes people thinking I would be whole. Despite filling all my “emptiness physically”, I still felt empty until I found God. I knew of him,but I wasn’t allowing him to take His place. Truly we can gain all we think we need physically and still feel empty. Sometimes we don’t realize how broken we are until we let God in. It is difficult to explain but I can testify that it is a supernatural nourishment which only comes from God and as we grow in him, we desire more of His nourishment ( like he told the Samaritan woman, whoever drinks His water, will never go thirsty John 4:14). May we have the courage to entrust God with our life, and heart! This post really touched my heart thank you for allowing me to reflect on how far God has brought me and what he continues to do. I pray forgiveness for the many things He has done that I haven’t been grateful for.I am thankful he delivered me from darkened into light and you had a had in it. So thank you Erika as well!!!

    • ErikaTheEncourager
      July 23, 2015

      I love how you called it “supernatual nourishment” because that’s exactly what it is and it paints very vivid image in mind. Just as you’ve shared, it certainly does feel amazing to be able to look back see how much God has healed us and pruned us. We have come so very far from where we first began, and the best is still yet to come! Love you girl!

  • Valerie
    July 23, 2015

    Wow, Thank you, Erika! Clearing the cupboards of your mind, heart and soul, or needing to move away from toxic friendships, or familiar surroundings, so that God can Bless you with so much more – that is such an inspiring message! I really needed that refreshing messsge of renewal and redirection, and for being a beautiful vessel, in which an abundance of God’s Blessings can flow! Continue your Spiritual journey to seek Him! 😃

    • ErikaTheEncourager
      July 23, 2015

      Thank you Valerie! I really appreciate your encouragement. <3

  • Na'dia Dubose
    July 24, 2015

    Hey Erika! Girl you’re always on point. This is so true we do get comfortable with things that may not be menat for us, but we try so hard to hold on in fear of change.

    • ErikaTheEncourager
      July 24, 2015

      You can say that again chica! There are so many more beautiful and wonderful things on the other side of fear and change. Those things can be ours if we let go of our desires and grab hold of God.

  • Anabell Cardona
    July 27, 2015

    You know it’s a really hard thing to do to step out of comfort zones. I sometimes feel stuck in crowded rooms. You know how in that scenario is so easy to gravitate toward the usual friends instead of talking to new people. But I also know that once you manage to start taking uncomfortable challenges it starts to get easier, and your so right that’s the kind of awesome exciting, thrilling life God wants us to have.
    Love it! ❤️

    • ErikaTheEncourager
      July 28, 2015

      Anabell! Right there with you! Crowded rooms are my least favorite at times too, and I gravitate towards familiar faces as well! I’ve gotten much better over the past few months but I’m still a work in progress! I can’t stand that scary, clammy feeling I get at the time it’s taking place but I love the feeling I get once it’s over! Kudos to God’s work in us! <3

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