My Heart's Home

April 1, 2011

Dirty Ovens

Filed under: Encouragement,Grace — My Heart's Home @ 8:15 pm

I confess. My oven is filthy. It’s way overdue for a good scrub down.

Even self-cleaning ovens need a little elbow grease.

Maybe it’s last on my priority list because it’s a hidden mess. Unless you’re Hansel or Gretel I don’t expect you to peer inside my stove. (Only a white-gloved busybody would do that and I know better than to invite them to my home.)

My ‘To Do’ list runs a mile long:

Finish reading ‘Life of Pi’ and half a dozen other books.

Make dental appointments.

Schedule mammogram appointment. (Yippee.)

Finish homework for two Bible studies.

Prepare to lead next Monday night’s Bible study.

Sell items on Ebay.

Buy items on Ebay.

Find out the sex of my baby guinea pigs.

Get the daddy fixed, so there will be no more surprises.

Finish writing my book.

Pull weeds.

Plant flowers.

Pull more weeds.

Pack away winter and unpack summer clothes.

Reupholster my wicker furniture.

Replace garbage disposal.

Organize walk-in closet.

Catch up on three years’ worth of scrapbooking.

Upload photos to order books online from now on.

Paint deck.


I have a dirty oven. What area are you hiding behind closed doors? Maybe it’s your basement, closet, garage, fridge, attic, under your bed.

We all have messes we don’t want exposed.

Last weekend we had guests. My sister-in-law, brother-in-law and their older daughter. It was great motivation to whip out the vacuum, broom and duster, since they’ve never visited before. I cleaned from top to bottom, east to west. All except one area. I figured: “they’ll never look inside my stove.”

We ordered pizza, but unbeknownst to me, my sister-in-law is now on a special gluten-free diet. Subsequently, she brought her own meal. Then those dreaded words were spoken:

“Can I use your oven to heat this up?”

~ GULP ~

“Um, sure, just apply this blindfold first.”

We laughed, I apologized, then she confessed her own dirty messes. Sigh.

No judgment.

No criticism.

No finger pointing.

After all, doesn’t everyone have areas in their lives that could use a little Spring cleaning? Nobody’s life is spotless.

On some level, don’t we all have dirty ovens?

Everyone harbors invisible mites, dust bunnies and cobwebs in the recesses of their heart. (If you don’t agree, let Jesus remove your blindfold.)

I told my sister-in-law I love being around her because she’s always so encouraging, positive and non-judgmental. She replied, “Life is hard; we’re all just trying to do the best we can.”


Gotta have it. Gotta give it. Gotta love it.

Isn’t it refreshing to be around others who exude grace?

Do you wear white gloves pointing out the messes in other people’s lives, yet conceal soiled fingernails? If so, it’s time to remove them and extend grace-filled hands today.

Maybe the person you need to show the most grace to is yourself. Be your own best friend and allow yourself some slack.

Remember, Pobody’s Nerfect.

We’re all just trying to do the best we can.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” Matthew 7:3

“He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.” John 8:7

“The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made.” Psalm 145:8-9



  1. Beautifully written, Karen! I sure don’t want anyone looking in my oven!!

    Comment by Annette Stonger — April 1, 2011 @ 8:26 pm | Reply

  2. Hello Karen,
    I am really enjoying your postings, you are a vey good writer…Some day, when I grow up, I want to be just like you….:) Are you going to the Christian Writers Conference in Colorado in May? I sent you a note a while back about it, but never heard back from you…Maybe you are not going..I’d probably not go by myself….How are your husband and son? Hope all is well with you!
    Keep writing!!

    Comment by NORMA KLINGLER — April 2, 2011 @ 6:08 am | Reply

  3. once again…..tears to my eyes. You are gifted and I love reading your posts. They always hit home for me.

    Comment by Holly — April 4, 2011 @ 1:42 am | Reply

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