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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Life is Like a Dirty Oven

The Internet Cafe is thrilled to introduce Kathryn Lang as our Guest Barista today!

Self-cleaning the oven seemed liked the perfect task for a Sunday morning. I knew that it would be cycled through by the time my crew got home from church so that I could have a nice, clean oven to cook lunch on. It has obviously been TOO long since I last cleaned the oven because the heavy smoke (that came from the small fire) has chased me out of my home. Now I have to let the over cool down before I can start the process of just cleaning it myself.

Life is a lot like my oven. There are so many tasks that I over look or put off as long as possible and then I try to find an “easy way out.” The result is a smoky mess that requires delays, changes and adjustments before I can begin the process of just doing what I should have done in the first place.

Tips for a Clean Life

Clean up the little messes when they happen. I noticed the small spills in my oven over the last few months of cooking but I was always too busy getting ready for a meal to bother with the small stuff. Things keep us distracted from dealing with issues when they come up but the truth is the small things only take a fraction of a moment.

Take time to take care along the way. The biggest mess in the oven came from cooking down an old ham to make treats for the dogs. I didn’t take the time to put anything under the ham while it was cooking so all of the drippings fell straight down to the bottom of the oven. Even after I realized what I had done I jus figured that I would clean it all up later instead of messing up a pan at that point.

Do things right the first time. Common sense told me that the mess at the bottom of the oven was not going to be pretty when the self-cleaning cycle started up. That is the reason I was going to do it when most of the clan would be out of the house. The question I am now asking myself if why I didn’t just clean it right in the first place. All of the time that I was saving myself by using the oven to do the cleaning has been wasted (and then some) because of the mess that the self-cleaning has caused.

Go with flow. The mess is made and the easiest thing to do would be to hide in the back room away from the smoke and watch some television – or go down to my FIL’s and eat some breakfast. Instead I have taken my laptop outside (where I can still get internet access) and am using the time to do a few articles.

Learn something from the experience. I know now that I need to clean up the oven as I go instead of waiting for one big cleaning (something I am learning about all aspects of life). I have also discovered that sitting on the front porch with my laptop is quite inspiring! Oh – and one not so nice lesson that I learned is that if I want my crew up and out of the house quickly all I need to do is set a little fire in the oven.

Life doesn’t get to be a mess overnight. Every issue that I have to deal with – from losing weight to changing sleeping habits to cleaning the oven – all start with just a little here and there and work up to a mess that can no longer be ignored. Dealing with the little things along the way will help me keep my whole life clean and shiny.


Kathryn Lang is a freelance writer and inspirational speaker. She lives with her husband of 16 years and three boys in a little cabin in the woods in Guntersville, Alabama. Her time speeds by as she works with others to unlock their passions in order to pursue their purpose.

You can email your comments, questions and suggestions to her at You can read more of her inspirational writing at Kathryn Lang is available to speak to your group or organization.

Contact her at

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Blogger Denise said...

Amen, beautifully said.

October 31, 2009 at 3:07 AM  
Blogger Faith Imagined said...

This is the best advice I've gotten today: "Learn something from the experience."

I hate when hindrances happen in my life, but I need to value the setback as a learning experience!

Thanks for this post!

November 1, 2009 at 7:42 PM  
Anonymous Kathryn Lang said...

Denise and Faith - thanks for the comments. I still struggle with learning from the experience but WRITING about the learning helps alot. :D

November 5, 2009 at 5:43 PM  

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