Why I Left My Kitchen (A Story of Freedom)


I remember that day. It was a God-moment, where faith and life collide. I was Martha-standing at the stove with a wooden spoon and a threadbare heart. He came like a whisper, asking me to be more like Mary. “None of this performance matters to me” He said. “I already love you. I already accept you. Come and sit at my feet. Put your spoon down. I’ll give you what you really need to make it in this life.”

I stood there, confused. “Are you sure Lord? All of this work doesn’t make me a godly woman? This isn’t what you want?”

“I don’t want your striving, I want your heart. I don’t need you to follow this crowd. I want you to pursue my ways.”

I was searching for approval, something I’ve done all my life. As a little girl, I constantly tried to reinvent myself to gain approval from my classmates, my family, this world. I’d go back to the drawing board time after time, revising changes to my wardrobe, practicing new catch phrases, trying to stand a little taller under the crushing weight of rejection.

little green shoes


But rejection followed me like a stalker. That day in grade 6 when the teacher made me the laughing stock of the class, I thought I’d never be free. Little hands clasped tightly night after night, I would beg God to make the kids stop teasing me. I kept asking, What’s wrong with me, Jesus? Why don’t they like me? I know he was whispering it then too. “Julie, nothing is wrong with you. I made you and I love you just the way you are.” I know he must have been whispering it to me because I remember feeling His love. Before I understood the cross and Jesus’ sacrifice, before I knew that God’s forgiveness was always there, I felt His love. I felt it, but I never fully understood it.

Until that day. When I stood in the kitchen, hands clasped around a wooden spoon, stirring a pot of soup-the kind of food I made on my most tired days. I was asking, “What’s wrong with me, Jesus? I can’t do all the things they say I should do to be a godly woman. I’m failing at this Lord. I’ll never be good enough for you.”


Instead of embracing the woman God made me, I tried to take on a man-made identity, a sort of super-woman agenda that I felt would guarantee me approval. I baked bread and increased my family size. I made changes to my wardrobe, homeschooled my children and did everything a good housewife and Christian mother should do.

But, I didn’t feel more loved, more accepted or approved. Instead I felt worn out and empty. And then all my doing had come to a screeching halt. Burn-out set in and I could no longer keep up with the Biblical Womanhood model.

My reinvention had failed, once again.

Jesus is a good teacher and burn-out has a way of making a woman ready to listen. As the Lord spoke love and acceptance into the deepest parts of my soul, I began to see more clearly the woman I’ve neglected all these years. I grieved for her and for the little girl she once was because we had both believed that in order to be loved, in order to be accepted, we had to be someone else.

The day God walked into my kitchen, He spoke freedom over me. Freedom from doing, from fake identity, from rejection. Freedom to be who He created me to be, to love outside of man-made boxes, freedom from a threadbare life. Freedom to walk out of my kitchen a little (a lot) more often to experience life more abundantly.




Can you relate? I’d love to hear how God is bringing freedom into your life! Share in the comments! xo


Photo Credits:
Stove/Kettle: photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/antonnovoselov/4951016241/”>Anton Novoselov</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>
Little shoes: photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/starlights_/3560549434/”>starlights_</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>
Soup: photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/reid-bee/6209908148/”>jazzijava</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>



  • http://www.jamesprescott.co.uk/ James Prescott

    Great work here Julie-Anne. An excellent post. So excited to see you begin this journey. :-)

    • http://www.julieannemauno.com Julie-Anne Mauno

      Thanks again so much for your support James! I truly appreciate it!

  • Christine

    Wow! I feel like that woman standing in the kitchen…
    Thanks for sharing hope. I look forward to reading about your freedom!

    • http://www.julieannemauno.com Julie-Anne Mauno

      Christine, thanks for reading and commenting! I pray you find the freedom and hope that God has for you!

  • Eva Deroche Rehel

    Awesome Julie…thank you for sharing this with us…it spoke to my heart :)

    • http://www.julieannemauno.com Julie-Anne Mauno

      Thanks Eva! I appreciate your support! So glad it spoke to your heart!

  • Christine Heavens

    A great read Julie….you have amazing talent and I can’t wait to read more.

    • http://www.julieannemauno.com Julie-Anne Mauno

      Thanks so much Christine! Your comment means a lot! xo

  • http://www.joanhallwrites.com/ Joan Hall

    “I was Martha-standing at the stove with a wooden spoon and a threadbare heart.” So many of us can relate to this. A few years ago, I was frantic about getting ready for a writers conference (and everything else going on in my life). It was almost as if God spoke the words to me aloud, “Martha, Martha…you are anxious about so many things…” It stopped me dead in my tracks. I stopped striving and started listening to Him.

    Still, I need to be reminded of this and your post did that for me today. Great writing! I’m excited for you as you begin this new journey.


    • http://www.julieannemauno.com Julie-Anne Mauno

      Thanks Joan! I so appreciate your comment and you reading my post! So glad you could relate! Thanks for your support. :)

  • Caryn Jenkins Christensen

    Oh Julie~Anne, this resonates so much with me. My whole life I strove for identity…in this group or that…with this person or that. When I got married and had children, I felt the weight of importance even more to BE the perfect mama and wife. Yet failed miserably because of some standard *I* had set for myself. It certainly wasn’t God’s standard.
    You write beautifully and I can’t wait to read MORE!
    BTW, you are an absolute doll! Your picture is just lovely. :-)

    • http://www.julieannemauno.com Julie-Anne Mauno

      Caryn, you’re so sweet! Your support means a lot to me! I was in the depths of burn-out when we first connected in TW. Your kindness was a light to me! I so relate to your story and am just now beginning to experience freedom to be free from other people’s ideals and expectations. Thanks for your compliments on my writing and my picture too! :)

  • Libby

    You are such a beautiful woman Julie!! I love your blog and reading your posts! They are inspirational!!

    • http://www.julieannemauno.com Julie-Anne Mauno

      Thanks so much Libby! I so appreciate your support and friendship! :)

  • http://www.annepeterson.com/ Anne Peterson

    What a great post. Well written and your caring voice came through loud and clear. I believe it will resonate with many. It sure did with me. Congratulations on your new blog. You have a lot to offer.

    • http://www.julieannemauno.com Julie-Anne Mauno

      Ann thank you so much for all your encouragement! I really appreciate it! You’ve definitely boosted my confidence ;) And, I’m so, so glad the post resonated with you!

  • http://untoldstoriesabout.us/ Untold Stories About Us

    Julie-Anne your site looks great. I love it!

    • http://www.julieannemauno.com Julie-Anne Mauno

      Thanks so much! So glad you came by to read my post!

  • Ron-Tammy Swanson

    Hi Julie-Anne, what a beautiful post, truly enjoyed what you wrote, and what a pleasure it was meeting you tonight. God Bless !!

    • http://www.julieannemauno.com Julie-Anne Mauno

      Tammy, thank you so much for stopping by my blog and commenting! It was so nice to meet you too. Looking forward to seeing you again!