When I look in the mirror, there are so many different things that come to mind. Of course, vanity kicks in and I think about how I am aging. I think about how many different hair colors and styles I’ve had through the years since starting beauty school in high school. I think about how I favor looking like my dad over my mom. I love my dad dearly (wonderful man!), but if you’ve ever known my mom, and how she ages- you understand where I’m coming from! I look in the mirror seeing the woman I’ve become and the woman I’ve yet to become. I think about how I am lucky to be called Seth’s other half, and Ruby’s mom. All in all, I prefer to dwell on God’s grace and His goodness. I want to look at life with the glass half full and have a general hope and outlook on life. I’d say 87% of the time, I do. Then there’s a side of me that sees the mistakes I’ve made and the sins I’ve committed staring back at me. (Some of those things have aged me as well.)
His Word says: “But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-” Colossians 1:22
I find so much hope in that.
On our farm, we have a garden. I should really refer to it as “an experimental plot of land designated to produce a certain yield”. My parents always have had a decent-sized garden in their back yard. They knew how to dig their hands in the ground and grow things like delicious tomatoes, raspberries for homemade jam, and peppers. I’m not quite sure how or why I had never paid attention to their technique though. Last year was the first year for our garden. I had no idea how far apart to place our plants, how big the plot should be, or even when certain things were ready for harvesting. We had cucumbers a foot long and so many tomatoes that all I could see was red outside of the kitchen window. This year, I was a little more conservative in my choice of what to plant. There’s always so many factors involved with growing something. My farmer husband, Seth, has elaborated on this to me since we’ve been together. Just the right conditions can make it or break it with a multitude of variations involved. Seeds can lay dormant for x amount of years, then all of the sudden you have a yard full of garlic.
Surprisingly, there really wasn’t a major difference in yield from last year to this year despite huge atmospheric differences. July’s rainfall broke an 140 year old record.
I lost my beloved Grandma Micki on June 30, age 91. I can’t even begin to tell you how hard it was/is for me. I miss all day, everyday. I always ask the Lord to tell her I love her and to give her a hug of me. She grew up on a farm, and we talked about it often. I loved her stories-recounting her tiny mother chasing around a headless chicken in their yard for sunday dinner. “It was always the best chicken you’ve ever had”, she’d say. I was so happy to make her proud that I ended up marrying a farmer. I think about her every time I retrieve anything from the garden or eggs. I can’t tell you how much gardening helped me during the time of losing her and its such a sweet time for prayer. “Thank You GOD.”
I have to be honest. I love getting dirty. I don’t want or mean that to sound in a way it shouldn’t. I truly love sticking my hands in the ground and digging my fingers in the soil. There is something so healing about it. I usually walk out to the garden a couple of times a week and harvest the ripe deliciousness awaiting me. As I walk back in, I am always so flabbergasted at God’s goodness. How He hold’s everything together, creates certain conditions for things to grow, and how he created every single domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species.
I can’t help but think about how that is such a beautiful, tangible metaphor for life. Despite doing things how we interpret should be done to get a certain result, we still end up dirty. We are still sinners. Then there’s God. Who loved us so much that He sent His only Son, for us. He creates everything, plants, animals, and us and then a way for us to be without blemish. So that when He looks at us, He does not see our dirty hands.
Seth and I call this adventure, life. We are only our second year in growing and starting to raise animals for our food. I tell him all of the time that I am so grateful to be doing this with him and that it is so much fun. I am so proud to be living this life with him. I realize that a lot of Americans have excess when others don’t, not just in America but elsewhere. I should never take a meal for granted. If I’m being completely honest though, when I sit down before a meal that I know where or what it came from, I can’t help but be so much more grateful.
The Lord is earnestly speaking to us, in everything. He is begging to have a relationship with you, and for you to see Him in the simplest metaphors of life. He wants you to look in the mirror and to see what He sees. A clean, child of His.