(Image courtesy of http://www.robintilly.com.)
This year is the first year I have really lived on my own.  Loneliness sometimes creeps in, but part of growing up and becoming a responsible adult is to pay your own way in life.  So, I've had to pay my own rent, electricity, water, garbage pick-up, food, and any other expenses that come with living in America.  Oh, and taxes.  I never understood taxes; if the United States was started partly on the basis of not wanting to pay taxes to the King of England, then why do we still pay taxes now that we have our own country?

Living life on my own has brought many firsts with it.  Besides getting a full-time job as a teacher and paying the bills as I mentioned earlier, I now am responsible for
other things that my dad and mom usually took care of when I lived with them.  All this is an introduction to what I really want to talk about: starting a garden.

My dad grew up on a farm and was always around cows, beans, corn, orchards, and gardens.  My mom also grew up in the country, so her dad always had a huge garden full of sweet corn, potatoes, tomatoes, beans, peas, carrots, and other vegetables.  So, it was about time that I put in my own garden now that I live on my own.

A couple weeks ago I bought some packets of seeds: tomatoes, beans, peas, carrots, spinach, and cucumbers.  I decided to start off small and work my way up.  On Monday of this week, I tilled my garden the old fashioned way: I tied a small plow to my cat.  Ha!  Just kidding.  Actually, I took my shovel and dug up a square in my backyard.  Then I took my maul and busted up the dirt clumps.  Yesterday, I found a hoe at the football stadium and decided to "borrow" it.  So I took it home and did my best to make the dirt finer. A rototiller sure would be nice, but I enjoy the work.

Last night, I decided to start my tomato plants.  Every other seed I have can just be planted outside, but for some reason, tomatoes need to be started inside.  Maybe they're a fragile plant....  I don't really know.  I was trying to find a good way to plant the tomatoes, so I decided on an egg carton.  I planted twenty seeds in egg cartons and put them by the window on the table.  Hopefully it works.  I don't think I've ever seen it done before, but maybe someone has had success with this technique before.

As I was digging through the dirt and making a small hole for the seed, I was suddenly overcome with a thought that made me literally LOL (laugh out loud).  How in the world does dirt make a seed grow?  (I often tell people, mainly my classes at school, that  I don't need drugs to make me have awesome thoughts.  I have often wondered at how trees grow up out of the ground.  Little things like that.  My students want to know what drugs I'm taking.  I tell them, "You can't handle what I'm taking."  Then I say, "I'm on stuff straight from Heaven, and it's free.")  I know scientifically speaking, seeds take nutrients from the dirt, and water and sunlight cause them to grow.  But how in the cotton-pickin' world does this happen?  The answer is a three-letter word: G-O-D.

Every single instant in life is an opportunity to glorify God the Father, the Author and Giver of Life.  My ancestors were made from dirt.  Everything I eat comes from dirt.  Everything depends on dirt.  My goodness... how incredible a thought it is!  And yet how elementary....

It is extraordinary to think that God would glorify Himself through this most basic element of creation: dirt.  Yet, His glory is shown and He is remembered in all that He has made.  He makes beautiful things out of dirt: plants which give us food, clothing, and shelter.  As I said before, He even made man out of the dirt of the earth, so that man could reflect His image the best.

I praise the Lord that He has hidden these wonders from the learned and intelligent and given them to little children, the ones who can see God's glory even in dirt.  You must become like a little child in order to see the Kingdom of God.

Luke 10:21 says this:
"At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, 'I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do....'"
May you never look at dirt the same ever again.  And may you give glory to God in Heaven for even the simplest of things, for sometimes they hold the most secrets.

All this painI wonder if I'll ever find my way?I wonder if my life could really change at all?All this earthCould all that is lost ever be found?Could a garden come up from this ground at all?
You make beautiful thingsYou make beautiful things out of the dustYou make beautiful thingsYou make beautiful things out of us
All aroundHope is springing up from this old groundOut of chaos life is being found in You("Beautiful Things", Gungor).