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Surrender

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It’s the day you wake up and admit

it’s not working.

 

Your feet hit the floor in the same place as always,

but today you feel the thud —

the mechanical grinding as everything starts to move.

 

You’re walking round a racetrack,

promising yourself you’ll win.

But you’ve been at this far too long to believe your own voice.

 

It’s the day you ask the question — why it even matters.

The competition that is.

Everything you believed was important.

 

You can see them all behind you —

the years you spent looking for perfection.

They mock your broken reflection and the

uncertainty of future.

 

It’s the day you finally quit — just stop trying so hard.

Stop caring. Or maybe it’s when you really start.

 

Stepping of the track, you put your hands up

and surrender.

Written by liferenewed

September 25, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Posted in Life lessons, Poetry

Healing for your bones

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What I learned from walking on a broken leg

The day after Christmas, my sister talked me into going ice skating. It had been years since I’d laced up a pair of skates, but I took to the ice like a pro. Okay fine, not exactly like a pro. But I was skating quite well and having a great time, and that’s when I learned the main difference between me and the professionals: professionals have been trained how to fall without twisting their ankle and fracturing their leg. That’s right — five minutes before our skate time was up, this is exactly what I did.

As I went down, I knew it would be a bad fall. I wondered if I would break something. But I was able to get up and walk away. I was in pain and my leg was swollen, but no one with me thought it was broken. And let’s face it. I didn’t want it to be broken. I didn’t want to spend the night in an ER waiting room; I didn’t want this to slow me down. So, I decided to take some ibuprofen, apply ice, and keep an eye on it — if it got worse, I’d go to the doc. But it didn’t get worse. It got better. After two days, my limp was gone. After three, I was back at the gym. If I took it easy, I didn’t have any pain.

They say hindsight is 20/20, and looking back, of course I can see signs that I should have had this checked out, but at the time, they were easy to ignore. It was easy to rationalize why it would still be hurting — why my ankle was still swollen. You don’t fall that hard and not have pain, right? After three weeks of telling myself I didn’t need to slow down — that I could push through this — I finally gave in and decided to see the doctor. More for peace of mind than anything.

That was three and a half weeks ago. Since then, I’ve been in a cast up to my mid thigh, hobbling around on crutches. And let me tell you one thing I’ve learned — if God needs to slow you down, he can do it. I’m not suggesting that God caused my fall, but I am saying that he used it. He used it to get my attention. To give me some time to pray, listen, and think.

One thing I realized during this time is how we often ignore sin in much the same way I ignored my injury. Think about it. When God begins to bring sin issues to our attention, it’s easier to ignore them or make excuses than face up to them. If we admit to them, that means we have deal with them, and dealing with the sin in our lives is messy, unpleasant, and downright inconvenient. We want to continue with our normal routine. Addressing sin would simply rock the boat.

The thing is that, much like my injury, sin won’t go away just because we ignore it. We can try to convince ourselves that it’s getting better. We can clean up our lives just enough that the outward signs of it our gone. But unless we’ve addressed the heart issue, the pain, division, and dissatisfaction caused by sin will remain.

God used my injury to show me some areas where I’d been ignoring sin in my own life. He used it to show me that my focus was off. I was pursuing other things with the vigor and attention that should have been focused on him. My injury forced me to take a break from some of these things and to look at my heart. And it gave me time to re-focus my attention back on God. And so, I’m thankful. Having a broken leg sucks, and hobbling around on crutches is a drag. But having a God who loves me enough to call me out on my crap, encourage me to face up to my sin, and draw me closer to himself, is pretty awesome. For that, I’m thankful.

A week or so ago, I came across a verse in Proverbs 3 that reads, “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing for your flesh and refreshment for your bones.” I’d read the verse before, but it took on a whole new meaning when I literally had a broken bone. And I think it gets to the core of what God’s been teaching me. Making excuses for, or ignoring, sin is human wisdom. If I’m wise in my own eyes, then I’m too proud to admit when God calls me out on my sin. But if I honestly fear God, I’ll want nothing more than to address my sin issues and turn from the evil in my heart. And that’s my prayer, that as God continues to bring physical health and refreshment, he’ll also work on my heart, stripping me of “self wisdom” and giving me the strength to turn away from sin.

Written by liferenewed

February 11, 2011 at 12:51 am

Are you losing your attention?

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My thoughts on a world in love with technology

Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only person from my generation who feels that technology has actually done more to complicate — rather than simplify — our lives. I wonder if I’m the only one who finds it disconcerting just how addicted we are to instant communication and worrisome that we spend so much of our time in the virtual world. I’m old enough to say that I remember life before the internet but not so old that I lived most of my life without it. Despite the fact that I can navigate my way around most computers with relative ease, I often feel like a grandma among my peers. Why? Because while others are concentrating on how they can pull themselves closer to the world of technology, I’m wondering what I can do to push myself farther from it.

Let me explain. I love technology. I love that I can listen to podcasts of my favorite radio programs or watch TV shows days, weeks — even months — after they’ve aired. I love that I can get news from anywhere on the planet at any time of day. I like knowing about big events in my friend’s lives moments after they take place. And let’s be honest, I love that I can type my symptoms into a computer to diagnose my own illnesses (can you say hypochondriac?) or Google my latest debate with my sister to prove that, once again, I’m right. But in the midst of my increasing reliance on, and gratefulness for, technology, I also have a growing unease about the role we allow it to play in our lives.

Ours is a hyper-connected world — we’re constantly plugged in to an endless stream of information that is taking many of us to interesting, often beneficial, places. But if we’re not vigilant in our use of technology, I think we run the risk of unwittingly allowing this stream to carry us away. Recent history shows that as a society, we’re pretty quick to accept new innovations and integrate them into our lives. Our ability to adapt and change with the times is part of what makes us human. Nevertheless, I sometimes wonder if, in our eagerness to improve our lives through technology, we’re failing to recognize the sacrifices that technology demands of us.

Simply stated, we only have so much time and attention to dole out. While technology may increase our efficiency, it also demands our time and attention. And sometimes, I think we fail to realize that for everything we add to our lives, we must also give something up. That’s just how it works. This principle isn’t unique to technology — it’s true of any venture we pursue — but I find it particularly important where technology is concerned, because technology is beginning to infiltrate every area of our lives. I recently heard someone on NPR saying that nearly everything we do today is virtual. I wanted to argue with him, but generally speaking, he’s right. This worries me. It worries me, because the more involved we become in the virtual world, the less engaged we will be with the real one. A fascinating infographic detailing the world’s obsession with Facebook recently reported that 57 percent of people talk to others more online than they do in real life. Again, the more time we spend in the virtual world, the more opportunities we’ll miss out on in the real one.

Last week, Pope Benedict XVI shared his opinion of social networking in a speech entitled “Truth, Proclamation, and Authenticity of Life in the Digital Age.” While I’ve not succeeded in finding a complete transcript of his speech, what I gather from the summaries is that he condoned social networks as something that can add value to our lives, while also issuing a strong warning of what he sees as their dangers. The Pope made it very clear that we must use wisdom and caution in the way we engage in social networks, asking: “Is there a risk of being more distracted because our attention is fragmented and absorbed in a world ‘other’ than the one in which we live?”

I think that, in the digital age, we’d all benefit from using this question as a microscope with which to examine our own lives. Is the technology we use enhancing our lives or simply absorbing our attention? Where is our focus? I’m not here to bash social networks or suggest that we give up on technology and join the Amish. Instead, I’m imploring us to evaluate the technology we do use and ask if it’s truly adding to our lives. This is an ongoing process. In our fast-paced world, this question will never get old. And the answers aren’t the same for everyone. The things that enable you to live your life more effectively may prove to be a distraction for me. But a good rule of thumb, if you’re wondering what you might need to limit — or eliminate altogether — is to examine where your time and attention are focused. Do a systems check to see how grounded you are in the real world. Ask yourself if your life has become more complicated as a result of your technology usage. Are you struggling to maintain friendships in the physical world, while constantly stressing over the nuances your virtual relationships? Are you sitting at the computer, wondering why you don’t have as much time as you used to? Are you reading about your friend’s days on Facebook, wondering why you’ve lost touch with your family?

It’s when we don’t stop to ask these kinds of questions that I think technology becomes dangerous. When it comes down to it, technology is just a tool. It can be used well, or it can be misused. Using it correctly requires purpose and attention. And I think the benefits of technology are worth it — worth taking the time to regularly sit down and evaluate the risks.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to post a link to this blog on Facebook.

Written by liferenewed

February 4, 2011 at 4:33 am

2010 in review

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Do you ever have one of those days when you’re brushing your teeth at the end of it all, thinking about how fast it went, and you suddenly realize how much a person can do in a single day? Well, I’ve just had one of those years. On the one hand, it went remarkably fast and on the other hand, so much happened on both the interior and exterior of my life that it’s remarkable to think that only a year passed. One year — and a lifetime. Here are a few of the highlights.

Best movie of 2010

I recently read a movie critic’s list of 2010’s top ten movies and I must admit, several of his picks were films I haven’t even heard of. So, from my limited viewing experience, I bring you what I believe are two of the year’s best movies from two completely separate genres.

Inception

Undoubtedly the best—most original—film to come out of Hollywood in quite some time, Inception made the top of my 2010 movie list months before the year was over. I’m not typically a nail-bitter, but halfway through the film, I suddenly realized the tips of my fingers were in my mouth. I won’t say too much for fear of spoiling anything for those who may have not seen it yet. (Seriously, remedy that ASAP!) But I will say that it’s not an easy task to write a movie based entirely on a reality you will have to help your audience understand and believe. Inception does this seamlessly, all while weaving a multi-layered story and delivering a frustratingly brilliant ending.

Toy Story 3

I honestly didn’t expect much from this movie. Typically, when you get to the third of anything, you’ve basically compromised quality and storyline for a name that people feel some sort of allegiance to or affection for. But Toy Story was by far the exception to the rule. Based on the opening scene alone, I think this movie did a better job capturing a child’s imagination than the first two Toy Stories combined. It’s definitely my favorite of the trilogy.

Best books I read in 2010

I thought I knew what my favorite books of 2010 were, and then I started looking over my reading notes from the year and became more conflicted. So, at the risk of leaving some wonderful, well-deserving titles out, I’ve boiled it down to two books from vastly different categories.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee’s classic novel was one of those books that I’d always felt as if I should have read, but just hadn’t. When I finally picked it up along with my book club ladies, I literally didn’t want to put it down. It’s a well-written, fascinating story that quickly captures your attention and manages to deal with difficult themes and serious issues without compromising the free-spirited, lighthearted narration. And in the end, I think it poses several pertinent questions about human nature.

Forgotten God

This book completely challenged the way I think about the Holy Spirit and forced me to question the strength of my own faith. It’s a vivid—and apt—reminder of power we have in us a Christians, delivered by Francis Chan, a wonderful communicator.

Lessons from 2010

A year ago, when I reflected on 2009, I talked about uncertainty, my desire for control, and the need to trust God with the details of my life. Looking back on 2010, I’m so thankful to see that he didn’t leave me off the hook—he continued to prod me to give up control of my life and gently reminded me just how little I do have control over. I’m still a work in progress, but one thing God showed me this year is that allowing him to change our hearts is indeed a slow process.

This year, I started surrendering my battle for perfection. God is still teaching me how—and that it’s okay—to let go, but what I’m finding as I do is a great deal of freedom and joy. And it gives me hope and excitement for the future because it means that as I let go of my attempts at perfection I leave room for God to do more in and through me.

Over the past year, I also watched many of my friends go through unprecedented trials and learned first-hand how God uses suffering. Through it all, I’ve realized that God has a way of giving us exactly what we need for the moment. The year’s unexpected turns have shown me that, no matter what happens, God will make sure we have the patience, grace, and strength to deal with it. And that too, excites me for the future, because it means there’s potential for me to do things that are bigger than myself. I don’t have to stick with just dreams I know I can accomplish, because I have the power of the Holy Spirit—a power that can help me accomplish anything God calls me to. And, I don’t have to worry, because God knows what I’ll be facing, and even if it’s not easy, he’s going to prepare me to deal with it.

None of this is new to me intellectually. I could have told you this a year ago, but now I know it on a deeper level. My heart is more convinced of it, and I understand exactly what it means on a personal level. I’m grateful that God lets us learn, and I pray that my heart would continue to be receptive.

And just for fun, completely trivial things that changed my life in 2010

  • Pandora (I discovered this before 2010, but it continues to change my life, so it still counts)
  • Netflix
  • Frozen grapes (don’t comment until you’ve tried them)
  • Adidas Sequence running shoes
  • This American Life
  • Portland (this city will never stop changing my life)
  • Short hair

Written by liferenewed

December 31, 2010 at 6:07 am

Posted in Books, Life lessons, Movies

Living under a curse

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Finding freedom by embracing imperfection

Every morning begins with a stare down between me and my arch enemy. I look in the mirror, sizing up my body as if I expect that seven hours of sleep will have caused pounds to evaporate and muscles to emerge. It’s on, I think, an obvious giveaway that I haven’t left the dream world. We’re really not lookin’ so bad. I try to comfort myself with the reminder that it’s been worse. A lot worse. Oh yeah, retorts my body. Just hop on the scale. Its been better too—you’ve been better. My enemy doesn’t even have to deliver that final jab—the one that cuts the deepest. I do that all on my own.

It’s a clever enemy who can turn you against yourself. And my enemy has all sorts of tools for doing that. Scales and mirrors are some of the most effective. But when those aren’t handy, there’s a million other ways of engaging me in the fight. Comparison’s a classic, because it doesn’t take much. It’s subjective. And if I’m not paying attention, pretty soon I’m not just telling myself that I could be better, I’m also beginning to believe that I’m inferior to everyone around me.

Couple this with years of insecurity, and for perfectionist control freaks like myself, it’s a dangerous concoction. I can change this. I can prove myself. And until I do, what’s my worth? How can I even live with myself? It’s shameful to see such thoughts in writing, but these are the lies my enemy gets me to tell myself.

Trapped in this deception, I enter the fight. I count calories. I beat my body up at the gym. I listen to the voice and step on the scale every morning — knowing what it will say before I even get on. I do this for reassurance —reassurance that my enemy isn’t gaining ground, reassurance that even if I’m not winning, at least I haven’t given up on the battle. But the irony is that the more I engage in the fighting, the more I become a slave to the enemy, to my physical body, to perfection. As I begin to buy into this belief that I can conquer and control my body—that I can beat it into submission, I enter a battle I can never win. For as long as I live on earth, I will remain imperfect.

This is something the apostle Paul understood well. In Romans, he says that believers groan with the rest of creation because we “long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering.” Though I doubt Paul was thinking about the mirror or scale when he wrote this, he is acknowledging a reality that I’d be wise to take to heart. This First Century male who knew nothing of American culture or female body image pressure understood my struggle because he recognized the fact that we are all trapped in imperfect, broken bodies. And these bodies serve as daily reminders of our sinful nature. Creation groans because it’s under a curse. Likewise, my body has been cursed — marked as fallen. Imperfect.

Paul’s perspective sheds a new light my daily battle with my body. No matter how hard I try to beat it into submission, it will always — until the return of Christ — be under the curse of sin. Furthermore, my attempts to reach perfection are only evidence that I am trying on my own, to obtain something that can only come from God. As Paul puts it: “We [believers] wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us … the new bodies he has promised us” (Romans 8:23).

This is a perfect reminder that the real battle is not the one waged in the gym and determined by the scale. The real battle is spiritual, and the battle with my body is simply a far too effective ploy the enemy of God uses to distract me from the fight against, “the spiritual forces of evil.”

As Paul points out, we will all be trapped in these sub-par bodies until the return of Christ. And I think some of the frustration Paul expresses comes from the fact that this means we will have to continue fighting evidence of the curse — sickness, death, physical deformities — until Christ does indeed deliver the new bodies he has promised.

But the good news in Paul’s message is that even while we wait for those new bodies, we are under no obligation to try and obtain perfection. The promise of Christ means that we have been set free from all attempts to prove our worth. We can surrender to the battles that are enslaving us — the battles that are distracting us from our true identity in Christ. Paul states this plainly when he tells us, “you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s spirit when he adopted you as his own children” (Romans 8:15). And that’s the key to surrendering the battle of perfection and finding freedom—recognizing that God has called us his children. When our identity lies in the fact that he has claimed us as his, we no longer feel the need to prove ourselves, because our worth lies in him.

So I’m challenging myself to surrender the battle for perfection. When I look in the mirror I will still see my fallen, broken, imperfect body. But I should also see something else — a child of God. No matter what mirrors or scales say, that’s my true identity, because it’s the one that matters most.  And I’m challenging myself let my imperfections remind me of my sinful nature. Remembering that we live under a curse is powerful, because it thrusts us into the perfect posture to accept God’s grace and it’s when we’re  in this place that he looks at us and calls us his children.

Written by liferenewed

October 13, 2010 at 5:03 am

Discovering our role in God’s narrative

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Why Elizabeth Bennett shouldn’t write stories

Few weeks ago, a friend asked me to describe who God had made me to be using only one or two words at a time. I started to answer and then paused, realizing that the words about to come out of my mouth had more to do with what I did, who I thought I was, and who I wanted to be than they did with anything God has said about me. Who had God made me to be? I sat in silence for a moment, halfway hoping that I would have some sort of breakthrough — that the heavens would open and a jet would fly through the clouds, writing the answer in the sky. Okay, I didn’t exactly wish that, but I wouldn’t have been opposed to the idea. In fact, it would have been nice, because I knew this question was digging at the core of my identity, and I didn’t want the shovel to come up empty.

Identity is something that is hard to get at. Swayed by popular culture, many of us look to things like status, relationships, and material possessions to define who we are. Yet these identities eventually prove themselves to be false and temporary, like outfits we wear for a time but eventually outgrow or get bored of. The thrill that comes from applause or attention only lasts so long and before we know it, we are searching for a new wardrobe. My suspicion is that most of us have closets full of discarded outfits that we hold on to, telling ourselves that in a pinch they could still define us, even if they don’t actually fit anymore.

Most of us do this without recognizing that it is part of an identity search, because this behavior is ingrained in our nature. If I had to explain the concept of identity to someone who had never heard the word, I would say that it is how humans describe the need each of us has to be known and accepted as individuals. I would tell him that identity refers to the longing we have to distinguish ourselves from others in an attempt to say “I matter.” And I bet anything that even though he had never heard the word, he would quickly grasp the concept because the desire to have a unique identity is an innate part of being human.

That brings me back to the question posed by my friend. When she asked me who God made me to be, she tapped into this desire while also acknowledging why that desire exists in the first place. If you don’t believe that God created you or doubt that he has a purpose for your life, I would challenge you to take a look at the failed identity searches in your life and the lives of those around you. Ask yourself why it is that nothing provides a satisfactory answer to the question “who am I?” For me, this leads to no other conclusion than that I had to be created for something more. My search for identity and meaning is in part, a search for something greater than myself. When I read the Bible, I find it explains what I see going on around me and provides answers for how to deal with the void we all struggle to fill.

Because God created us, it’s impossible to truly answer to the question of identity without first understanding that we were created to be a part of God’s story. God’s narrative gives context to our character development. Trying to identify ourselves outside of this would be like plopping Elizabeth Bennet into the story of Robinson Crusoe and asking her to figure out her role. This impossible task would only leave a disoriented Liz frustrated and confused. No matter what she did to make herself comfortable or how hard she tried to fit in, she would always feel out of place. There is no role that Miss Bennet could assume in Crusoe’s story that would leave her completely satisfied, because she was made for something different.

The same is true in our lives. When we try to enter a story that is not God’s story, we are jumping into the pages of the wrong narrative. We can put on all the costumes and try out all the roles we want, but we will always feel a longing for something different — something more.

Recognizing that we are part of God’s story is freeing because it means that we don’t have to seek status, relationships, or material possessions to feel that we matter. We are unique and important because God created us. He wants us to be part of the narrative he is writing with all of creation.

This means that we must be willing to let him do the writing. Imagine if Elizabeth Bennett, correctly positioned within Pride and Prejudice, suddenly decided that she could write a better story that Jane Austin. I know it’s a bit of a stretch, but even if you dislike Austin’s novels, just humor me for a moment. If Liz wrote the story she may be unable to see anyone in her family marrying above their social class, and her assumptions and prejudices would likely prevent her from ending up with Mr. Darcy. But Austin was able to imagine better things for her characters than Liz could ever have dreamed for herself.

With that in mind, think about how big God’s point of view is. As the grand author of life, he sees what we cannot and his imagination for us is unlimited. Nevertheless, we still try to control the direction of the narrative. Doing so is simply another way we grasp at identities that will fail to satisfy.  This is what I was doing when I started to answer my friend’s question by thinking about who I wanted to be. I was telling my story, not God’s.

I think the most genuine and effective way to seek an identity is to let go of all the outfits and costumes — to empty the closet of who we think we are and make room for what God has to say about us. This is a beautiful thing because it means first off that we are acknowledging what story we are made to be a part of and then allowing the author to do the writing, rather than trying to take the pen.

This is the journey I’m on — learning what it means to let God tell me who he made me to be. And I’m thankful that God has the grace to let it be a journey. He knows that surrender is a process. While I continually struggle to let go of my false identities, he has already called me his child and is simply inviting me to walk in his story. It’s an invitation I choose to accept every day.

Written by liferenewed

May 19, 2010 at 4:53 am

Posted in Life lessons, Theology

Renewing the soil

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Why I see gardening as a reminder of my humanity

When I was a kid my family had a decent-sized backyard that included a fairly large vegetable garden, complete with carrots, corn, strawberries, raspberries, and several other varieties of fresh produce. In the spring, summer, and fall, I spent every moment that I could outside, digging in the dirt, splashing in the water, and waiting for the plants to grow and ripen. I’ll never forget the thrill of pulling bright orange carrots out of the soil and running them over to the hose, eager to bite into their sweet crunchiness. They had a flavor that I’ve yet to find anywhere else. Every once in awhile when I buy whole organic carrots I get a reminder of those moments — a brief glimmer of how food is supposed to taste — but usually I settle for marginal produce, allowing processing and packaging plants and grocery store workers to put yet another degree of separation between me and the soil my food was grown in.

And for a good number of years, this didn’t bother me. My family stopped gardening long before I entered jr high, and I never gave much thought to where my food came from. What’s more, I stopped spending so much time outside. I stopped trying to dig to China. I stopped watching worms wiggle around in freshly turned soil. I spent my time indoors, studying and trying to avoid getting dirty. Eventually, I lost touch with the earth. I’m not trying to sound like a tree-hugger or anything, but I think this matters. I think it matters because the earth sustains us. Grocery stores and fast food restaurants make this easy to forget, but really we are connected to the earth. We came from dirt and we need it to survive. We need it because it helps produce plants, and plants not only feed us but they affect the health of our atmosphere and influence our weather.

It amazes me when I read stories about families in Africa and other parts of the world who are literally dependant on the ground. Learning to garden is saving their lives, and changing climates are influencing their ability to do this effectively. I’m inspired by how hard the families in these countries work —literally just to have a little bit of food to give their children. Their stories force me to face my own humanity; to own up to the fact that I am also dependent; I’m dependent on the earth, and I’m dependent on those who work the soil. By giving me an opportunity to see where my food is grown and to experience the work involved in encouraging growth, gardening also reminds me of this.

Two years ago, I started gardening again. My mom and I have a little, rectangular plot of ground in her backyard where we plant a small variety of veggies each summer. Originally, I started helping her with the garden because I found it therapeutic. I was burnt out from studying in college and tired of feeling that most of my efforts had little lasting impact. All in all, I felt broken. But being outside close to nature helped to restore me, and it helped to renew my appreciation for creation.  I got dirty again, and found that there was something healing about removing the separation between myself and nature.

I was reminded of this just a few weeks ago as we prepared the soil for this year’s plants. Abandoning my gardening clogs I stepped into the garden with bare feet, allowing the dirt to squish between my toes and cake itself on to the bottom of my feet. As I hacked at the ground with a gardening hoe, I stopped to watch worms again. Ugly as they are, I was amazed at how their bodies work, and thankful that they were in my garden, because I knew they would help to keep the soil healthy. And I was amazed, because the intricate design of a worm is simply one example of the beauty of creation.

And that’s the other reason it think it matters that we somehow stay connected to the earth: it’s God’s creation. It is beautiful, and it is a reflection of him. It is vitally important to remember that the world is a gift from God, because when I remember this, I will treat the earth differently. When I hold this view, I recognize that to mistreat creation is to show disrespect to the creator. I am called to care for — not simply use and abuse — the earth. Gardening helps to remind me of this. And what’s more, I am called to follow in the footsteps of the creator — to enter into a broken world and find ways to create beauty out of chaos. Gardening is one way to do this. In a chaotic world where we typically don’t know who grew our food and sometimes forget that it came from the ground, gardening allows us to create a tangible reminder that we need God’s help, even with our daily sustenance. It serves as an opportunity to renew a piece of our fallen world and acknowledge the one who has the power to make plants grow.

Here are a few pictures of the start of this year’s garden. I’ll continue to provide updates–both on the progress of my plants and on what I’m learning in the process.

The soil, all prepped for planting.

Onions

Cucumber
Carrot and beet seeds hidden in the soil.

Cauliflower

Written by liferenewed

May 13, 2010 at 4:26 am

Posted in Gardening, Life lessons