To begin with, I haven’t given birth to a baby for over thirty years. That, in itself, is worthy of thanksgiving. (And beyond that, if you are a man somewhat faint-of-heart, you might consider going to the next post on your reader…)
Not that I would trade any of it—that miracle of another human being growing within me and then passing through me into the world, and, as my husband’s mother mused when our first was born, someone who is “50% mom, 50% dad, and 100% herself”, well, that’s just unspeakably cool.
Back in the early ‘80s, they were going with these new things called “birthing rooms”: comfortable bed in a wallpapered, home-like atmosphere, etc. I got to use one when our first made her global debut. For all the “coaching” classes we had, poor Bob was ultimately relegated to silence and the important task of providing me with ice chips.
My birthday is smack-dab (great vocabulary word, BTW) in the middle of Spring. This past year, I asked for one thing. Just one.
And lots of it. I have been working on putting a new garden in, and since we live within the city limits, it’s not like on one of the nearby farms where you have dirt to spare (as well as other biologicals that enhance the soil, if you get my drift…) And to boot, the dirt in my yard is not particularly conducive to growing vegetables and such, which calls for a little more intentionality and strategy when putting in a garden, at least if I have high hopes of producing nutritious edibles.
I let my desire be known to my husband and progeny. I even held off buying dirt, hoping that the truck from one of our local home and garden stores was going to show up with bags and bags, but alas, it was not to be. Bob did not consider “dirt” to be an appropriate birthday gift for his wife since, to him, it smacked of “work”….(sigh).
So I bought myself a gift—dirt. Yes, I did. Twenty 2-cubic-foot bags, in fact. (That’ll teach ‘im, right?? Nah, probably not.) And when it’s delivered, either from the store or
in my old suburban, I hadn’t decided which yet, I would empty most or all of it into the new garden plot and “start to begin to commence” planting.
At least, that was the plan.
Of course, there are lots of other things that can be done with dirt. Like playing in it, building mud pies and such. It’s a bit messier than a sandbox, but quite do-able. Naturally, cats and dogs find dirt most helpful also (as with sandboxes). Worms also appreciate the dirt, which in turn makes the robins appreciate it also.
But that’s not why I’m spending a pretty penny (several thousand pennies, truth be known), on good soil. The purpose of this birthday gift to myself is to grow things!
So why do we do we tend to have a similarly skewed attitude with the gifts that God gives us?
“So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church.”
Just a thought: whether it’s a bags of dirt, a new trowel or shovel, or fresh gloves, you don’t buy them to admire them, but to USE them for their intended purpose—to grow and produce, not to play around making a mess to simply get dirty.
Although I certainly do enough of that in the process….
The wonderful gifts God gives us—relationships, talents, time, health, experiences, forgiveness, supernatural or natural—all are for the building and nourishing of His church. Or as Bob likes to say, they’re tools, not toys.
So just a thought: what kind of steward are you with God’s gifts? Best not to get your hands dirty unless you plan on getting some work done.