Essay

Getting into the Dirt

by Elena

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I’m a professional project starter. My creative juices begin to simmer when I scroll through Pinterest photos. I can easily imagine the homemade treehouse in my backyard, built of recycled cedar from an old country farmstead. I can hardly contain my excitement when I think of the DIY dinosaur egg for preschoolers with a surprise plastic reptile inside. Oh yes, I can easily imagine these projects. Finishing them, however, is another story.

I have learned to excuse my lack of discipline. I have blamed it on my tiredness from two energetic preschool boys. I have blamed it on my  tendency to overanalyze, crippling my ability to move forward. The real excuse though is that I’ve always been a little entitled and haven’t had to work hard for things. And frankly, I’m ready to be done with it.

I’ve always admired those who seem to possess a great deal of discipline. You can see the fruits of their labor: the artwork of the painter, the song of the musician, the vegetable of the farmer. I have my own two box gardens in our backyard, that come summer, are full of tomatoes, cantaloupe and herbs. By the time the growing season is over and all my “hard” work is done, I’m quite pleased to wait until the next spring to start it over again. The joy that comes in reaping what I have sown brings me closer to understanding the fullness of what God intends for His creation.

In the city where I live, sustainability is a common and widely-supported lifestyle. We are surrounded by organic and local farms, resources on how to grow vegetables for the year in your own backyard, restaurants that support local farms, and even companies that bring the local produce to your doorstep. To ease my guilt of not having the energy to do a garden year-round, I have thoroughly enjoyed using one of those delivery companies, Greenling.com.

I get excited going through Greenling’s online grocery list of produce and dairy products with the word “local” listed above it. When my son asks for a cup of milk, I love telling him about the cows from a farm right outside of town that provided his milk for that day. We can still see the cream on top. But, there are days when my food has been delivered, and I open the box like a child opening a birthday gift. Then, I hear that ugly voice of entitlement: “Wait! Where are the strawberries I ordered? And the yellow cheese? The boys won’t know it’s cheese if it’s not yellow!”

As it turns out, my local produce provider does not grow their produce according to my own whims. And while I have grown accustomed to the overabundance of choice in our culture, I have lost the sense of how God set the seasons to produce in their own time.

I don’t want my boys to inherit my sense of entitlement. I want them to choose things in life that are of worth. Living sustainably isn’t simple or easy. When it comes to buying local food and living a healthier life, I’m beginning to see that it requires me to give up my unrealistic expectations.

My prayer is that through the discipline of getting into the dirt with my boys in the backyard, pouring them milk from the local farm and eating more in season, I will begin to silence this ugly voice of entitlement and be grateful to the Creator of all things good.

Elena on hammockElena enjoys antiques, old wood and anything colorful.  She also loves good food. She and her husband live in Texas where they raise their two boys.  In her spare time, she sings, crafts, bakes and builds forts.  She blogs at andlastlyelena.wordpress.com.

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One thought on “Getting into the Dirt

  1. Pingback: A Renew Review | Renew and Sustain

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