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Good, Clean Dirt
Photo: Darren Baker
Margaret Atwood said, “In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” Margaret got it exactly right. When spring is enjoyed to the fullest, it is more than just seeing green grass and colorful flowers. To truly embrace spring, a person needs to truly. . . embrace it! You know, wade barefoot into a newly tilled garden plot. Dig deep into fresh soil with your bare hands, preparing holes for tomato plants. Soak up some serious grass and dirt stains on your knees from planting strawberries and onions and potatoes and corn. Then awaken the earthy aroma even more by blessing your work with a splashing of water. Ahhh....yes! Dirt.

Spending time with good, clean dirt is not only therapeutic for all of us as individuals. It is especially beneficial to family values. Here are some examples:

Working/playing in the garden is a great opportunity for uninterrupted conversation. No cell phones allowed in the garden.

There are endless object lessons buried in the dirt. For example, explain how the small seed holds within itself potential for producing much more food. But it has to have the benefit of the sun, the blessing of the rain, and the nutrients of the soil. Isn't this same for us? With the Son, the Spirit, and Word, we can also produce much fruit.

Object Lessons
Look for more object lessons in nature and the Creator will surely show them to you and your family.

Take notice of the sounds around you when you are working in the dirt. Birds, frogs, the sound of each other's voices.

The physical exercise that comes from working in the dirt brings more peaceful sleep. “The sleep of the working man is sweet.”

Actually smell the dirt. Contrary to its reputation, dirt actually has a very fresh, clean scent (unless the cat got there first, of course).

Pray for the seeds with your children as you plant, asking for God's partnership in your garden. Emphasize the privilege of being a co-worker with their Creator.

If you don't have your own dirt, make an effort now and then to visit some! Or plant a patio tomato or get some house plants. A kitchen herb garden is fun and healthy.

This year try to literally embrace spring by getting in the dirt with your kids. You'll feel cleaner than you did all winter!

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By Gwen Simmons. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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