Faith With Dirt Under My Fingernails

I noticed my thumbnail as I handed pesto samples to customers. Embarrassed, I pulled away. No matter how many times I try, I can’t seem to keep the dirt out.

Like my spiritual life.

Take my walk of faith. There are times I can shout from the mountaintops about God’s faithfulness. I see Him working specifically, and I tell others about it.

Then there are times like Friday night. I’d planted vegetables for two long days, and before those days were other long days. Since Tom and I moved here, we’ve made about $70. We’ve spent, well we’ve spent almost enough to buy a small house in Kansas or a garage in Florida.

How in the world are we gonna survive, Lord? 

I knew God called us here. Supernatural circumstances brought us here. But could God keep us here?

My meltdown occurred as I prepared for the farmer’s market after a full day of planting. Exhausted, I whined.

Tom intervened. “Don’t go, Pauline! I don’t know why you’re trying to do all this anyway. Remember, this is a practice year.”

Yes, I remembered. But when I took my first squashes to a market and they paid me $5.84, I panicked. Months of hard work, along with oodles of money poured into the business and it didn’t even cover my gas.

What did I do? Rested.

I got a good nights’ sleep.

Then, I remembered my verse for this year. It’s found in Isaiah 30:15, “In repentance and rest is your salvation. In quietness and trust is your strength.”

I felt like the father in the gospel who asked Jesus to heal his son. Jesus tells him that all things are possible if he believes. The father responded like I did, “Lord I believe, help my unbelief.”

I need help to believe. I’m weak. God loves it when I am ’cause I know I have to depend on Him. Other times, I forge ahead in life, forgetting my weakness. Not realizing I control nothing.

Through His Word and His people and a few good nights of sleep, I’m trusting.

Today, we planted and then I walked through the woods to my house and sat in my unfinished living room. I opened the door and drank in God’s beauty. I read a Psalm and prayed.

And then got back to work.

But I had a little extra time. Tom and I sat on the floor of the back porch and took two chickens out of their brooder. We whispered to them and sat them on our laps while we stroked their backs.

It’s important to take time to pet a chicken.

We had breakfast in mugs filled with Greek yogurt while we sat on dirt clumps on row 17 of our field. We took time to toss Sam the ball, and unfortunately for him, there was time for his bath.

And tonight we invited a young farmer and his wife for dinner. We’re having a pork roast and eggplant and squash we grew on the grill. I’m looking forward to it.

I don’t know what the future holds, but neither do you.

But I’m quietly trusting God.

At least today.

Then I’ll have to take out the fingernail file.





7 Comments on "Faith With Dirt Under My Fingernails"

  1. Becky Healy says:

    I love this, dear Pauline!! I’m right with you, and envy the simplicity of the trusting life on which you are now embarked! The Lord will richly reward – maybe not with material, but with spiritual shine! With the dirt, there will be a radiance from the Lord that the dirt cannot cover! Do not grow weary, dearest!!:)

  2. Carey says:

    Put on the armor of God, and a pair of gloves to keep the dirt out of your fingernails. Praying that God blesses your efforts.

  3. PaulIne Hylton says:

    Thanks Becky for the encouragement! You should be the writer. And practical Carey…gloves. Great idea!

  4. Darcy Teeple says:

    I love this Pauline, its what I have been thinking about lately. Not as well as you have been. But you words seem to put things in a better prospective. I will read them again and again. I appreciate you and hope you keep writing. I MISS YOU

  5. Pauline Hylton says:

    Darcy, thanks so much for your words of encouragement. My writing is to share mu struggles so others know they are not alone. You’re not alone, Darcy! I’m so grateful for the Holy Spirit who comforts, strengthens, and enables us to live a life of faith.

  6. Barbara Traum says:

    What a picture…little tiny fragile plants, immersed in dirt, and totally dependent upon the Creator and giver of life…that’s us. $5.84…that’s about what our body is worth, but…Christ in you…now that is treasure, and He is reflected wherever He takes you. He is powerfully at work, dear sister, and I thank our God for His love through you here and now where He has planted you. I miss you and love you, yet reading your words is closeness to you. 2 Cor. 4:6-7 xoxo

  7. phylton says:

    I was just thinking about you, Barb! Thanks for your really kind words of encouragement. It’s been another really long, emotional day, but I see God’s care and His goodness so much clearer here. I also realize how utterly dependent I am on Him.

    When I’m working in the hot sun and a cool breeze passes, I thank Him. When I don’t know what to do, which is often, I ask Him.

    I am blessed beyond measure to be one of His children and to have a sister like you.

Got something to say? Go for it!