Monday, August 31, 2015

Why I'm Thankful for Dirty Fingernails

This might be one of my most glamorous blog header shots ever, friends. =)

In reality, it is maybe one of my most realistic header shots ever.

This is Life 101 on a working farm. The dirt you see this time is mud. But it could be a number of other things...

This picture came from a rainy Saturday morning spent weeding + hoeing in one of our flower beds. I was soaked + filthy by the time I was finished. But let me tell you-it was the best feeling ever.

Accomplishment. Fulfillment. Satisfaction of a job done well.

There's nothing quite like that feeling of knowing that your hard work has paid off in a beautiful finished product. It didn't take the flip of a switch, or the click of a mouse, to accomplish this. It took getting out of bed, getting out there Saturday morning, in the mud, in the rain, and working hard. I was worn out when I was done, but it was such a good feeling.

As I was cleaning up later on to leave the house, I had to laugh at my hands. I may now have been dressed up, and had my hair + makeup done, but my fingernails were a dead-giveaway for my lifestyle. There were purple/red stains all around and under my nails from the red beets I had canned prior in the week. There were dirt stains, still visible even though I had washed/scrubbed. If tomato juice stained then I would have had a good coating of that from the pizza sauce I had canned earlier that week as well. (Sorry, Jamberry's...there's not a chance you would last on these fingers!)

I would have it no other way. Dirty fingernails=hard work here. Just thinking about this all made me reflect on how thankful I am to have grown up in a home where it wasn't a disgrace to have dirty hands. It was an honor.

Dirty hands, dirty clothes, dirty shoes...those things meant mud + manure + weeds + briars. Calloused hands meant hands that knew the blessing + satisfaction of manual labor. Blisters were not a shame. They were a badge that said "hard work produced this".

Life is not all about work. I understand that. I know that there can be a downfall to the "hard work=success" mentality, and there is, and it's something that I have had to fight against, because there can be a tendency to find your ultimate fulfillment + acceptance in how hard you work, in how much you accomplish, instead of in the things that matter most.

However, that is how it is with most good things in life---taken out of context, they can be a problem. One day I might do a post about that.

But for today? I'm thankful for the dirty nails, and the tough hands, because for me today they mean the ability to work, the love of work, and the joy in work. They also mean food on the table, and provision in so many practical ways.

And I'm really grateful for that.
This quote is so good. (and the picture is hilarious, ha!)  I couldn't agree more. 

Y'all have a wonderful evening!


  1. Hey Chelsy:) I would like to say that this is so true and I am thankful for your blog because it reminds me what the Lord has taught us and u are a blessing to me:) God bless<3

    Elisabeth Rice

  2. Ikr I just lov this post I may not work as hard as u guys do but I'm thankful for my dirty fingernails to hugs lov u guys an God bless u guys😎☺️😋😉

  3. Great post! I was wondering if you had thought about a little background on your family. It seems like y'all have some Amish roots? You may not want to share that, but if you do, you have one interested reader!

  4. So true, Chels! {and love the quote=)}

  5. Awesome quote! I live about 10 minutes from Will Rogers old home out here in CA. He was a bit of a local hero around here.😊

  6. Ahh, this brings back fabulous memories of a rainy Tues afternoon! 😉👌 LOVE it.
    and that quote is spot on!!

  7. The last pic and quote is great! (I'm a little bias though, seeing how he's from OK. ; ) ; )
    Great post! =) I enjoyed your post on the family blog too!
    Oh! And I'm enjoying ya'lls new CD!

  8. I've read somewhere, that you can scrape your nails on the soap bar prior to doing any dirty, muddy job. When you wash your hands afterwards, dirt underneath is easier to remove. I don't have anything against dirty fingernails, but sometimes you wish to look presentable :)


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