We have 68 tomato plants. SIXTY EIGHT! Do we have a ketchup business? NOPE! Do we have a produce stand? NOPE! Do we eat a zillion tomatoes a day? NOPE! (well we do eat a lot but not 68 plants worth!) Then why?... why do we have so many? Because I believe everything deserves a chance.yes even a spindly little tomato plant.

Let me give you some background. We have a garden that is just shy of being the length of a football field. It wasn't supposed to be so big, but my husband left me incharge of overseeing the tractor guy. At that time we didn't know our neighbors and as much as it killed me, we ended up having to pay someone an unmentionable amount to come till for us. It took him about 15 minutes to till the little section of ground we had mapped out. As I stood there and looked at his work, I was appalled that he was actually going to charge me so much for so little work, so when he said "is this all you needed?" I acted on impulse and said " you know what....let's make it twice this!". So all in all I sort of got my money's worth and my family ended up with a huge garden, which oddly enough is always filled to the max.

This year we planted our normal four rows of tomatoes (I know I know...even that is a TON of tomatoes!). To our surprise last years left over tomato scraps survived the winter and turned into volunteer plants. They just keep coming. It seems like everyday we find at least one new sprout, and at this point, after transplanting around 40 some sprouts, my husband has had enough....but not me!

Now I know that in life we can't give EVERYTHING a chance. It just isn't feasible. We can't take in every stray kitten, we can't offer a ride to every stranger, we can't accept every kid into every program they want to "try"... but when as often as possible, chances should be given.

My tiny tomato plants don't matter much to me anymore...I have plenty...but they will matter to my neighbor who lost his garden to the rain or my friend who just can't afford fresh food right now. It might look like a weed, popping up where it does not belong, but it is so much more. That tiny tomato plant is a symbol of strength...of determination....of the future.

I challenge you to live your life like my tiny volunteer tomato plants. They started as seeds, buried in a thrown away vegetable, and they waited through a harsh winter for the chance to grow. Sometimes that's what we have to do in life. You might not like your situation right now, but if you hang in there....be strong and determined....you will get your chance to grow. My plants felt the sun and started reaching for it without regard for the fact that they were not placed neatly in the designated tomato row. If you want something, go for it....even if you are a tomato plant in a row of beans....you deserve a chance!