Parenting is complicated, the roads it takes us on are never straight, the journey is relentless, and sometimes (lets be honest, most times) we don’t see an end in sight that is comforting.
After momming for nearly a decade, I can safely say with complete certainty that parenting will be the hardest battle I ever fight. There will be days when there is great joy, huge sorrow, tears, laughter, doors slamming, hurt feelings, timeouts, and lots of other emotions as this life we live changes with our phases of life.
I wanted to talk about an analogy that I heard that blew my mind a little bit. It hit home for several reasons, one of them being that we are a farming family, and the other just the simple fact that I am a mom who works tirelessly for her children; like all moms!
So here is the big mind-blowing analogy- the pistachio tree. Thats right, a pistachio tree. When you are a farmer, you are aware of all sorts of scenarios that affect your bottom line and being “profitable” like any other business. I can relate to this because, this our life. So as I sat and listened to this analogy it made total sense to me because we are literal farmers.
Lets imagine you go from being an almond farmer (and we are almond growers) to growing pistachios.
When you grow pistachios, you hopefully are aware that this is not a typical crop that yields harvestable nuts like new almonds do in a matter or 2-3 years. Pistachio trees are harvestable in about 7-10 years, thats quite a bit longer!
If you were once a farmer, who saw almost immediate fruits of your labor and now switch gears to now having to wait 7 years longer than expected, if you’re not prepared, or have unrealistic expectations this could be catastrophic!
You will have to PLAN to be patient, persistent, and diligent about your crop year after year, after year, after year, and still you may start to feel impatient, or discouraged. It will take constant work to maintain the new crop you planted to not see any nuts for almost a decade! That is some hard work and determination!
If you are farming with expectations of almond trees while farming your pistachios you may give up completely, or go bankrupt if you didn’t prepare well in advance.
Don’t compare your pistachios to your former almond crop, because you will be disappointed. Even though they are both trees, they have completely different maturity rates.
Parenting is like the pistachio farmer. You work diligently, tirelessly, day in and day out, and while you may EXPECT to see fruits of your labor, you may have a pistachio child not yielding any visible fruit. Heck you may have several pistachio children!
We need to realize that this may be a season that we are in that DOESN’T yield any fruit. It may take YEARS of our quiet maintenance to our children, which are like the pistachio farmer’s crop, before we ever feel like we see the true fruits of our labor.
Even though we may not SEE anything remarkable happening, changes are happening behind the scenes. Just like a tree growing, roots are taking hold underground in the dark quiet places that we will never see. Roots that will make the tree strong, and one day fruitful.
Yet we still persevere. We show up. We tend to our crop, we stand back and admire its beauty, its imperfectness. One day God willing, we will admire a beautiful tree, a tree full of good fruit, and we can breathe easy knowing that our labor and prayers didn’t go unnoticed or unanswered.
In different seasons of our live, we will feel like the new pistachio farmer who worked and worked to grow a healthy crop. We may feel discouraged, upset, tired and want to give up. If we didn’t have faith that we would one day see the fruits of our labor in tangible and intangible ways we would surely crumble.
I’m so thankful for that analogy, it opened my eyes to the season of life that we are in. I need to not think of my children as an almond trees, when they may actually be a pistachio tree quietly growing and taking root as we pour into them.
John 20:29 ESV “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”