The other day, I was reading in Ecclesiastes 11:1-6 and thinking about the seeds I am planting as a Mother. It talks about the law of the harvest and planting good seeds without worrying about the outcome (at least that is the meaning I understood in it). Some things that stuck out to me (some in my own words):
Cast your bread upon the waters and it will come back to you (after Many Days).
Give to many people and don’t worry about if they are deserving or not.
Don’t look at the weather or circumstances around you or worry about what clouds may be coming in, just continue planting, and planning for the harvest.
Trust that God knows how to make those seeds grow, just like he makes humans grow in the womb, and we don’t know how he does it. We don’t know exactly how our seeds we plant will become good fruit, but we don’t have to know how. We just have to trust, and keep tending our gardens.
Verse 6 says “In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand, for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike together.” We don’t always know which seeds will be most fruitful, but we need to keep planting. Every morning we need to be intentional about the seeds we are planting, what we are trying to create and cultivate. As we set our intentions and a vision for our families each day at a time, we can then go forward with faith that we will eventually, even after many days, harvest good things. As we see the tiny shoots come up, it is tempting sometimes to pull up the plant to see how the roots are growing, to wonder if those leaves will ever bear fruit. But that hurts the plant to be scrutinized so closely as it’s still trying to take hold. We have to trust and give it time to grow.
So what does this have to do with motherhood? Well, Motherhood is a long term process. It’s easy to get down on ourselves when it seems like we are constantly sowing seeds but all we see is dirt under our feet or tiny sprouts. Some seeds we often overlook that we plant are seeds of our own development – it takes a lot of learning to be a mother! And we all need continuous nourishment, both ourselves and our children, for those seeds to grow. We are planting seeds of trust, love, and learning with every interaction with our kids. We are planting seeds of courage, growth, and change in ourselves as we work and grow daily into all we can become. But it takes a long time sometimes to see what is growing. I find that I am often in a rush to find proof that what I am doing is good, that it is bearing fruit, and that I’m making progress. So I sometimes scrutinize myself and my kids a little too closely to see if there is anything happening, when I should instead be gently nourishing them and nourishing myself as we grow bit by bit. Sometimes it is tempting to quit trying and quit nourishing those seeds, because we don’t see the growth hoped for as quickly as we would like. Fear causes us to do strange things. Faith that the harvest will come helps us love and be patient and let things unfold, both in ourselves, and in our children, in the proper time.
Empowering Action: When you start to worry that you’re not making a difference, instead of searching for proof, look at all the seeds you are planting and know that the planting is good, and there will be a harvest – just keep watering, loving, and nourishing (yourself and your kids).