“Success each day should be judged by the seeds sown, not the harvest reaped”.
John C. Maxwell
I think I loved this quote the moment I saw it because it reminded me of my favorite quotes from here, and because it puts a whole new perspective on what I spend my time doing.
There are so many times I will see one of my kids do something, or not do something, and wonder, “Did he/she not just get what we JUST talked about?? Am I talking to a wall??”.
I will feel like the effort was all in vain, what’s the point, “they are going to do what they want anyhow”.
But that is when I am focusing on the harvest. Looking for the immediate results. Measuring my day’s success in how much the harvest reaped.
But then there are brief moments, when one of my kids will say or do something, or not say or do something, and I will see that the harvest may not be ready, but the seeds have certainly been sown. I love those moments because they give me a tiny glimpse of the fact that the seeds can grow.
Sam has a project for school to grow a bean. Now, my kids all know I do not have a green thumb. AT ALL. When he got the plant, he gave it to me to hold and said, “please don’t die this one” (referring to the multitude of plants I have unfortunately come in contact with in our home).
I should have listened more carefully. Within minutes, I was talking, using my hands to express myself, and out flew lots of dirt from the plant. Maybe the seed went flying too??? Needless to say, nothing grew.
He went back to the teacher and planted another one. He brought it home with strict instructions for me not to touch it. Well I didn’t touch it. But I think that means it didn’t get watered either!! No luck.
Finally, the third time, the plant came home and now everyone was invested in it!! We can’t keep going back to the grade 1 teacher saying we can’t grow a bean?!?! The seed was watered ( I must give credit to everyone else for doing this part), kept in the sun, and I think we even talked to it. Finally, it grew!! And grew and grew! We were pleased to report success.
Just like Sam’s plants, sometimes the first couple of seeds don’t take. Sometimes we just need to keep planting, and watering, and providing sunshine (and encouragement). We may not get the blossom for a while, but with consistent care, that plant will eventually bloom.
As a mother and stepmother, I may need to plant many beans over and over; I may need to water, fertilize, and provide sunshine or shade. I may not see the blossom in my home-it may bloom outside of my home, or in years to come. Someone else may benefit more from the beauty of the blossom than me! But my job is to plant and grow the seed, not necessarily reap this particular harvest.
When you take this perspective, it is a little easier to feel more success during the day as a parent. It helps me to focus on what I want for my kids down the road, and that may be different than what is easiest to give in to them right now.
Plant the seed, plant the seed, plant the seed. My new mantra the next time I’m blown away by how it seems my kids are totally ignoring everything I am trying to teach them:))