Monday, June 30, 2014

The silent peach tree

Since my last post--  the one where everyone thought I was on LSD or something-- about trees, it has gotten me thinking about various tree-related themes.

So, before I get into my latest gestalt about life and its intricacies, let me assure you that no alcohol or drugs were consumed prior to writing that I wanted to be a tree.  I was in the creative mode, inspired by my new acquisition of a "life coach".  She is teaching me how to "explore the space"  and all of that.  So, I'm just warning you, there may be several weird posts coming and going, as I try to find myself and God's will for this next phase of my life.

What?  Has something happened?  Did someone die?  Is your marriage OK?  What?  No. no. and yes. Everything is fine.  In fact, it is so fine that I've practically worked myself out of a job.  I'm "too good" at what I do, I guess.  Well, not really, but let me explain by telling you about this peach tree.

I planted a peach tree a few years ago.  Two years ago, I pruned it, on the advice of a horticulturalist that happened to be lunch guest.  So, guess what happened?  His advice was solid.  Last year, we had so many peaches that the branches were wilting under the weight of all of these peaches.  (Yes, we live in Illinois, and yes there is a certain type of peach tree that is zoned for our area)  It was the most abundant season of peaches ever seen.  My friend (just yesterday) mentioned how the peaches she got from our tree last summer were the best peaches she had ever had.  In short, it was amazing.


We had a hard winter.

And the harsh cold (almost)  killed off the tree, with the exception of a (very few) little green sprouts.. it looks like a pile of sticks.  No flowers. No green. No peaches.  nada. nothing.

And yet.. I've been reluctant to cut it, prune it or take it down.  I just can. not. believe it is the same tree.  I'm going to stare at that tree all summer--just hoping for even ONE peach.  But I already know it is not going to happen.

What happened?  For whatever reason, God in his unfolding of circumstances--has chosen to make this tree silent right now.  The tree didn't do anything wrong, as far as I know.  But it was there for a purpose last summer, but this year's purpose is different.  It looks on.  If a tree could be embarrassed, it would be hiding and shamed right now.

And it reminds me of the various seasons of life.  There are seasons of "abundance of purpose" if you will, and there are seasons of silence.

When I had four little ones, I never had to sit around trying to collect my thoughts about what I should do each day.  The answer was obvious: deal with the child who is crying the loudest, putting himself in danger or flushing a bar of soap down the toilet.

And while that season of life has a clear and defined sense of purpose, God knew that it could only last so long.  Somewhere between E.R. visits and reading lessons, children are trained.  Children grow up.  They learn life skills.  They become adults.  That is what we wanted.  I don't need my 20 something children to be having me order their lives.  That is their job.  I am here as a support wagon, not a feeding trough, if you know what I mean.

So, it's good because that is what we trained them to do.  In a sense "we" produced a lot of "fruit" in the labor of our "child-training" harvest.  Not to undermine the importance of how difficult or critical this phase of life is, but once they decide to "fly"--is it our job to keep them in the nest?  No.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I love it when I can have a good conversation with one of my grown children.  I live for moments when they "share their hearts" with me.  But I know that if I don't "get a life" outside of my grown children, I will be that crazy mother who needs to micro-manage everything.  I'll be producing (in effect) the exact opposite of what I want for my children.  I want them to be "whole" adults.  If I don't back off and let them struggle through (whatever it is), I'm producing an unhealthy dependence on me that should be reserved for God.

This is not easy.

I sometimes feel like the wilted peach tree in my yard.

And my husband always reminds me that there is nothing farther from the truth.  He tells me God uses me every day.  But I am just  thinking of the "abundant fruit" of yester-year.  And I'm in a silent phase.  I'm in a waiting phase.  And I am learning to see the beauty in it.

Yes.  There is beauty in the silent peach tree.

I am learning to listen to God.  While I know my role of a mother will never end until I die, I am learning to see that it needs to change with every season.  If I want my children to thrive, I need to figure out what they need in each phase. Sometimes that means "less of me" .  No peaches.  Even if they were the best peaches EVER in the entire universe.  They need to find other fruit.  It's O.K.

God is giver of every good and perfect gift.  He is Sovereign.  I can trust him.  I can trust him.


patricia earp said...

Jenna you never cease to amaze with your poignancy

I love allegories, so please more tree posts !

patricia earp said...

You I inspire me

Jena Webber said...

Patricia: You amaze me also! Thanks so much for the encouraging words!!

gabisunshine said...

Dear Jena, I'm so grateful to know you. Being on the other end of this crazy parenting thing, your honesty gives me so much hope to hang in there. Please do keep writing <3

Laura Santos said...

So good! This message is so needed among homeschool moms with children wanting to fly, but Momma won't let them go!

Herding Grasshoppers said...

I just LOVE having you "ahead of me" in this parenting journey. Thanks for the encouraging words for the next stage :D


Bobbie Harmon said...

My daughter faithfully reads your bolgs. She sent this to me. I see why. It is close to home.