A strange business...

It has never been lost on me that, as a way to make money, I cut a living thing off from its source of life, then sell this dying piece of greenery to a customer.

A strange business indeed.

After announcing that I have cancelled my subscriptions for next year to allow more time and energy to put into our sons, the phrase "fruit that will last" popped into my head.

As a science teacher, I teach 6th graders about fruit. A fruit, according to our textbook, is "a seed-bearing structure that results from the fully developed ovary of the flower of a plant". It's ironic that as a flower farmer, I cut off the flower before it has a chance to bear fruit. In fact, in many cases it's essential for a long vase life of a flower to cut it BEFORE pollinators can get it to it. After it's been pollinated, the beauty of the flower quickly fades (even in a vase) because it has already served its purpose in attracting a bee or other insect to aid in its effort to produce seeds.

Since this phrase "fruit that will last" kept running through my mind (and knowing that the sale of cut flowers is emphatically NOT producing "fruit that will last"), I went to look up where I had heard this phrase, knowing it was somewhere in the Bible. I've found that often when God speaks to my heart, it's through a little phrase from his Word that he brings to mind.

Turns out it was Jesus who used this phrase. In John 15, the chapter where he describes himself as the "true vine", he urges his followers to stay connected to him, and "remain in my love", as the source of true life, in order to bear fruit.

Then comes the part that He used to prompt my heart... "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-- fruit that will last." WOW. Isn't that just what it is to be a mother? To go, as an emissary of Jesus, to bear fruit- FRUIT THAT WILL LAST? What could be a more worthwhile endeavor than that?

What I left out was that just before this part about fruit that will last, Jesus says, "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."

And NOW we're down to the nitty gritty of motherhood. Laying down your life for the good of your child. In order to bear fruit that will last.

Today I'm celebrating that glorious, and sometimes exhausting, mundane, anxiety-producing, frustrating, but always eternally worthwhile endeavor. Bearing fruit that will last, as we maintain our connection to Jesus, the ultimate life-giver. That's what I'm striving toward in motherhood.

May God bless all of you mothers who are laying down your lives for the worthwhile fruit that is your children. God sees every sacrifice you've made, every thing you've given up, big and small, and he wants to use you- your love- to produce fruit in your children.

"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-- fruit that will last." John 15:16

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