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A few weeks ago I woke up and decided to throw myself a pity party. You know that type you throw and expect everyone else to join you? Yeah that’s the type I decided to throw myself that lovely Saturday morning.

Usually my husband would bring drinks to the party,  but that day he just wouldn’t join me and that further infuriated me.

My kids could sense the tension and took cover and I simply carried on with my pity party.

At about noon, I heard a knock on my bedroom door and ignored it, but it got louder so I barked a “come in”. The door opened and my 11 year old daughter, who by the way is my 3rd child, entered. I was about to yell a “get out and leave me alone” order when she said, “mom, give me 10 minutes,” in her most mature voice. 

I opened my mouth but no words came out and all I could manage was a nod.

She proceeded to read the Bible story on the Parable of the owner of a vineyard who planted a fig tree and was upset because the tree never produced fruits. The owner wanted to cut down the tree but the gardener impressed on him not to and further took up a challenge to ensure that within one year, if the fig tree didn’t produce any fruit then the owner was free to cut it down.

At this point I was protesting, telling her that I was in no mood to help her with her Sunday school homework, but she insisted on finishing her reading reminding me I had agreed to give her 10 minutes which wasn’t over yet.

After reading, she then said, “Mom you have to learn from the gardener. He didn’t give up on the tree but instead took up the challenge of ensuring that it would be in the best condition and produce fruit within the time frame.” 

Now I had read this story a lot of times and never saw that point about not giving up. Before I had a chance to respond she said,” mom you must never give up on you or anyone else. Challenge yourself to be better and most of all be patient.”

She looked at her watch and said, “it’s 10 minutes so my time is up,  but really mom, I simply wanted to tell you to learn from the gardener.” 

I got up quickly and hugged her so tightly,  and in her soft voice (the one she uses when she wants something) said, “can I have drinking garri?” I nodded in response not trusting my voice, but thankful that she was still my baby girl.  She turned to leave, got to the door and said, “I’m serious mom, don’t give up on you”.

And that’s how my pity party ended. I quickly got up and had the best weekend I have had in like forever.

So to anyone who feels like you have been stagnant for awhile I say “learn from the gardener.” Don’t give up on you, but challenge yourself. There is work to be done. Purposeful, intentional work.

To every woman who is burdened by the weight of all that we have to contend with, and feels like buckling under that weight, be like the gardener and never give up.

To every mom who is dealing with a child who seems set on the path of destruction, be like the gardener and never give up.

To every mom who has a child with a challenge and is tired of the many trips to the hospital and unsure of the future, be like the gardener and never give up.

To every woman believing for those two lines on that test kit, be like the gardener and never give up.

To every wife who is trying to make a home and feels alone, be like the gardener and never give up.

To the one who is waiting for a job and to you who is waiting for that which your heart beats for, be like the gardener and never give up.

The struggles we face today will be our greatest strength at the dawn of a new day.

So let’s get to working on our “fig tree” whatever yours may be. Be like the gardener! Never give up on anyone, most of all, never give up on you.

Be the best version of you.

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This article was first published on 3rd December 2017


Ifeoma C. Ik-Obi is a lawyer and a member of the Nigerian Bar Association with over thirteen years’ experience. She is a certified etiquette trainer and has facilitated trainings geared towards the development of Children, Teens, and Organizations in understanding the fundamentals of etiquette and good communications skills. An avid enthusiast of the arts, she is also an interior decorator and well... a writer of course. A wife and mother of five lovely children, she personifies work-life balance and believes her role as a wife and mother tops all other roles. She loves reading and gardening.

Comments (2)

2 thoughts on “MOM’S CORNER: Be Like the Gardener”

  • Wow… What a beautiful way to start a new week! This story has me all shook up, to Jumpstart my week in a fired up mindset and disposition.
    I can’t afford to give up on me!
    Thank you so much Ma, and even more thanks to your lovely daughter for inspiring this message!!

  • Thank you very much ma for this post and reminder. This post came as a light on my dark path. I’m truly blessed.

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