Bearing Fruit in Your Home{school}, Part 3: The Olive Grove

{Listen to Part 3 here}

Now let us travel and turn our attention to the olive grove in order to see what we can learn from the olive shoot

Psalm 128:3 states, “Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house, your children like olive plants around your table.”

It has been explained that when looking at any olive tree, you could see as many as ten or more new shoots growing out of the root system around the treeThese shoots grow at the bottom, at the base, of another, older tree.

This verse, and this picture, serves as a bridge to where we just were, as we considered bearing fruit in our own lives, to where we are heading, which is bearing fruit in our homeschool.  

You see, some buds that sprout from the olive tree end up turning into blossoms, giving way to fruit. Other buds become shoots and then branches, which in turn generate new buds, continuing the cycle.

In other words, the buds of the olive tree can go in one of two directions: some end up blossoming while others give life to new shoots.  On the new branches, other leaves and buds develop, allowing the olive tree to blossom the following year, ensuring a fruitful harvest in the future. 

There are a lot of lessons from the olive tree but I think this is why I have been so captivated by the image of the tree and the shoots around it: it is a picture of a fruitful olive tree now, producing potentially fruitful olive trees in the future.  Isn’t that what we want for our homeschools?  Don’t we want to be fruitful women who “produce” (by God’s grace and the working of the Holy Spirit within our children’s hearts and lives) potentially fruitful men and women?  This image, this thought, is so powerful to me!  The picture of the new shoots growing at the base of the older tree reminds me of our young children, right underfoot us perhaps.  It can seem so constant and so draining, can’t it?  Perhaps it’s even an older child, who is not physically underfoot any longer but is nevertheless draining us.  

Will we remember the picture of the olive shoot the next time we find ourselves frustrated, exasperated, or drained?  The picture from the olive grove – the purpose of the proximity and the nearness of the young shoot – is one of growth.  

How precious and what a privilege it is to have our children, like an olive shoot, grow up right next to us, the older, fruitful tree.  Oh, when we catch this vision!  May we be mindful of the potential for growth within us and our children when the young shoot is this close (at “the base of”) the wiser, fruitful, older olive tree!  

Speaking of this verse, Psalm 128:3, Spurgeon said, “I have seen the young olive plants springing up around the parent stem, and it has made me think of this verse – the idea of young people springing up around their parents, even as olive plants surround the fine, well-rooted tree.  How beautiful to see the gnarled olive, still bearing abundant fruit, surrounded with a little band of sturdy successors.”

May this be our prayer this school year: to be fruitful, well-rooted women, knowing we are perfectly cared for by our Gardener. May we be alert as a watchman in order to pour into the “shoots” growing up around us, underfoot of us, and at our “base,” that they, too, may grow into fruitful, Christ-loving and Christ-like men and women.

While this is a lovely sentiment, I realize it is easier said than done, especially in the mundane moments of homeschooling or when plans are thwarted, attitudes plummet, and no one (including mom!) is feeling particularly motivated!

The Psalmist’s words found in Psalm 1:1-3 can help us persevere when discouragement and exhaustion threaten to sidetrack us.  “Blessed is the man…whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law He meditates day and night.  He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”

Fruit in its season.”  How important it is to acknowledge that different seasons inevitably look different and bear different fruit, and to be ok with that!  In some seasons, when we are tempted to simply focus upon what we see (which can be pretty discouraging), it is easy to forget that as we are connected to the Vine, He is faithful to work in all seasons of our lives for His glory.  Sometimes, the most important stage of the fruit production is when it’s dormant, a dormant season, when we don’t see any growth on the outside.  We can be assured that as we remain and abide in Him, activity leading to growth is taking place inside that “bud”!

Be encouraged: whatever season you are in, His purpose will be accomplished!   We cannot compare our homeschool to another’s.  We must take into account the season we’re in, whether it’s the ages of our children or our unique set of circumstances.  Surely the Lord has a purpose for each season!

So let us remember to stay connected to Him and the lesson we’ve learned from the olive grove: it is good, it is for growth, that your young shoot is at your “base.”  Allow the Lord to bring forth the fruit that is just right for this season!

Continue to Part 4

Listen to this message in its entirety by clicking here.

1 Comment

  1. Aisa Montero

    Hello, my name is Aisa from the Philippines. I love your writing so much. I love how you organize or gather your words. Simple yet impacting. It’s my heart’s desire to bring life-giving words out of my mouth just like how you do. The olive shoots illustration made me so excited to be on fire on living right with my children with God( who is the source of my joy). I came across your blog from the homeschool plans on youversion bible app. I love your writings. I hope you create more illustrations of the word of God. Me and my children are visual learners so we tend to forget words but illustrations, stories and pictures remains. I would like to learn more from you. Thank you and God bless you and your family,


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