As I was writing this post, I listened to Jonathan Ogden’s “Spring” album – quite fitting right? Coincidentally, the album cover is of cherry blossoms! It’s one of my favorites. You can listen to it here!
It has been raining more often than usual and I am enjoying it. I love the way street lights reflect on the wet pavement at night. Or the sound of tires driving on it as I put Noah to bed. But most of all, knowing that the Southern California dry soil is being watered, setting the groundwork for flowers to bloom and manifest into the spring season. It brings me joy. Bougainvilleas have started to border the freeways. The common indian hawthorn bush is all dressed up in its pink flowers. And the cherry blossom trees are rising to the occasion.
Last Sunday, I made plans to visit a strawberry farm just outside of San Diego. It’s strawberry season and I wanted to take Noah strawberry picking. This spring activity was one my parents often did with my sister and I when we still lived in LA. It is a childhood memory I cherish and has become a tradition I’d like to pass on to Noah. But since it heavily rained the day before, the fields were closed! So we went to see the cherry blossoms at the Japanese Garden instead. I think I could spend an entire day looking at these trees.
Around this same time last year, I created this blog. I was optimistic, yet I wondered – will anyone read it? How many would benefit or get something out of reading my personal narrative? Can this potentially be monetized? Am I going to be committed enough to post consistently? Will I make a fool of myself?
The answers are yes, no, and I probably have made a fool of myself at some points. I considered mentioning a few stats and numbers here of how many views my blog as gotten or something along those lines, but it’s really not about that. That’s not what’s in my heart. In my heart are the women who have taken the time to reach out to me just to say that something I decided to share reached her heart. That a post spoke to her. That something in my writing somehow gave her a form of reassurance she needed. It always seems to happen when I am feeling discouraged and confused about what to write about next. It reminds me that there’s purpose here and that this can be a good place.
So if you’ve been reading, have read, or reading this right now – thank you, from the bottom of my heart. It feels good to speak and be heard. To be able to express myself and see it in writing or pictures.
Most of all, in the midst of being a stay at home mom, it feels good to have an outlet to call my own. This corner of the world wide web has served as a creative and therapeutic channel for me. When I feel overcome by my current role and its demands, this little blog is like the anchor which keeps me from losing a sense of self.
I’ve learned a lot from the first time I started blogging in March 2017 to now. One of those things is quality over quantity – before I write, I need to ask myself if what I am working on is coming from a genuine place or if I’m just trying to get something out there for the sake of being relevant. I have to ask myself what my true intentions are prior to posting and often times, it reveals itself as I am writing.
As consistent as I wanted to be with posting monthly, I took a hiatus last September and November. These months were difficult for me as I faced another side of myself that I was not proud of. I struggled to write from a good place because I was not in a healthy state of mind. Therefore, I chose not to deliver anything if what I delivered would be forced and lack honesty.
On a lighter note, another thing I learned is the importance of photos in a post! I do not always have visual content to share, (or use them to break up my paragraphs because I know that my posts can be lengthy, haha) but I hope that this year I can be more intentional with that because sometimes I really have to plan out photos and when they’re taken. Lol.
If it isn’t apparent enough, my favorite season is spring! It also marks the one year anniversary of my blog (well, almost). You can read my very first post here. In light of this, I’d like to remind us why I named this space “a garden for her” –
My blog is named “a garden for her” because life is like a garden that is to be cultivated and cared for. Both need to experience different seasons for growth and development. Sometimes that looks like a tough season that requires perseverance such as the Winter. Sometimes it’s removing harmful things or people in your life, like pulling out weeds. And then Spring arrives, and all the pain you went through and each time you felt like giving up but found the strength to keep pressing forward is exchanged for something new and rewarding. “A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.” A garden takes time, work, and patience. I’ve learned that everything is being made beautiful in its own time. Not on our time, but in its own time.
… and that passing through and learning from different seasons are a necessary part of the life process – all for the purpose of something greater.
So whatever season life has you in, take heart because it is refining you and preparing you for greater things to come. Whatever your current situation may be, remember that it is temporary. This is why I love the spring, it is when God is making all things new.
I’m going to start ending my posts by sharing…
3 recent things:
1. Noah is so close to being potty trained! A couple months ago, I used to think that I would never be able to wean him off of breastfeeding (finally stopped before he turned 3)…and on top of that, potty training?! It’s probably a “first child” rookie parent thing, lol. I’m so proud of Noah for how fast he learned how to go and how well he’s doing now!
2. I have fallen in LOVE the kids’ TV show NINJAGO. I’m currently on season 5. This show has made me smile, cry, and laugh. It makes me happy when I’m feeling down. My favorite ninja is either Lloyd or Kai. But no ninja compares to Nya! Judge me all you want, but I’m not kidding lol.
3. Discovering Trader Joe’s marinated steaks have CHANGED. THE. GAME. So far, I’ve tried the chimichurri one, their version of bulgogi called “bool kogi”, and most recently the carne asada (made quesadillas out of ’em)! I cook these on my cast iron skillet and BAM – it gives the impression that I put a lot of work into making dinner. Delicious, too!
That’s it! I should probably work on making my blog posts shorter or more concise, lol.
As always, thank you for reading. I hope you enjoy how beautiful nature is during this time of year and that your allergies can be kept under control if you have them!