Rosh Hashanah @ Joshua Tree National Park

JOSHUA TREES by Alice Wang

JOSHUA TREES by Alice Wang

“One time I saw a tiny Joshua tree sapling growing not too far from the old tree. I wanted to dig it up and replant it near our house. I told Mom that I would protect it from the wind and water it every day so that it could grow nice and tall and straight. Mom frowned at me. "You'd be destroying what makes it special," she said. "It's the Joshua tree's struggle that gives it its beauty.”                    ― Jeannette WallsThe Glass Castle

       I love this story because it beautifully describes the uniqueness of the Joshua tree. To me, it highlights the uniqueness of each of our own journey(s). Although this was wasn't my first time seeing a Joshua Tree, I had never understood what was so "special" about these trees. They are a bit strange and I remember at first, their crookedness and fidgety shape bugged me a bit. But now, seeing a new perspective on them gives me a new appreciation for them. As cliche as it may sound, the struggle(s) we face are sometimes what makes us beautiful and unique.

     A few weeks ago, I was invited to go on a camping trip with a group of people I've never met before. I sort of just said yes without asking questions about the details because I knew I needed a change in pace and scenery. Thank you Olivia and Steven for inviting me on this trip with your family & friends. I was a bit nervous when I found out that the majority of the group would be coupled up, but I'm now so grateful for everyone I got to know this weekend. Despite the different seasons each of us are currently in, it was beautiful to all come together and bond in celebrating life together, laughter, enjoy God's creation, and share stories. 

       I'm SO thankful for my new friend ALICE who was my "boobear" for the weekend. The both of us made sure that in a group of 12 married couples, neither of us would be 13th wheel. Instead, we decided we would just be the 7th couple. Camping this weekend would not have been the same without you! 

       A new level of bond happens when you're camping with no shower and running water, no makeup, no cute clothes. Minus the couple blogger girls we saw photo shooting, there's no fashion show here in the dessert. Here we are - just us, fresh faced, no filters haha. 

MILKY WAY by Ian Lim

MILKY WAY by Ian Lim

       I spent the last night star gazing, wishing I could take this view back to the city with me. I not-so-secretly wished upon SEVERAL shooting stars as I looked up wondrously at the magnificent sky, feeling like a little child witnessing a miracle for the first time again. As my eyes traced the milky way above me, there was a moment of disbelief in my heart when I realized that right at that very moment, I was gazing at millions of millions (gazillions) of galaxies and that our planet is just a mere speck of a speck's speck. I felt so small, yet priceless - in a really good way. I love nature because for me, it serves as a constant reminder of God's infinite love and creation. Despite how tiny looking up into the night sky made me feel - and how for a moment, I felt a bit lost in it, I also felt insanely refreshed and inspired to courageously pursue my dreams, be bold, stay motivated, keep creating, and continue to grow in faith and expectation for greater things to come. I trust that His plans are greater, His ways are higher, and His love is constant and enduring. Just like the Joshua tree, I'm looking forward to growing this new year. As fidgety and unconventional as my journey may be, even in choosing what to share on this blog, I believe in the promise of growth, beauty and hope as I endure the "struggle." Let's see what's in store!