Perspective

Let’s Recycle

I’ve always been drawn to save-the-earth activities even in its tiniest form. What is the least thing that I can do to help preserve the earth for the next generation? Call me an OC but I can’t throw a clean plastic bag into the garbage bin. I would still keep it and wait for a chance to bring all my reusable plastic bags to a recycling bin in any grocery store. Any form of plastic packaging that still can be used once more in any way, I would keep. At least there’s one last way of using it before sending to landfill. A regular plastic bag takes up to a thousand years to degrade, fyi.

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When we were still in Utah, I had the habit of collecting all paper-made products and drive them to the nearest recycling bin (which can be found in an elementary school which happened to be my kids school) once a week to dispose them. It gives me satisfaction that something out of those recyclables can be used again. I’m glad that in California, almost everywhere you look around there’s a recycling bin. I get to throw my recyclables everyday. Even shredded paper & tissue holder can be put in the recycling!

Plastic bottles, glass jars & soda cans? If I can not reuse them at home, I try to segregate them in a separate bag so that people who are collecting them for a living would have an easier way (at least with our share). I could collect them and make money (I know it’s just small) out of it but I will leave that to those people who are in need of source. Reminded of Ruth’s life in the Old Testament where she gleaned grains from the field of Boaz to help her mother-in-law with their food, we could be a source too for other afflicted people. A small way can mean a lot to others in need.

Back in the days when Adrian and other boy scouts did a “leave no trace” cleaning in one of Kaysville’s highest peak, they picked up garbage left by people who went there. They had collected plastic bottles, candy wrappers, bullets & many more. Actually, I was one of the pickers too. I joined them and it was fun. It’s like doing two things at the same time, hiking and picking up garbage. It’s nice to let the kids be aware how important it is to dispose of garbage properly. I think we were able to fill two big black bags of litter for just about two hours of walking. And it made a difference for that mountain. Any little amount of effort that we can contribute to help preserve the earth, if we put it all together, will definitely be significant. Just like the starfish story, we can make a difference!

The Starfish Story

An old man was walking on the beach one morning after a storm.
In the distance, he could see someone moving like a dancer.
As he came closer, he saw that it was a young woman picking up
a starfish and gently throwing them into the ocean.
“Young lady why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?”
“The sun is up, and the tide is going out, and if
I do not throw them in they will die,” she said.
“But young lady, do you not realize that there are many miles
of beach and thousands of starfish? You can not possibly make a difference.”
The young woman listened politely, then bent down, picked up
another starfish and threw it into the sea.
“It made a difference for that one.”

A parable told and retold. The original author is unknown.

Tree

Trees are my favorite. My husband knows about my favorite tree. I had the chance to show him my first ever favorite tree. We were young then (in our 20’s) and not even in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship when we went on vacation in my grandparent’s house in the province. The view from my grand’s big kitchen window was lovely to look at. There was this lone tree in the middle of the vast field that I find so beautiful. The sight makes my chores easier to do. It’s just sad that I had no actual photo of it but saved a virtual copy of it in my mind instead. Only my husband knows how it looks like and why i love it. So whenever we see a similar tree, he would point it to me and say “that’s your tree.” Yes, I have several trees around the world. Trees “I own” that they didn’t even know I own them. Haha!

Now, for my second favorite (in the picture), this tree was my favorite view from our bedroom in Utah. We had so much memories with this tree. We have designated this tree in front of our apartment as the waiting spot in case of emergencies. If something happens inside the house like fire or anything that need us to go out of the house, we will meet at the tree. Just like what the family in “Puppy Place” have talked about meeting at an apple tree outside their house when their kitchen was burning.

This tree was a witness to many of our family activities such as homeschooling, playtime, picnic, playing music, painting and many more. Mich used to practice violin under this tree. It had become a subject of her painting too. Fallen leaves were a source of happy times as my kids play with them.

It’s so refreshing to see trees after the rain. They radiate vivid colors once the rain finished watering them. They look so fresh and happy. It’s so fascinating to see trees when in springtime they show different shades of greens and sprouts. It’s so lovely to look at trees during autumn with leaves of different colors. Though during winter, it might be depressing to look at seemingly lifeless trees, but when they’re covered with snow, they’re still lovely.

Trees are givers of life to those who are in gloom. Just by looking at them in any season, you’ll see life and hope. Trees are not only beautiful. One can learn so many things from them. Even from a tree that do not have fruits but can give a shade to a weary person is a fruit in itself. Even a tree in its loneliness can provide a picturesque scenery that can inspire and motivate the viewer. A stump can give a seat to a person who can’t make another step due to his long journey. And even a dead tree floating on a body of water can be a lifesaver. In parallel, we can be a giver to those around us. No matter how we think insignificant our small deed is to another person, we can be like the tree that can inspire. Just being kind to another person could save a life who is in the verge of death. One might be undergoing some difficulties in life but overcoming adversaries and becoming victorious could paint a beautiful scenery that others can appreciate as they look at life…

Blessed is the one who finds wisdom
Blessed is the one who gains understanding,
She is a tree of life to those who hold her close
Those who hold on to her will be blessed – Prov. 3:13 and v 18 NIrV
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This is Michelle’s painting of the tree above during spring time.

Day 40: Promise

(Zion National Park)

For those who find me find life
and receive favor from the Lord.
– Proverbs 8:35

Day 39: Waiting


“…but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
– Isaiah 40:31

“I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.”
– Psalm 40:1

Day 38: Children

(Laguna Beach, California)

“Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
– John 1:12-13

Day 37: Teachings


“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”
– Deut. 4:9

“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.”
– Deut. 6:6-9

Day 36: Free

(Park City, Utah)


“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

– Galatians 5:1

Day 35: Accountable

(Four Corners, Utah-New Mexico-Arizona-Colorado, USA)


“Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.”
– Galatians 6:2

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
– Ecclesiastes 4:12

Day 34: Glory

(road to Bear Lake, Utah)
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of His hands.
– Psalm 19:1

Day 33: Owner

(Coronado, California)

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
for he founded it on the seas
And established it on waters.
– Psalm 24:1-2
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