When No One Else Understands

Deep down in my heart, I realized that there is a longing to be understood by others. But, I’m learning that no one or not everyone can understand me completely in this lifetime — and this shouldn’t discourage me.

 

ONE WHO IS TOO SENSITIVE

I was told that I was a hypersensitive person or someone who easily gets hurt. This came from instances in the past where I would be vocal to others about how he / she have hurt me or others, especially when topics close to my heart are joked about.

As I was processing this with the Lord, there was a huge ache in my heart because I was trying to figure out specifically how to improve and move forward. I was very much aware of how high my empathy is and how I quickly pick up on my feelings and others’. But at the same time, because I feel deeply, I also speak out when I feel hurt or when I see something that needs to be addressed. Sometimes, this is good. But there are times when this isn’t needed.

 

TWO SCENARIOS

A sensitive person may view others as being insensitive. This usually happens when others joke about certain topics or people or when they make unnecessary comments. On the other hand, others who joke or comment about these may view someone who feels deeply affected by it, as being too sensitive or emotional.

Both may not (or never) understand where the other person is coming from.🙃

 

THREE TAKEAWAYS

I felt the Lord speak to me about how I can move forward with what I can control. He impressed on my heart these three things:

 

1. We were not created to understand each other. But, we were created to love.

 

If the goal was to understand / be understood, then it will allow someone to gain more knowledge or try to get the attention of others. Then, he/she may eventually use this to control the situation or the people involved.

But thankfully, we were created and commanded to love the Lord and to love one another instead. This kind of love that God continues to show us is unconditional and it is the example of love that I should be applying. It means that I should love EVEN IF I don’t always understand or agree with others. Even if others don’t understand where I’m coming from. Even if I was hurt or will eventually get hurt by others.

 

2. God knows and understands us, even when no one else can.

 

God created us and knows us more than we know ourselves. This truth comforted my heart as I let go of the need to be understood by people. I simply don’t have to put that burden on others and others also don’t have to put that burden on me. The Lord already knows what is in my heart, He cares for me, and I can freely open up to him. It’s the same for others as well.

Once I learn to accept this, it will eventually show in my behavior. I wouldn’t need to constantly bring up the wrongs of others nor would I have to beat myself up when I make mistakes or have struggles that don’t seem to end. I also wouldn’t expect from others and feel disappointed when they don’t understand me and my concerns.

 

3. God is God and I am not. I am also not the “Holy Spirit Jr.”

 

I am encouraged to surrender difficult things and people to the Lord. Not having the burden to constantly let others know of their blind spots. But, bringing my concerns up to God first and trust that if it is His will, the Holy Spirit will speak to their hearts and help them change. As the Holy Spirit is also moving in me. Besides, if the Lord wants me to rebuke others in love, then I believe He will clearly speak to me as well.

Even as I counsel others, I am reminded that I may not fully understand them too. Only God can. So, it is very important for me to lead them to Him instead.

——

At the end of each day, I am reminded that life isn’t about me or any other person. But, about our gracious God who chooses to love us constantly. How amazing it is to be loved by this same God who knows and understands us completely.

How to Grow Lemongrass

I grew lemongrass as an experiment at home and it’s definitely one of the herbs that I will continue to grow. After four months, my plants now have more fragrant stalks, which I will be harvesting soon.

Lemongrass is usually used in Thai cooking and in hot or iced tea.  If you want to try growing your own, feel free to read the steps below. I hope this helps!

 

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  1. Lemongrass stalks
  2. Glass jar
  3. Cups with holes at the bottom
  4. Potting mix / loam soil
  5. Bigger container – I used 8×10” soft pots
  6. Organic fertilizer
  7. Pair of scissors
  8. Gloves
  9. Direct Sunlight – 6 hrs a day
  10. Water

 

HOW TO GROW LEMONGRASS

 

FIRST: CUT 

Cut the bottom part of the lemongrass stalks and place them inside a glass jar with clean water. I used the bottom 5” of the stalks.

 

SECOND: ROOT

Let the stalks root in water for 1-2 weeks, until the roots are about 2” long. I placed them beside a window with sunlight. You’ll notice that the leaves will also start to grow during this time.

 

THIRD: TRANSFER

Transfer the stalks with roots to separate cups of potting mix. Make sure there are small holes at the bottom, for drainage.

 

FOURTH: EXPOSE & MOISTEN

Expose them to direct sunlight and water the cups regularly. Keep the soil moist and don’t let it completely dry out.

 

FIFTH: TRANSFER AGAIN

Once the roots start to grow around the cup, transfer them to their final containers. I placed them in 8×10” soft pots. Also, I used 70% potting mix and 30% loam soil. You can have your own mix as long as the soil is loose.

 

SIXTH: FERTILIZE

Fertilize the soil every month. I used chicken manure, fish/kelp fertilizer, and organic phosphorus fertilizer throughout the growing period.

 

SEVENTH: WAIT

You’ll see more stalks grow beside the original stalk planted. It took me four months to see developed lemongrass stalks — firm stalks with a fragrant smell.

 

ADDITIONAL TIPS:

Make sure to use gloves because the sharp leaves can give you a paper cut. Also, I trimmed off the dried leaves every now and then.

 

I’m still waiting for the current stalks to thicken and for more stalks to grow. Soon, I’ll share a separate post on how to harvest them!

I Almost Broke My DSLR Camera

For the first time in 5 years, I accidentally hit my DSLR’s 50mm lens against our wall and it created a dent on it. My heart broke as I shouted “Ohhh myy gosssh! Noooo!😰”

I was standing on a stool, taking photos of some of our herbs, when this happened. As soon as one of my legs bent down, the stool tilted and I fell on my side, causing my leg to have a huge bruise (Hello, ice pack!). I raised the camera as I was falling, but since I was beside the wall, it still struck against it!

I immediately checked the damage and realized that ONLY THE LENS FILTER WAS BENT! It’s similar to the tempered glass on our phones. THANK YOU, LORD!!🙏🏼 I remember receiving this tip years ago — to secure a lens filter on top of the actual lens, since this protects the lens from dust and damage, in case the camera drops! I was relieved, but also anxious at the same time. As of the moment, there are no cracks inside the lens and I can still adjust the focus.

The biggest concern I had was how expensive the lens is. It is thrice the price of a basic kit lens and ever since I got it five years ago, I did my best to take care of it. Also, it would be such a hassle to go to a repair shop or to buy a new one now, considering our current situation with COVID and my lack of funds.

The funny thing about this experience is that a few minutes before my fall, I was admiring how the lens was able to capture lovely bokeh effects. I loved the quality of the photos! So, when the accident happened, I realized that THESE MATERIAL THINGS CAN EASILY BE GONE IN AN INSTANT! At that moment, I saw how quickly I was tempted to get discouraged or angry and it showed me what was in my heart.😬

Tomorrow (Sept. 5) is the 5th birthday of my DSLR camera. HOW TIMELY! As I take a deep breath and massage my bruised leg, I accept this as a humbling reminder from the Lord. In the same way that my 50mm lens creates bokeh and focuses only on what is necessary, I, too, must focus on what is most important in life. Not being fixated on material things or desires that will eventually fade away.

I honestly don’t know if that intense hit on my lens filter has a negative long term effect on my camera, but, I will take it one day at a time. I am still so grateful for the past 5 years with it. So many memories documented using it! By God’s grace, I hope to be able to use it more in the future.

To my fellow photographer friends, I know you understand my heartbreak! Hahahuhu. I can’t remove the lens filter now, though. I think it got jammed.💔🙈

How To Grow Basil From Seed

It’s been a while since I last shared about growing Basil using cuttings . So many things happened in between! But today, I am excited to show you a recent journey I’ve had in growing this lovely and practical herb from seed.

Even if you don’t have any experience in gardening yet, you can definitely grow Basil! This is one of the easiest herbs to grow and I hope that with this post, I can help you get started. :)

  1. POTTING MIX / LOAM SOIL
  2. FERTILIZER – Such as chicken manure, vermicast, or compost.
  3. BASIL SEEDS – You may start with the Sweet or Genovese Basil variety. This is usually used for pesto and other Italian dishes. But another common type is Thai Basil.
  4. SUNLIGHT – Around 4-6 hours each day
  5. WATER – You may use tap water on a regular basis. But, you can also use rainwater and rice water every now and then, for added nutrients. I use spray bottles during the seedling stage. Then, I use a cup or pail to water them once they’re bigger.
  6. SCISSORS – For pruning as the plant grows
  7. CHOPSTICKS & YARN / STRAW – For support
  8. PLASTIC / WOODEN SPOON – To help transplant seedlings
  9. GLOVES – Since you’ll eventually work with the potting mix
  10. ACCESS TO WIND – To help dry the leaves in case they get wet
  11. CONTAINERS – Egg cartons, small cups, and the final pot (Around 8-10” high and wide will be enough, depending on how big you want the basil to grow.)

 

HOW TO GROW BASIL:

 

STEP ONE: Prepare the Container

I start by adding 1-2 spoons of potting mix inside each egg carton space. The potting mix I use has vermicast, cocopeat, and carbonized rice hull in it. It is very loose and ideal for growing seedlings.

 

STEP TWO: Sow the Seeds and Water Them

I spray the potting mix in the cartoon with water. Then, I lightly sow 1 seed in each hole. Afterwards, I spray water over them again. Also, I place this beside a window with sunlight and water them every morning for 5-7 days.

 

STEP THREE: First Transplant

Seeds first grow cotyledons (initial two leaves / “fake” leaves) in preparation for the seedling. Once you see the true leaves forming (third leaf onwards), you can now transfer these seedlings to bigger cups. Or you can also wait until the plant is 2-3” tall.

ONE SEEDLING PER CUP, PLEASE! :) This will prevent the roots from competing with each other. In the photo below, I eventually separated these two seedlings that sprouted in the cup. I usually transfer them to small plastic cups with small holes at the bottom, for good drainage. You may use a spoon to carefully scoop out the whole seedling as you transfer, without damaging the roots. Also, you may add more potting mix to the cups to help provide support and nutrients.

 

STEP FOUR: Water, Expose to Direct Sunlight, & Fertilize

Continue watering every morning and expose your seedlings to direct sunlight at least 4-6 hours each day. This will help them grow faster. You can also give fertilizer every two weeks. I find that 1-2 tablespoons of chicken manure is enough for each seedling. Also, WATER THE SOIL, not the leaves. This will prevent bacteria in the soil from infecting the leaves, especially when the water splashes on the soil.

 

STEP FIVE: Second or Final Transplant

Depending on the height that you want to maintain, after the seedling grows to 5-6”, you can transfer it to its final pot (or keep transferring to bigger pots as it grows). By this time, a spoon might not be enough to scoop out the seedling. So, you may use your gloves and carefully transfer the seedling to its new home. Add more potting mix to cover the roots and stems. Also, make sure that the bottom leaves aren’t touching the soil.

 

STEP SIX: Support the Plant

Using chopsticks, you can support the plant as it grows. I let the stalks lean on them or I lightly tie them to the sticks using yarn.

 

STEP SEVEN: Prune, Fertilize, and Water

When the plant reaches 8-10” in height, I would recommend for you to prune it since this will help you develop more leaves for harvest. I included a video below on how to prune basil. Also, continue watering every morning and giving fertilizer every two weeks.

Remember, if you want to keep harvesting Basil leaves, the goal is for the plant to become bushy. Not to become tall with thin leaves and flowers.

 

STEP EIGHT: Remove Flowers and Dying Leaves

Flowers are used to collect seeds. But when the Basil plant flowers, it means that the plant is using its energy to produce seeds, not to make leaves. So, make sure to snip off flowers when you see them growing (unless you want to collect seeds).

Also, snip off yellow, brown, or infected leaves when you see them, so the plant’s energy can focus on the healthier ones. This will prevent diseases from spreading too!

 

STEP NINE: Keep Harvesting

This will encourage the plant to continue producing leaves. But, make sure NOT to harvest more than 1/3 of the plant, so that it won’t have a hard time recovering.

 

STEP TEN: Enjoy Growing!

Aside from enjoying the process of seeing plants grow, I’ve been having a blast learning from this too, both in my successful attempts and in my failures (or what I call “experiments”) along the way.

 

I hope this detailed post helps you get a clearer picture of how to plant Basil seeds. If you have more questions, feel free to let me know in the comments below. Or you can also visit my gardening page “ANYONE CAN GARDEN” on Facebook and Instagram, where I post more about lessons learned. :)