Friday, April 13, 2007

Bloom in Adversity...

" The Flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and Beautiful of all"

...Chinese Emperor in Mulan

My fellow Ontario Bloggers and myself, have been reflecting on the beauty of Spring, and bemoaning the persistence of Winter this year.

It has caused me to spend some time reflecting on all of this. I have discovered that our environment often speaks to us of Spiritual conditions.

"...the earth is the Lord's and the fullness there of..."

Today, in checking some of my favorite blogs, I came across the above quote from Mulan, written on the playroom wall of an incredibly adorable adopted daughter of China.

It caused me to think about the beauty of that quote, and to begin a search for the meaning behind it.

The earliest blooming flower in China is the Plum Blossom. It does not wait for the sun and the warmth of Spring to arrive before it blooms in the winter. The Plum Blossom blooms before the leaves of the tree are fully formed.

People believe that the plum tree blooms after enduring winter's hardship and its scent comes from surviving the bitter cold. Thus the plum blossom’s spirit of endurance signifies that great achievement only comes from deep commitment.

The beauty of plum blossoms are not just due to their color or that it is the only flower blossoming in the winter. It is also because each gentle petal has grown through the cruelty of the winter storm, and represents the essence of the process of growth.

The Chinese people LOVE what this flower represents...they believe it represents themselves as a people. It is being considered as a National symbol of China, and has been the focus of artists and poets alike for centuries.

Tr. Ed Peaslee:
Plum blossoms, plum blossoms grow everywhere.
The colder it is the more they bloom,
Plum blossoms persevering symbolize our glorious China.
Plum blossoms bloom everywhere, where there is earth they grow,
Fearless of ice and snow, wind and rain; it is our national flower.

There is a Chinese Proverb that states:

" When Literacy is loved
The Plum Blossoms will open.

When learning is Prohibited

The Plum Blossoms will close."

The Plum Blossom symbolizes beauty, strength of character, perseverance, endurance, and commitment....all developed through the harshest of seasons. Amidst this very harsh season....a beautiful fragrance is developed that is enjoyed by all those who have the privilege of existing anywhere in proximity of this "most rare and beautiful flower" .

This flower embodies the purpose for my blog..."Beauty from Ashes...all for His Glory"

As we all struggle through the natural and spiritual hardships that come, may we develop as the plum blossom...with all of it's strength and beauty...and a fragrance that would be an offering of incense of praise to the One who created us as rare and beautiful flowers...

Bless All of my "Plum Blossom Blogger Friends" today Lord...may they all bloom where they are matter the conditions.


Shari said...


I wasn't planning on thinking deep today but after reading your blog ...I'm in very deep thought!! Actually it's good and helps with some questions I was asking God through the night and this past week.

The blooms are beautiful and give me something to look forward to!

On another note , several of us have been commenting back and forth with a lady named Sue from the States. She has four children...the youngest is a little girl adopted from China. Just thought you might like to connect. She left a comment on my post entitled "Freedom".

Williams Family Blog said...

Hi Jen,

Thanks for your timely bit of encouragement...
Today, on the way home from groceries God was speaking to me about perseverence,....then when I got home I went to your blog and read about the Plum Blossom...just what I needed for today.

Bless you my friend,

Sue said...

Hi Jen,
So wonderful to meet you!
That is very interesting and uplifting. The Chinese people impressed me with their depth of thought about things that I would walk right by.
I believe their little girls are survivors and fighters just like the flowers.
God has an amazing plan for all these little ones. Maybe one of them will be with you!

If you have a heart for the Chinese people, keep them in prayer please. My heart was so heavy for them while we were there. They have many fables and stories, but no Living God, and they need Him so dearly.

Nice to meet you!

Amy said...

What a cool connection Jen....(Sue) and yes, the girls of china are DEFINATELY like the flowers....True perseverance.
God bless you as you pursue your dreams..

Roxanne said...

Wow! This is very interesting.
I once had a prophetic individual speak over me, saying that if I didn't allow my circumstances to consume me that I would be like a rose. Months later I jokingly said that I felt like a rose the prickly thorns!
Maybe I should do some digging into roses. You've got me thinking Jen.

Tamatha said...

Very deep thoughts indeed.

Elle said...

Hi Jen,

How wonderful to find your blog.And what a rare coincidence! The quote from the Chinese Emperor in Mulan really have a deep meaning.

As a matter of fact there are millions of beautiful souls like plum blossoms that possess this quality of persistence in China.I am a filmmaker living in Sweden and have actually made a documentary with the title Plum Blossom in Snow. It is the story of a lady and her daughter traveling the world to raise awareness of the brutal persecution of Falun Gong (Falun Dafa) right now in China. Her beloved husband was murdered by the communist regime in China only because he belived in truthfulness, compassion and tolerance. In China there does not excist any freedom of belief and many Christians, Tibetans and Falun Gong practitioners are suffering from persecution. I enjoyed reading your and your friends reflections about the plum tree. Here is the film website if you want to check it
God bless you!

Jen said...


Thank You for the visit from Sweden. A place of great interest to me as my Great grandmother comes from this land.

I took the opportunity to visit you film site....will be interested to see the trailer once it is available.

China is a land that I love passionately...though I have never been. To me it seems so strange especially in light of the all too real persecutions that still continue in that land. I love the scenery, the culture, the history, the food and above all, the people. I am once again saddened to hear the story of one of it's precious people having their life stolen so unjustly.
I look for the beauty in the people, and pray for change in the policies.
Thank you for sharing yet another piece of this amazing land with me.

God Bless you as well

amy stanfield said...


I found your blog looking up the phrase "plum blossom in snow." Our family is starting the adoption process- we are adopting a little girl from China. Our first little girl is our birth child- Nyah. She has always reminded me of a peony- wide, open, beautiful. We are starting a blog soon, and the word plum came to mind...the more I started to look at photos of the plum blossom and read about them, the more I felt like she is going to be our "little plum blossom." Reading your blog and beautiful description confirmed to me that this is exactly what she is! Thank you for your sweet words, and explanation of this beautiful flower...I can't wait to see how God will develop the story of ours.
Breathing life deep,
Amy Stanfield

Anonymous said...

Hi Jen,

Your blog really lifted me today. Nearly 8 months ago now, I walked out of an emotionally abusive marriage of more than 31 years. I am also now heading into my sixth battle with cancer in ten years. About 10 days ago, my male ego took a little roller-coaster ride over a dinner invitation that was um.. eventually declined. Initially, up a little and then down a lot. OUCH! As I drove home that day I got thinking about the kind of woman that I really needed. When I opened the car door, there - to my immense surprise - she was. Right in front of me was a beautiful flower growing up out of a crack between a brick retaining wall and the concrete driveway. Standing tall and BLOOMING IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY! That's how I came across your blog. I searched Google for this phrase. Thank you, Lord! I never expected to find anything so relevant as this. God is SO good!


Jen said...

Wow 'P'...God is so very faithful! To think that He would still be speaking through words he put in my heart over three years ago. Words, that even as He spoke them to me and used them in me and then others through the years....He was also thinking of you and where you would be at at THIS time and the flower He would have growing at the very place you would see it. He knew the the words that you would think of and search and that this Blog would be waiting to encourage you....i am in Awe of Him once again.
If He is this concerned about you and all that you are going through and created a plan for your encouragment...I believe He has the rest all figured out to. Many Blessings, thank you for taking the time to let me in on the impact that this post has had.