Cultivating A Joyful Life | Happy In The Waiting

Cultivating A Joyful Life | Happy In The Waiting

It is very easy for us to get caught up in attaining what we desire. It is pretty awesome how quickly we can become passionate about reaching goals in our lives, however – if we didn’t ever have that drive, would we get anything done? I don’t think we would, haha!

Anyway, there are so many things we aim for and look at eventually completing. Whether that’s going on a certain vacation, getting a college degree, meeting Mr. Right, or whatever else one may desire, we have huge hopes and dreams. Oftentimes, when the circumstances are right, we reach those goals, and what a beautiful thing that is!

However … how do we feel when there are delays, sidetracks, and unpreventable changes of plan? What do we do during the waiting?

Hey guys! I am long overdue on writing a second part to this fun series, so today I bring to you: ‘Happy In The Waiting.’ In our time and culture, it is extremely easy to fall into the habit of desiring and getting what we want quickly and efficiently. Any little inconvenience is highly agitating, and easily disruptive to our tight plans. I know how it feels; I’ve been there. Even when I don’t have specific plans that need following, if whatever is happening doesn’t go along with how I ‘planned’ it would happen in my head, it makes me upset, haha

I wanted to cover this topic in Cultivating A Joyful Life because acquiring a stronger tendency to respond patiently would benefit all of us, if even in the smallest of ways. It would definitely give us more peace, and could also potentially affect our relationships and well-being in positive ways, as well.

Before I delve into this any further, let’s return for a moment to the garden of our hearts, shall we?

If you think about it, gardens are all about waiting – as well as the art of patience. It takes diligence, care, and photosynthesis for plants to grow. It takes patience on the gardener’s part to consider the plants’ needs and tend to them accordingly. You may want a flower to quickly bloom so that you can experience its beauty, but that isn’t quite how it works. To grow something from its seed form usually take weeks and much perseverance, but the outcome – a beautiful, thriving plant that you cultivated with your own hands – is absolutely worth it. The same is true for our lives!

Happy In The Waiting

There are times when we want something instantly because we know how happy it would make us. From our viewpoint, the stars are all aligned – we need only to reach out and grasp it, pursuing the desire with our whole hearts.

When circumstances start to not go the way we want, our happy plans begin to fade as things continue to come up, hindering our progress and hardening our hearts.

That’s usually when we start to push the matter.

We take it into our own hands instead of waiting for everything to turn out just right, as it appears that that will never happen, anyway. We do what we wouldn’t have originally done out of desperation and discontent. That never gets us anywhere.

Waiting often looks, and always feels, like a waste of time. Sitting around doesn’t seem to accomplish anything, does it? I’ve been there myself so many times.

Throughout the Bible, there are many instances when having patience and waiting on the Lord is brought up. This means so much to me, as I often feel alone in the waiting, but His Word has reminded me time and time again that I have not been forsaken. There are two main things that I have taken from the various verses on patience over the years.

First, the Lord strengthens our faith through these times of waiting. Relying on Him to lead us, and putting all of our trust in His plans, is one of the main ways we mature as Christians. There are few other things that will cause us to draw closer to Him than our times of need.

Second, He will not forsake us when we need Him most. He has been there for me every second of the way when I trust in Him – even when I can’t see His hand at work in the situation until later (as is often the case). The only times in my life when I felt alone during trials was when He was deeply testing me. Those were also the times when my return to the arms of His everlasting grace were all the more special. The other times of loneliness where when my focus and intentions were misaligned. The moment I stepped foot back on the right track – the path that He had for my life, not the one I figured out for myself – I instantly found myself at His side once again. ❤

The Lord is with those who call upon His holy name.

When I find myself growing discontent in His timing, I often turn back to Proverbs 16. Its sound wisdom has brought me through rough points in my life when I was becoming truly hopeless. One verse that really reminds me of where my focus should be is the ninth verse:

“The heart of man plans his way,
but the Lord establishes his steps.”

It is up to us to chase after what we desire for our lives, but it is His will that shall be established and succeed! ❤

Thank you so much for reading! I thoroughly enjoyed continuing with this series, and you’ll probably see me post a third addition in the weeks to come. Thanks for following along!

Let me know in the comments below:

What times of waiting has the Lord brought YOU through?

thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx

Eight Months of Dreaming of Guatemala

Eight Months of Dreaming of Guatemala

Hey guys! I hope that you’re having a gorgeous day!! x So, as another month has rolled around, I knew that it would be a blessing to me to write another Dreaming of Guatemala (the place and my blog) update! Looking back at how far I’ve come with both of these passions makes me so happy. Are you ready to follow along? Let’s go!

At one month, I could still hardly believe that this Guatemala thing was happening. It is quite possibly the biggest life change I’ve ever experienced, and the passion I felt (and still do) stunned me. Fast forward to four months, and I still felt like I was literally dreaming, continually in awe of how the Lord was working in my life, and I struggled to wrap my head around even a bit of it. The last update I did was at the six month mark, and that was then that I began feeling the reality of it. I’m still stoked about everything Guatemala, and I still want to go – most definitely! – but at the beginning of July, I found myself analyzing the possible realities of that situation, and it made me stress a bit.

Now, let’s jump back to the present. I have known of this specific plan for my life for eight months now. That’s two hundred and forty-eight days, to be exact! I have also had my blog for that long, minus about a week. But it’s not really in the details.

With each day that has passed, I have slowly been accepting it. This dream has been on my mind, in my heart, and lacing my prayers. The uncertainties are most certainly there, but no matter how terrifying of a scenario I come up with, nothing phases me. Whenever I ponder worst-case scenarios in any situation, I freak myself out, but with Guatemala, not one has. Tarantulas? Nah. Earthquakes? It’s fine. ACTIVE VOLCANOES? Why should that bother me? 😂

I am in no way saying I’m okay with any of the three frightening things mentioned above. That’s not the point. While I don’t want to find myself facing a huge spider, experiencing a bad earthquake, or watching one of their volcanoes erupt, I have an unexplainable peace that I will cross all those bridges when I get there.

There’s a verse in Matthew where Jesus says “sufficient for each day is its own trouble.” He has bound my heart with the spiritual ability to instantly combat any fear I may have with Guatemala. My awful little scenarios instantly die in His light. It is unlike anything I have ever experienced before.

When I was first seeing Guatemala show up everywhere in my life, from books to blog posts to items in stores, I became excited every time. Each one is a beautiful reminder of my future, and seeing the Lord so plainly at work in my life and with my surroundings makes me giddy. However, the more it has happened, the more used to it I’ve become, to the point where loving this country isn’t just part of my life; it’s part of me. ❤

I look forward to every event leading up to visiting Guatemala. I long for the day I first step foot in that country. It brings me greater joy than I can explain to know this small glimpse into the future God has for me.

All of my main actions this year have reflected that purpose.

I started this blog to record my progress and entertain myself (and you guys!) while I wait. I began learning Spanish like never before because of my passion to know that language fully. I’m looking into getting a job as soon as I can to save money, and I’m not going to college yet and will most likely take individual classes, instead.

My view of life is different because of this calling. It is absolutely beautiful!

Now, I’d like to touch on my blogging journey a bit, as well. While I have been blogging on and off since 2010, I have never connected with this many bloggers before. This community is absolutely amazing! I know I’ve said that before, but it’s worth saying again. The last eight months of my life have been extremely blessed because of this experience; I’ve made new friends, posted consistently for the first time ever, and my post writing skills have gotten so much better. I’d like to thank you personally, whether you just found my blog, or you’ve been following along for months. I appreciate each and every individual comment, and getting to have a place where I can inspire others is a wonderful blessing!

Visit the ‘His Child‘ category on my blog for more spiritual inspiration.

Follow me! || Twitter || Pinterest || Goodreads || YouTube

Cultivating A Joyful Life | Content Where We Are

Cultivating A Joyful Life | Content Where We Are

First and foremost, before I really delve into the topic of this post, I’d like to clarify that I’m well aware that most people don’t live in cozy little outdoor patios like the one featured above. 😂💚 It merely serves to materialize the ‘home’ theme of Part One of my Cultivating A Joyful Life series, as well as keeping to the constant theme of these posts, which are gardens.

In the introduction that I wrote last week, I shared a beautiful way to think of our minds and our hearts, and that is by comparing them to a garden. The gardens that are well-cultivated, loved, and overall taken care are home to many beautiful plants and accents throughout! However, much against the gardener’s will, weeds still sprout up, good plants still die, etc, so it is essential that they are continuously cared for.

They cannot be cultivated to a certain point, then left to their own devices; just like with gardens, our hearts need daily (in some cases constant) care, or else everything gets bad quite suddenly. In abandoned gardens, flowers start to wilt, stems fade and begin turning brown, leaves slowly fall off the trees … in short, beautiful things cannot live if not taken care of.

I may be speaking of gardens, but in many ways, one can put his- or herself in this situation, as well. What happens when we stop actively putting aside bad behaviors? How does our life change when good habits that we were constantly nurturing are thrown to the side? Our positivity starts to wilt, happiness fades and turns to sorrow, and the joyful way we usually feel begins to crumble away. It’s a sad image, yet absolutely accurate; I’ve seen it happen – and felt it happen! – time and time again.

One of the utmost things that has been on my mind as of late have been earthly dwellings – or, put plainly, as you’d probably prefer 😂, our homes! 🏠 Many of us (myself included) become discontent with where we currently reside for all sorts of reasons. That’s what I’ll be attempting to tackle today – discontentment with where we live, and how we may come to be okay, happy, and just overall …

Content Where We Are

This is a fact of life that many of you probably already know: we easily (and often) become bored. Growing tired of anything in our lives that stays constant for too long is a frequent occurrence, and it is completely different for each and every person. We crave change, we desire new things, and, sometimes, we simply long for life to be a bit more interesting. I know that I personally love for things to be familiar, yet interesting; normal, yet different.

You see, I love for things to have a basic schedule and predictability, while still leaving room for creativity, for switching things around here and there when necessary. For example, I really enjoy going places, and I love that most when they’re different places. I like to get my schoolwork done on weekday mornings, but in a different order each day, depending on how much work I’m assigned. I thoroughly enjoy reading books, browsing blogs, and listening to music, and I enjoy those activities most when they are different books, blogs, and music. Do you see the growing pattern here?

I love predictable variation.

That may sound odd to you. In fact, it sounds odd to me. But I have realized while writing this post that it is an absolute truth in my life.

When it comes to where my family and I live, I strive to be happy with where we’re living. I decorate the bedroom I occupy to my utmost liking, and I learn to accept the little things that are wrong with the house itself (for there are always cons to the homes we find ourselves in). I’m usually quite fine with wherever we’re living. However, the moment I begin to feel unhappy with the location, I feel very trapped, sometimes afraid, and most certainly like I want to break free and move elsewhere – far away – to be anywhere but here.

When I look to the Lord for the healing balm that will soothe my aching soul, I always find three things that comfort me. Here they are:

  1. He cares for us so much. It may look like we’re stuck somewhere, whether it’s because we haven’t found a new place to move, or there are financial struggles, etc, but all things serve a good purpose (Romans 8:28). Find joy in the waiting! It definitely seems fruitless at times, but we are always being prepared for what is to come. That leads me to my second point:
  2. The dreams and plans that the Lord has for His children are far greater than we can ever imagine. It says so in His Word! (1 Corinthians 2:9) We often find this hard to believe, especially when we’re hurting, but please, if you will, take a moment to look back at the beautiful life you have. Can you see His hand at work? I always can in my own life. ❤ That leads me (again!) to my third point:
  3. This is not our eternal home! I tend to think that bad/upsetting living situations are a permanent thing, but guys. Everything is SO temporary! Not only are there beautiful opportunities and experiences waiting for us in our future, but we are also “looking forward to the new heavens and new earth He has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.” – 2 Peter 3:13 NLT, emphasis mine. That’s the first time I’ve read that particular translation of the verse, and it has me so excited right now for all that He has in store for us!

In conclusion, it’s hard to feel settled in the houses/apartments we live in sometimes – and that’s okay. At times, it’s important that we move, and in other situations, it is crucial that we wait. Look at your unique situation from every angle. For me personally, I know that my family and I will soon move out of the house we’ve lived in for two years, which I didn’t even know about when I started writing this post. ❤ The Lord’s blessings are everywhere!! (: xx (by the way, we don’t have a date or anything yet. This plan is tentative. ‘Soon’ will have to do for now. 💚)

How about you?

Are you finding the joy in where you live? What are YOUR favorite things about your current home? 🏠💜

Happy Wednesday, guys! I hope that you’re all having a beautiful, blessed week!

Follow me! || Twitter || Pinterest || Goodreads || YouTube