Cultivating A Joyful Life | Establishing A Heart of Gentleness

Cultivating A Joyful Life | Establishing A Heart of Gentleness

There have been many moments in my life when I have wished that my initial, natural response to situations could be described as gentle. When I picture someone who exhibits gentleness, I see someone who loves considerately, moves with grace and precision, and is easily likeable. I see someone who thinks through what they say and is consistently patient. You know who I’m seeing?

The person I want to be.

Do you want to be gentle, too?

Hey there, guys! I hope that you’re all doing well (: I’m very happy to have a new Cultivating A Joyful Life post to share with you! This one will be centered on a topic that is very near and dear to my heart, but is also one that I struggle with greatly.

When I respond “naturally,” which is unfortunately the case, to a situation that upsets me in some way, the reply I end up giving is never one that I’m happy with later. I’ll think about the words I gave or the gesture I made and wonder why I didn’t think it through, or come up with something more positive first … the list goes on, and is of course unique to each situation. As a whole, though, I continually come back to desiring a heart of gentleness – which is what I’ll be talking about today. ❤

See More: Cultivating A Joyful Life

Every time I write a new post for this series, I am blessed again and again by the fact that each topic I choose has easily been comparable to a garden, and this post is no exception. God is so good!

Flowers are such delicate plants. It takes a patient, careful, and gentle person to help them live and flourish. You can’t rightly picture a quick, rough person as having the ability to cradle a flower as the person in the picture I’ve shared above is doing, can you? I certainly can’t. In fact, I see someone much like I mentioned at the beginning of this post caring for a flower in such a way. And while my desire to cultivate gentler behavior in my life isn’t motivated by wanting the ability to carefully cradle a flower (haha!), I’m sure that it would be much easier to exhibit such gentleness if I put this into regular, deliberate practice.

Where do you desire to see more gentleness in your life? In your words, your mental well-being, your outward actions? In the rest of this post, I will share quotes, Bible verses, and my personal tips on improving all three of these areas. ❤

Establishing A Heart of Gentleness

The first step toward greater gentleness is a change of mindset. Deciding that you will exhibit kinder, more thoughtful actions is where it all begins. From there, beautiful habits will blossom, old ones will fade away, and you will find yourself becoming more gentle with each day that goes by. ❤

But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.” – James 3:17 NLT, emphasis mine

Another thing that helps me is being more mindful. When we’re conscious of how we’re thinking, acting, and talking, it’s so much easier to slow down and think things through. For example, we can take an extra moment and give more gentle responses by taking the time to consider what the affects of what we’re planning to say will have on the person receiving them. I have avoided wrong responses by taking just those few seconds.

“Nothing is so strong as gentleness and nothing is so gentle as real strength.” – Ralph W. Sockman

“Being both soft and strong is a combination very few have mastered.”

3 Bible Verses About Gentleness

  • Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” – Matthew 11:29 NIV
  • Let your gentleness be evident to all…” – Philippians 4:5 NIV
  • A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1 NIV

Thank you all so much for reading! This was a beautiful post for me to write, and it has helped me to get my focus back in the right place. I’m looking forward to putting these tips into practice (: At the moment, I plan to study chapters in the Bible that focus on gentleness and kindness of heart (let me know if you have any recommendations!), slow down and make more mindful decisions, and pray that the Lord will strengthen my steps. ❤

Let me know in the comments below:

Do YOU desire to be gentle?

thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx

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Accomplishments Round-Up – October 6th, 2017

Accomplishments Round-Up – October 6th, 2017

What have you accomplished this week?

Welcome to this version of Little Accomplishments!

Why hello there, everyone! Happy Friday 🙂 I am very happy to share this post with you guys today. I’ve been meaning to mention some of the accomplishments I shared below in previous posts, but never ended up doing so, so they have been included today.

I made the title a bit different than normal to include some accomplishments that were more than ‘little,’ as some people found it strange that I would list huge, exciting things as seemingly unimportant! That wasn’t my intention, nor was I trying to brag, but that’s how some saw it. So, without further ado, let’s look at these accomplishments!

Let’s celebrate all of life’s joys – no matter how small!

Recently, I …

  • caught up on a month’s worth of Spanish. (After keeping up with lessons of language learning nearly every day for all of 2017, I gave myself an unofficial break in September. It was much-needed, and I was more than happy to come back this past week! I caught up on missed reviews and aced [most] of them, and learned a few new words. For the most part, though, I went back and relearned ones I hadn’t in a while.)
  • reached 1,100+ followers on my blog. (I would like to give you guys a huge thank you!!!! ❤ I was SO excited when I got the notification sometime last month that Dreaming of Guatemala had reached 1K. It’s the first blog of mine that has gotten anywhere near that number!! I had no idea how to celebrate, so I didn’t mention it, but I want you guys to know that I am extremely grateful that you take the time to read my posts and leave such sweet comments. You always brighten my day! xxx Again, thank you so much!)

  • organized all of my digital photos. (I am extremely happy about this one!! I’ve been meaning to do it for months, and I finally did it. Pictures are organized, others were gone through, and I named all of the videos I have, dating them, as well. It took a few weeks, but it was worth it!)
  • furnished my room for the fall. (I absolutely love it!! I’ll do a post on that soon, since I got some nice pictures 😀 )
  • learned the minor chords on the piano. (After teaching myself to play How Long by Jordan Feliz, I caught on to how the minor chord scale works and taught myself all of them, too. While I’m happy to have those memorized, practicing chords and scales and parts of songs is the boring part of learning an instrument, even though it’s definitely essential, haha!)

  • got my October post schedule in order. (I haven’t done that in quite a while; I would rough it and just share posts as they came to me, lol [which I still enjoy doing sometimes, actually!], but I also appreciate having a tidy post schedule. Next week is already all figured out! Woop-woop!)
  • baked some new treats. (The first one I made went up in a post earlier this week, and the next one will appear on my blog sometime this month, too! They tasted great; my family and I very happily ate every bite haha)
  • watched ‘Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid.’ (Since taking the subject in school where I watch movies to then analyze, I have found a few film treasures along the way – movies that I could easily watch over and over again for pleasure, haha! The two that stand out to me the most are the films with Paul Newman and Robert Redford; ‘The Sting’ and now ‘Butch Cassidy.’ They are both fantastic actors, and them being a duo in two different movies has been such a blast to watch!! I should probably do a review of both of those movies, as I have so much I could say about them haha)
Image via Quite Continental.

Comment what YOU’VE done this week down below – last Saturday through today!

thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx

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