Quotes That Inspire Me, Pt. 1

Quotes That Inspire Me, Pt. 1

Hi there, everyone! ❀ I hope that you’re doing well. πŸ™‚ Today, I will be talking about some of my recent favorite quotes!! Because I’m always browsing Pinterest for inspirational quotes, I have acquired a lot of favorites over the years! For this post, I have chosen five that are very relevant for my life right now, and I’ll also talk a little about why I love them so much. Let’s jump right into this!

My Top 5 Current Favorite Quotes

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.

Throughout September and into October, as well, I have been working really hard on changing different negative behaviors that have become too prevalent in my life. From impatient responses to judging others, there are different ways I feel and act about things and circumstances without realizing how it’s impacting my life. If I can get myself into the habit of thinking before I respond, then I won’t make as many bad mistakes as I do now. Tracking my progress, both the highs and lows, really helps me to keep going, which is why I bring it up on my blog from time to time. πŸ™‚ I’m thinking about doing my Making the Change posts again, but I’m not sure yet. I probably will!

Let life surprise you.

Are you like me, in that you want things to go according to plan, and when things change, whether for better or worse, it really messes you up? I struggle with this all the time. It could be about my school work, or the blogging plan I made for myself. If something gets changed, or added or moved, I get really disoriented and oftentimes upset about it. The reason this quote speaks to me is because I want to do a better job of letting life surprise me! Most things don’t go exactly according to plan. I desire to accept the little changes πŸ™‚

Be nice first.

If I can get into a better habit of taking the plunge and being nice to people I meet first – whether I say hi to the person behind me in line, or I compliment the waitress’ hair – I could really beat my social anxiety in leaps and bounds! It’s definitely something to work on, and quotes like the one above really help me to stay motivated!

If it costs you your peace, it’s too expensive.

I always find myself getting in over my head about all sorts of things. I keep my room too tidy. I keep my blog schedule too tight. I spend too much time organizing pictures. I become over-dedicated to all sorts of things, to the point where I don’t even like the thing I was dedicated to anymore, haha! It’s a sad existence. So, the moral of the story is, yes, I would love to have a clean room, and a blogging schedule and organized folders of pictures, but they tend to cost me my peace. By working on a bit at a time, and finding joy in the length of time it takes me to become inspired, or feel well enough to clean up, etc, is what I need to work on.

His will. His way. My faith.

This is a quote that someone based off of Jeremiah 29:11, which is an absolutely beautiful and comforting verse, and I love this quote, too! I am happiest in life when I’m trusting in His will and following His plans for my life. Whenever I try to step aside from the path He has ordained for me, I am always disappointed. It’s not like something bad happens to me if I make a bad choice, or something; the Lord isn’t like that. I just end up feeling down, almost like I can just see that He had something greater planned for me, but I chose to go somewhere else. After an experience like that, I’m always more than ready to return to following Him again! ❀

So, those are my favorite quotes! I had so much fun finding those five and talking about them. Let me know in the comments below:

Which of those quotes was YOUR favorite?

thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx

Missions Monday – Part One | How It All Began

Missions Monday – Part One | How It All Began

Hi guys! I hope that you’re all doing well. (: Today, I am very happy to present to you a brand new blog series! It will be much like Cultivating A Joyful Life, in that I have a certain time of week I post a new addition, when I have one to post. So, on the weeks that I have something to share with all of you on this topic, I will be talking about Missions on Mondays!

Back in January, I truly planned for this to be a central theme on my blog. Talking about my calling was really on my heart, and it was also the reason I even started this blog! (Hence its name, haha) However, the deeper I got into blogging, the more of a subtopic it became, only popping up every once in a while in passing conversation, and every few months as a spiritual journey update. Sometimes, this fact has saddened me, but I was also content to let it be as it was; I don’t push the matter of a blog topic that doesn’t inspire me to write. I allowed the Lord to inspire me as He would, and it is now that I’d love to share all of this with you.

What better place to start than the very beginning?

The Concert That Changed My Life

On the 22nd of September 2016, I went to a concert. It wasn’t an event completely new to me; I’ve been to multiple concerts over the past couple of years. But this concert was special, because I had been wanting to go to one exactly like it since I was eleven years old, since I had first heard that particular band sing.

It’s in the pureness of the lead singer’s voice, and the beauty and richness of every lyric … they captivated me from the first song. I’d never heard anything like it, nor have I ever since. That captivation carried me to that beautiful concert, meet-and-greet pass and all. I met them, spent a bit of time with them, got to have my picture taken with them. (I’ve featured that image in my summer desk tour post!) I really couldn’t tell you if I enjoyed meeting them or watching them preform more, as both of those experiences were absolutely huge blessings to me.

However, believe it or not, it wasn’t the band, or the concert in particular, that changed my life that night. I did have a blast, and I still think about it all the time. The thing that truly changed me was, in fact, the organization that the concert proceeds went to. ❀

Before the band came up on stage, one of the men on staff at that church got up in front of us (I had a front row seat) and played a video for us on the two large screens. They were on the high walls adjacent to the stage, much like I’ve seen other churches I’ve visited have set up, as well.

That video discussed the organization’s mission, showed footage of many of the kids who go there (who honestly look like such sweethearts), and also talked about why and how the organization began. That latter part made me nervous because they described the place as being a shelter and refuge for the children in the area (Zone 18 of Guatemala City) because of the rampant gangs and daily shootings, and other awful things like that. I don’t like to dwell on people, especially children, being trapped in situations like that, because of poverty, their family situations, etc … but the closer I have grown to the thought of helping those people, the easier this burden has come to bear.

That night, I finished watching the video, listened captivated as the man who started the organization talked a bit more about it (I had no idea he was going to be there that night haha), and wondered why it kept coming back to mind in the months that followed. I had never felt drawn to missions myself up until that point, and even then I was just considering helping that organization financially.

Little did I know how I would feel on January 1st, 2017.

I’ve heard it said that new year’s resolutions are clichΓ©, and I also believe that a good portion of the time, they are … but this year, it was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before or dared dream of. ❀ The fact that it was on the very first day of the year makes it that much more special.

An Evening That Brought Me Peace

Have you ever attempted to recall an event that was so utterly life-altering that you’re only able to remember bits and pieces of it? That’s what I’m struggling with right now – recalling this beautiful evening of January 2017. Why is my brain like this? haha

Let’s see … I remember returning, once again, to Hope for Guatemala‘s website, browsing its informative pages, searching for the answer that my heart was longing for. I hadn’t been able to get the place out of my mind for three months. I realize now that doesn’t look like a very long time, and I only felt like it was because there wasn’t a legitimate reason for me to be dwelling on it then.

I can now see that, even then, the Lord was calling me. ❀

While on the website that evening, I visited a page that I hadn’t been to before. It was titled ‘Internship Programs.’ This next bit may sound strange to you – I started crying so hard that I couldn’t see the laptop screen anymore.

You may be wondering how I felt, or what I heard and saw, the first moment that I knew. I’ve wondered the same thing myself about others who have been called to foreign countries to serve the Lord, and my main assumption was that it must have been pretty spectacular. I mean, it’s the King of kings we’re talking about! And He has a beautiful way of impacting the lives of His children.

When I first began crying, I got out of my desk chair and knelt on the floor beside my bed. I didn’t hear anything different, aside from my own sobbing. I wouldn’t say that I was overcome with tears at that moment; it was more like an overflow of emotions and feelings that my body could not contain. I felt immensely loved and drawn to Him, and in the silence, joy and an intense desire to go consumed me. I don’t remember a word of what I prayed – it’s always like that for me – but I remember smiling with tear-stained cheeks and knowing, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Guatemala was in my future. I knew that He has a purpose for me there, and that He will get me there in His timing, and in His beautiful way.

And the rest was history! (I have shared my progress on the ‘My Calling’ category on my blog, and I will share more information on posts to come!)

Thank you so much for reading! I’m looking forward to sharing a second part to this post series. If you have any questions about my calling, I would love to talk to you in the comments below! ❀

thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx

My Fall 2017 Room Tour!

My Fall 2017 Room Tour!

Hi there, everyone! I hope that you’ve all been having a beautiful weekend πŸ™‚ ❀ Today, I will be sharing my fall room tour post with you!!

Decorating my room for the fall is one of my favorite events of the entire year! Growing up, my mom always started off the holiday season by putting up our array of festive decorations. Since having my own room at the place we’re currently living, I have started my own little collection of holiday decor, which makes me even more excited for this time of year!

Out of all the seasons, I’d have to say that I enjoy setting my room up for the fall months the most. I just love the warm colors, Halloween-y mood, and nature/fall vibes that come from all autumnal decor! Browsing stores when they’re set up for October and November makes me so happy, and the way my room looks at this time of year is definitely a joy, too.

Let’s jump right into this!

The first thing I enjoy showcasing in most room posts of mine (haha) is my beautiful piano keyboard, and right now, it has a leaf garland and orange lights above it! I had the lights in my room this time last year, as well, but I bought the garland a few weeks ago. I love how it looks, and I’m always appreciating its beauty any time I’m in my room, haha!

I keep thinking that it looks like something from Pinterest that would cost too much to recreate, hahaha, but that isn’t the case at all! The leaf garland is from Walmart ($3) and the lights are from Dollar General ($3). Crazy, right? Super inexpensive and extremely festive!

I love how the soft lights look where they’re hanging behind the curtain!

Just inside my bedroom on the left wall, I have my Heart and Brain calendar. I think I’ve shown it to you guys before, but as the featured picture changes every month, it’s worth showing again! I keep laughing over October’s.

At the back of my piano on the windowsill is where I keep my succulents during daylight hours. The one that Samuel gave me for my birthday earlier this year is still going strong (left), and the one I got last fall (right) is continuing to thrive, as is that tall weed, haha!

On the keyboard stand, I currently have a pretty art/quote picture that I saved from an old planner. One side has positive affirmations, and the other (as you can see below) has a motivational quote in pretty calligraphy! (Also, I’m a sucker for anything with feathers on it)

While experimenting with lighting and filters, I got the below shot, which I think is pretty cool, but also spooky, haha! (It does not represent how my room looks in real life.)

Now let’s move on to something I’ve really been enjoying recently!

On the same day that I bought the leaf garland, I also found a little candle at Walmart that has an absolutely amazing, fall-ish scent! It’s called Pecan Pumpkin Cake.

My little brother came in the room one morning when it was lit and said, “Ooh I just want to eat it!” haha

Just behind the candle, you can see part of the shadow box I got for my birthday, which I first shared with all of you in this post. It makes me so happy to read and look at, especially since it goes along with my fall decor!

Now I get to show you guys my desk!! Let’s check this out πŸ˜€

I went for a more minimal look this fall (at least in comparison to how my desk looked last year; everything on it was fall-themed, haha!). I wasn’t in the mood to use different decorations from past years this season, but what you see above is what I did come up with. I really like it!

I’ll show you a bit more of everything up close, from left to right:

Since I was maybe twelve years old, I’ve been drawing my own comic strip (I should show you guys sometime!), and my favorite character is the one pictured above. I taught Samuel how to draw him, and after he did, he gave that drawing to me, haha! I love it – aside from it having arms and hands instead of wings, it’s really good haha

I don’t have very many things checked out from the library right now, so they all handily fit over in this corner! I have some different movies and a few books, and my lovely ‘Pumpkin Pie’ candle, as well. ❀

I love how the ‘Dream Big’ sign looks with my picture of me with the band!

I have been loving the Folger Shakespeare Library editions of the Bard’s plays recently, lol; I plan on reading the one above (Much Ado About Nothing), as well as The Comedy of Errors, and Hamlet, too. Also, I’ve had that cute animals glass vase for a couple years, and I just love it!

This owl mug from Hobby Lobby just screams ‘fall’ at me, haha! I love it. I really need to start having my coffee in it in the mornings, but it’s currently being used, once again, as a hair tie holder. lol The snowy owl stuffed animal is a favorite of mine (I think I’ve shared it on past posts), and those multi-colored leaves you keep seeing in different shots are from a pack of loose fake leaves from WalMart. πŸ˜€ The last thing I have to mention from this photo is the orange rock next to the mug, which is a cute little kindness rock.

I’ve been seeing these around lately – children are painting stones, then giving them away to make others happy, and I fell in love with the one above. Samuel got one that says ‘Shine like a star,’ which I thought was neat, too!

That’s it for my desk! Next, I’ll show you the upgrade I gave my bedside table:

… Yup. A red leaf. I was kidding about the ‘upgrade’ thing, haha! During the two years I’ve lived at this house, it has been impossible for me to decorate my bedside shelves the exact way I want them. This is what’s currently on the shelf below:

Let’s pause for a moment before we go by once more gazing upon this beautiful sight …

Ahh; so tranquil. *takes a few deep, happy breaths*

And that’s it for my fall room tour! Thanks so much for reading, guys! I’d be very happy to see how you guys have done up your room for the current season you’re in. (Shoutout to the bloggers I know who are currently experiencing spring right now!) Share a link with me if you decide to do a room tour post, as well!

See you tomorrow πŸ™‚ xx

thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx