Cultivating A Joyful Life | Accepting Changes of Plan

Cultivating A Joyful Life | Accepting Changes of Plan

I love planning road trips. Having something to look forward to, getting everything packed and ready, then setting out with my family to have a nice adventure away from home together – it’s always so much fun.

However, with there being so many people to account for and get ready to leave the house, and the wide array of things that must be put in backpacks and coolers and bags, and with all the decisions that have to be made on where we’re going and how long we’ll stay … there is sometimes more tension than joy.

My response to the difficulties in these situations is impatience and irritation. Being ready before everyone else makes me anxious to go.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

What’s the best way to respond when things don’t go exactly as we plan – or exactly how we’d like for them to go?

Hi guys! I hope that you’re all having a great day. 🙂 ❤ Today’s post, as you can see, is an addition to Cultivating A Joyful Life! Just like with the other topics I have covered in this series, this is something that I truly need to work on, and I actually am in my life at the time of writing this post. ❤

Falling into bad habits is unfortunately easy, and struggling to accept when situations go a different way than we desire for them to is a definite problem of mine. However, because I have been able to acknowledge this, I am now walking down the path to healing, making so much progress along the way. ❤

Before we go on, I would like to share with you how this topic relates to a very similar one in the garden of our hearts.

I am not much of a gardener – funny, as I write this series pretty weekly, haha; I prefer to cultivate spiritual gardens, rather than real ones. Anyway, I am most certain that there are occasions in a gardener’s life when a plant does not grow, or it dies, or it’s attacked by bugs, which would all be unpleasant surprises. However, there can also be happy surprises. Maybe the plant bounces back, or does much better than the gardener thought it would; all sorts of things won’t go as “planned” in a garden! And the same is true in the garden of our hearts.

There are many things that we have control over (to a point). This provides us with security and peace of mind. But what happens when something turns out differently, or slightly worse? Chaos may ensue. It definitely depends on the person, specific situation, and other details involved.

Today, I have shared with you some helpful tips that I’ve come up with to help you guys, as well as myself, to take everything in stride – to be able to accept changes of plan. ❤ I hope that you enjoy!


Accepting Changes of Plan –
My 5 Tips for Greater Peace

Before we get into this, I would like for you to first, if you will, imagine a recurring situation you’ve encountered before – one that always tries your patience. Whatever this might be for you (for me, it’s road trip preparations), I’d like you to keep this in mind while you read my little tips below. Applying them to this area of trouble in the future could help you so much! I know that it will for me.

When a situation comes up that you weren’t expecting …

1 ~ See the positivity in it.

There are so many beautiful surprises that come about because of altered plans! Just because something isn’t happening exactly as you thought it would, doesn’t mean that it won’t be a greater situation for you in the long run.

Dare to see what awesome future situations might come about because of the little differences.

2 ~ Exhibit patience.

On many different occasions in my life, I have been the first one ready when we’re going on a family road trip. It has been difficult for me to exhibit patience over a situation when I feel like others (or I know) are lagging behind.

Whether we leave later than planned because someone didn’t realize how late it was, something took longer than they realized, or an emergency came up, etc, the intent isn’t at all to make me upset. Life happens, and some people are simply more time-conscious than others.

Patience is such an important attribute to possess, and it’s something I’m always working at strengthening.

3 ~ Be understanding.

Like I mentioned above, it’s easy to start judging or placing blame when plans are changed. However, something important to keep in mind is that nobody is perfect, and we all need a bit of understanding sometimes.

The funny thing is, I was the last one to be ready for the last trip we went on – meaning that I was running around the house while everyone waited for me in the car. I hadn’t realized how long it would take me to do my makeup and finish packing my bag, so there I was – in the same situation members of my family have been in before.

I deeply appreciated that they didn’t get upset at me (much like I have at them in the past…). That is something I want to remember; we’ve all been there, and we all deserve a bit of understanding.

4 ~ Look at the situation differently.

When something doesn’t go as I hoped it would in my life, one of the things that really helps me is to look at what’s happening in a different light. Just because you leave the house later than you meant to, or you get stuck in traffic, or stuck in a long checkout line at the store – there are often good, unforeseen reasons for things going differently than we think.

Even if nothing is obvious at first, look for the positivity in your current situation.

5 ~ Do the best you can to make things better.

On the occasions that I have been ready to leave the house first, I’ll usually pace around and mentally will (lol) everyone else to also get ready. This is not all that useful, as I could have spent that time helping someone get ready.

Even when something appears out of our control, there are still ways we can make things better for everyone – if even in the smallest of ways. So, in my recurring situations, I could help someone pack their bag, or package up all the snacks (which is my usual job for these trips, lol), or help with my baby sister, etc.

It may be that in your situation, you can’t actually do anything to help out. If that’s the case, you may be able to be emotional support. It’s definitely something to keep in mind, so that you and anyone else involved can be at peace. ❤


Thank you so much for reading! I know that the tips I’ve listed above will be a huge help to me in the future. Definitely let me know in the comments below:

How do YOU cope with changes of plan?

thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx

Missions Monday – Part Four | Thoughts On My Future in Missions

Missions Monday – Part Four | Thoughts On My Future in Missions

Hi guys! I hope that your week has gotten off to a beautiful start. (: Yesterday evening, I decided that I wanted to put up a post today (last second decision, I know, haha), so here I am with the fourth addition to Missions Monday. ❤ Since I only do these posts on a particular day of the week, and because I had the desire on my heart to share something missions-related with you, I have written about some of my thoughts on my future in missions for today’s post. I hope that you enjoy!


Thoughts On My Future in Missions

From the first day of this year, I have been thinking about missions.

It was difficult for me not to after knowing so deeply within my heart that the mission field was in my future.

I’ve prayed for and thought about the days to come; I have dreamed of Guatemala (as you all know by now, haha) … and I’ve wondered again and again just how much missions will impact and form my future.

I still don’t know much. After ten full months of dwelling on this aspect of my life, you’d think that I might have a bit more information by now. No, I don’t. But I do believe that the Lord has been preparing me emotionally and spiritually this entire year, which blesses me exceedingly. However, this has not taken me globally closer to Guatemala, nor has it defined when this trip might happen … or for how long.

The main question that has surfaced in my thoughts recently is this: are mission trips part of my future, or will they make up my future?

I believe I should be able to base the next few years of my life around this answer.

You see, if mission trip/s to Guatemala are simply something I will do as an adult, then I can look at it as being part of my future – an exciting aspect of my life that will be beautiful while it lasts, but not continue. On the other hand, if they’re meant to occur frequently in my life, or are a constant aspect of my future, I will need to make more room for them and take other things into consideration.

It isn’t my desire for the hobbies that I have or for the projects I’m focusing on to get in the way of any mission work (and anything else) that the Lord has called me to do.

I am including the question I presented to you in my prayers and seeking His will. I know and trust that He will guide me – He is always faithful. ❤ The reason I wanted to talk about this was to help me see my future from two separate angles, to be mentally prepared for either to manifest themselves in my life.

I think that the main reason I’m wanting to prepare myself is so that I may have a positive mindset, which will allow me to take everything in stride. Regardless of whether or not missions are to be part of or consist of my whole future, I still love language-learning, I cherish every moment I have with my family, I’m following the Lord wherever He leads me, and I would love to go to college, get married and have a family. (Preferably in that order on the last three facts, but may His will be done, haha)

I am constantly learning, guys. No matter what happens, I’m praying to have the ability to consistently place my life, along with every worry and doubt, before the One Who has my heart.

Thank you so much for reading, guys! I hope that you enjoyed following along on this post. I surely enjoyed writing it. xx

I’ll see all of you tomorrow!

thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx

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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