Hey there! ❤ I hope you’re having a beautiful weekend 🙂 With summer having just officially arrived, I can’t help but think about all of the fun possibilities this new season holds for me and my family! I’m hoping that maybe, just maybe, we’ll have the chance for all of us to go on a fun vacation together. ❤ However, we have to take into consideration the youngest ones, who find it hard to stay in their car seats for too long. (In fact, I’m not the biggest fan of long car rides either. haha!) Even if we don’t take an official “vacation” of sorts, I’m certain that we’ll have fun going out on at least one day trip. 🙂 You’ll have to let me know what you’re planning to do this summer! Intro aside, I’m happy to introduce you to today’s post. I hope that you enjoy!
Hello there! Happy Sunday to you. ❤ I hope you’re doing well! I’ve decided to center today’s post on a single Bible verse, not only because it’s wonderful, but also because it has been a good while since I wrote about His Word, which I love so much!
From now on, I’m planning on sharing verses on Sundays this way when one really stands out to me from the week. If I feel like I can write a post on it (like I am today), I’ll gladly do so!
If you’d like to see the verse I’m sharing in this post, I’m including it below! I hope you enjoy reading. ❤
“Do you not say,
It is still four months until harvest comes?
Look! I tell you,
raise your eyes and observe the fields
and see how they are already white for harvesting.”
Let’s say you’re making preparations for a mission trip you’re going on this summer. It is definitely looking like everything is going smoothly, and the trip itself will be a great success.
But that’s four months from now.
Does that mean you should save all of your creative, loving energy for that trip? It makes more sense to put all your effort into planning, preparing, making sure everything’s ready for the day you leave – right?
Well, I think there’s a beautiful balance to be found between thriving in the present, and being conscious of the future. ❤
You see, if we were to wait until specific opportunities to be kind, to love, to share with others about His grace, the world would be a much darker place.
The time is always right to do what’s right.
We need beautiful individuals to rise up and believe, with their whole heart, that the harvest is always here.
Thank you so much for reading! I’m praying I could inspire you on this lovely Sunday. 🙂
Let me know in the comments below what YOU thought of this post!
I’d love to hear from you. ❤
Hey guys! ❤ I hope that you’re having a beautiful week 🙂 There have been many different post ideas on my heart recently, so I’ve been slowly narrowing them down to which ones should be written when. For today, I’d love to share a bit of a more personal post (which I do most of the time anyway, haha), where I’ll be sharing some thoughts I’ve been having when it comes to how and where I spend my time and energy. ❤ I hope you enjoy!
Over the past year or so, I have been doing a lot of soul-searching. With my eighteenth birthday less than a month away (which I think is crazy!), I’ve been thinking and praying about my future so much that it has consumed me at times.
I’ve attempted to think so far ahead that I’ve eventually stress myself out beyond repair … which is why I’m desiring to come up with better ways to do this.
I have less than one semester left of my senior year, and it is going really well. Staying determined to get that schoolwork done fills my weekday mornings and afternoons, which still leaves many hours that I wish to fill participating in hobbies and activities that matter.
And what about this summer? With my graduation just around the corner, I don’t want to get whirled into a pattern of un-productivity … so I have been organizing my priorities and picking them carefully.
There are few things I love more than a productive day! Whether I help out with taking care of my family, make progress on projects that will take a long time to actually complete, or continue pursuing a hobby that makes me really happy, I love dedicating time to getting things done, in many shapes and forms.
Today, I am praying over the main passions I have had for a very long time – ones that I know I’ll pursue in the years to come. Among them are writing, linguistics, organization, and laughter. (Yes, it’s honestly a hobby of mine! I love making others laugh.) Sometimes, I even wonder if exploration is a passion of mine, too, for my limitless interest in the world around me, both in learning new things and traveling to new places, is something that truly adds to my life.
I don’t know much about what my future holds at the moment … but I did realize something last night. Not only am I close friends with the One Who holds my future, but I’m also blessed to be able to live in and completely focus on the present.
If I was daily consumed by what is to come, it would be impossible for me to flourish here now. ❤
Throughout 2018, it would bless me if you’d like to follow along on my journey into adulthood! I’m taking everything in stride, praying over situations I need answers to, and doing my best to always put my trust in my Heavenly Father, Who holds my life in His loving hands. ❤ Thanks for reading!
What are YOU focusing on this year?
Hey guys ❤ Happy Monday to all of you! Over the last couple of days, I’ve been wanting to write an update-style post on some of the thoughts I’ve been having in reference to missions – specifically, the ones that I will be involved in. I was thinking about adding to my ‘Missions Monday’ series, but I couldn’t get the formatting right (long story lol), so I wanted to write a standalone post, instead.
I’ll be listing some of these thoughts in the order that they come to me, then expounding on them to share with you. I know that this will not only be enjoyable to share with you, but will help me to work and think through some of the things that have been going through my head recently. ❤
If you’d like to follow along, I’d love for you to join me! Let’s get started.
1. Recently, I’ve been reading a book on children mission work. I talked about it with you guys in this post, and since writing that, I’ve further enjoyed reading it. However, its good points and beautiful recounts have stressed the idea in my mind that maybe I need to begin preparing. It might be possible that once I finish this last semester of 12th grade, I’ll get to go on a mission trip … but it’s also extremely possible that I’ll enjoy a full summer off from school for the first time. So, even though I’m all for going where the Lord leads me, whether that’s somewhere in my state, or outside of my country, mission trips isn’t where He has my heart right now. I desire to be open to the opportunities He brings my way, certainly, but also possess the knowledge that even if something looks admirable, it may not be for me at the time I learn about it. Missions will come … but not in this moment.
2. I’d love to know where the Lord is leading me. Sometimes, I desire that more than I’m willing to wait on His timing, and those are the seasons in my life when my heart aches the most. In contrast, when I’ve been able to see that His timing is perfect, even when my skewed vision sees it as being delayed, I am more joyful and at peace than the times when I’ve gotten what I wanted right then and there. Isn’t that crazy? It just shows that when something’s within His will, it is wholly good for our lives!
3. I won’t be going to college this fall. If, by some miracle, I would be able to arrange community college classes or something lol, that’s the only way I’ll be furthering my education after high school this year – in a college setting, that is. However, I’m in love with the idea of studying topics that deeply interest me through the limitless information available in books and on websites, which is most likely what I’ll pursue this summer! I’m very excited about that (:
4. I’m turning 18 this April. Woohoo! haha my family and I don’t have any specific plans yet, but I do know it will involve spending the day with them, eating cake, and hopefully opening my first bank account. ❤ So exciting!
5. I desire to believe that I am currently where He wants me to be. There have been SO many times in my life where I’ve felt like I should be somewhere else. Not in a physical sense – just simply that my overall situation should be different in little (and sometimes bigger) ways. Since I was 15, I’ve wanted a job, but it hasn’t been His will for me to have one yet. I’ve been open for a long time to what His plans are for me in reference to college, but those prayers have not brought about any plans (which I am at peace with). Believing the absolute truth that my life is in His hands, and that in this present moment, as I write this blog post in my room, is just where He has me to be, is something I’d love to trust more often. Waiting on Him is not a silent, lazy form of waiting … just like a very wise pastor said, waiting on God is an active stillness. Even in the quietness, when I feel unproductive and like I should be doing something more … this is what He has for me, and I desire to find beauty in that in every single day.
Thank you so much for reading! ❤ I loved getting to write this to share with you. 🙂 If you have anything you’d like to share with me, I’d be very happy to chat with you in the comments below. Whether it’s about something I wrote about above, or you’d like to share how the Lord has worked in your life during times of active stillness, I’d love to hear from you! I hope you have a beautiful day. ❤
Hey there, guys! Happy Sunday to all of you 🙂 ❤ I was inspired to write this post because I would like to further share what has been on my heart lately. Just like I wrote about here (and here, too!), I have been having a good many thoughts on what my future holds, which includes where the Lord will lead me in the coming years of my life.
I used to see my future as being something that’s in my control. That is, I thought my future depended on how much I put into it.
Because I love being productive and knowing for certain I’m getting things done, it has bothered me for the longest time that that which lies ahead in my life is completely unknown to me, concealed in a dense fog.
I would think that to be within His will, I needed to have a good idea of what lay ahead.
If the Lord would only let me get a peek inside, I’d basically think to myself, then I’d know how to prepare, be ready, and enjoy it when it gets here.
It was hard for me to accept that His timing was not my own, because waiting on Him to work things out in my life seemed like a waste of time. Why would it be His will for me to sit and do nothing for days, weeks, even years while He worked behind the scenes?
These thoughts (and the solution He has given me) are what inspired the title of this post.
“He knows when we are willing to hear His answers.” – Dr. Charles Stanley
This quote absolutely blew me away.
He knows exactly when the moment has come to reveal to me the plans He has for me – not a moment sooner, nor a moment later.
I understand that waiting is hardly, if ever, easy. I have wanted countless things before it was my time to have them … however, with each and every situation where I felt impatient was helping me to learn that there is so much more to faith than simply waiting to make our move until God speaks.
Faith is about trusting Him while the clock is ticking away.
Faith is proof of the fact that we know His timing is completely perfect.
Faith shows that we know He has a great plan that is not hindered by calendar days.
Faith grows in these hard conditions, watered by His grace.
True faith is utterly convinced that He knows us so much better than we do.
When we trust in Him, He is absolutely faithful to manifest the plans He has for us in our lives. He will not forget about us … and He knows just when we are ready to hear about the things He has for us.
“However, as it is written, what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived – the things God has prepared for those who love Him-” – 1 Corinthians 2:9
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” – Psalm 27:14
Hey guys! Happy Friday to all of you 🙂 ❤ When I woke up this morning, I knew that I wanted to share a Little Accomplishments-style post on my blog at some point today, because I love having a mini weekend celebration in this fashion … but then I realized …
I didn’t get much done last week!
I was rather disappointed, haha, but I also understood. My family and I have all been on the edge of our seats lately, as there were two different evenings we were sure my mom was going into labor, but then they didn’t end up being the real thing. I don’t mind that, and it was my fault I didn’t get my to do list in order sooner, haha. It was a bit of an off-week productively, but I’m not worried about it – it just gives me further ideas for the new week!
How about you? Did you get lots done this past week, or was your to do list in hibernation, too? I hope that whatever you did, you are happy that the weekend is here now. I certainly am! I intend on setting stronger goals for myself over the next seven days or so (as you’ll see below), which is why I wanted to do a reverse Little Accomplishments today. lol Instead of listing what I did, I’m listing what I’ll do!
I hope that you enjoy! ❤
Let’s celebrate each and every week – regardless of how productive we were!
Little To Do List
Over the next week, I plan to …
- finish reading ‘The Virginian.’ I meant to have finished it already, but then about a quarter of the way through the book, I met a few boring chapters, and it slowed my progress immensely, lol. Now that I’ve made it past that part, I’m back to laughing over the antics of the main character, how the narrator perceives them, and the friendships the Virginian shares with many of the other cowboys he meets out west. I’m about a week behind now on reading a book a week, but I know I’ll catch up at some point on this year’s reading journey.
- continue practicing writing with my new markers. With the Amazon gift card my parents gave me for Christmas, I bought some Crayola dual fine/brush tip markers for mysef, where one end of each marker has a tiny tip, and the other is a brush tip in a similar color. One is good for detail coloring, which I’ve been enjoying doing in my new coloring book, and the other is awesome for practicing calligraphy – something I’ve always wanted to do! When I make good progress with that, I’ll share some of what I’ve written with you guys.
- start reading ‘Hank and Jim.’ This book ended up taking forever for me to get from the library, haha, because it kept being checked out!! It’s this awesome biography written about the friendship between Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart, two actors whom I greatly admire. Hopefully, the novel will live up to all my expectations (which are only there in the first place because it took me over a month to get the book for myself, haha!), and I’ll let you know how I liked it in my next reading update post.
- clean my phone. I’ve been meaning to do this for about a week now lol, and all it consists of is cleaning the exterior, then going through apps and photos. Come on, Maggie! Get it done!
- bake and cook more. This to-do will actually something I must-do after my baby sister’s born, haha, because then my mom won’t have to stand as much and work in the kitchen and can instead take it easy after giving birth. As well as fixing dinners, I hope to make a dessert hopefully once a week. I made chocolate brownies on a whim this morning, and I am happy to say that they turned out great!
- continue studying the Lord’s Word. Something like this probably isn’t necessary to include on my list of things to do, because I automatically do it throughout the day, anyway. Still, I did want to include it to even more deeply remind myself to pay attention to what He’s teaching me, because I never cease to learn something new every time I’m open to the beauty and wisdom the His Word contains. ❤
- write more of what the Lord’s teaching me. As you saw in yesterday’s post, this is something I plan on doing as often as possible now. With the new notebook my dad bought for me, I can’t wait to get started!
- play more games with Samuel. With so much attention being given to Elizabeth and my mom, and pretty soon the new baby, too, I want to make sure that Samuel never feels left behind. He’s still a little kid, and I am now making a greater effort to include him in things I’m doing, whether that’s a game, a conversation, or a new recipe I’m trying out. He enjoyed playing out in the snow the last couple of days (it was the most snow he’s ever gotten to experience, actually!), as you can see in the photo below. So, whether we’re outside or we’re playing a game inside, I want him to look at me as his friend and sister, not just his eldest sibling. ❤
- enjoy the rest of January. I tend to not realize how easily we speed through a month until we’re suddenly in the last week of the month! Thankfully, that hasn’t happened to this month yet. However, this tendency shows how much I’m thinking too much about the future and reaching goals, instead of living in the present. We’re just over halfway through January now, and I intend on enjoying and savoring the last half. ❤
Thank you so much for reading! ❤ I hope that you’re having a beautiful day, and that next week will be beautiful for you, too. 🙂
Let me know in the comments below:
What are YOU up to next week?
Earlier this morning, one of the first things my dad said to me was that he wanted to run a few errands with me before lunch. The part of this invitation that caught my attention and made me grin like silly were three, simple words. They’re quite common words, but it has been nearly a year since I heard them.
You can drive.
Hey guys! Happy Saturday to you 🙂 ❤ I have been wanting to write this post all day – at least since my dad and I got back home. In between making lunch and playing some games with Samuel, I now have a moment to blog. I present to you a post that makes me very happy to share with you.
Since the spring of 2015, I have loved driving. From the process of getting my learner’s permit to preparing for my driver’s test two years later, driving is honestly one of my favorite things to do. This is not simply because of the freedom it provides, but I do enjoy the independence, and I have always enjoyed car rides, too. Being the driver makes me really happy.
In February of last year, a few days after I passed the test and got my license, my parents saw how much it would cost us monthly for them and me to be insured drivers. It was too much to pay at the time, and since it wasn’t necessary that I be able to drive, they decided to take me off the insurance. It absolutely broke my heart.
However, the Lord had a beautiful plan – and He still does. ❤
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.” – Psalm 37:4-6
The thing is, I can only see circumstances from where I’m standing. My viewpoint over the situation is limited and biased, and often I see my thinking as skewed later on. It’s hard not knowing how something will turn out, and having to turn to the Lord for peace and patience is extremely difficult to do sometimes.
The main thing I struggle with, if you couldn’t already tell, is patience, because when I desire something right in this moment, I trust that everything will work out in my favor. If it’s something positive, and I can’t see anything wrong with it, then surely the Lord will bless that, right?
Well, in the Bible, it teaches again and again that the Lord provides our needs (sometimes things we don’t even realize we needed until He has given it to us), and that He will also give us the desires of our heart. He delights in seeing us happy, but there are many things we desire that would be detrimental to our life, even when we can’t see it.
He sees all and knows all. He’s the perfect One to watch over us and keep us.
If only I could learn to see that truth in every circumstance that tries my patience … I know I would be a much happier person.
Going on that beautiful drive with my dad today was well worth the wait. Whatever the reason for eleven months in between the last time I drove (you never know, He could have protected me from an awful collision or huge financial debt), I know that He has good plans, even when the waiting doesn’t make sense.
I’m praying that if the Lord is asking you to wait on something in your life, that you would trust in Him and know that just as He brought me through this very long year of no driving, He will bring you through what you are going through, too! ❤
Let me know in the comments below:
What have YOU waited on the Lord for?
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