Cultivating A Joyful Life | Spending Our Time Wisely

Cultivating A Joyful Life | Spending Our Time Wisely

My favorite time of day is the early evening. That’s when I get to spend time relaxing in my room after eating dinner with my family. Don’t get me wrong; I love eating dinner with everyone, but clean-up takes a while, since there are six people eating, haha! Anyway, once I’ve finished helping in the kitchen and I get to retreat to my room, I enjoy browsing my phone, reading a good book, or working on something on the laptop.

Sometimes, however, these evenings aren’t as productive or enjoyable as I’d like them to be.

It can be hard to relax when there are so many things I’d enjoy doing, to the point where I can’t decide on just one. Switching back and forth between these things works out sometimes, but more often than not, I get much less done than I would have liked, because I did a small amount … of everything.

Do you ever feel like you have too many things filling your free time?

Hey guys! I hope that you’re all doing well. πŸ™‚ I have a post to share with you today that is very relevant to my life, haha! For this part of my Cultivating A Joyful Life series, I will be talking about, as the title suggests, spending our time wisely. We all have hobbies, interests, and activities we love doing, and when we attempt to do too many at once, it can be hard to accomplish what we set out to do.

I have found that dedicating large amounts of time to one thing at a time, instead of dividing an hour or so up among five activities, gets much more done and feels better than the variety. Sometimes, it depends on the day, or the activities themselves, but I’ve noticed how this occurs again and again in many situations for me. Basing what I focus on depending on my mood and inspiration usually helps me, unless I want to accomplish too many tasks at once.

Read More: Cultivating A Joyful Life

How do you regularly spend your free time? Do you feel satisfied with what you’ve done afterward? Or do you feel like me – uncertain if how you’re spending your time is really worth it? I have so many things I love pursuing when I’m able to that I struggle to decide which ones I should do, for how long, and when. Let’s figure out how we can spend our free time wisely in today’s post! Before we go on to the rest of this post, however, I’d like to share how this topic, just like the rest in this series, deeply relates to the garden of our hearts.

To properly care for a garden, whether that’s a real or metaphorical one, you must evenly divide your attention among all of the plants. Some need more care than others, but as a whole, they all require sunlight, good soil, water, and enough individual space to flourish. If, at some point, there are so many plants that the caretaker struggles to evenly care for all the plantlife, it’s quite possible that some will get more than they need, and others will be left behind. Balancing our priorities is a very important aspect of our lives.

Cultivating A Joyful Life |
Spending Our Time Wisely

The funny thing about my hobbies and interests is that at any given time, I am extremely occupied, or very bored. This is because I either have one or two hobbies, or so many that I’ve lost count. I’m quite finicky with hobbies this way, to the point that I have too much time on my hands, or not enough. For the majority of 2017, I have had many pursuits, from language-learning to blogging, to piano-playing to story-writing, and learning to balance these things has taught me a lot.

If you are interested in figuring out how to prioritize more wisely like I am, check out the list below!

1. Write down two lists: one for your hobbies/interests, and another for things required of you. You could include all of the main things, or break them down into sub-categories. For example, if “blogging” was on your interests list, you could also add what that activity consists of, like “writing posts,” “reading posts,” “browsing Reader,” etc.

2. Number the hobbies/interests list by how much those things mean to you right now. I really need to make a list like this, too. Whether you number them in order of your enjoyment of those activities, or by how important they are in the grand scheme of things (i.e. learning Spanish or playing the piano will last longer than a blog post I could work on, lol), it’s totally up to you. πŸ™‚

3. Make sure that you’re completing the things on your important list before moving on to what’s on your interest list. I live by the saying “work before play,” except for in the case of simply needing a mental break. I feel much more relaxed and apt to participate in my favorite activities after I have completed all of the things required of me. At this time in my life, that’s usually schoolwork, helping around the house, and being with my family. While I wouldn’t say that the latter one is ‘required’ of me, it is definitely something essential in my life. πŸ™‚

4. Consider dropping the hobbies that are last to be numbered. There may be a reason they’re not high on your list of favorite things to do. If this is the case, maybe you aren’t as interested in it as you thought you were, or you could simply need a break. Definitely take that into consideration!

5. Work your free time around these lists. I wouldn’t advise practicing this strictly, as that could put unneeded pressure on yourself to spend your time one certain way. However, I know that with writing and numbering my hobbies and interests, and by choosing which I’d prefer to do in what order any given day, it would give me much more peace of mind. It is very satisfying when you know you’re getting things that you love to do done!


Thank you so much for reading, guys! This post has really helped me. I’m working on balancing what hobbies I participate in and when at this time in my life, and this addition toΒ Cultivating A Joyful Life is a reflection of that. I hope you enjoyed it!

Let me know in the comments below:

How do YOU manage your time?

Please Pray For My Mom

Please Pray For My Mom

FRIDAY UPDATE: My mom had a peaceful night at the hospital, and we’ll all be going to see her later today. Thank you all so much for your prayers! ❀

Hey guys (: This is a quick update post to ask you to please pray for my mom.

She’s had some different complications this pregnancy, but what she found out today has been the most dangerous so far. It’s possible that she’s going into preterm labor, which is not good, as she’s only 28 weeks along.

I know that the Lord is caring for us in this situation. I desire to trust in Him – even when I don’t understand, He completely knows what will happen. ❀

Please pray for my mom and my little baby sister!!! ❀ Thanks, everyone!

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” – Philippians 4:6

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. πŸ™‚ ❀ 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