Hello! I hope you’re having a beautiful day 😊💜 Earlier this week, my mom and I were discussing the fact that I never thought I’d have baby siblings at the age I am now. Elizabeth’s (2) and Isabella’s (eight months) presence in my life has completely altered where I spend my time, which has then impacted and changed me in many different ways.
Note: I wrote this post the day after I had my first ever surgery. I was thinking about how the Lord had brought me through all of it, which overflowed into the writing of this post. ❤ If you’d like, you can read about my recovery here!
Hey there! I hope you’re having a beautiful Sunday. ❤ This past week, I have been recovering from my first ever surgery. While that has been a lot to adjust to, I’ve also been extremely mindful of the fact that the Lord is the One Who has brought me here. That’s what I’d like to talk about today. Are you ready? Let’s both grab a beautiful cup of coffee and sit down for a lovely chat. ❤
Hi there! I hope you’re doing well. ❤ Happy Monday to you 🙂 The topic of today’s post is something that has been on my heart these past few weeks. It has come to my attention in nearly every argument I’ve found myself involved in. The sad part is, it is because of this thing that many of the quarrels even began.
I have been harboring un-forgiveness in my heart.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9
Hello! I hope you’re having a good day. ❤ A new week is here, and with it comes a huge variety of possibilities! I’m praying that whatever you have planned to do, whatever you hope to accomplish, you will be strengthened by the determination to complete it. 🙂
The post that I’m sharing with you today is completely inspired by how I was feeling just a few days ago.
The Consuming Passion
I have noticed over the years that when I am passionate about something, I easily become consumed by it. If I really like something (or someone), I’ll think about it so thoroughly and for such an extended amount of time that I quickly build up anxiety about it. Having considered all the good qualities and possibilities about it, all that’s left to wonder is if anything could go wrong. This gets me in so much trouble, haha!
There are many examples from my life. I’ve been wanting to get a job for quite a while, because I’ll enjoy getting paid and strengthening my customer service skills … but I dwell on the possibility of having bad coworkers; I wonder how transportation will work since I don’t have my own car yet; I fear that I’ll fail the duties assigned to me. Another example is my desire to be bilingual. I love learning Spanish and speaking it … but I’m scared I won’t find the right class or program to fully learn it; I’m frightened at the prospect of native speakers being unable to understand me; I worry that I’ll get tongue-tied and be unable to respond to someone in Spanish (which has already happened on more than one occasion).
I have a track record of ruining perfectly good things for myself by over-analyzing them to the point of no return.
So, you may be wondering, how does this relate to missions? Because it very strongly relates to the topic of this series.
The Pursuit Of Knowledge
One of the main things I love to do when I’m really interested in something is to research it. There are benefits and downsides to this habit, haha, because I end up learning a lot of awesome things about the subject at hand on my endless internet browsing ventures … but on the flip side, I also learn things I wish I hadn’t.
Knowledge is not always power. In some cases, it is absolutely crippling.
This past week, I was enjoying browsing the ‘missions’ side of Pinterest, which contains some pretty wonderful quotes, helpful articles, and inspiring photography from missions around the world. I found this to be a fun pastime, until I came across what was supposed to be a helpful article – and it would have been if it hadn’t caused me to be so paranoid.
The Anxieties Involved
The one main thing that has always concerned me with international missions is that of safety. Being a girl comes with its own risks, even just being here in the United States, and I fear that there will be something that happens while I’m on a mission trip one day that makes me feel unsafe.
The ‘helpful’ tips I found on that article really got into my head, and the next time I went to a store, I honestly felt like I should have been on alert – as if something was about to happen.
But it was all in my head!
The Peace That Comes
Over the past year of my life, I have slowly come to terms with the fact that every aspect of my life is in the Lord’s hands. Some things are easier to trust Him with than others, but that will never alter the fact that He cares for me wholly. Allowing myself to become anxious about the unknown is not His will, and in the years to come, I truly desire to strengthen this trait of mine.
“I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
I’ve mentioned before that I am easily at peace about when He will send me on missions. Simply knowing that it’s in my future is what makes me happy – I know the rest is in His care. Because of this, I am of the firm belief that I should be able to trust that He will also keep me safe on these same missions! He’s not sending me anywhere that He won’t go with me. ❤
Thank you so much for reading! It was a joy to write this post, for this topic has been heavy on my heart this past weekend. I’d love to know in the comments below:
Which Bible verses comfort YOU?
Happy Monday to you!
Last night, an eye-opening thought came to me. I often pray and spend time with the Lord in the evenings, but this time was different. It changed the way I see my life, and I pray that it may be as inspiring to you as it was to me. ❤
I have always seen faith as something we hold on to (or don’t, in some cases) in times of distress. They’re times when our well-being and life as we know it is on the line, when all we can do is cry out to the Lord and pray that He will care for us.
Those are certainly ideal times to call upon Him, but last night, as I lay in bed on the verge of sleep, the Lord taught me something I will never forget.
Faith is also in the little things.
This also includes the decisions and goals that will have a huge impact on our future. That may be hard to grasp sometimes, I understand. I find myself in that same place all the time. However, I’m here to tell you that if you feel the same way I do and would love to know what paths to take in the future, He has plans for us! When we trust in Him and allow Him to take control of our lives, He most certainly will. It all starts with trusting in Jesus, God’s Son, as our Lord and Savior, and your life will be forever changed.
I don’t know what I would be like without Him, and I am beyond thankful for His love, grace, mercy, and involvement in my life.
Even though I deeply struggle to let my faith rest in His timing and love, the final outcome is worth it every. single. time. ❤ ❤ ❤
From finding a job to the pursuit of college, to my future husband and family and everything else I will eventually chase after – He has it all within His control, and I am so thankful. 🙂
Thank you so much for reading this thought-filled post, guys!! If this has inspired you and you’d like to talk about how the Lord has worked in your life (I’d love to know!), just comment down below. I’ll always be here to talk!
Hey guys, and happy Monday! ❤ I hope that your week is getting off to a fantastic start. 🙂 If you live in the US, how was your Thanksgiving break? My family and I had a relaxing weekend at home, which we all enjoyed spending together. ❤ My mom has been out of the hospital for one week now, and she’s on mild bed-rest. Overall, she’s doing much better, and we’re very thankful she’s home! Now, let’s check out today’s post.
I have the next part of my Missions Monday series to share with you! If you’re new to this series, you can read the rest of the posts here. Today, I’ll be talking about trusting in the Lord when it comes to my future in missions. ❤ I hope that you enjoy!
The Easiest Thing
In January of this year – nearly eleven months ago – the Lord revealed to me a specific part of my future. I knew, without doubt, deeply in my heart, that I would serve Him in Guatemala someday.
By someday, I mean just that – I have no date whatsoever; just a knowing that He will get me there when I am meant to be.
This may make my situation look like a hard one to bear. Isn’t it hard not knowing when, how, or even why? I briefly wonder these same things myself. However, as I mentioned in this section of the post, it has turned out to be quite possibly the easiest thing for me to spiritually bear. ❤
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
From the exact moment that I knew Guatemala was in my future, I also knew, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that the situation was safe in His hands. It took some time to get used to, and I still think about it usually at some point every day … but I don’t have to surrender it to Him like I would if it wasn’t already in His controls.
I can’t tell you how much it blesses me to know that He has a plan – I just have to trust Him. That is easy because of the peace He has given me. ❤ Because of this peaceful situation, however, it has gotten me thinking about the faith I exhibit (or don’t) in other areas of my life.
The Struggle Elsewhere
Any time I am met with a new stressful situation, I first initially deal with it. By the end of the day, I have already brought it before the Lord at least once, talking it through and asking that He be with me and my family. It depends on the situation, all involved, the duration and intensity, etc., but a recent example I have is when my mom was in the hospital over last weekend.
My first three responses were to care for the house, watch my little siblings, and trust Him with our lives. It slowly went downhill from there.
You see, when we trust in the Lord, we’re really bringing a situation to Him, trusting that everything will go well because He wants the best for us, and leaving it at that. We are devastated when things go ‘wrong,’ as they often do.
It is extremely discouraging when you pray for something (i.e. my mom to stay at the hospital only one night) and the exact opposite – or worse – happens (i.e. she stayed three). Our faith flies out the window. It deflates. We stop in our tracks. We question Him, read His Word, and wonder where He is.
I remember laying in bed one of those nights and wondering why He would put us through that high-emotional stress situation. I tried to console myself with the knowledge that even when we don’t get what we pray for, He still loves us and has good reasons for allowing trials and hardship … but I still had a hard time holding on. Few other times have I reached such a hard time in my life. However, I must let you know that through all the pain, in the midst of my mistakes and sorrow, He taught me so much.
First, He draws us close when we are hurting. Even when I doubted that the situations that kept unfolding were part of His will for our lives, I continually knew that He was right there, watching over us and keeping us. I just read a verse in Proverbs last week that I hadn’t noticed before, and it ends with this: “…[even the events that seem accidental are really ordered by Him].” (16:33) This floored me because I always find myself wondering if the Lord realizes what I’m going through and how situations are making me feel, which is crazy because He certainly does. However, it’s a beautiful reminder to know for sure that everything we go through, regardless of how ‘accidental’ it seems, is ordained by Him. ❤
Second, our faith does grow when we trust in Him. I just mentioned in a recent post that our trust in Him strengthens when we rest in His will. Here’s an excerpt from that post: “You really don’t know what faith is until all you can do is trust in Him. When everything in your life depends on His will … it’s crazy watching yourself begin to trust in Him more and more. Amidst the chaos, it is an absolutely beautiful thing.”
Looking back, I realize how much I was hurting emotionally at the time of writing that paragraph … but I was still able to praise Him. Yes, struggles are uncomfortable, and can be frightening at times, but with the Lord by our side – it’s unlike anything I’ve ever known.
Thank you so much for reading, guys! I’ve been wanting to write a post like this since around the time my mom got out of the hospital two weekends ago, because I believe that my faith did grow through that hardship, even when I didn’t think it was. ❤
If you are going through something right now that is stressing you out and is increasingly hard to bear, the Lord is there for you. ❤ And if you ever need someone to talk to, my Contact page is always open. (:
Wishing you all a beautiful week!
thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx
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. ❤
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
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