Tuesday, February 23, 2016

LEARNING TO ENJOY THE RIDE + FREE PRINTABLE


It is no secret that life often takes some pretty unexpected twists and turns and maybe even some big ups and downs. While you might have some idea of how you would like your life to turn out, God's plan for you may look quite different. At times this reality can be frustrating or even painful. There really is truth in Shakespeare's quote, "Expectation is the root of all heartache." While we might expect a certain outcome, God may step in and intervene with our plan. While difficult in the moment, if we could just comprehend even a small portion of what God has in store for us, we would gladly hand over the reins.  

God not only sees you as you are, He sees you as you can become. He has strategically planted trials and obstacles in your life to help you grow, learn, and eventually become perfected. He wants you to reach your full potential and has mapped out a life that can help you in achieving just that. 

It is important to understand that the struggles I might face will likely look much different from the trials you might face. This is because God knows what will help me to grow, might not help you. He knows what experiences we need and what trials we must endure. He is also fully aware of each of our "breaking points." He will never give you a challenge or struggle that you cannot endure. 

Now simply knowing all this does not necessarily make our trials any easier...  

That is why I have created four simple steps to help you (and me) learn how to ENJOY THE RIDE.



RECOGNIZE THAT LIFE IS A LEARNING PROCESS


When things don't go as planned, it can be easy to become frustrated. When trials arise, it can be easy to become pessimistic. When we make mistakes, it can be easy to feel discouraged. However, when we recognize the possibility of God's hand making changes in our life, instead of being frustrated, we should feel full of hope and even excitement for the future. We can be grateful for the trials as we begin to view them as an opportunity to grow. And instead of being discouraged when we make mistakes, we can step back, realize that we are human, and strive to learn and improve from our mistakes. Life is a learning process and every day we have an opportunity to change. 



CHANGE THE WAY YOU LOOK AT THINGS


Trials can appear to be obstacles... if we choose to look at them that way. OR trials can be opportunities.  I never planned to be 25 and single. As silly as it might sound, this reality at times has been a trial in my life. Lets be real, being single can be tough. The dating game isn't always a good time. I would love to be married and have kids. However, at least for right now, that does not seem to be God's plan for my life. Instead of throwing my own "being single is hard" pity party, I can instead look for the many blessings I do have.  I can focus on becoming my very best self, so that when the time does come to be married, I will be better prepared. Being single might not be your "trial", however, whatever yours might be, the advice is still the same. "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." I could look at being single as a trial, or I could look at being single as an opportunity. An opportunity to learn, to grow, to focus on improving myself, and simply ENJOY this time of my life. 



CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK


Sometimes the best thing we can do to "enjoy the ride" and even for our own well-being is to simply cut ourselves some slack. To be perfectly honest, you are probably doing far better than you think you are and you are also probably being way harder on yourself than you need to be. Life is hard enough as it is and beating yourself up isn't making it any easier. Some days what we really need is a break. While your intentions might have been waking up at 5:30 to exercise before heading off to work, maybe what you really need is another hour of sleep. While your to-do list might be a mile long, maybe the first item on the list really should be some self-care. You are a work in progress. Give yourself time to progress. And in the mean time, cut yourself some slack. 



REWRITE YOUR DREAMS 


Having goals and dreams for your life is a beautiful thing. Working towards your own personal plans is a necessary part of life. However, as mentioned before, sometimes our own plans can take some unexpected twists. When this happens, (because it will) do not give up. Do not quit your dreams. Simply rewrite them. Heavenly Father wants to bless you. Rewrite your goals and dreams so that they can are aligned with the plans God has for you. Instead of being discouraged, rewrite your expectations and create new and beautiful possibilities for your circumstances. 



When you think about a roller coaster, I am sure you envision lots of different twists, turns, loops and maybe even a few surprises. Without those, a roller coaster is no longer a roller coaster. Roller coasters would not be nearly as enjoyable if it weren't for the exciting uncertainty of the spiraling twists and turns as well as the ups and downs.  

Life is the same way. While knowing what will happen next and never dealing with the lows is comfortable and safe, without that we would never be able to appreciate the highs. Recognize those "lows" as opportunities to grow and learn. Change the way you look at things and you will notice the things you look at will change. Remember to cut yourself some slack and give yourself credit for the successes you do have, big or small. And lastly, rewrite your dreams. If your life took an unexpected turn, use this opportunity to create new possibilities. Above all, learn to simply enjoy the ride.


"The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time." James Taylor


DOWNLOAD OUR FREE "LEARNING TO ENJOY THE RIDE" PRINTABLE HERE


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