Search

Angela Joy Health & Fitness

Tag

hope

Feeling Stressed? Overwhelmed? Impatient? I Can Relate!

Stressed about life anyone? I saw this quote from “Godly.Waiting” on Instagram. “The reason you are so stressed in because you’ve been trying to figure it out on your own. Let go and let God make it happen. He’s already paved a way.”

I think we all have had a time or two in our lives where we try to figure things out on our own. We work in our own strength to make things happen in our life. We develop goals, plans, ambitions, dreams and hopes in an effort to attain happiness, success, recognition or what have you.

Goals and ambitions are really good things to have in our lives. But, what happens when life doesn’t turn out how we had hoped? What happens when you have worked tirelessly towards achieving specific goals and dreams all to find that they are not within reach. We don’t win, success, or follow the “plan.” Maybe, something went wrong, the money wasn’t available, a sickness occurred, maybe even a death – nevertheless, you are now being recalculated and the path towards your dream is closed off.

What do we do then? Do we give up? Keep trying? Start over? Or, do we stop?

Who is to say? Not me.

I have had numerous setbacks in my life. If you asked my five years ago if my life would be where it is now I would laugh at you. Nothing in my life has gone the way I had hoped, dreamed, planned.

Sometimes I get upset. Sometimes I want to do everything in my power to change my circumstances. Sometimes I want a do-over. Sometimes I obsess over what I can change.

However, what I really need to do is stop. Stop dead in my tracks and turn to the one who created me. Yes, He can instill desires and hopes in our hearts. Yes, we can have dreams that we think are pleasing to Him and part of His will. But, we can also be misguided. We can misunderstand, misconstrue, misinterpret what we are actually being told. On the other hand, this process of being “recalculated” can also be a learning experience or testing. The Lord works in mysterious ways. And it is not our job to understand all of the interworkings of His plan for our lives.

I have beat myself up time and time again asking questions such as these: Is this the will of God? Is He leading me here? Do I need to do this in order for His plan to enter into my life? What can I do to receive His blessing and direction?

I am sure that these questions are not too far off of your mind from time to time.

The Lord woke me up in the middle of the night after one of my long days of stressing out over my future and trying to “fix” my life in my own strength. He told me that there is nothing I can doNothing I can do in my own physical strength that will bring me any closer to His will and plan for my life.

There is one thing I can do, however!

What I CAN do is surrender. I can give my life to the Lord and trust that He will guide and direct my paths. Psalm 119:150 states, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light to my path.” He is our light. Our faith and trust in Him directs our paths.

If we knew what God had planned for our lives then we wouldn’t have the opportunity to develop our faith in Him. He leads us exactly where we need to be at exactly the right time — when we put our trust in Him. (God is never late 🙂

Whenever I am feeling down, feeling the need to work in my own strength, or feeling disappointed — I use this time to look to the Lord for answers. (I look to Him for my strength and direction).

“Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.” Proverbs 16:32 (Having the self-control to trust in God)

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” John 13:17 (Which is what He told his disciples)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding: in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”  Proverbs 3:5-6

It is truly amazing what God can do with our lives, IF we will let him.

Sometimes we need to take a big step back. We need to step back from our minute problems and difficulties. Yes, this scenario may seem big to us, BUT it is nothing for God. We must remember that He is in control. We are in the palm of His hands. He can change our situation around in a heart beat …. However, He can also allow us to stay in our situation.

In my life, I truly feel that the Lord is leading me to use this integral time in my life to grow closer to Him — to learn more about His teachings, grace, love, promises. To develop my faith and trust in Him. You never know, you may need to go through these “waiting” periods in order to handle the blessing God has on your life.

Regardless of what God has in store, it is our job to place our faith in Him. To call onto Him and ask that He guide, direct and strengthen us. God will never fail you. Please trust Him today 🙂 I promise He will give you everything you need, and more!

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20 (ESV)

Allow the Lord (the Holy Spirit) to work within you and develop the fruits of the spirit. Allow Him to come into your life. Allow Him to make a way where there is no way. He will provide, all you need to do is ask Him ❤

May God bless you in whatever season you may be in, whatever difficulty you may be facing, whatever struggle may be overpowering you.

 

Wishing you love, joy and blessings ❤

Angela Joy

Learning to live in the moment – instead of capturing the moment: Travel tips and advice

By: Angela Joy

I recently returned from a very beautiful and rewarding trip to Ireland!
IMG_4141

A close friend and I found an inexpensive deal and decided not to let the opportunity pass us by.
The trip was overall amazing and I recommend that everyone visits Ireland at least once
in their lifetime.
The people were exceptionally kind and helpful, the way of life was peaceful and ideal, and the views were spectacular.
I would not trade my trip or the wonderful experiences that I endured for the world!

IMG_4568

While traveling between towns, attending tours and visiting different landmarks, I noticed something very bothersome.
We have a very difficult time, as Americans as well as other heritages, experiencing and appreciating the moment we are in.
We have become programmed to capture, and share the moment, without ever even taking the time to experience it ourselves.

Allow me to explain:
While traveling throughout Ireland, I noticed that as we approached a new location or landmark, myself and other travelers, were busy taking photos, sending or posting photos, and even discussing future plans – instead of appreciating and recognizing the moment we were presently in.

For example, while touring the Ring of Kerry in County Kerry, we traveled via a tour bus which made frequent stops to different locations throughout the ring.
Each stop had its own beauty and individuality.
I loved the views and couldn’t believe what was in front of me.
Upon each stop the bus made I noticed my fellow travelers stepping off of the bus, camera in front of their face, taking photos – before stopping and taking a second to take in the beauty in front of them.
I also noticed travelers texting, scanning social media, and discussing their travel arrangements for the days to come.

I couldn’t help but think, “Are we seeing the same view?”
“Do they realize what is in front of them right now and where they are?”
Possibly not.
IMG_4009

Psychology Study:
Psychology researcher for the Department of Psychology at Fairfield University in Connecticut Linda Henkel, completed a study titled, “Point-and-Shoot Memories: The Influence of Taking Photos on Memory for a Museum Tour.”
Throughout the study, which was made up of 28 undergraduate students, Ms. Henkel instructed the students to oberve 15 artifacts and photograph 15 artifacts while visiting an art museum.

Once the museum visit was over, Ms Henkel questioned the students about the objects that they photographed and the objects that they observed.
Of the objects that were photographed the students recalled few memories. The objects that were observed, the students recalled clear memories.
The study stated, “If participants took a photo of each object as a whole, they remembered fewer objects and remembered fewer details about the objects and the objects’ locations in the museum than if they instead only observed the objects and did not photograph them.”

As a result, Ms. Farkel was able to conclude that taking photographs, in an effort to “capture” the moment, was actually impairing the ability to recall the moment.

The university psychology study states, “This finding highlights key differences between people’s memory and the camera’s ‘memory’ and suggests that the additional attentional and cognitive processes engaged by this focused activity can eliminate the photo-taking-impairment effect.”

I, however, did not need a study to prove this to me – it was evident in what was happening around me.

Fellow travelers were not experiencing the moment, they were not appreciating the deep shade of green, the blue sparkling ocean or the fresh, crisp smell.

They were stepping out of the bus, snapping a few quick photos, posing with friends, and preparing for the next stop.

As the trip continued I became more and more aware of different ways that myself, my friend and those around us, were (and were not) living in the moment.

IMG_4395

During a separate day trip, one that led to the coveted destination of Ireland’s west coast – the Cliffs of Moher – I realized a similar occurrence.

While standing along the beautiful five-mile long shoreline of Ireland’s west coast, looking out upon Galway Bay, the Aran Islands and the Twelve Pins when I noticed the dreaded fate of failing to live in the moment once again.
Constant photo taking, standing with friends to pose for photos, standing with their backs away from the cliffs to look at pictures taken – as well as the floods of selfies being taken.

Very infrequently did I notice a fellow traveler contentedly sitting/standing along the cliffs taking in the beautiful sights and appreciating the current moment that they were in.

While walking back into the bus I realized how upset I was by this.
I was so overwhelmingly happy to have the opportunity to visit the cliffs that I could NOT stop looking up (and smiling!).

I loved and cherished every moment that I was there and could not wait to stop, sit and stare out into the beautiful sights.

… I wished that others felt the same.

IMG_4539

What is the reason behind this behavior?
And how can we teach others to be present in the moment and really experience and appreciate what is in front of them?

I don’t know the answer to this question but as my trip continued I realized that this behavior is not only true while visiting landmarks and beautiful landscapes. It is true when walking the streets of a town, visiting a restaurant or bar, and even while boarding a plane.

We are so busy trying to capture and share the moment that we are in that we are not taking the time to actually experience it for ourselves.

IMG_4313

Travel Tips
I would like to share with you some tips before departing on your next trip.

1. Take one or two photos, then put the camera away.

2. Stop, inhale, experience and fully take in the moment you are in.

3. Be thankful for and appreciate each experience.

4. After returning to your hotel, or while traveling to the next destination, write down your experiences. It is easy to forget intricate details and you will be so grateful that you have memories written down for you to come back to.

5. Instead of buying a shot glass or key chain, buy a postcard and write down an important memory from your trip, with a special note, and give these to friends and family upon your return. The gift will be more meaningful and they will keep for years to come.

6. Wait till you are home to share events with friends and family. Enjoy the trip while you are. Try your best to be present during the trip instead of focused on what lies at home.

7. Before traveling save up money so that you don’t have to skimp out on experiences, excursions or delicious meals. You may only visit that location once in your lifetime – experience it to the fullest.

8. Don’t be anti-social. Talking and communicating with locals allows you to fully understand the culture you are visiting. I enjoy listening to locals communicate with one another. I was able to learn their mannerisms and how they treat one another.

9. Try not to be TOO obvious that you are from America. Unfortunately, Americans are often treated differently. Try not to be too obvious to allow yourself to better experience the journey.

10. Do all that you can in the time allotted, but also allow yourself time to rest and relax. Travelling can be incredibly strenuous so allow yourself an early night or late morning. If you have only two hours of sleep how can you be fully present the next day?

IMG_4240

Overall what I learned from my trip was this:

The photos that I have from Ireland are wonderful. However, the memories that I hold are unsurpassable.

Memories hold meaning, value, sounds, sights and smells. They are unmeasurable. They can brighten any day and awaken any conversation.

Happy travels!

-Angela Joy ❤

Link to study: http://bit.ly/1FNMeGf

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑