Mind+spirit

How to Feel Joy in the Season You’re in

Pain is a part of life; suffering is optional

-Unknown

I don’t know about you, but I want to enjoy my life. I’m no expert in all seasons of life; I can only speak from experiences that I have gone through. I’ve been through seasons of great sorrow, seasons of discovery, and seasons of joy. I’m in a very new and different season in life that I’m still navigating. No matter what season I’ve gone through in life, I’ve learned that you can enjoy the season you’re in or focus on the negative. It’s genuinely all mental.


It’s Better to Stay Single Than Unequally Yoked

According to a study done by NORC at the University of Chicago, “Just over half of the American young adults (18-34 years old), are not in a romantic relationship. Everyone knows there is absolutely nothing wrong with being single. This time is the best time for discovery, learning, and working on yourself. I love that more people than ever before are taking marriage seriously and trying to find the right person for them. Of course, not everyone is looking for a partner; some people might have alternative ways of living. There’s this saying in Portuguese that my dad would always tell me, “E melhor estar sozinha do que mal acompanhada.”; which translates to “It’s better to be alone than badly accompanied.” If you’re a Christian like me, you know that the Bible apprises Christians not to be unequally yoked. That means that it’s better to marry someone on the same level as you spiritually to avoid unnecessary heartache or suffering. Hopefully, if you’re single and wishing to marry one day, you are using this time to better yourself for your future spouse. I think it can be very romantic. I remember my husband telling me that when he turned 18 years old, he started to save up money for a ring for his future wife, aw how sweet! Now is the best time to put in work in your financial, mental, and physical self. There’s a Bible verse I love, and it goes like this: “when I was a child, I spoke like a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”- 1 Corinthians 13:11. Today, we have something unusual happening; adults are still behaving like children and teens (18 years old and under). Now is the perfect time to enjoy being young, yes, but don’t be foolish to neglect your future. There is a season for everything, and there is nothing wrong with aging; aging is a gift. I hope to grow to old age, God willing.

I can’t say this enough, but please do yourself a favor and open up a savings account and save at least 10% or more if you can of your paycheck. Saving money now will help you feel secure for the future; knowing that you have money saved in your account for a home, car, and retirement relieves unnecessary stress (which is known to cause so many ailments). That aside, how you as a single can enjoy the season you’re in is by enjoying your own company! One day you will have to share a bed and a home with someone for the rest of your lives together. Don’t get me wrong, I love being married, but there is a particular pleasure in getting to eat whatever and whenever you please and going wherever you please. So, if you’re single reading this, please try to enjoy your own company or the company of your friends (if you’re a social butterfly) because it will change once you become married, especially if you add children into the mix. Having alone time or “me-time” is a given now, but once you get married, say “buh-bye” to that time. When you get married (if and when you do), it just doesn’t happen; you have to make time for yourself. When I was single, I felt bored; wow, lol. I don’t even have time to feel bored now. So, yeah, enjoy that time. Travel, go to whatever restaurant you want, discover your likes and dislikes, watch girly movies, do girly things. If you’re a guy reading this (firstly, thank you for being here, lol), hang out with your buddies, shoot some hoops, whatever you guys like to do for fun, do it. Because once you say “I do,” two become one, no longer will you be able to make decisions on your own. I have many friends who are single and have not the faintest idea of how much work a marriage takes. Right now, that you are single, you can use all that energy on working on yourself. So enjoy this time as much as it sometimes pains to be alone. You can enjoy being single before you meet Mr. Right.

I Hear Those Wedding Bells Ringing

Oh, young love, some of the happiest times of my life happened when I met Shane. If you are in the season in your life where you felt like you met the one, it is super easy to experience joy. There are a couple of things that you could do that will make this time of your life even more peaceful and harmonious, which in return will help you feel even more joy. When I was single, I worked on myself, mentally and physically. I’m glad I did the work that I did on myself before I met my husband. If this season were a climate season, it would be Spring. Everything blooms during the Spring, and if you do the work right before meeting your forever mate, you will be able to harvest the fruit of your labor. During this time, you are going on dates, talking about your futures, thinking about each other all day and all night *wink wink*. Hold up, wait a minute before you drive off together into the sunset; first, make sure you two are compatible. Be wise and seek premarital counseling after choosing your lifelong mate (note I said choose, but that’s for another time, lol) and receiving God’s confirmation, record memories through photography, journaling, and saving artifacts. I kept the book that Shane and I received from premarital class with our name tags on it. I can’t wait to one day pass that book along to my children. I’m so sentimental, and you might not be as sentimental as I am, but I feel like if you’re anything like me, then you will enjoy looking back at all the fond memories. Another way many couples fall into unnecessary stress and sadness is by comparing their mate to other couples or being self-centered. This season in your life will be a lot more enjoyable if you stop the comparisons and think of your partner’s needs, wants, and desires and not just of your own. Being open and honest with each other will also help you build a deeper connection with one another. Cherish each other, and once you make those vows to one another, don’t allow anyone to enter your circle. Lastly, if you’re a Christian, always center your relationship on Jesus. Love and marriage is a beautiful commitment and gift.

School House Rocks

The best parts of being a kid are virtually zero responsibilities! Most likely, your most important or only responsibility as a kid is to do well in school. I wanted so badly to grow up and to be an adult, but here I am as an adult, and well, being a kid sounds pretty lovely. I took it for granted back then, don’t be that person. Savor the moment. To the girls who experience feelings of insecurity with their bodies, more likely than not, you are not fat! I look back at old pictures of myself, and I used to think I was fat; it’s crazy. You are beautiful, even on days you don’t put on makeup or straighten your hair. You’re never going to be as young as you are at this moment.
Nothing is equal to that feeling of being young and carefree. Be healthy, take care of your body, and don’t obsess. You have the privilege of going to school and getting an education, which many kids worldwide don’t get to do. Many kids in Africa are being forced into becoming child soldiers. Other kids, such as in India, are being forced into child prostitution. With that in mind, it becomes a lot easier to fulfill your duties of going to school. I’m not here to shame you. I get it; when I was in high school, I skipped school so much they sent me a letter telling me if I skipped anymore, I’d be at risk of being held back a grade. So, do the best you can with the cards that you are dealt. If you have the opportunity, then make school work for you. Listen and be respectful to your parents; they have wisdom from being on this Earth way longer than you. Spend time with them; this is just a friendly reminder that they’re not going to be around forever. Cherish your time with your parents, or try to have a relationship with estranged parents. If you feel like something can change to work better for you, your parents will most likely be supportive. So if that means doing homeschooling or doing accelerated courses, then so be it.
Never try to cut in line; success takes consistency. Acknowledging this concept will make your life a lot easier. I enjoyed my school years a lot more by enjoying my time with my schoolmates and friends. You don’t know it now, but you’ll have to schedule dates to hang out with friends when you become an adult. How lame is that? The freedom I had as a child to hang out with my friends is priceless. I would take a bus, walk, or biked to my friend’s house, and when I had my license (at 17 years old), I drove there. Be less judgmental, shake off fear and insecurity, and have some fun!

Well, that wraps it up! I wrote this post because I was feeling nostalgic one day. I realize that remembering the good old days can make the present day feel a little lackluster, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Joy can be found in everyday life. If you enjoyed reading this, please do consider leaving me a comment below, “like” this post; if you do, share it with someone, and consider subscribing so you can get notified first.

-with love, Amanda

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