Sisters For Sunshine

Receive God's Warm Love Through Reflection

Weekly Gratitude: My Work

For the gratitude challenge this week, we challenge you to reflect on your job and your daily work life.

What am I grateful for in regards to my job and work life? What do I like about the work that I do? How does my work bring me joy? What makes my work special? What ways can I show my appreciation for my coworkers?

Lord God, Thank you for all the blessings you have given in my life, particularly my job and the daily work that I do. You have provided me with more than I could ever have imagined. Help me each day to have a grateful heart. Amen.

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Weekly Song: Greater

God is with you everyday! He is the one to follow and listen to. He lives inside each of you, guiding you through good and hard times.

So rejoice with this song – Greater – by MercyMe! God is greater than anyone else!

Bring your tired, Bring your shame
Bring your guilt, Bring your pain
Don’t you know that’s not you’re name
You will always be much more to me

Every day I wrestle with the voices
That keep telling me I’m not right
But that’s alright

‘Cause I hear a voice and He calls me redeemed
When others say I’ll never be enough
And greater is the One living inside of me
Than he who is living in the world
In the world, In the world
And greater is the One living inside of me
Than he who is living in the world

Bring your doubts, Bring your fears
Bring your hurt, Bring your tears
There’ll be no condemnation here
You are holy, righteous and redeemed

Every time I fall
There’ll be those who will call me
A mistake
Well that’s ok

There’ll be days I lose the battle
Grace says that it doesn’t matter
‘Cause the cross already won the war
He’s Greater, He’s Greater

I am learning to run freely
Understanding just how He sees me
And it makes me love Him more and more
He’s Greater, He’s Greater

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Weekly Prayer: Bloom in any circumstance

I’m reading Daily Readings from Every Day A Friday by Joel Osteen, and it’s a great devotional to read daily. For the reading for Day 14, “Bloom Where You Are Planted”, Joel describes that even in the midst of weeds and ugly dried-up fields, a beautiful flower can still bloom. Just like that beautiful blossom, we too can bloom right where we’re planted. Despite any circumstance – hardship, frustration, stress – we can ask for God’s guidance and be the best we can right now.

“Put a smile on your face. Be good to people even if they’re not good to you. Be grateful for where you live even if it’s not where you want to be. When you bloom where you’re planted, you’re sowing a seed for God to do something new.”

Prayer:

“Father, today I declare that my hope and trust is in You. Even when I don’t understand my circumstances, I know You are working things out for my good. Help me to bloom where I’m planted so I can live as a testimony of Your faithfulness. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

 

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Weekly Gratitude: Body and Health

For the gratitude challenge this week, we challenge you to reflect on your body and health.

Do I take care of myself as much as I should? What do I like about my body? What am I grateful for in regards to my health?  What ways can I strengthen my health and better care for my body? What makes me beautiful inside and out? What can I do to appreciate myself more? 

Lord God, Thank you for all the blessings you have given in my life, particularly my body and health. You have provided me with more than I could ever have imagined. Help me each day to have a grateful heart. Amen.

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Weekly Song: Ashland’s Song

Peter Hollens, a talented singer from Oregon, just released his first album this month. His original song, “Ashland’s Song” is written about his son and seeing him for the first time. I love the lyrics because it describes what anyone would feel meeting their child for the first time: their lives are changed forever and their hearts are filled with love.

In addition, I think of God: He welcomes us with open arms with a lifetime of love, and he has so much joy for each one of us. Just think, God is exclaiming, “It’s been another great day! My child is born! My love for is everlasting! Your life is so special! Let’s celebrate!”

My ear upon her belly
I listen to the beat
So tiny and so precious
Can’t wait until we meet
I’ll hold you and protect you
with my entire be
How can a heart have grown so big,
For such a little thing?

It’s been the longest day
And one I won’t forget
The day that we first met
The day that we first met

When the nurse first called me daddy
And handed you to me
The tears welled up in my eyes
I found it hard to see
The meeting I had waited for
Finally was here
And everything I couldn’t say
Was captured in a tear

It’s been the hardest day
And one I won’t forget
The day that we first met
The day that we first met

The rhythm of the monitor
A slow and steady beat
The faintest glow
The lights alow
Your mother is asleep
My world is in this room
My world is just us three
There’s no other place that I would rather be

So much I wanna give you
So much I wanna say
You’ve changed my life forever
And it’s only been a day
I’ll spend a lifetime loving you
Starting from day one
I can’t believe you’re finally here
My everything, my son

It’s been the greatest day
And one I won’t forget
It’s been the greatest day
The day that we first met

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Special talents

Matthew 25:14-30, the parable of the bags of gold.

“…For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”…

At church today, my husband and I were reminded about talents and utilizing them well. In the gospel, one servant was lazy and afraid, so he didn’t do anything smart and just hoarded his one treasure. Nothing good came out of it. The others, though, worked hard to please their master and produce more fruit. They were called “good and faithful servants”.

God gives us so many talents and special gifts, unique to us. Though we may not get some gifts that others get, that doesn’t make us any less. God finds every individual important and blesses us with wonderful unique talents that we need to embrace.

The priest compared every individual to being a pencil. The pencil can just sit on the table and never be used…or it can do all sorts of things – draw, write, calculate numbers, etc… And a pencil is created to have an eraser. So when the pencil tries and works hard to make something beautiful, in the process it may make a mistake. God gives us the eraser to fix things and move forward.

Life is a journey that we need to take action and be active, utilizing our talents for good. Through that journey, we may stumble, but we keep going, we keep working hard to make things better and embrace life. God wants us to not be a bystander, not to hide our talents, not to be timid and lazy. He wants us to fully be alive with faith and conviction to follow Him. And he loves us all, all shapes, sizes, intelligent levels, talents. So stop comparing and just do what God wants you, individually, to do. Believe in yourself and keep going to develop your talents and make a difference.

Prayer:

Lord, thank you for making me unique. Thank you for reminding me that everything we are given and everything that we are as a person is important to your plan. I pray that we may stop comparing and instead embrace who we are and all our talents. That every one of us uses our time toward good and meaningful things.

 

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Keeping grounded

When you feel anxious and overwhelmed, take slow deep breaths through your abdomen and meditate. One thing to meditate on is to imagine yourself being grounded.

In the book, The Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide, Ted Zeff writes that to help with anxiety, imagine yourself being grounded. What does grounded mean? Grounded means to be steady, with your feet on the ground, your thoughts controlled, and your body calm. 

He paints an image for us to think about: Imagine you are standing on the ground, and there are ropes holding your legs and arms down securely, but not in a restraining way. These ropes extend under the ground all the way to the Earth’s core, where energy and peace flow. All through your body you experience that steady flow.

This image, makes me feel secure. I am grounded and calm, with a constant flow of energy and peace. I am steady.

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Weekly Gratitude Challenge: Home

For the gratitude challenge this week, we challenge you to reflect on your home.

What am I thankful for when I’m at home? What makes my home special? How do I feel when I’m at my home? What makes it beautiful inside and outside? What makes my house a home?

Lord God, Thank you for all the blessings you have given in my life, particularly my home. You have provided me with more than I could ever have imagined. Help me each day to have a grateful heart. Amen.

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Weekly Prayer: Living to the fullest

Just as students must practice their studies by completing homework in order to succeed in school, so too we all must practice Godly ways in our life to succeed. God gave us life, so let us use our time wisely!

How are you living your life? Are you embracing new opportunities? Are you living out your faith? Are you filling up your life with the fruits of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control)? Are you living fully in God’s love?

Lord God,

My hope and our strength is in you. Help me to know what is right and be eager to follow you in every moment of my life. Thank you for the gifts that you have blessed me with. May I use them responsibly to live abundantly and to accept new challenges and opportunities that come my way. Help me to fill up my life with your love. Amen.

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Weekly Song: Start A Fire

Start A Fire is a song by Unspoken about the desire for God to burn a fire in our souls. We need His Light, His Passion, and His Love to shine in all of us and to bring about positive change in the world.

This world can be cold and bitter
Feels like we’re in the dead of winter
Waiting on something better
But am I really gonna hide forever?

Over and over again
I hear Your voice in my head
Let Your light shine, let Your light shine for all to see

Chorus:
Start a fire in my soul
Fan the flame and make it grow
So there’s no doubt or denying
Let it burn so brightly
That everyone around can see
That it’s You, that it’s You that we need
Start a fire in me

You only need a spark to start a whole blaze
It only takes a little faith
Let it start right here in this city
So these old walls will never be the same

Over and over again
I hear Your voice in my head
They need to know
I need to go
Spirit won’t You fall on my heart now

Chorus

Bridge:
You are the fire You are the flame
You are the light on the darkest day
We have the hope we bear Your name
We carry the news that You have come to save
Only You can save

Chorus

 

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Gratitude challenge

November is the month of Thanksgiving, and why not start a gratitude challenge for the holiday season?

We challenge you for the month of November and December, to pick up a pen and paper and write down what you are grateful for that day. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or lengthy; even just 1-2 minutes is all it takes. Once you reflect on your daily gratitude, end with a short prayer to God thanking him for these blessings.

You can also do this challenge with your spouse or family: Try doing this each day at the dinner table, each one expressing one thing you are grateful for.

Another idea instead of just using a journal, is to scribble your thanks on strips of paper and fill a mason jar with them. Then, when the challenge is done, you’ll have a jar full of thanks, which you can easily reach in anytime of the year and read one to remind yourself of all the grateful things in your life.

Each week, we’ll post a “Weekly Gratitude”, which will give you some ideas to reflect on.

This week, ask yourself: Who am I thankful for in my life, and why? What makes them special? How am I a better person by knowing them and loving them? What can I do to be more grateful for them in my life?

Just by thinking about what your thankful for can be therapeutic. Once you think of one thing you are thankful for, most often more gratitude will flow. Whether you start or end your day with a thank you, why not give it a try?

Lord God, Thank you for all the blessings you have given in my life. You have provided me with more than I could ever have imagined. Help me each day to have a grateful heart. Amen

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Weekly Prayer: Made perfect despite our imperfections

No matter your imperfections, God loves you. He is your light and our example to follow. When you’ve made a mistake, acted wrongly, or felt ashamed, God forgives and allows you to start over in the path towards perfection.

We’ll never get to perfect, but it’s a goal we all should strive for – to grow and learn and be guided by God’s example.

A Prayer About Being Made Perfect In Our Imperfections

Precious Father, Precious Lord Jesus, Wonderful Holy Spirit,
I am so very imperfect.
Every day I see all the mistakes I make and how I am imperfect in your eyes.
Help me be perfect in your love.
Help me be perfectly unique as you made me to be unique.
Help me be more of the perfect person you want me to be when you look at me.
Help me discard the dark sin upon my heart.
Help me stand clean and righteous before you.
Help me be more perfect in the bond of love I share with you and with others.
Bring into my heart your light of love and hope.
Bring to me a greater ability to take on your perfection in love.
Lead me and guide me to my unique destiny in your love and grace.
Lead me and guide me all the days of my life until we get to see each other face to face in your kingdom in the sky.
Show me how I can grow and learn, even in my imperfections.
In the name of God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit who lives within me and touches me,
Amen.

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