Sisters For Sunshine

Receive God's Warm Love Through Reflection

Take time to care

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” - Leo Buscaglia

The smallest act of caring can be so important. Do you recall when someone gave you smile that lifted your spirits? How about when someone was just there to listen to you? Do you remember when you felt better after someone said “good job”?

These simple acts of kindness are ways of sharing God’s love. When someone cares for you like that, don’t you feel good? Why not be that person and care for someone else today? Share kindness to someone and you’ll probably receive kindness too.

Take time to care, by expressing love to everyone, inspiring people, encouraging people, and being sensitive to others. A hug, a smile, a listening ear, and kind word can make all the difference.

“Kindness can transform someone’s dark moment with a blaze of light. You’ll never know how much your caring matters. Make a difference for another today.” – Amy Leigh Mercree

 

 

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Weekly Prayer: Kind Words

Our words can impact others in how they act and feel. Negative words have contributed to violence, strive, and conflict. If we speak more kind and positive words, perhaps there will be more peace and joy within communities and within people’s hearts. Wholesome words help build-up people, help make a difference, and empower people to live in God’s grace (reference here). Something so simple as “You are special” or “Awesome job” can be so profound.

kind words Challenge yourself to speak more kind words each day!

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” – Ephesians 4:21

“Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” – Psalm 141:3

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” – Psalm 19:14

Prayer on kind words to others (by Joel Osteen)

Father, help me to always bring out the best in others.
Help me to bless people with my kind words,
to give the gift of encouragement,
and to always speak words of life.
Thank you for filling my heart with affirmation
so that I can affirm those around me today and everyday.
In Jesus’ Name, amen.

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Weekly Gratitude: Animals

For the gratitude challenge this week, we challenge you to reflect on animals, including your pets and those in nature.

What animals am I grateful for in my life? What makes them special? How am I a better person by caring for and loving my pets? How can I share more love to all animals? What can I do to be more grateful for them in my life?

*For me, having animals in my life brings me great joy, love, and responsibility. I am grateful for my cats Noah and Emma because they are fun, cuddly, and loving. I am grateful for animals in nature because they bring peace, uniqueness, and beauty to the world; we should be more caring and considerate of all animals. 

Lord God, Thank you for all the blessings you have given in my life, particularly the animals that you have created and the joy that comes with caring for animals. 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: Star In The East

In my church choir, we are singing Star In The East, a Christmas hymn written by Reginald Heber and arranged by William Allen Pasch.

Jesus is our Light and our brightest star. We shall rejoice, worship, and adore him! Our Redeemer is with us!

Brightest and best of the stars of the morning,
dawn on our darkness and lend us thine aid;

Star in the East, the horizon adorning,
guide where our infant Redeemer is laid.

Hail the blest morn! See the great Mediator
down from the regions of glory descend!

Shepherds, go worship the babe in the manger.
Lo, for his guard the bright angels attend.

Cold on his cradle the dew drops are shining;
low lies his head with the beasts of the stall.

Angels adore him in slumber reclining,
Maker and Monarch and Savior of all.

Say, shall we yield him, in costly devotion,
odors of Edom and off’rings divine?

Gems of the mountain and pearls of the ocean,
myrrh from the forest and gold from the mine?

Vainly we offer each ample oblation,
vainly with gifts would his favor secure.

Richer by far is the heart’s adoration;
dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.

Brightest and best of the stars of the morning,
dawn on our darkness and lend us thine aid.

Star in the East, the horizon adorning,
guide where our infant Redeemer is laid.

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Weekly Prayer: Self-Love

This past week one of my husband’s family member was dealing with self-worth and self-love, and my husband and I were worried about him. I think everyone in their lifetime deals with some form of low self esteem, but we should make every effort to counteract that. We should make every effort to accept and love who we are.

You are worthy and special, no matter what. God agrees. Remember that.

Prayer for Self-Love – Don Miguel Ruiz

“Today, Creator of the Universe, we ask that You help us to accept ourselves just the way we are, without judgment. Help us to accept our mind the way it is, with all our emotions, our hopes and dreams, our personality, our unique way of being. Help us to accept our body just the way it is, with all its beauty and perfection. Let the love we have for ourselves be so strong that we never again reject ourselves or sabotage our happiness, freedom, and love.

Starting today, help us to love ourselves so much that we never set up any circumstances that go against us. We can live our life being ourselves and not pretending to be someone else just to be accepted by other people. We no longer need other people to accept us or tell us how good we are because we know what we are. With the power of our self-love, let us enjoy what we see every time we look in the mirror. Let there be a big smile on our face that enhances our inner and outer beauty. Help us to feel such intense self-love that we always enjoy our own presence.

Today is a new beginning. Help us to start our life over beginning today with the power of self-love. Help us to enjoy our life, to enjoy our relationships, to explore life, to take risks, to believe, and to no longer live in fear of love. Let us open our heart to the love that is our birthright. Amen.”

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Advent Peace List

In the church, December is a celebration of Advent, a time of preparing and leading up to the birth of Jesus at Christmas. During this time, as we all celebrate Christmastime, sometimes we can get so busy with hectic plans that we don’t really reflect on what it truly means to celebrate Christmas.

What does it mean to celebrate Christmas?

I think it means taking time: to be with family, to give with a generous heart, to be involved in the community, and to be at peace.

How can you be more at peace during this time?

My Pastor suggested creating an Advent Peace List, which is like a checklist that lists all the ways that you can instill more peace into your daily week. Instead of being enveloped with hectic plans, take time to bring peace into your Christmas.

Let peace echo throughout your life, anytime of the year!

My Advent Peace List looks like this:

 Pray each morning to start the day in peace.

Reflect on each day what I am thankful for.

Give away items to donate.

Read daily devotional or Advent scriptures.

Share peace with others, such as making goodies to bring at festivals or for neighbors.

Keep in touch with family and friends.

Have fun – smile and laugh each day.

Take time to relax with pets and loved ones.

Sing carols.

Offer kind words.

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Weekly Gratitude: Outdoors

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

What am I grateful for in the outdoors? What makes me feel good when I out in nature? What particular places outside do I enjoy? How do I take care of the surroundings around me? What ways can I show my appreciation for the outdoors and keeping nature preserved? How does spending time outside make me a better person?

*For me, when I am out in nature, I feel refreshed, alive, and close to God. I enjoy keeping fit when I’m outdoors, and I love spending time out hiking or just sitting outside enjoying the sun. I feel comfortable being outdoors.

Lord God, Thank you for all the blessings you have given in my life, particularly the outdoors that you have created and the positive aspects that come with spending time out in nature. 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: Carol of the Bells

Carol of the Bells is a classic Christmas Song, composed by Mykola Leontovych with lyrics by Peter J. Wilhousky, with the original tune from a folk Ukrainian song.

This song is about rejoicing and having Christmas cheer. Cast all your cares and worries away, because it’s a happy time! Christmas is for everyone – the weak and the strong, the young and the old – and joy should be in every home!

Hark! how the bells, Sweet silver bells
All seem to say, “Throw cares away.”
Christmas is here, Bringing good cheer
To young and old, Meek and the bold

Ding, dong, ding, dong, That is their song
With joyful ring, All caroling
One seems to hear, Words of good cheer
From ev’rywhere, Filling the air

Oh how they pound, Raising the sound,
O’er hill and daleTelling their tale,
Gaily they ring, While people sing
Songs of good cheer, Christmas is here
Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas
Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas

On, on they send, On without end
Their joyful tone, To ev’ry home

[Repeat from the beginning]

Ding, dong, ding, dong

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Life is your own special ride

You have this one life. How do you wanna spend it? Apologizing? Regretting? Questioning? Hating yourself? Dieting? Running after people who don’t see you? Be brave. Believe in yourself. Do what feels good. Take risks. You have this one life. Make yourself proud.” —Beardsley Jones

“You are always free to change your mind and choose a different future, or a different past.” — Richard Bach

“Be ok with where you are, even if you know you want to change.”

Live your life with purpose. Focus on your blessings, not your misfortunes. Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses. Be yourself and don’t wait for the approval of others. But most importantly, have a positive and humble mindset no matter what situation you are in. Count your blessings, not your problems, and you will realize how beautiful your life truly is.” — Troy Amdahl

Life is all about learning and growing, making personal decisions, taking risks, accepting change. 

Many times we don’t know what we want to do with ourselves. We make a decision and go for it, and if it doesn’t work out, it just doesn’t work out. We tried, that’s what counts.

We are living life, gliding alone one path, then going for another, then moving in another direction, then perhaps jumping to the next. It’s our own unique ride.

Constant change, constant growth. Living is the important thing. Even when we make mistakes, we take it and run, learn from it, embrace life, no matter where we are on our path.

As you take risks, change your mind, and do things for you, remember to pray to God, asking for guidance. Try to make the best decision for you. Don’t let other people bring you down. Only focus on your own expectations for yourself.

Because what’s best for you, only you and God truly know. 

Life can be one crazy ride! But through the crazy, your life needs to be meaningful, it needs to be the path that you decide for yourself, no one else.

Go for it and hold God’s hand through it all. Be yourself and live your life well.

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Weekly Gratitude: Church

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

What am I grateful for at my church? What makes my church special? Who at church gives me inspiration, joy, and love? What special events do I enjoy attending at church? What ways can I show my appreciation for my church family? How does church help me become a better person?

Lord God, Thank you for all the blessings you have given in my life, particularly my church and the people that make up my church family. 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: Laughter and smiles

Laughter is so important to have in every household! Laughter brings joy to the family, calming fears, inspiring peace, and spreading love. Laughter is contagious!

In what ways can you add a little more laughter to your day? Reading fun stories or jokes? Watching a comedy show? Playing a game with your friends? Tickling someone?

Father, 

Bless my household with the joy of laughter. I’m so grateful for laughter and smiles and for the fun and peace that comes with laughter. Fill my home and my family with good humor each day.

Let us think of You always, In Christ Jesus, Amen.

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Weekly Song: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Happy December!

Advent is a time filled with beautiful hymns and songs, rejoicing about the birth of Jesus Christ! I love O Come, O Come, Emmanuel because of the simple yet soothing harmonies and the message that Jesus is here to bring joy, comfort, and victory.

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o’er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai’s height,
In ancient times did’st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

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