Sisters For Sunshine

Receive God's Warm Love Through Reflection

Advent: Waiting

Advent is already here! During this season, I like to read a devotional. I came across this devotional, and for week 1 it talks about waiting.

“Wait for the LORD; be strong and courageous. Wait for the LORD” (Psalm 27:14). “Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him.” —Hebrews 11:6

Waiting can be so hard… waiting for a better time, for that something you’ve been wanting, etc. For me, it’s waiting for more sleep and easier parenting. Being a parent is hard, especially when you don’t get enough sleep.

During your waiting time, pray to God. Ask for patience and understanding. Be faithful. He will provide.

Pray: Lord, I remember the years of waiting for a Messiah. I’m often impatient with my life. Please teach me to enjoy You and not just the blessings I see in Your hands. Fill my days with laughter and joy through hardship and uncertainty. Remind me that when I think I’m waiting for an eternity, it really isn’t. Life on this earth is infinitesimally smaller than a second in the light of true eternity.

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Thankful Times

Sorry about not posting in a while, it’s been busy with family and the fall season. I thought to re-share our post from Thanksgiving in 2013, about taking time to reflect on the good things in life that you are thankful for.

Overflowing with Thankfulness

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” -Colossians 2:6-7

Another reflection on Colossians 2:6-7! As it gets closer to Thanksgiving, I want to focus on its special meaning.

Thanksgiving means gratitude. Time to slow down and reflect on all the good things in life. Time to spend with family and friends. Time to  laugh, smile, and carry on conversations with good people. Time to pray and praise God. And it starts the time of giving.

What do you enjoy about Thanksgiving? I love the time Thanksgiving brings to relax, take a day off from work,  listen to Christmas music, eat homemade food with family, play games, and have fun. I love how much warmth and love Thanksgiving brings.

What are you most grateful for? I’m blessed to have a funny, loving, and supportive husband, a loveable cutie son, and a wonderful close extended family, a safe and warm home, my pets, my neighborhood, and my church. Most importantly I am thankful for God, His love, His strength, and His forgiveness. The list can go on! So go make a list for yourself and see all the good in your life.

Remember that God gave you your life and blessed you with all the wonderful people in it. As Colossians says, “live your lives in Him” always. He is the source of your joy and hope.

So, I pray that you may be filled with thankfulness. Let your heart overflow with love and gratitude for Him.

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Weekly Thought: Respect

In the midst after the election results, and the division of opinions in our country, respect, peace, and kindness is so necessary. Think about your words and your actions towards others, that you may show respect. Respect for their opinions and feelings.

“Show respect to all people. Treat others as you would want to be treated. Respect all opinions.”

“We don’t need to share the same opinions as others, but we need to be respectful.” – Taylor Swift

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Gentleness and Patience

This week was a hard week for me as a mother of a 5 month old. Lack of sleep makes me exhausted and emotional, and I realize that I explode my frustrations to easily on my son, when instead, I should be more gentle and patient.

God reminded me to “be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians  4:2)

God reminds me that I need to take a breath before I act, and that I need to have fresh eyes of love and joy for my son. I need to be gentle and patient with him no matter what. He is an infant, he’s growing, and yes, he will make me exhausted, but I need to accept it and let go of my frustrations. I will give my worries and frustrations to God, for He will provide and comfort me – “Cast your anxieties on the Lord because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

So next time you get frustrated with someone, remember these verses and reflect on how you can show gentleness and patience.

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Weekly Thought: Grounded

I have been doing some yoga the last couple of weeks, and I appreciate at how it helps you be mindful of yourself and your mind and body. In the yoga video, the teacher mentions to “stay grounded”, and that phrase stuck in my head. Whenever I need to be calm or need to let go of worries and tension, I reflect on this phrase.

“Stay grounded. Be present in the moment. Be steady and strong.”

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Fear and Relationships

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18
 “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1
 “I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.  He freed me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4

God tells us to love above all things. When we love like God, our relationships are full, healthy, and complete.

However, fear is something that can effect our relationships and hinder our love.

Fear in relationships can make us hide, stuff feelings and not open ourselves up to one another. It can be unhealthy. When we’re afraid, we tend to hold back and the relationship doesn’t grow as it should. We tend to step backwards with God when we let our fears get the best of us.

Fear hinders love from fully blossoming, especially our love for God. But Love is the answer, not fear, in our relationships.

In the beginning, with Adam and Eve, after Eve and Adam ate from the forbidden tree, Adam tried to hide and blame Eve for tempting him to sin rather than admit his own fault to God.  He was trying to redirect things and hide. We hide often…we are afraid of disapproval and exposing our true self to others.

Remember that God sees all of you. We have value. Don’t let fear drive your decisions. Don’t let fear make you close off from fully developing your relationships with others. But rather, expose all of yourself to God and to others, and let God and others see the real you, scars and all. God loves us no matter what!

Facing your fears will help you improve your relationships. You are more open with others, more open to work together, and more willing to stay committed.

God holds four principles with each of us, that we should likewise apply toward all people we interact with:

1. I’m completely accepted
2. I’m unconditionally loved.
3. I’m totally forgiven
4. I’m extremely valuable

1. God accepts all of us no matter what! Focus on being accepted and loved by Him in your relationships with others.

2. “Perfect love drives out fear”. God has perfect love for us; He love us unconditionally, even when we sin. His love overcomes anything else.

3. Just as He accepts all of us, He thus forgives us from sin. Be free to admit sin and ask for forgiveness and grace in your relationships.

4. Your life is valuable. God values you. Stand strong and confidently, knowing this truth. Strengthen your relationships in this truth.

God’s second commandment is to love one another like God loves us. If we stick to that principle, to love like God, to love perfectly and unconditionally, then that can transform our relationships for the better. 

Let go of fear and love one another completely and openly. 

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Weekly Thought: Be Free

This week’s Weekly Thought is:

“I am free. I will let go and let God deal with it.”

Be free from worry and stress by giving it up to God. Think these thoughts about letting go your worries, and you will be free. Lift up any thoughts to God for him to deal with it. He’s there for you.

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Weekly Thought: Blessed

This week’s Weekly Thought is:

“I am blessed. There is so much to be thankful for.”

God’s blessings are overflowing! What are you thankful for? What are you blessed with this day? Try to focus on that, and your mood will be uplifted!

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Weekly Thought: Capable

This week’s Weekly Thought is:

“I am doing great. I am capable. I can do this.”

Don’t be hard on yourself! Don’t doubt your abilities! You are doing great. Keep trying, keep working at it. Trust in God in your work; He will give you success.

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Encouragement for Parents

Being a mom is hard. It’s a beautiful thing to have so much love for your child, but it’s also the most challenging experience we’ve ever had. Lack of sleep can make any parent cranky, frustrated, and emotional at times.

To help us when we are feeling down, we try to focus on the positive and the joy. Below we’ve compiled some quotes that will help make any parent feel a little better.

“With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” -Mark 10:27

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28

“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:31

“There is sunshine in my soul today, more glorious and bright, than glows in any earthly sky, for Jesus is my Light.” – Hymn, There Is Sunshine In My Soul

“But if you lift your eyes, See it in a different light, Just a cloud up in the open sky
Let the rain, fall away, Cause today is beautiful” – Today is Beautiful, David Dunn

“For the joy of the Lord is your strength” – Nehemiah 8:10

“Be joyful always. Pray continually. Give thanks in all circumstances.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“The key is this: Meet today’s problems with today’s strength. Don’t start tackling tomorrow’s problems until tomorrow. You do not have tomorrow’s strength yet. You simply have enough for today.” – Max Lucado

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” – Ephesians 4:2

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had.” – Romans 15:5

“Make up your mind that no matter what comes your way, no matter how difficult, no matter how unfair, you will do more than simply survive. You will thrive in spite of it.” – Joel Osteen

“May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” – Colossians 1:11

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” – Philippians 4:6

 

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Weekly Thought: Keeping Calm

This week’s Weekly Thought is:

“I am calm in this moment. There is peace here.”

When I am feeling anxious, emotional, or stressed, thoughts like this one help me stay calm. Take a deep breath, focus on what is calm in this moment, and soon your thoughts will take root and you will be more calm.

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Weekly Thought: Being Positive

We’ve updated our home page a little bit to include our “Weekly” Series that we’ve done the past two years, with “Weekly Prayer”, “Weekly Song”, “Weekly Hymn”, and “Weekly Compliment”. Today we’d thought we start doing series on a “Weekly Thought”.

This will be a thought for you to reflect on each day, on how you can be a better person.

So, to start, this week’s thought is:

How can I make this situation positive? 

If you are experiencing a moment of frustration, anger, disappointment, try to refocus with a positive perspective. What is positive about this moment? What am I happy with right now? 

Today, I was feeling run down. Being a parent is hardwork, and with lack of sleep, I felt cranky and lazy. So, to make me think positive about my day, despite my fatigue and frustrations as a mother, I told myself, “It’s great to see my son smile”, and “I am giving him love and care as he grows into a beautiful human being.” As I smile for my son, I felt a little more joy in the moment.

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