Sisters For Sunshine

Receive God's Warm Love Through Reflection

Weekly Prayer: For Self-Confidence

For 40 days, my husband and I are going to focus on increasing our self-confidence. With God’s support, we want to be stronger, to accept our abilities and capabilities, and to go about our day in confidence.

Prayer For Self Confidence

Lord, true source of light and wisdom
Let a ray of Your brilliance
Penetrate my understanding
Grant me a retentive memory
And the ability to grasp things
Correctly and completely.
Let me be convincing in my explanations
Steadfast and unwavering in my presentations
Give me Your confidence
To trust my God-given capabilities.
Help me with each task at hand
Guide me through its completion.
Amen.

“Thus we may say with confidence: The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” – Hebrews 13:6

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40 Things to Give Up During Lent

This article has 40 great things to “give up” during Lent – things that will impact your life more and have you focus more on Christ-like ways.

40 Things to Give up for Lent: The List

by Phil Ressler

Week of Ash Wednesday

  • Fear of Failure – You don’t succeed without experiencing failure. Just make sure you fail forward.
  • Your Comfort Zone – It’s outside our comfort zones where new discoveries are made.
  • Feelings of Unworthiness – You are fearfully and wonderfully made by your creator. (Psalm 139:14)
  • Impatience – God’s timing is the perfect timing.

Week 1

  • Retirement – As long as you are still breathing, you are here for a reason. You have a purpose to influence others for Christ. Our work is not always tied to a paycheck.
  • People Pleasing – I can’t please everyone anyways. There is only one I need to strive to please.
  • Comparison – I have my own unique contribution to make and there is no one else like me.
  • Blame – I am not going to pass the buck. I will take responsibility for my actions.
  • Guilt – I am loved by Jesus and he has forgiven my sins. Today is a new day and the past is behind.
  • Overcommitment – Do less better and accomplish more.

Week 2

  • Lack of Counsel – Wise decisions are rarely made in a vacuum.
  • Impurity – Live lives pure and without blemish.
  • Entitlement – The world does not owe me anything. God does not owe me anything. I live in humility and grace.
  • Apathy – Life is too short not to care.
  • Hatred – Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21)
  • Negativity – I will put the best construction on everything when it comes to other people. I will also minimize my contact with people who are negative and toxic.

Week 3

  • The Spirit of Poverty – Believe that with God there is always more than enough and never a lack.
  • Going Through the Motions – The more you invest yourself, the more you will get back.
  • Complaint – Instead of contributing to the problem, be the solution.
  • The Pursuit of Happiness – God wants something greater and more lasting than happiness. It is called joy.
  • Bitterness – The only person I am hurting by holding on to this is myself.
  • Distraction – Life is filled with distractions that will take our eyes off the prize.

Week 4

  • Giving up – God never gives up on us.
  • Mediocrity – If you are going to do something, then give it all you got.
  • Destructive Speech – Encourage one another and all the more as you see the day approaching (Hebrew 10:25)
  • Busyness – It is a badge of honor to be busy. But that does not always translate to abundance.
  • Loneliness – With Jesus I am never alone. He is with me wherever I go.
  • Disunity – If two of you agree on earth about anything, it will be done for them by the Heavenly Father (Matthew 18:19)

Week 5

  • The Quick Fix – Rarely does true transformation happen overnight.
  • Worry – God is in control and worrying will not help.
  • Idolizing – Don’t assign anyone a standard they cannot live up to.
  • Resistance to Change – Change is certain. It is not if we will change, but how we will change.
  • Pride – Blessed are the humble.
  • Small View of God – Don’t tell God how big your problem is, tell your problem how big your God is.

Holy Week

  • Envy – I am blessed. My value is not found in my possessions, but in my relationship with my Heavenly Father.
  • Ungratefulness – You have been blessed in a way greater than you realize.
  • Selfish Ambition – God has a mission for me that is bigger than me.
  • Self-Sufficiency – Jesus is my strength. I can do all things through him (Philippians 4:13)
  • Sorrow – Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5b)
  • My Life – Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life (John 12:25)
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Recycled Post: Advice Regarding Self-Confidence

This post comes from July 2014, and I thought I’d share it again because my husband is having some difficulty with feeling confident in his new role at work. In addition to this advice, know that God is there for you cheering you on and pushing you to go beyond your comfort and to grow in confidence and ability.

It takes effort and focus to build up personal courage and confidence. But it’s necessary!

Having self-confidence “is an attitude which allows individuals to have positive yet realistic views of themselves and their situations. Self-confident people trust their own abilities, have a general sense of control in their lives, and believe that, within reason, they will be able to do what they wish, plan, and expect. Having self-confidence does not mean that individuals will be able to do everything. Self-confident people have expectations that are realistic. Even when some of their expectations are not met, they continue to be positive and to accept themselves. ” (Counceling Center at Univ. of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)

I found a resourceful article on self-confidence. Below are some tips for developing confidence.

  • Emphasize Strengths. Give yourself credit for everything you try. By focusing on what you can do, you applaud yourself for efforts rather than emphasizing end products. Starting from a base of what you should do helps you live within the bounds of your inevitable limitations.
  • Take Risks. Approach new experiences as opportunities to learn rather than occasions to win or lose. Doing so opens you up to new possibilities and can increase your sense of self-acceptance. Not doing so turns every possibility into an opportunity for failure, and inhibits personal growth.
  • Use Self-Talk. Use self-talk as an opportunity to counter harmful assumptions. Then, tell yourself to “stop” and substitute more reasonable assumptions. For example, when you catch yourself expecting perfection, remind yourself that you can’t do everything perfectly, that it’s only possible to try to do things and to try to do them well. This allows you to accept yourself while still striving to improve.
  • Self-Evaluate. Learn to evaluate yourself independently. Doing so allows you to avoid the constant sense of turmoil that comes from relying exclusively on the opinions of others. Focusing internally on how you feel about your own behavior, work, etc. will give you a stronger sense of self and will prevent you from giving your personal power away to others.
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Recycled Post: Be Active and Achieve

This post comes from January 2013, but I think it’s something important to always focus on. Lent is coming soon, and why not reflect on how you can go above and beyond your comfort zone to achieve your goals and desires?

“Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action” – Benjamin Disraeli

Get up and get moving! Be active, achieve things, experience things. Follow your dreams and desires, speak up, engage in conversation, engage yourself. Be active in your life. You may bump into some difficult moments, but like Benjamin states, happiness is achieved if you go and act.

Example – you want to gain friendship, so instead of wondering when it will come to you, go out, engage in small talk, find similar interests, and be bold to start a friendship and to hang out sometime.

Example 2 – you wish you had more vacation time from work, but nothing has come up. Finally you find the courage to ask your supervisor, and as easy as 1, 2, 3 you get an increase in vacation on your next paycheck.

Example 3 – you have a dream to make some homemade gifts and sell them at your local market, but are afraid no one will like them or afraid the business aspects are just to scary. But you go ahead, work hard at your work, and show it to some friends. Soon enough you are selling your gifts and excited for more things to come.

So go do what you love, be courageous in your decisions and soon enough happiness will follow.

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Weekly Song: In The Garden

This hymn was written by Charles Austin Miles in 1912, and it’s still a beautiful song for worship.

I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses;
And the voice I hear,
falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses.

CHORUS:
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

He speaks, and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody
that He have to me
Within my heart is ringing.

I’d stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go;
through the voice of woe,
His voice to me is calling.

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Four Directions Prayer

This past Sunday in service, the pastor and congregation recited four prayers, each referring to a geographical direction, calling God to encompass our entire being. These prayers originate from Native American customs, and since we were discussing equality and love for all people, we recited this as a way to include all people, to focus on loving all people, and to be united together.

arrow, compass, direction, down, east, gps, left, location, navigation, north, right, south, up, west icon

East: O Great Spirit of the East and of the rising sun, you are the Spirit of new life and new beginnings. We pray that you will give us light and energy and power, flooding our lives with illumination and understanding, and blessing us with the vision of the sacredness of creation.

South: O Great Spirit of the South, of all green and growing things, you are the Spirit of warm summer rains, and gentleness. We pray that your warm winds will warm our hearts. Bring to the land abundance and let everything rejoice and grow and be fruitful.

West: O Great Spirit of the West, and of the sunset, you are the Spirit of the great waters and oceans. We pray that your restless, shining waters may cleanse and heal us, may refresh and strengthen us, dissolving all barriers in the patience of time and bringing peace to all beings of the Earth.

North: O Great Spirit of the North, and of the vast northern sky, you are the Spirit of energy, the source of knowledge and wisdom. We pray that your icy breath will sweep away the old patterns. We pray that your cold sharpness will awaken our spirits, clear our minds, set our priorities, and give us wisdom and clear vision for the future.

Benediction: Creator, we thank you for the Circle you have made out of us within the Sacred Hoop of your creation. May the Holy Spirit make its nest within our hearts and its dwelling place among us; we ask this through the name of your eternal Word, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

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Weekly Song: Happy

I love upbeat songs that make me feel happy and positive. This “Happy” song by Pharrell Williams does just that!

It might seem crazy what I’m about to say
Sunshine she’s here, you can take a break
I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space
With the air, like I don’t care baby by the way

Chorus:
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

Here come bad news talking this and that, yeah,
Well, give me all you got, and don’t hold it back, yeah,
Well, I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine, yeah,
No offense to you, don’t waste your time
Here’s why

Chorus

Bring me down… can’t nothing…
Bring me down… my level’s too high…
Bring me down… can’t nothing…
Bring me down, I said (let me tell you now)
Bring me down… can’t nothing…
Bring me down… my level’s too high…
Bring me down… can’t nothing…
Bring me down, I said

Chorus (repeat)

Bring me down… can’t nothing…
Bring me down… my level’s too high…
Bring me down… can’t nothing…
Bring me down, I said (let me tell you now)

Chorus (repeat many times)

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Weekly Prayer: Baptism

Yesterday we celebrated at church the baptism of Christ. Baptism is the ritual of becoming cleansed of sin and renewed in Christ. For me it means that I am blessed with Christ’s presence and I am marked to follow his ways.

Here’s a prayer for baptism, written by M.S.Lowndes, and may you be reflect on the meaning that baptism has for you.

You’re taking this step of faith.
In obedience to the Lord,
To be baptized in His precious name,
And heed the Master’s call,
To rise up with faith in God.

And go where He may lead,
To share God’s love to everyone,
And touch them in their need,
May God pour out His blessings.

Upon your life today,
So you may walk in His abundance,
As you commit to Him your way,
Keep on trusting in the Lord.

No matter what you face,
And keep your eyes on Jesus Christ,
And live in His sweet grace.

 

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Keep at it, don’t fail

A lovely statement on keeping positive:

SFSblogpositive

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Is, Was, and To Come

Happy new year! Many blessings to you.

May you cherish life in this present moment, be grateful for the life you had last year, and embrace the new life to come in this year 2016! God is with you through every milestone!…THINK ‘Is, Was, To Come.’ God’s love and blessings are never ending.

I really liked this reflection from Heartlight:

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” — Revelation 1:8

From beginning to end, our God is there! What is there for us to fear? What can happen that can change this one undeniable reality? We belong to the God who is always there, who always cares for us, and who will always work to bring us salvation! No matter what happens to us tomorrow, or the next day, or the one after that, our destiny lies with the God who stretches from beginning to end and who secures for us life that never ends.

Prayer

Father God, thank you for the blessings of this past year. Please guide me as I seek to use your blessings in the coming year. Inspire my confidence about your future for me and fill me with joy because of your salvation. For all that has been good, holy, and gracious, I give you thanks and praise. For all the ways I’ve sinned, failed, or stumbled, I ask for your forgiveness. And for tomorrow, and another new day and another new year, I await with anticipation and gladness for I know that I will see them come or I will be at home with you where days and years no longer matter. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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Update on this blog

We just wanted to let you know that we will be posting only periodically when we feel inspired, rather than the multiple times in the week that we have been doing. Our lives are just getting busier with baby and baby on the way. We hope you will continue to follow us, as well as read past posts. Thank you for following along with us.

God bless,

Lisa & Krista

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Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a blessed day filled with God’s joy, peace, and love!

 

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