Sisters For Sunshine

Receive God's Warm Love Through Reflection

Have you ever? Why?

Hey everyone, it’s been a while! We have been busy and active raising our little ones, but we will try to post a little more frequently again. There has been a lot that has happened in the past year and half, including a lot of questions about God and faith.

Have you ever questioned God? Have you ever doubted your faith or His existence? Have you ever lost hope? How did you overcome those feelings? What was your experience?

For me (Lisa), this past year has been a difficult year of doubts. I’ve questioned about God and good.

Why God do you have to bring bad into the world? Why God do we have to suffer? Why is there such evil in the world? Why can’t you fix things? Why can’t we all just feel good and be happy? Why is there violence and pain?

Where are you God? When will things get better? Why aren’t you listening? Why aren’t you helping?

I know these are lots of questions and not really anything positive, but I ask you, how do you feel with these questions? How did you overcome these questions yourself?

And to try to end on a happy note, what makes you happy?

Create a HAPPY LIST! Here’s my HAPPY LIST:

  1. sunshine
  2. animals
  3. good food
  4. family
  5. outdoors
  6. books
  7. traveling
  8. dark chocolate
  9. music
  10. funny sitcoms
  11. Ellen DeGeneres
  12. crafts
  13. charity
  14. good sleep
  15. baking

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I saw these photos about journaling and thought to share… As a member of a minimalist group on Facebook, our challenge today was to journal for 15 minutes. This morning I went ahead and quietly journaled for 15 minutes, and it was quite therapeutic. During and after, I felt calmer, happier, more peaceful, more energized, and ready for the day ahead.

What did I journal? I wrote down positive encouragements for myself, prayers, and bible verses, such as:

Today will be a great day. I will feel good today and find the good in every moment. This morning I feel good because…”

I am a healthy and happy person, and I will be kind to myself. I think of Ellen Degeneres’ saying ‘Be kind to one another’. We need to be more kind to all people around us, but also be more kind to ourselves.”

“I pray for peace, love, compassion, good health, happiness, and strength for all people all over the world. I pray for healing for those that are sick. I pray for renewed strength, calmness, confidence, and happiness for myself.”

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar above on wings of eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

“Be humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”

How do you journal? What do you journal about? 

thingstojournalabout.jpg  benefitsofjournaling.jpg


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Inspiration For Rest In God

This year has been a difficult year for me, in regards to my faith, my energy, my mood, and my peace. For all those who are struggling to find peace, keep focusing on God. I know it’s hard. It’s so easy to waver and question God in difficult times. But we must stay focused and find rest in God. Below are positive affirmations and quotes to encourage you to rest in Him.

I rest in Your peace, and I surrender myself to You.

I let go of all worry and receive Your peace.

I fill my soul with Your goodness.

I am rooted and grounded in Your love.

I have all the strength I need.

I pause before You and rest.

By trusting in You, I experience calm.

I let you in, and experience complete joy and peace.

I turn the matter over to You, Lord, and You will work out all things for good.

I fill my mind with positive thoughts.

I have inner peace.

I breath in peace, and release all worry.

Your calmness, O Lord, washes over my entire body, mind, and spirit.


“May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that by the power of the Holy Spirit, you may abound and be overflowing with hope.” – Romans 15:13

“Lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:5

“Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind, and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.” – Proverbs 3:4

“Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it, and you will.” – Mark 11:24

“Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you…” – Psalm 55:22

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10

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

“The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” – Exodus 33:14

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7


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Meditation Benefits

I have recently been interested in meditation and mindfulness, and I came across this website:

Do any of you have any tips for mastering meditation?

My husband and I have been particularly interested in the benefits it provides for sleep and reducing anxiety. We’ve been practicing yoga now right before bed, and meditation along with it would be a great benefit!

Here’s an article on the types of meditation techniques.

Here’s an article on the benefits of meditation.

  1. Emotional Well-Being – decreases depression, anxiety, stress, and worry, and improves your mood, sleep, & relationships. This benefit is a big one for me. By relaxing your body and mind, you can improve your psychological well-being.
  2. Super Mind – improves mental focus, learning, thinking, and creativity.
  3. Healthy Body – manages blood pressure, heart & respiratory rate, and pms symptoms, and reduces stress and other health conditions.

Benefits of Meditation Infographic


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Ways To Beat Anxiety

I am currently reading The Anxiety Toolkit, which is a great resource on dealing with and overcoming your anxiety. I’ve only read the first part of the book, but there are a lot of insightful advice about overcoming anxiety.

Author Alice Boyes describes three main components to overcoming anxiety: 1. “Self knowledge about the thinking and behavorial patterns that have caused your anxiety”, 2. Building “resiliency”, that is building up the strengths and tools for coping with challenges, 3. Self confidence in yourself.

The author of The Anxiety Toolkit wrote this article on ways to beat anxiety, and I thought to share.

  1. Take a slow breath. Continue slow breathing for 3 minutes.  – I like to breath in for a count of four, hold for seven, then breath out for a count of 8.
  2. Drop your shoulders and do a gentle neck roll.
  3. State the emotions you’re feeling as words, e.g., “I feel angry and worried right now.” (Aloud but to yourself.) – I try to think positive emotions in my head to counter the negative and make me feel calmer.
  4. Massage your hand, which will activate oxytocin.
  5. Put something that’s out of place in its place. (Physical order often helps us feel a sense of mental order.)
  6. Take a day trip somewhere with natural beauty. – I find that getting out of the house and in sunshine really helps my mood.
  7. Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Then, ask yourself, “How would I cope if that happened?” Now answer those questions.
  8. Take a break from actively working on solving a problem and allow your mind to keep processing the problem in the background.
  9. Take a bath. – I like using Epsom salts in a foot bath each evening.
  10. Forgive yourself for not foreseeing a problem that occurred. – This is hard for me. I’m often too hard on myself. I need to focus on letting go, having peace of mind, and being kinder and more patient with myself.
  11. Throw out something from your bathroom. (The order principle again.)
  12. Take a break from watching the news or reading newspapers.
  13. Make a phone call you’ve been putting off. – For me, making phone calls is something that actually makes me anxious. So do what you think is best.
  14. Write an email you’ve been putting off. – I find that writing my thoughts down, typing them, even making these blog posts, really helps my mood.
  15. Take another type of action on something you’ve been putting off.
  16. Throw something out of your fridge.
  17. Try a guided mindfulness meditation. (Google for free mp3 downloads. There are some good ones out there.)
  18. Take a break from researching a topic you’ve been over-researching.
  19. Cuddle a baby or a pet. – Hugging really makes me feel calmer and more peaceful.
  20. If a mistake you’ve made is bothering you, make an action plan for how you won’t repeat it in the future. Write three brief bullet points.
  21. Ask yourself if you’re jumping to conclusions? For example, if you’re worried someone is very annoyed with you, do you know for sure this is the case or are you jumping to conclusions? – I often jump to conclusions regarding what other people think of me; I’m working at focusing on something that I like about myself that people WILL notice versus if they might be thinking badly of me.
  22. Ask yourself if you’re catastrophizing, i.e.,  thinking that something would be a disaster, when it might be unpleasant but not necessarily a disaster.
  23. Forgive yourself for not handing a situation in an ideal way, including interpersonal situations. What’s the best thing you can do to move forward in a positive way now? – Again, try not to be so hard on yourself, and think positively about conquering the situation next time.
  24. If someone else’s behavior has triggered anxiety for you, try accepting that you may never know the complete reason and background behind the person’s behavior.
  25. Recognize if your anxiety is being caused by someone suggesting a change or change of plans. Understand if you tend to react to changes or unexpected events as if they are threats.
  26. Accept that there is a gap between your real self and your ideal self. (This is the case for pretty much everybody.)
  27. Question your social comparisons. For example, is comparing yourself only to the most successful person you know very fair or representative? – I find myself comparing to others, feeling confused as to why others can cope but I can’t. I need to accept who I am and look at being stronger.
  28. Think about what’s going right in your life. Thinking about the positive doesn’t always work when you’re anxious, but it can do if anxiety has caused your thinking to become lopsided and you’re not seeing the big picture. – When I’m feeling bad, I immediately go through the alphabet and recall positive words that make me feel calmer and happier.
  29. Scratch something off your to-do list for the day, either by getting it done or just deciding not to do that task today. – Writing down a to-do list really clears my mind, and then I am able to focus on what’s important to do first.
  30. Ask a friend or colleague to tell you about something they’ve felt nervous about in the past, and to tell you what happened.
  31. If you’re nervous about an upcoming test, try these quick tips for dealing with test anxiety.
  32. Do a task 25% more slowly than usual. Allow yourself to savor not rushing.
  33. Check if you’re falling into any of these thinking traps.
  34. Try gentle distraction; find something you want to pay attention to. The key to successful use of distraction when you’re anxious is to be patient with yourself if you find you’re still getting some thought intrusions about the anxiety-provoking topic. – Great advice for getting rid of those negative feelings! When I feel anxiety coming on strongly, I force myself to focus on a photo of my dog or a memory of being with my family on a vacation. Make me focus on the good in my life.
  35. Go to a yoga class, or do a couple of yoga poses in the comfort of your home or office.
  36. Get a second opinion from someone you trust. Aim to get their real opinion rather than just reassurance seeking.
  37. Allow yourself to do things you enjoy or that don’t stress you out, while you’re waiting for your anxious feelings to naturally calm down. – I’ll go read something positive, watch Ellen or something that makes me smile, or walk outside in the sunshine.
  38. Go for a run. – Exercise in general really helps my mood. Going outside and exercising is even better!
  39. Find something on YouTube that makes you laugh out loud. – I love watching Ellen or The Tonight Show video clips on YouTube!
  40. Lightly run one or two fingers over your lips. This will stimulate the parasympathetic fibers in your lips and you’ll feel calmer.
  41. Look back on the anxiety-provoking situation you’re in from a time point in the future, e.g., six months from now. Does the problem seem smaller when you view it from further away?
  42. Imagine how you’d cope if your “worst nightmare” happened, e.g., your partner left you, you got fired, or you developed a health problem. What practical steps would you take? What social support would you use? Mentally confronting your worst fear can be very useful for reducing anxiety.
  43. Call or email a friend you haven’t talked to in awhile.
  44. If you’re imagining a negative outcome to something you’re considering doing, also try imaging a positive outcome.
  45. If you rarely back out of commitments and feel overwhelmed by your to-do list, try giving yourself permission to say you can no longer do something you’ve previously agreed to do.
  46. Do any two-minute jobs that have been hanging around on your to-do list. It’ll help clear your mental space. – Very true! When I have something that I don’t like doing on my to-do list, even if it takes only a couple minutes, I have to remind myself that I CAN get them done really quickly, and then once I do them and finish them in just 5 minutes, I feel so much better.
  47. Jot down three things you worried about in the past that didn’t come to pass.
  48. Jot down three things you worried about in the past that did occur, but weren’t nearly as bad as you imagined.
  49. Do a form of exercise you haven’t done in the last six months. – Exercise has been such a wonderful outlet for me to clear my mind and improve my mood. I love FitnessBlender videos.
  50. Allow time to pass. Often the best thing to do to reduce anxiety is just to allow time to pass, without doing the types of activities that increase anxiety.


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Exercise Your Mind

Choose your thoughts.

Sounds simple, but it’s so hard to fight those negative thoughts and feelings that can quickly jumble in your mind.

Changing your thoughts to positive thoughts requires work and effort.

When we exercise, we must train our bodies to get stronger, to get fit, and to be healthy. Likewise, we must train our mind to think positive and be stronger. Feed your mind with good thoughts.

I came across this article on exercises to train your mind to be positive:

  1. Daily Gratitude – No matter the time of day, focus on something that you are grateful for. Just focusing on the blessings in your life can boost your mood. When you find your mind slipping into negative thoughts, just force yourself to think of one thing you are grateful for.
  2. Stay Centered – Make an effort to calm your mind. Even try for just five minutes in a quiet room. I find that focusing on my breathing helps. Breath in and out deeply and slowly. Acknowledge your thoughts and try to release them. Breath in, acknowledge, breath out, and let go. Breath in good thoughts. Breath out negative thoughts. Quiet your mind.
  3. Stay Active – By keeping your day busy (but not overly cluttered), you will be less likely to focus on the negativity around you. Find things that you enjoy doing to lift your spirits. Try keeping a schedule and then check off each thing you accomplish. Well done! Those feelings of accomplishment will cover up negative feelings.
  4. Eat, Drink, & Sleep WellBe committed to your health. Your body is a temple that God created and should be taken care of with love. Eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water, exercise, and get plenty of rest. Your mind will thank you.
  5. Help Others – Support others through your positive example. Volunteer in your community, be there for someone in need, give gifts just because, and hug. Being generous can make you feel better.
  6. Inner Healing – I think reading devotionals, counseling, and being apart of a like-minded group or church family can help with healing. Let go of the past in peace. Find new growth, new love.
  7. Follow Your Passion – Fill your time with things that you love doing and with people that you care about. Do something fun. Be silly. Spend time with people you love. If you aren’t currently doing something you love, write down what you love doing. Try scheduling in your free time to do something you enjoy doing.


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Pray for your spouse

I receive the Crosswalk Marriage newsletter, and last week it was about praying for your spouse.

As a wife, I always hope that my husband has a good day at work, that he’s healthy and sleeps well, and that he’s happy. But I sometimes fall short with actually praying to God about these things.

“Prayer is always the answer and the best assistance we can give to our husbands.”

How can you pray for your spouse? Janet Thompson writes in Dear God, He’s Home! A Woman’s Guide to Her Stay-at-Home Manthat you can pray persistently, pray as couple, and pray by reciting scripture. Also, ask them daily how you can pray for them, or journal in a prayer notebook.

Below is a prayer written by Janet Thompson,that I hope will inspire you in your prayers to your husband/wife. This prayer is particularly regarding prayer for your husband who may be struggling.

Lord, you know that my husband is struggling with something that he cannot fix. You are the Lord of our home and the head of my husband and I ask you in the name of Jesus to take control over our home and let your will rule in our lives. Thank you God that I can come before you and take whatever is bothering my husband and put it at your feet, fully trusting that your will is done in his life. 
Father, help my husband not to harbor under the weight of a guilty conscience, but remind him that because of his salvation, the blood of your Son Jesus Christ will make him clean again if he will only confess his troubles to you. If he has done something requiring repentance, Lord humble him to repent and ask for forgiveness so he can once again feel the spiritual cleansing that comes from your grace and mercy. 
Lord help us both to hold tightly without wavering in the hope we affirm, for you God can be trusted to keep your promise to us. Help me to think of ways to motivate and encourage my husband with acts of love and ways to make his life easier. Please don’t let this struggle come between us so that we stop having times of conversation, recreation, and intimacy. Lord, help my husband to feel your love and know that whatever he is struggling with pales with the knowledge that someday we will be with you in Heaven. 
Give me courage and patience, and guide my husband in the way he should go. Amen.


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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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Song: Humble and Kind

I recently heard this cover of Tim McGraw’s song Humble and Kind, and I thought what beautiful lyrics! We should reflect on these words and make more of an effort to be genuinely kind and respectful. 

You know there’s a light that glows by the front door
Don’t forget the key’s under the mat
Childhood stars shine, always stay humble and kind
Go to church ’cause your momma says to
Visit grandpa every chance that you can
It won’t be wasted time
Always stay humble and kind

Hold the door, say please, say thank you
Don’t steal, don’t cheat, and don’t lie
I know you got mountains to climb but
Always stay humble and kind
When the dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you
When the work you put in is realized
Let yourself feel the pride but
Always stay humble and kind

Don’t expect a free ride from no one
Don’t hold a grudge or a chip and here’s why
Bitterness keeps you from flyin’
Always stay humble and kind
Know the difference between sleeping with someone
And sleeping with someone you love
“I love you” ain’t no pick up line so
Always stay humble and kind


When it’s hot, eat a root beer popsicle
Shut off the AC and roll the windows down
Let that summer sun shine
Always stay humble and kind
Don’t take for granted the love this life gives you
When you get where you’re goin
Don’t forget turn back around
And help the next one in line
Always stay humble and kind

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Focus on Yourself

Focus on yourself – that is focus on ways you can love yourself. It’s always good to continually focus on self-improvement and self-respect. Here is a post from March 2013:

A nice read on ways to better love and take care of yourself:

1. Fall in love with yourself. Think about what makes you You.

2. Eliminate self-criticism.

3. Be kind and positive.

4. Acknowledge your effort. It’s the effort that counts, not winning.

5. Let go of worry.

6. Trust yourself.

7. Forgive yourself.

8. Be truthful to yourself.

9. Grow spiritually.

10. Make positive affirmations everyday.

11. Express gratitude.

12. Nurture your dreams.

13. Boost your self-confidence.

14. Relax.

15. Have fun.

16. Look after your body.

17. Learn to see beauty.

*Go tell yourself “I’m alive and well!” and “I love and accept myself completely and unconditionally!” May you be filled with confidence and love for yourself. Pray for wellness in body, mind, and soul.

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Bible Journaling

Are you familiar with Bible journaling? This year my goal is to read the Bible frequently (I try to read every day) and to not just read, but to study scripture. I bought some colored markers, created a color method of highlighting themes and topics when I’m reading, and I started my adventure in Bible journaling!

There are many talented Bible journaling artists with blogs or instagram accounts that create beautiful images on their Bible pages (see Bible Art Journaling). I’m not an artist, and you don’t have to be as well! Just using a Bible study color method – underlining or drawing simple symbols as you read your Bible – is good enough. Whatever makes you reflect more on scripture!

Since Bible journaling, I’ve enjoyed reading and studying the words of the Bible and reflecting on what it means to me. I’ve grown closer to God as I engage more in His word, and as I learn more about my faith.

So get started! It’s simple and yet so powerful.

I searched on Pinterest for Bible study color coding methods, and ultimately created my own, using the colors that I had. Here’s what mine looks like:

biblestudycolormethod (1)

biblestudycolormethod (2)

A page in my Bible as an example of my Bible journaling:


Some other color coding methods:

Some Bible art journalists that I follow on Instagram:
@designsbyamybruce – Blog:
@thesaltybiscuit – Bible journaling supplies:


Change Your Hearts and Lives

“Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’

“‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’” – Luke 13:1-9

In the Common English Bible version, verse 3 and 5 read: No, I tell you, but unless you change your hearts and lives, you will die just as they did.”

In the parable that Jesus told, the gardener changed his way of tending to the fig tree to see if it would bear good fruit. Likewise, we need to look at ourselves and change the way we act and feel, to be better people and more holy and acceptable to God.

Where is God calling you to change? What are ways that you can change your heart and your life?

How about speaking more words of truth and compassion? How about finding more peace in your life and in the community around you? How about reaching out more to those in need?

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