Sisters For Sunshine

Receive God's Warm Love Through Reflection

Let It Fade – You Will Find Rest

Jeremy Camp’s song, Let It Fade, resonated with me when I heard it this morning, after a rough night of not sleeping well. I have been dealing with sleep trouble for this past year it seems, especially the last few months. And because I am tired (and so tired of being tired!), I have been questioning God and wondering why I can’t just sleep well again.
Is God listening? When will I have good rest again? When will I feel good again? Why do I have to deal with this? I can’t deal with it anymore.

If these thoughts sound familiar to you, then I feel a little better that I am not the only one. I keep hearing God answer through the music that I listen to, or the devotionals that I read. And yet, I still falter and doubt him and get mad and frustrated.

This is what I want. What I need. Rest. Good rest.

But God tells me that I need Him too.

Have you been walking on a surface that’s uncertain?
Have you helped yourself to everything that’s empty? yeah!

You can’t live this way too long.
There’s more than this, more than this.
Have you been standing on your own feet too long?
Have you been looking for a place where you belong?
You can rest, you will find rest.
You can rest, you will find rest.

Let this old life crumble, let it fade.
Let this new life offered be your saving grace.
Let this old life crumble, let it fade, let it fade.

Have you been holding on to what this world has offered?
Have you been giving in to all these masquerades?
It will be gone, forever gone.
It will be gone, it will be gone.

Let this old life crumble, let it fade.
Let this new life offered be your saving grace.
Let this old life crumble, let it fade, let it fade.

Let it fade.

Are you carrying the weight too much?, are you running from the call?
Let it fade, Oh yeah.

You can rest, you will find rest.
You can rest you will find rest.

Let this old life crumble, let it fade.
Have you been standing on your own feet too long?
Have you been looking for a place where you belong?

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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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Be Kind

I love Ellen Degeneres and her motto, “Be kind to one another”. It’s really resonated with me recently, particularly with the negativity going on in our country with our new president. I am saddened to hear about how our president and his fellow supporters are leading this country, and how they interact, communicate, and work with others is disrespectful. We shouldn’t be disrespectful or rude. We should be respectful and kind. Our leaders need to show more respect and kindness. 

How can you be more kind in your day-to-day life, in your interactions and communications with others? An easy one is to smile! How about opening a door for someone? Why not tell someone one thing that you like about them? So many simple gestures of kindness can bring so much more joy into the world.

We have many posts on our blog about kindness. Here are a few of our favorites – go check them out!

Kind Words: “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. Something so simple as “You are special” or “Awesome job” can be so profound.”

Spread Kindness: “Spread love everywhere you go… kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.

Respect: “Think about your words and your actions towards others, that you may show respect… Show respect to all people. Treat others as you would want to be treated. Respect all opinions.

Take Time to Care: “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.”

Pray For Kindness: “Loving God, There are all kinds of people that I come in contact with during my day. I may not know them like you know me, so please give me kindness and understanding as I interact with them. I pray that I may remove any judgement and pride that I may have, and instead, show love and kindness. May I consider these people as brothers and sisters in Christ, full of love for you, Lord. Amen.”

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Peace in my mind & soul

My “resolution” this year is to focus on peace. I hope to have peace in my heart and mind. To live in this moment of my life in peace. Peace to remain calm when I am frustrated or tired, peace when I am out in the world interacting with others, peace with my family and friends. And I will pray for peace, for countries in war and for our country at the start of a new presidential term.

Jason Mraz has a song, Live in the Moment, and what great lyrics to reflect on. We shared this song back in 2015. Here is a piece of the song lyrics that particularly moved me. Have peace in your mind and heart for whatever you are experiencing that moment. Live life in this moment now!

I will not waste my days
Making up all kinds of ways
To worry about all the things
That will not happen to me

So I just let go of what I know I don’t know
And I know I’ll only do this by
Living in the moment
Living our life
Easy and breezy
With peace in my mind
With peace in my heart
Peace in my soul
Wherever I’m going, I’m already home
Living in the moment

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Be like a tree

I’ve been reading the devotional Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst, and when she discusses the process of growth and change, she shares a few Bible verses. One that stood out to me, made me think of a tree.

“Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.”– Ephesians 3:17

The boxed area is the drip line, or critical root zone.

A tree can experience storms and winds, but it is rooted in the ground and stays secure. Like a tree, we are strong and deeply rooted. We are grounded in God’s strength. We are steady in the midst of winds and storms.

But we are only steady and strong when we seek Him in those storms. Enrich your daily life with His truth, His words, and make an effort to grow in your faith. Position yourself on God’s side. He is your rock, your security, and your sturdy place. He keeps you grounded and strong.

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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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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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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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