Sisters For Sunshine

Receive God's Warm Love Through Reflection

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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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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Doubt & Confusion

I’ve been struggling with doubt and confusion, questioning God as to why I have to deal with my struggles as a sleep-deprived mom. This month I was at an all-time low, and the day before Easter, I decided to open up my book, The Battlefield of the Mind, by Joyce Meyer.

There were two chapters about doubt and confusion and with her insight I felt more calm and again more focused on my faith. I know in life Christians will flutter in their faith, and that’s why it’s important to have a good strong support system and a sense of where to go to re-align. I find focus and strength through reading bible verses and positive quotes and through prayer. I mindfully focus on those quotes over and over in my head, especially when I’m in a difficult situation or when I feel my worst.

 

Here are some of Joyce’s words and Bible verses that helped me calm my doubts:

“Even in adverse circumstances and storms and spiritual warfare, keepy your mind on God to build up your faith.”

“Get quiet and still, turn off your head, and look into your heart.”

“May the God of 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

“Take captive every thought 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 3:5

“Experience the peace of mind and heart that comes from trusting in God.”

“Turn the matter over to God, trusting Him to work out all the things for good regardless of what happens.”

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

 

Here are four more posts that we’ve done that include quotes from The Battlefield of the Mind

Change Your Mind To Be Obedient To God

Choose To Follow

Humble Yourselves

God Keeps Us Going

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Seeds to Scatter – Fasting

I receive Seeds to Scatter emails this Lenten season, and this weekend’s email was about fasting. Some great ideas!

https://www.seedstoscatter.org/home/2017/3/22/day-22

“Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’ Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers. Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a wicked fist. Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high. Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a reed, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the Lord? “Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?” –Isaiah 58:3-7

Today, we ask you to take up — in any way of your own imagining — the practice of fasting in order to bring about justice, as described above in the Torah. Here are some ideas of different kinds of nontraditional “fasts” for justice to get you started:

  • Perhaps, in order to bring about environmental justice, you might fast from eating meat today. Did you know that cutting out meat can cut your carbon footprint in half?
  • Another fast for environmental justice would be a “carbon fast.” You could do this by tossing your keys and choosing to carpool, walk, ride a bike, or use public transportation for the day.
  • What about putting your pantry on a fast? Do you really need all those canned goods and unopened dry goods? Drop them all off at a local food bank.
  • Put your closet on a fast as described on the website http://bemorewithless.com/project-333/, where you dress with 33 items or less for 3 months. At the end of 3 months, donate the clothes you realize you actually don’t need to charity.
  • How about a “credit card fast?” Can you go a whole day without swiping or buying anything? Now, donate whatever you think you would have spent to the charity of your choice.
  • You calendar definitely needs to go on a fast. Write down your top three values. Then, look at your calendar. Try to eliminate as many things as possible on your calendar that do not align with your top values. Be ruthless. Now, with the added room — if you don’t already — schedule in sacred time for seed-scattering — whether that be volunteering, attending activism events, booking self-care practices for yourself, or carving out quality time with those you love.
  • The ultimate test: how long would you go on a screens/tv/internet/social media fast? Now, use whatever time you would have wasted on your media vice playing this addicting vocabulary game instead: www.freerice.com. You won’t believe it, but for every answer you get right, advertisers pay for 10 grains of rice to be donated to the World Food Program.
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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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Psalm to our loving God

What a beautiful song from Psalm 36:5-9! When I read this, I am reminded to praise Him, to have hope, to focus on the joy that He gives, and to renew my thoughts to be more positive and thankful.

God will provide. He is here with us, protecting us, keeping us safe, giving us abundant love, and bringing life into our souls.

Rejoice in God, who is faithful, righteous, loving, and overflowing with life! 

 

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,
    your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
    your justice like the great deep.
You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
    People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house;
    you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
    in your light we see light.

– Psalm 36:5-9

 

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Jesus is the reason

Christmas is tomorrow, and the most important thing to know about Christmas is that Jesus is the reason. Jesus is the reason for us to celebrate. It’s his birthday! A time to rejoice in Him, who came into our lives to bring love, joy, and salvation.

No matter what time of the year, we should reflect on Jesus. How about being a follower of Christ in your actions all throughout the year? What are some ways you can be more like Christ?

~care for others just like Jesus did
~give a hug or helping hand to a friend
~share good news to others
~worship Him and Him alone
~repent of your sins
~sing hymns of praise to Him
~serve others, such as volunteering at the community kitchen or giving food out to the poor
~read the Bible or devotionals
~obey the commandments
~pray for someone who is sick or hurting
~be kind to each other in your words and actions

Repost from Feb 2016: https://sistersforsunshine.wordpress.com/2016/02/16/ways-to-follow-jesus/

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Gifts for God

Yesterday in my devotional God Moments, A Year In The Word, it talked about gifts that you would give to God. God already has everything – so what would you give him?

“To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”— Mark 12: 33

Acts 17: 25 says that He doesn’t need anything at all. Don’t be discouraged: God’s sufficiency is a blessing! We do not need to earn His love. He does not expect repayment for His free gift of salvation through Christ (Isaiah 55, Rev. 21: 6). Honestly, it is so valuable that even if we wanted to repay Him, we just couldn’t. The Psalmist describes His unfailing love as “priceless” (Ps. 36: 7).

So what do you get for the God who has everything? If God had a gift registry, here are some things He’d definitely include:

  1. Your love: Mark 12:33
  2. Your life: Romans 12:1
  3. Humility: Psalm 51:17
  4. Praise: Psalm 141:2, Hebrews 12:15
  5. Righteousness: Proverbs 21:3
  6. Mercy: Micah 6:8, Matthew 9:13
  7. Good works: Ephesians 2:10, James 2:23-24
  8. Generosity: Hebrews 12:16
  9. Obedience: Romans 12:2, 2 John 1:6

And that’s just the beginning! Here’s my challenge for you today: search God’s Word for yourself, then live a life that will make God smile and say, “It’s just what I wanted!”

Your love: “To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” – Mark 12:33

Your life: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” – Romans 12:1

Humility: My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” – Psalm 51:17

Praise: May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.” – Psalm 141:2;  “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” – Hebrews 12:15

Righteousness: To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” – Proverbs 21:3

Mercy: He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8; “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” – Matthew 9:13

Good works: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:10;And the scripture was fulfilled that says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,’ and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.” James 2:23-24

Generosity: “See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son.” – Hebrews 12:16

Obedience: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2; “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” – 2 John 1:6

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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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More on Bible Journaling

BIBLE JOURNALING –This new way of dwelling on the word is beautiful and inspiring! I love this post here that explains Bible journaling and the different techniques and artwork you can do! And here, a Christian artist talks about her love of Bible journaling. It’s a great way to connect and dwell on the word.

Have you drawn/painted/colored in your Bible? What do you like to do? What are some of your favorite verses that you’d focus on for a bible art entry?

Here’s a previous post of ours on Bible Journaling methods.

I love some of these verses and artwork for inspiration:

bible journaling- love is patient love never fails

bible journaling- he is our hope- anchor- hebrews

God is good! There is beauty all around us. And we can be creative and make beautiful art at the same time getting in touch with God! Have you Bible journaled before? I don’t know if I’ll have time anytime soon to do this, with my baby and quilting projects, but I love the idea and browsing online for Bible journaling artwork!

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God commands the impossible

“Moses said to the people: “If only you would heed the voice of the LORD, your God, and keep his commandments and statutes that are written in this book of the law, when you return to the LORD, your God, with all your heart and all your soul. For this command that I enjoin on you today is not too mysterious and remote for you. It is not up in the sky, that you should say, ‘Who will go up in the sky to get it for us and tell us of it, that we may carry it out?’ Nor is it across the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea to get it for us and tell us of it, that we may carry it out?’
No, it is something very near to you, already in your mouths and in your hearts; you have only to carry it out.”” –DT 30:10-14

“There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law?  How do you read it?”  He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” He replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.”” –LK 10:25-37

God commands the impossible. He calls us to follow Him and to love everyone with all our being, and He believes that we can achieve that completely! We are imperfect people, but God has faith in us.

And we should have faith in God, that we can follow His laws fully. We must not just love sometimes and follow God when we want to. We must love and follow God with all of our strength, turn to God always, and do our best no matter what.

God believes that we are capable of so much love in the world. He set these commands with a unwavering doubt that His people are capable of loving fully.

It may seem impossible, but God gives us strength. With God, all things are possible. Trust in God with perfect faith, and you can do (and love) anything! 

LORD, thank you for your powerful teachings. Be there with us as we reach out to others and carry out your commands. Help us to love others with all our body, mind, and soul. Help us to do the impossible. May LOVE be our focus, and may You be our guide always. Amen.

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