Sisters For Sunshine

Receive God's Warm Love Through Reflection

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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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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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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