Seeking Sonshine

"Not all who wander are lost" – J.R.R. Tolkien


December 2016

2016….The Year That Wasn’t. Except it Was.

I use Timehop and I am enjoying a 40 day streak (longest ever for me!) where I remember to check the app to see my social media and IPhone picture past from the last seven years or so. This came up a few days ago. 

Better prices and new beginnings were my hopes capping off a shocking layoff early in the year. Well, now that I am at the end of 2016, I can say that new beginnings definitely happened. I became an art and computers teacher in a junior high school. Better prices didn’t really happen. But my definition on what it meant did. I went through a health issue with my left eye that got worse before it got better over a period of months later on in 2016. I was learning to teach and trying to balance it all out. (I feel sorry for my students for having me my very first time in this field!)  But I learned that my weakness is made perfect in Him. He can sustain me and allow me to grow and learn and cultivate relationships with my students that needed to be there during key moments in both mine and their lives. He can be trusted with my health. He can be trusted with my daughter. He is our Healer. He surrounds me with His loving kindness through an incredibly caring church family. He encourages me through my family and friends. I am blessed and where I am meant to be at this time in my life. None of this was attained without cost or great loss to me in some defined quantity; but the question became what is my measure of value for life going to look like? 

Solomon could have had anything, literally ANYTHING he wanted from God. He picked wisdom. Even God Himself was so impressed with Solomon’s request that He granted it and had to give him more because his answer was just that good! Now, Solomon’s earthly father was King David. King David was no mere mortal among men. He was described in the scriptures as a man after God’s own Heart… so just throwing it out there that Solomon definitely had connections. He had to have heard the incredible stories about his father, both amazing and horrifying. After all, his dad had the ability to magnify mistakes and glories to a magnitude of 50K. Bathsheba was Solomon’s mama. She was beautiful and had lost her first baby with David due to “bad choices on David’s part.” Not really hers. She pretty much had to do what the King commanded. But still, God chose Solomon. No matter what his parents had done, Solomon loved God. And for a brief time, Solomon followed God and was an incredible vessel for His glory on this Earth. He tragically fell later and succumbed to the world. But, for a time, he was a great ruler. There are great lessons to be learned from Solomon, even today.

Loved ones were lost this year, too. It was a year full of trials for many people. We were never promised a trial free existence. We were promised joy and perseverance and that our faith would be made perfect, lacking nothing

“Possessing joy is a choice. We choose whether to value God’s presence, promises, and work in our lives. When we yield to the Spirit, He opens our eyes to God’s grace around us and fills us with joy (Romans 15:13). Joy is not to be found in a fallen world; it is only fellowship with God that can make our joy complete (1 John 1:4).”

We can choose to follow other gods like Solomon or remain in his first choice: Seek God’s wisdom in our lives. Ask for discernment in our choices. Seek and choose joy. It’s part of His yoke and it is the light part. Praise as much as you can. It is good for our souls to do it in any plight. We show the enemy that he cannot stop us from thanking our Jesus and praising His Name, no matter what he tries to throw at us. We will not give up because we believe that the name of Jesus is the most powerful name there is. And He is worth fighting for. ❤️

We are in a season to remember and celebrate His coming to Earth to save us from ourselves. May we remember that when the enemy tempts us to remember things that take our focus off the One who was born to redeem us and changes our future for eternity as well as on Earth. We remember and Rejoice!

May we choose the fullness of joy in all seasons of our lives. May we meet trials and suffering head on with this confidence. That the blood of Jesus is more powerful than any two edged sword and the name of Jesus is to be praised in 2017 and beyond. ❤️

Photo Credits:

When It Rains

There are times in this life that test everything you have, everything you know and everything you believe. Spiritual attacks can roll into your everyday life so minor that you don’t even notice them until they build up and beat down relentlessly for a season. I visualize them as Oklahoma thunderstorms in April and May. There is a “season” that we Oklahomans know to be weather aware and smart about severe weather preparation. Supercells can spring up unexpectedly and sometimes all the warnings in the world cannot prepare you for what you are about to endure. The intensity of a situation can change in minutes. High pressure moments crashing into low emotions can create a funnel of destruction across your life in minutes. Tornado sirens are not out of the norm for me, as a native Oklahoman. However, I admit that I do feel much safer now that we have a storm shelter installed. (Except my husband never thinks we need to go down there. Even when the weatherman says to. But that’s another topic for another day! 😂😉❤️)

*Personal Note.

I faced a storm a year ago now that involved almost losing my precious then four year old daughter. If you know me very well, you would know that I spent almost all of my pregnancy with her terrified of what may come next. Would I lose her? Would I miscarry again? When is it okay to hope again? Is this my fault somehow? Could I have done more or less or changed the outcome, somehow? The enemy had a heyday with my thought life. I was so focused on the storm, I forgot to keep my eyes on Jesus. 

Until He gently and firmly reminded me to look up and remember who He was. He was the very same Jesus who healed a Roman Centurion’s daughter because of his faith in Him. He was and is the very same One whose cloak healed a very sick woman, simply because of her belief that all she needed to do was just touch His hem and she would receive restoration of life that could be found nowhere else. A timely Word reminded me that I am not in control of what happens in this life, but I know the One who promised me that He would use all things for good if I love and trust Him. 

Funny when the real stress of this life hits and your view on life is never the same as it was before. I will never forget the surrealness of those hours that December 22 or 23. I can’t remember, exactly. They ran together after that midnight, when all hell broke loose. But they couldn’t have her. No, she belonged to Jesus. And Jesus was going to heal her completely. I started thanking Him ahead of the Miracle at St. Francis Children’s Hospital. 
That’s what I refer to it as. We came in so scared and yet so confident that Jesus would meet us there and cleanse her with healing power like only He has. I had heard a sermon about this just beforehand. God is moved by our faith. He wants to know what we are willing to surrender for it. I found my way to the chapel in a beautiful building that housed these beautiful children who were all so very sick from one ailment or another. And I couldn’t help but ache for Someone to heal them. All of them. But especially my little punkin bear. And I laid everything out that I had at His feet, including everything I had been holding back. For a change.

And He gave everything back to me better. Faster. Truer. It was love, a tangible love, that He opened my baby’s eyes again and she got better and better. Jesus healed my daughter. Hallelujah!!! I will never forget how I had never experienced true gratitude or complete brokenness than I did in those moments. But, they completely changed my relationship with Christ forever. It became my faith in those moments. 

I imagine how Peter must have felt when Christ pulled him out from what had to have been a terrifying moment for him, and in an instant, total peace. No more raging waves of fear and anxiety or turmoil. All of it gone, in a heartbeat. Safety achieved, it became an iconic example of how we should navigate storms in our own lives. Whether they fall from the sky or swallow us up in seas of regret and pain, God can use ALL things for good. God is good. All the time. All the time. God is good. ❤

Photo Credits:;thunderstorm

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