This is the start of a series of posts that I'm calling “My Sunshine Days” where women from all walks of life will share their stories & their testimonies of how God has worked in their lives.
(If you’re one of my close friends, I might be asking you to be my guest. Just a warning!)
My whole intention with this blog is to brighten your day, to remind you that you aren’t alone, & to learn from a community of women. And one way I want to do that is through hearing from lots of different ladies in a variety of backgrounds & stages of life.
Each of us has something to teach & learn!
Today, I’m going to share so that you can see how these posts will go. Each guest will be given a set of questions that they can choose from to answer. And each one will tell you what SUNSHINE DAYS look like in their life. I plan to add & adjust these questions often based on your feedback & input! Hopefully this series will be an encouragement to you!
I’m a stay-at-home mom of 4. My husband & I met at college (where I earned a Bachelor’s in English Education). He’s from New England & I’m from the South. He teases me when I say "fixin'" & I tease him when he doesn't realize how weird it is for a house not to have central A/C! I’m just starting out on a new blogging journey - check it out sunshinedays.blog (wink wink). I enjoy reading & spending time with my family. I can tend to be too sarcastic & probably quote Friends daily (or at least send a Friends GIF to my family).
I was raised in a family of church-goers. We were there every time the doors opened. And more! I went to the school at the church, too. Some weeks, I was there 7 days a week! But, as many of you may know, all of that church doesn’t translate into a perfect family. Some stories aren't completely mine to tell, but just know that God carried me through some tough places during my younger years. But, overall, I think I had a pretty typical American childhood in the 90s. Full House, Polly Pockets, Lisa Frank, scrunchies, jelly shoes - the whole neon, glittery craziness of it all.
I was in Kindergarten just coloring my heart out when I heard a classmate tell our teacher how she had asked Jesus into her heart. My teacher got so excited for her that I wanted in on that & went up to say that I had done the same thing. Well, then I felt all kinds of conviction - not only had I lied, but the Holy Spirit was drawing my heart to God. I knew all about the story of Jesus dying on the cross, but I’d never seen my personal need for a Savior until that moment. That night, I asked my dad to help pray with me. I immediately felt a huge burden lift from my shoulders. As trials & questions of faith came throughout my teenage years, I clung to God. I was a rule follower, but I also truly loved Him & wanted to obey Him. I went to a Christian school, so I heard the Bible - A LOT! While that could easily make someone complacent about their faith, God kept my heart tender. God also used my sister as an example for me to follow after. He brought so many people, especially women, into my life at various times when I needed them most. Some of them didn't know the secret pain I was dealing with, but they just lived Jesus in front of me & cared about me. (I'm tearing up as I think of these women!) Family members, neighbors, teachers, youth group workers, coaches, friends, roommates - they've spoken life into me & now I want to do the same for others!
As I talk to my kids for the SAME EXACT THING over & over, I’m reminded of the sins that I tend to fall into - over & over. And I’m reminded of God’s grace in His gentle reminders & His forgiveness. I also see the Gospel as I feel the pressure of measuring up as a Mom. I am still learning that my hope is not in perfection or status or achievement; my hope is in Jesus & His finished work on the Cross.
God is using this platform to teach me about being more open with people. I tend to be a closed book (just ask my poor husband). I don't trust people easily, so I'm slow to let people into my life & my heart. And once they betray that hard-earned trust, it's very hard for me to let that happen again. To open myself back up to the possibility of that hurt happening again. So, God is teaching me about vulnerability & thinking the best of people. About letting people into my life so that they can speak His truth & love into it.
READ YOUR BIBLE! (Sorry - I'm not shouting. Just excited!) That has been the single most transformative factor for me this past year. I am still not understanding every word I read (have you read Ezekiel lately?), but I am seeing the blessing of obeying God in this way. And I’m not knocking Bible studies or devotional books, because those are great tools. I'm currently going through one with ladies from church. But I would encourage you to prioritize God’s Word. I’ve been following a plan that has a Facebook group & built-in catch up days. Both things that help me stay encouraged. They do a special summer reading challenge (read the whole New Testament in 3 months) that’s starting in June. Here’s the link to the Facebook group where you can find more information.
My sunniest days start with waking up & reading before everyone gets up. With a cup of coffee, of course. I get to spend time with my family - whether it’s running errands, fixing things around the house, or dragging everyone into DC for some culture. We grab some food & head back home for a movie night - complete with popcorn & finger foods. The kids all get to sleep (early!) & my husband & I get to relax on our own & watch a movie (which we can never decide on one) or maybe just an episode or 2 of The Office.
So, that's the general idea of this series. I hope to be able to convince lots of different ladies to share here. Like I said before, I firmly believe that we all have something to teach & something to learn. God put us in community with each other so that we can build each other up & cheer each other on.
I'd love to hear your input on what you'd like to see in this series.
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