Another Sunshine Days guest post for you today! (If you haven't had a chance to read my introductory post for this series, you can find it here!)
Today, we get to hear from Sarah. She & her family have been a part of our church family for a while, but it's only been recently that I've had the opportunity to get to know her better. She's humble & thoughtful. Her warm personality completely puts you at ease. Oh, and her little boy is the cutest.
She's a busy lady, so I am so glad she found the time to do this. You can tell that she put a lot of thought & prayer into her answers.
Her encouragement resonates with all of us, but I particularly hope that it touches the hearts of the ladies who are working full-time from home while also balancing caring full-time for a child at home. I know that is a big burden that many have been carrying these past few months. Sarah definitely is right there with you! I know she's beside me cheering you on as you go!
My name is Sarah and this is my second time living in Maryland. Thanks to my midwest background, I am often asked about my accent. My husband and I were college sweethearts and have been married for 10 years. We're parents to J and raising him to love Jesus and all things Chicago sports. My day job is working with credit unions - think the Bailey Building and Loan from It's a Wonderful Life. My passions are photography, organizing (like Marie Kondo), and running.
I grew up in a Christian home, in the same town both of my parents were raised in. My childhood was filled with lots of time with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. When we weren't with family, we were at church - involved in everything from worship team to Sunday school to VBS in the summer. Looking back I am thankful for the various mentors God placed in my life through the church. That pattern continues today.
As a child, I was always keenly aware of Jesus. I would come home from Sunday school singing about Him and sharing the Gospel with cousins and friends. At age 10, I finally repented of my sins and asked Jesus to come into my life. In the years to follow, my relationship with the Lord would ebb and flow - sometimes I would be immersed in the Word and church; and other times be far from God - disregarding His calling and trying to do life on my own. Key word: Trying. A lot changed when I met my husband and God worked in big ways in our relationship. Early in our marriage we both got baptized and dedicated ourselves to the Lord. Since then, God has been growing my relationship with Him, intentionally leading my husband and I, and putting Godly men and women in our lives to help us and teach us along the way.
Right now it's that God is in Control. He has carried me through life; provided, protected, and cared for me and my family. He is constant. He loves us. He is faithful. When I am anxious or afraid, I must turn to Him and trust, and remember His faithfulness in the past. Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in a virtual bible study with a group of women at church - Lysa Terkeurst's “Trustworthy” - and it's focus on trusting the Lord and remembering His faithfulness has been impactful.
To turn my eyes to Him. To be honest, life is hard right now. I’m a full time working mom to a child who’s home full time. I’m a mother to a child with asthma during a pandemic - with a virus that effects the lungs. Exhaustion, fear and anxiety have recently crept into my life in ways they never have before. So I need to start my days in prayer with God and reading the Word. I must immediately shift my focus to Him upon waking up - before all the other things take over my mind. It reminds me of a Hymn: "Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace."
Study the Word. Bible studies with women from church have been a great help for me with this recently. Be in Community. Join a fellowship group and study the Word together; ask a small group of women to meet for accountability and prayer; have meals with Christians who have more life experience than you - ask questions and listen to their stories. When gathering, respect what is shared and open yourself up to being vulnerable. We are here to lift one another up and point each other toward Christ. As we open up, we can boldly pray for each other, hold each other accountable and turn each other to scripture for guidance.
A day that starts off slow - no alarm, which means a day off work. A Chai Latte. Quality time with my guys - watching a movie, playing board games, a project (art or home). Infused with some music and a dance party. Ordering take out so I don't have to cook would be awesome too! Some outdoor time - a walk, bike ride, run, etc. Ending the day with a sweet treat - probably ice cream!
I absolutely agree about studying God's Word first thing in the morning. I've found that turning my focus heavenward for even just a few minutes is so pivotal in how I operate throughout my day. Do I still need reminders throughout my day of where my focus should be? You bet. But I definitely see the benefits of making Scripture my first priority.
And I also love the note about learning from believers who have been walking with God for longer than you have. Spending time with those who have more life experience & wisdom to share with you. That is something that I haven't taken advantage of & I really should because our church family is rich in this resource!
Please leave a comment to thank Sarah for her words of encouragement today!
If you're looking for a reminder to start your day with your focus on God, here's a print I lettered for just that reason!
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