WELCOME TO THE BRRRR MONTHS

WELCOME TO THE BRRRR MONTHS

You know-

Septem-BRRRR

Octo-BRRRR

Novem-BRRRR

Decem-BRRRR!

The BRRRR months! When there’s a nip in the air that slides into down-right chilly as the months continue until everything is BRRRR and COLD! (If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, that is!) I LOVE as seasons change, one to another.

I had never heard the phrase before, but I like it!

It so describes what I feel at this moment!

After months of REALLY HOT weather, it’s soooooooo nice to walk outside of an evening, feel the coolness embrace me, and to sit and enjoy the drizzle of rain. It makes me very happy, especially since it’s now flannel weather!!! I LOVE FLANNEL!!!!!

So what else do I like as autumn arrives?

The changing of colors, the taste of apples and cranberries and pumpkin. Hot drinks of cocoa, tea and coffee that warm the hands as well as the tummy. Bundling up in sweaters, hats and scarves when I sit outside. The change into a new season.

But most of all I think I like it because Life seems to shift pace as days get shorter and the weather gets colder. We enjoy the majesty of being in nature and we spend more time inside, with Loved Ones, relaxing and resting our Spirits.

As I sit here typing this, I hear rain- Blessed Rain- outside. I always feel so cozy and warm and LOVED when I get to be safe in my Home listening to the rain. It’s like a special gift from God, reminding me of His Love, His care, and His Blessings.

I’m going to finish off this post so I can go curl up under a warm blanket with my husband and kitties, and just revel in my Love for God and His Love for me!

During these BRRRR Months, I encourage you to look around at the Blessings God is sending you. Let your rhythm of Life follow the season, rest your Spirit and slow down your pace to enjoy God’s gifts, most especially your Loved Ones!

Sending you warm, cozy hugs! -Billie

RESOURCES:

God’s Light from Pixers.us

Sweater Weather from barefootblondehair on instagram

My Truck (I WISH!) found on suburbenmen.com

Fall Romance, Enjoying the Rain and Puppy Love found on Pinterest

Cozy Inside from Graziella Bracchi on twitter

OWWWWW!

OWWWWWWW!

Okay, I admit it.

I have not been keeping my body in as good of shape as it needs to be in.

And now it’s come back at me.

Owwwwwwwwwwwww!

If you look back at older posts on Self-Care, you’ll see that I really do understand how important it is to take care of ourselves. In some areas, I have been doing better- drawing boundaries, getting massages, trying to de-stress. But let’s face it- I am really NOT good at eating properly, getting enough good quality sleep, and giving my body the exercise it needs. This entire week has been filled with pain, in my feet, which I stand on all day at work, and in my back, which has had problems in the past. I’m scared. I don’t want to go back to that pain, have it interrupt my life.

I’ve gotten to the point where I KNOW I need to do more, MUCH MORE, to take care of myself! Because I am valuable in God’s eyes, because eventually I cannot take care of others if I do not take care of myself. And because I am important! I need to take care of this precious gift that God has given me, and enjoy the Blessings He gives.

So I know I need to set up the rest of those doctor appointments, really look at and address the health issues I know are there, be proactive. What do I tell others when they are physically and emotionally drained? “You MUST take care of yourself!!!!! You are Loved by so many; they don’t want you hurting and sick and debilitated! They understand that your health should be a priority!” So if I advise that to others, I need to TAKE MY OWN ADVISE!

Ironically, that’s part of what added to this week’s pain. I have decided to take a Qi-Gong class and a Yoga class to help stretch my muscles, give me meditation time, and get in better shape. And I was listening to my body, not pushing it too hard since it’s out of shape. Or at least, I thought I was. But as my husband says, I have Weekend Warrior Syndrome. I pushed too hard when I had been letting my body slide. Now I have pulled muscles! OWWWWWWW!

Okay, so yeah, in the scope of things, that’s certainly not the worst that could ever happen to me. As I gently stretch those muscles, they will get better, they will get stronger. But being physically hurt terrifies me!!! It took A YEAR last time I had issues with my back for it to get to where I could do the stuff I had done before! I don’t want to go back to that place.

It’s also very difficult for me to be the one in bad shape, the one hurting. For decades, it’s been my husband. I have been the one taking care of him. So when it’s reversed, it kind of freaks me out. Fortunately, he’s doing much better these days. The Qi-Gong has really helped him. And we’re a team. Where one is weak, the other picks up the slack. That’s the way God intended it to be, and I am so Blessed to have a husband who cares for me, and takes care of me.

I’ve gotten used to it, though, you know? Being the one taking care of stuff. That’s part of who I have been the past years. . . .No, that’s part of what I’ve DONE in the past years. It does not make up who I am; it is just a part of me. But who am I when I am the one being taken care of, the vulnerable one? Where is my worth, where is my value if I cannot do as much as I used to, the things I used to!?! Does that make me WORTHLESS!?!?!

Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Well, that just totally looks and feels WRONG when I spell it out like that! BECAUSE IT IS! And I know that in my heart but . . . I must remind myself that I am valuable and Loved and wonderful simply because of the fact that God created ME! HE LOVES ME!!!! It is not my acts or my job or my works that define me. They do not earn me salvation or Love. Those gifts come from God alone, and thank goodness they do because I could certainly NEVER earn them if I had to. I’m only human, flawed, vulnerable and weak. But I am still wonderful!!! And that is a Blessing and a TRUTH that I need to remember. And I need to take care of myself!

But I DO need to take care of myself to the best of my ability. (Or at least start by doing BETTER!!!!) My body and spirit have both been under a lot of stress, and it’s taking its toll. So it’s time to re-evaluate, see what needs care, emotionally, mentally and physically, AND DO IT!

I write about this tonight, because it’s where I’m at tonight. And where I’m sure many others are. We’ve talked about it before. Now I’m reminding myself, and urging you- WE NEED TO TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES! Please remember that you are important- to God, to others, and JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE YOU! It’s gonna take small steps, but we need to take care of ourselves.

And when I am hurting or overwhelmed, my mantra is “I trust You, God. . . I trust You God. . . I trust You God!”

If you want, search for self care in the search engine for previous posts. I intend to. Then see what small steps you can take in Faith that your health is vitally important!!!

Good Health to you, and to me! Blessings, Billie

Doctor’s Order’s for Billie

Spend Time with God.

SLEEP!!!!!

Eat healthy.

Enjoy being outside.

Enjoy being with Loved Ones

Walk and exercise

Set up doctors’ appointments

DON’T STRESS!

Signed, -God

RESOURCES:

All images found on Pinterest.

CELEBRATE WHAT?

Celebrate What?

Sonshine Celebrations has been on hiatus for a bit. So much has happened in the last year, and it’s taken all my attention and strength to deal with it all. But as I look back at past blog posts, I find God speaking to me, encouraging me, Loving me. And I know that those words also speak to those of you reading them, so I feel quite strongly that God wants me to resume my blog posts. There are those of you out there who need to hear of God’s Love and encouragement. It is my goal to publish something new every Friday.

Some weeks will be more in-depth posts, while others may be more light-hearted. Some weeks I might only be up to posting a cute picture and a paragraph of Joy, or the link to an encouraging story or picture. But it is my hope and prayer to get back into the groove, and have something new on Sonshine Celebrations every week to remind you of the Father’s Love for you.

And whether or not you’re new to Sonshine Celebrations, I want you to know how glad I am that you are here today!!!! I encourage you to look back through older posts. You can simply peruse them at your leisure or you can use the search bar and type in a topic. Either way, I hope you are Blessed and reminded of how very precious you are to God, and that He is always there for you, taking care of you!

Happy Reading!

What’s With the Title?

You may ask, “What are we Celebrating, or not Celebrating as the case may be, and why is that our topic for today?”

Well, last month was the 3 Year Anniversary of Sonshine Celebration coming into being. In the past, I have written about Celebrating, and done something special to commemorate the occasion. I am very proud of this blog, and Love encouraging others with things God has shared with me. If I can give Hope and encouragement to others struggling through Life, then that makes me glad.

Because we all struggle through Life at one time or another. For some of us, it seems to be a constant battle. For others, Life is GOOD . . . until that day when things come crashing down around us. God did not promise us a carefree Life or a Life without trouble. Rather, He tells us quite clearly that we will have trials and strife in our lives. But He promises us that He will always be there with us, helping us through the rough times, and that better times are up ahead. And just think, in the end, we will get to spend Eternity with God! That is truly something to Celebrate.

“These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33

But let’s face it- it’s HARD to Celebrate when everything seems to be going wrong around us. Truth to tell, I wasn’t up to a big Ta-do last month. I just didn’t have the desire, the energy or the time. But I wanted to write a blog post all month long, in Praise to God for the Blessings of this Blog, and those whose lives are touched by it, including mine. But instead of stressing about it, I chose to wait a bit to re-coop a little. Yet, the Lord tells us to Rejoice, and so here I am . . . REJOICING!!!!! Maybe not in a BIG BANG kind of way, but at least in small tribute to all God has done for me with this Blog, and with my Life, especially this past year.

So whether or not you have something HUGE to throw a party for, I’m going to encourage you, IN YOUR OWN TIME AND WAY, to Praise God for it, to Celebrate and see God’s care in your Life, the Blessings He bestows upon us, and His Joy at our accomplishments.

Big or Small – Give Praise for All

“Always be full of joy in the Lord: I say it again, rejoice.” -Philippians 4:4

You know, I never used to understand those Bible verses that encouraged me to Praise God through trials as well as Joy. How can I Praise God when my children suffer from intense physical ailments? What do I thank Him for at the death of Loved Ones? What do I thank Him for when Life is chaos all around me, and I struggle to get through, one day at a time?

It has taken me a long time to come to some understanding, so I’ll share a bit with you.

  1. God wants us to trust Him! That He is in control, that He Loves us, that He will bring about good for His Glory even through bad times, awful time. So some days, all I can do is say I trust Him, even if just a miniscual amount, and thank Him that He is in charge, even if I can’t see it.
  2. I can thank Him, and Praise Him for His Love, and the knowledge that I am growing closer to Him and who He made me to be through my tribulations.
  3. Sometimes, I get hints of what God is up to, and can thank Him for those. For example, I am not a greatly organized person, but having to deal with cleaning up my parents house is helping me grow to be organized, and stretch my abilities. Thank you, God.
  4. Even in rough times, there are still Blessings from God, even if it’s just making it through another day!
  5. God’s Majesty is all around us, in the wonders of Nature and the kindness of mankind.
  6. In the end, God is really all we do have to Praise- He Loves us, He gives us strength, He will welcome us into His arms in Eternity. That’s something very praise-worthy!!!!!
  7. Finally, even through our trials, Life goes on. Loved Ones pass away, but we are still alive. While facing medical issues, we are surrounded by caring medical personnel and family. We keep working, and maybe get that raise. We stand steadfast taking classes, and receive our degree, we persevere in Life, caring for our Loved Ones, following God’s prompts, and moving forward, one day at a time. Those moments, those accomplishments, are worth Celebrating and Praising God for.

As for me, it’s been an emotionally trying, tough year full of change and sorrow. But there have also been great Joys along the way, And something I greatly Praise God for is that He has been with me throughout it all, giving me strength, encouragement, support along the way.

So do I Celebrate God and the accomplishments I have done this year with His help?

YOU BETCHA!

In a BIG GRANDIOSE way at this moment? Not so much.

But it’s the Praise that Blesses God. It’s the sharing of His provision that encourages others. And it’s the reflections of what God has done for me in the past year that shifts my mood from despair to Hope, and confidence in our Lord.

I Hope you find the same along the way,

Blessings and Peace, Billie

P. S. SEE YOU NEXT FRIDAY!

Praise him—he is your God, and you have seen with your own eyes the great and astounding things that he has done for you. (Deuteronomy 10:21)

Resources:

Balloon Girl from shoprongrong by Rongrong DeVoe

Sending You a Hug, Llama Celebration and Praise Him found on Pinterest

Praise God in the Storm found on Christianswalls

Firework Celebration from acafe.msc.sony.jp

Praise the Lord Puppy from sportsposterwarehouse

PLEASE GOD, HELP!!!!!

PLEASE GOD, HELP!!!!!

Heavenly Father!

PLEASE HELP!!!!

I desperately need you

for I am filled with despair, hurt, suffering, loss,

worry and anxiety!

I’m drowning here, Lord!

PLEASE HELP!

I try so hard, God,

to do the right thing, to follow Your guidance,

to care for people,

to care for myself.

And yet, sometimes, I feel like all I do

is flounder around in the muck and mud!

“I waited patiently for God to help me; then he listened and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out from the bog and the mire, and set my feet on a hard, firm path, and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, of praises to our God. Now many will hear of the glorious things he did for me, and stand in awe before the Lord, and put their trust in him.”

-Psalm 40:1-3 (NIV)

How long, Lord, have these been my go-to verses

when the world seems to be falling apart,

and I know not what to do

but trust in You?

And how very many times have these words held true?

You hear my cries of anguish!

You ALWAYS lift me out of my despair,

set my feet upon Your pathway,

give me renewed Faith and cause to praise You.

So very many notes in my Bible margins

of times when You have been faithful, and worked good

even though I have floundered and felt lost.

And yet here I am again, on my knees,

sobbing as my heart breaks.

Lord, why do I feel as if I have failed

when my intentions were good,

when I tried to do the best I could?

“Lord, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me! My only hope is in your love and faithfulness. Otherwise I perish, for problems far too big for me to solve are piled higher than my head.”

-Psalm 40:11-12A (NIV)

Please, Lord, make things right.

Give me hope that all is not lost.

Help me, guide me.

Let me communicate as I should,

fill me with Your Love and wisdom,

open the Hearts and the doors that lead to Your will,

and fill me with Your Peace, Lord,

I beg You.

I cannot go on with this load I carry.

I try, but I am not meant to carry this on my own.

You are my God,

the Lover of my Soul,

my Protector and Guide.

I am not alone in all this.

You are working for me,

working for those I Love.

You make Blessings out of chaos and confusion,

and Your greatest gifts are

Salvation, Love, Hope, and Peace.

Please, God, let me trust all this to You.

Let me rest my head upon You,

knowing that I am Loved,

and that You are working good even of this situation.

“Take courage, my soul! Do you remember those times (but how could you ever forget them!) when you lead a great procession to the Temple on festival days, singing with joy, praising the Lord? Why then be downcast? Why be discouraged and sad? Hope in God! I shall yet praise him again. Yes, I shall again praise him for his help..”

-Psalm 42:4-5 (NIV)

Lord, I turn to You.

I trust in You.

I cannot fix what is broken,

but You are the God who heals the brokenhearted.

I give this to You, Lord,

asking that You continue to guide me,

and that You heal what I cannot heal.

I Love you, Lord.

Amen

“If you want favor with both God and man, and a reputation for good judgment and common sense, then trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you, and crown your efforts with success.”

-Proverbs 3:4-6 (NIV)

I know this night that I am not the only one, pouring out my sadness and despair to God. Each of us, at many, many times in our lives hits that wall where we’ve made mistakes, and we’ve tried our best, and still, we seem to be surrounded by turmoil. If this is you tonight, then I am sorry. But take heart- God is close to the brokenhearted, and He never fails us nor forsakes us.

I Love the verses from Psalms. David was “a man after God’s own heart.” He Loved the Lord, trusted the Lord, and followed the Lord. But he was human. He made mistakes. He had his hardships, and he questioned if God had deserted him in his times of need. But if you read all of Psalm 40 especially, you will see that yes, David pours his heart out to God in anguish. He is full of despair, and wonders if God has forsaken him. But David also recalls that God has always taken care of him. He reaffirms his faith in God, and knows that God will save him, will give him cause to praise the Lord again.

As my prayer remembers, I have DECADES of crying this prayer out to the Lord amidst numerous afflictions, sorrows and hardships. Yet each and every one, God has seen me through and worked good out of it. So while this is a time of despair for me, I also know that God works miracles. I can trust Him that all is not lost, good will come of this time, and there is always Hope in the Lord.

Is it easy for me, to trust God in these times, to let go and let God do His thing? Not sometimes, despite all my evidence that He works for me. Yet, I try. I call to God, I try to lay my worries and burdens at His feet. And I have that tiny mustard-sized seed of Faith deep in my soul that He will take care of it. Thanks, God, so much for that Faith, and the Peace that it brings.

I pray these words bring comfort to those who read them, and a reminder that God is for You, and working upon your behalf always because you are precious to Him.

Blessings and Peace, Billie

Resources:

All pictures in this post were found on Pinterest

WHAT IS THIS THING CALLED GRIEVING?

WHAT IS THIS THING CALLED GRIEVING?

I do not understand it.

I do not like it!

Most of the time I REALLY HATE IT!!!!!

Honestly, once upon a time, everything was almost normal and okay in my Life.

Then, SHAZAM!!!!

Out of the clear blue sky,

my sometimes almost under control Life spiraled into a mess of chaos and grief.

In a seven month time frame, my dad suffered a heart attack, lived with me for two months, and then had heart surgery.

Next, Dad was in ICU for SIX WEEKS, trying to recover from surgery. It was an emotional roller coaster- yes he was healing, no he was not, he’s better, he’s worse, he’s dying, he’s getting better.

And then he died.

Three months later, my Mom joined him in Heaven.

Needless to say, my Life has been thrown into a storm and scattered to the winds.

For a girl who hates change, this is MISERABLE!!!

Because I am mourning the loss of my parents, the fact that Life will never be the same.

I grieve for those times lost to us when we pulled away from each other, for histories I never knew.

But I am also dealing with the consequences of their deaths.

Legalities, memorials.

A household of 55 years accumulated, and four lives worth of memories. (My parents’ and my brother’s and mine.)

Cards, letters, clothing, household items, photographs, dishes, linens and papers.

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MANY PAPERS!!!!!!!!

I just want it all to stop!

How can I grieve when I have so much stuff to take care of!?!

I’m having to make important legal decisions when I can barely pick a restaurant to go eat at.

How do I balance MY Home, MY Family, and MY obligations when I now have so much more to deal with? As well as trying to take care of MYSELF!?! I am not alone in it. I have my brother’s help, my husband, my kids, my Friends.

But it is all OVERWHELMING!

I have no idea where to start.

My house is filled with THEIR stuff- papers, pictures, mementos. I have no idea where to even begin to organize let alone finish clearing their Home. It feels like I am erasing their LIFE together.

AND I DO NOT WANT THAT!

Emotionally, I am a mess. I know God is here helping me, giving me others to care for me, precious memories of my Mom and Dad. Some days I seem perfectly okay. Then it all comes slamming down on me. Overwhelmed by EVERYTHING! Crying. Needing to be held and comforted.

My body does not want to cooperate.

I’m having weird dreams.

Not sad, not nightmares, just . . . weird.

What’s that about?

And I am EXHAUSTED!

ALL THE TIME!!!!

(And did I mention crying?)

I know there are things that need to be taken care of.

I’m trying here,

but sometimes it feels almost pointless.

I DON’T WANT TO DEAL WITH ALL THIS!!!!!!

I’m not mad at God. He blessed me with my Family and Loved Ones, and I thank Him for that.

And He’s the One getting me through this, comforting me, Loving me, giving me strength.

But I am overwhelmed, and feel like no one totally understands.

Shouldn’t I be doing better by now?

HOGSWALLOW!

I know each person grieves in their own way.

There is no time line for “getting better or adjusting.”

And we have to go through the grief to deal with it.

So though I hate it, grieving is important to help me deal with all the pain, loss, confusion and stress that I am going through. It’s okay to cry, to SLEEP, to not be functioning at full throttle.

(Oh yeah, my eyesight is blurry these days, and my brain is fuzzy a lot.)

Grief affects our emotions, our Spirit, our bodies.

You know what God wants of me right now?

To Love myself, to cut myself slack.

To lean into His arms for comfort and Love.

To let myself grieve in whatever way works for me,

and to let people know that I’m grieving and need extra Love right now.

This is all part of the process.

Along with the sadness, the loss, the confusion,

there is also Joy if I look. Memories of times together.

The knowledge that they are no longer suffering,

and are happy together in God’s Presence.

And I will get through this, grow stronger, and closer to God.

He’s gotten me through the last seven months.

He will get me through whatever is next.

What a relief to know that I am not alone!

God is always with me, always taking care of me, never not by my side.

Thank You, God. I Love You!

I write this post because, for me, writing and talking to God on paper/computer, help me to deal with what I am going through. I can break it down, write what I really am feeling, yet also open myself up to God, and what He is doing to help me along the way.

But I also write this because there are others out there, grieving and lost.

You are not alone, you are not going crazy, you are okay in a hurting, falling apart kind of way. So I guess you’re really not okay, but in an expected manner of not being okay because you have just suffered a loss and your entire Life has been shifted on its axis.

So let yourself grieve. Do not let others tell you how to mourn your loss. Do what you can to take care of yourself. Sleep, cry, don’t jump on your case. Talk with Loved Ones about what you’re going through, and ask for Love and support. But also take time to remember the Blessings you have had with your Loved Ones. And please know that God is with you, taking care of you as He always does.

I pray comfort and Peace for you this night.

Blessings, Billie

Resources:

  • Tears ‘Larme d’or’ by Anne Marie Zilberman
  • It Hurts, Crying with a Friend, No Rule Book and I Will Never Leave You (Hebrews 13:5) found on Pinterest
  • Physical Symptoms from loveliveson.com
  • I’m Unreliable . . . found on griefhealingdiscussiongroups.com
  • Jesus is with You ‘Loud and Clear” by RebeccaHudgens on deviantart