Blog Posts

I WAS SHANGHAIED!

I WAS SHANGHAIED!

Hey guys, I am really, REALLY sorry that Sonshine Celebrations has been on hiatus for so long.  There were a couple of interesting elements that came into play causing my absence.

1.)  My website actually was hijacked, and it took a while for my Techno Wizard to get things straightened out.

2.)  God’s timing was interesting, though, because I actually needed a break from doing the blog for a bit.

3.)  And it turns out, amazing God that He is, He KNEW what the last several months held in store for me, so God was clearing some space in my calendar for other situations that would be coming up.

End result, I took a break for a bit BUT NOW I AM BACK!!!!!  I have missed writing blog posts, and have TONS of stuff to share with you!  I can’t guarantee it at the moment, but I will TRY to have something new up on Saturday mornings.  They won’t all be intense messages, and I may miss some weeks, but I want to try and share some more of God’s Love with you through this blog.

As always, this site is to share God’s Love, to encourage you, and to bring wholesome Joy to people. And yes, my temporary sabbatical was truly a Blessing from God.

TIME FOR A SABBATICAL!

As I said, I had already decided to take a break from Sonshine Celebrations for awhile before I got hijacked.  (And THANK YOU, GOD, that we are now back to our wonderful “normal” self!!!!)

Why a Sabbatical?  Well, Sabbatical comes from the same root word as Sabbath.  And I was in desperate need of some Sabbath rest in my Life!  Nothing bad was happening, just LOTS of stuff!  In order to maintain my sanity, as well as renew myself in the Lord, I chose to take some time off.  And now, my blog is fixed, and I have lots of new, inspired HOPE to share with you!

It also turned out, that while I was on Sabbatical, my Dad had a heart attack, and surgery, so we have been dealing with all of those issues.  He is doing better, but it was also a HUGE Blessing, to have some more freedom so that I could be here for him.  And while God has been working to heal my Dad, He has also been teaching me new lessons, and growing me.  So yeah, there are LOTS OF TOPICS up ahead in the makings!!!!

For now, can you please pray for me, my Family and this website?  I’m calling my Prayer Warriors in here to help!  Because we KNOW that God listens to our prayers!

1.)  Please pray for Sonshine Celebrations, that God’s Love shines forth from it, and that these words are a beacon of Hope to all in need, as well as a reminder of God’s POWERFUL, WONDERFUL Love for us all!

2.)  Please also says some prayers for my Family as we go through these times, and that God guides me and gives me the strength I need to continue sharing His Love, with my Dad, and my Family, as well as others.  (Yourself included!)

3.)  Please think about your own Life, and where it may have been HIJACKED out of your control.  What can you see God trying to do with the situation, and what do you need to be doing?  (And as I am reminding myself, IT IS ONLY WITH GOD’S HELP THAT WE ARE RESCUED!)

4.)  Finally, are YOU in need of some SABBATICAL TIME!?!  Maybe you have lost control of your Life and don’t know what to do.  Please consider taking some time to rest with God, spend time with Him, and take care of yourself so that you can see where He is leading you!  He has plans for you, but He may want you to re-coop your strength in Him before you hit rough waters.

In closing, I Love this Blog, and I LOVE SHARING GOD WITH YOU!!!

Until we meet again, be Blessed my Friends.

And remember, GOD LOVES YOU more than you can EVER imagine possible!  You are WONDERFUL and you are LOVED!!!!!  -Billie

RESOURCES:

Totally Awesome Pirate image from geek-art.net

Prayer Warrior, Praying Hands, and Message from God found on Pinterest

Why I Decided from foreversunday.org

In the Dark found on Pinterest, Snoopy and Woodstock created by Charles Schulz

THE GIFT OF A DAY!

THE GIFT OF A DAY!

Hey- there!  Let’s try something a little different this week.

I would like to start off this post by asking you to think about a time when you gave someone a special gift.  If you have children, imagine their face and excitement when they received it.  Or think of how a spouse or someone else close to you reacted from a present that touched their heart.

Recently I sent my daughter her very special quilt that I made her to go on her bed in her new Home.  She didn t know I was sending it but her fiancee did, and he filmed her response.  Oh my goodness!  Talk about a moment that touched her heart!  She hugged it tight to her, and the look on her face was one of pure Joy.  I sent her the gift but I also received a gift in her response!  It meant the world to her.  The same day, my future son called me Mom for the first time, and I was overwhelmed with Joyful tears.  What a precious gift he had given me!

Gifts come in all sizes and forms.  Some come from stores and cost money  Others are actions of Love, words that Bless your Spirit, or the feelings you get when with someone you know Loves you.  But the gifts that come from the Heart often touch both the one giving the gift, as well as the one receiving it.  That’s the extra Blessing God bestows upon us as we share His love with others.

A DAILY GIFT

Each day, God has created Blessings and gifts for us, His Beloved, the children of His heart! Some days we see them, and other times we don’t.  But sometimes . . . sometimes the gifts are so overwhelming that we can’t help but receive them with arms open wide, thanking Him for such amazing presents!

I had one of those days today!  I am on vacation to visit the above mentioned kids, and they had a marvelous Adventure planned for me that they KNEW I would Love.  (They were right!)

The holidays are coming, and this is my first year as an Empty Nester.  They knew I was missing Fall and Halloween activities with my daughter so they had planned a WONDERFUL day for me!  They took me to an orchard with a pumpkin patch and a corn maze!  (My first- only got lost some but we made it out!)  What a special treat!  Not only did I get to share with my daughter something we enjoy doing together but I also got to experience Fall and Halloween with my new son for the first time!  We had so much fun on our outing, had tasty apples, cider and honey, and came home with pumpkins for Halloween and a TON off apples to make into tasty treats!  (Not literally a ton, but a lot!)  More importantly, we came Home with precious memories.  There was laughter, sunlight, cuddles and Love, plus great weather!  What more could we ask for?

Several times I felt God’s Love wrapped around us!  He was there helping us navigate the maze, in the cute little kids lining up their pumpkins, and in the sunlight shining on my face as I turned Heaven-ward to thank Him for the gift of the day, of my children and their Love, and this opportunity to do something fun and new and special!

THE TAKE-AWAY

Here’s what I want you to take-away with you from today’s post.

My children knew in their Hearts that I would be so Blessed to share this Adventure with them.  They wanted to be with me, and give me an experience and a memory that I would treasure always.  And it meant the world to me!

You should have seen my daughter’s face throughout the day when she would look over at me, and see me all bubbly and bouncy.  Not only did they have so much fun experiencing THEIR first Fall outing together, but it made them VERY HAPPY to see me so happy!

And . . . God LOVED the day with us together!

You know, it’s His world!  This wonderful place with sweet tasting caramel honey, delicious apples picked right off the tree, the bright orange pumpkins scattered though out the fields!  But even more importantly, He gave us the Love in our Hearts, He made us Family, and it brought Him SO MUCH JOY to see us enjoying our day together, and the Blessings He had scattered about like jewels shining in the sun!  Today, we were shining in His Sonlight!  Just like we Love it when we make others happy with presents of time, effort, or items, so does He value and cherish those times when we give ourselves up to the gifts He gives, and thank Him for such Blessings!

What about you?  When have you recently given yourself to experiencing and enjoying the gifts He gives?  Each day has gifts for us to receive.  Some are tiny little ones that you have to keep your eyes open to see.  Others may be wrapped in such a way that you don’t realize that Blessings are within, while others are neatly gift wrapped with a GIGANTIC BOW on top that you can’t miss!  You can, however, refuse to open God’s presents.  Please accept the gifts He has picked special for you, His Beloved!  Open your Heart to Praise Him for them, and share these sacred, ho;y times with Him!

P.S.  No pictures yet to accompany this post because I AM ON VACATION ENJOYING THE DAYS!!!!  (Without my computer complete with images and easy access to sharing them in this blog!)  I will get some up in a week or two so please check back!  But for now, I wanted to share with you these thoughts so you can start looking for your own special treasures!

Enjoy opening your presents this week!  -Billie

ORANGE YOU GLAD!?!

ORANGE YOU GLAD!?!

Knock Knock!

Who’s There?

Orange!

Orange Who?

ORANGE YOU GLAD YOU’RE HERE!?!

Okay, I admit it-

being inundated with Dad Jokes

sometimes influences my sense of humor!

(Or maybe it was all those years as a Cub Scout Leader!)

ANYWAY . . . . !

October seems the perfect month to Celebrate the color ORANGE!

Sure, it’s a beautiful color the whole year through.

Did you ever get oranges for Christmas in your stocking

or make Orange Pomanders with cloves stuck in them

so the whole house would smell all Christmasy?

Note: Poke holes FIRST with a skewer BEFORE trying to insert cloves!

Or cut grooves in the peel!

Otherwise you get Holy thumbs!!!!

Ha, ha! Dad Humor again!

And I’m the MOM!!!!

ORANGE is also nice for Winter,

blazing in the fires that warm our Hearts as well as our bodies!

And have you ever tasted those Cutey Mandarin oranges?

Mmmmm!

That sweet taste of citrus, so fresh and bright!

Almost like Liquid Sunshine!

I think we like ORANGE in Winter just because it

brings us Light and warmth,

even in the darkness of the season.

And then you get those gorgeous ORANGE daisies

that herald the coming of Spring!

Just to see their color bursting open in the brown earth

brings Hope with it!

There are also all those GORGEOUS ORANGE Butterflies

that flit and wander, dance in the air,

Rejoicing in the warmth and freedom.

That’s certainly how I feel when I see ORANGE in the Spring!

Next comes Summer.

Imagine those tasty frozen treats

all tart and sweet and refreshing,

clothed in various shades of ORANGE ranging from

pale peach to vibrant to mixed with cherry red.

I Love the taste of mango ice cream,

of Creamsicles and Bullet Pops and Popsicles!

Those tastes mirror our attitudes for the season-

bubbly and excited, invigorating and * WILD! *

Like tropical flowers and fruits:

Reminiscent of a brilliant sunset!

But Fall-  Fall was made of ORANGE!

From the HUGE Harvest Moon that marks the season

all the way through to that last tantalizing bite of

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie topped with whipped cream!

Autumn is when we Celebrate a bountiful harvest,

when we are thankful for the provisions

God gives to get us through the cold of Winter.

Fields are filled with ORANGE pumpkins.

portents of the up-coming Holidays-

for Pumpkin Bread, and Pumpkin Muffins

as well as Pumpkin Pie!

And what would Halloween be without

ORANGE Jack-O-Lanterns and corn candy?

Not just sustenance for our bodies, but fun for our Spirits!

Autumn, when the leaves change colors and Fall to the ground!

Isn’t it amazing how God takes something,

in this case the green leaves of the trees,

changes it to something else wondrous,

such as ORANGE and RED and YELLOW leaves?

Then for a bit, it seems as if the tree dies,

all Life is drained from it,

even as the leaves fall to the ground.

But it is not dead;

it only lays dormant during the next season,

waiting, rebuilding its energy,

until the seasons change,

and once again,

something new and beautiful grows.

The magnificent display of colors seeks to remind me

that in each season of Life, God has plans for me.

Sometimes I bloom and blossom in beauty.

Other times I radiate with vibrancy.

Yet even in those seemingly “dead times,”

God is at work within me,

healing me, preparing me for the season to come.

I can count on that!

Thanks, God!

For You, for Your Miracles,

And for ORANGE!

As Autumn Falls upon us, (Ha, ha!  Did it again!), where do you see God’s promises that darkness will not win out, that Brilliance will return?  As you go through these shortening days, do you see anything ORANGE that grabs your attention? God is here with us, always, in each and every season.  He Loves us, cares for us, prepares us.  I Hope this season brings you Hope blazing forth in the ORANGE surrounding you!

My final thoughts are on comfort and cozydom!  (Maybe not an “official” word, but certainly a Billie Word!)  As the darkness grows longer and the weather colder, we gravitate to warmth, both for our bodies but also for our Spirits!  Bonfires with friends sipping orange and apple cider, kittens curled up in your arms, flannel to cuddle under on a chilly night, all are Blessings of the season.  I Hope yours in bright and cheery and ORANGE!!!!!

NOW ORANGE YOU GLAD YOU DROPPED BY TO VISIT!?!

Blessings,  -Billie

RESOURCES:

Harvest Moon found on Pinterest

Pomanders from sjarmerendejul.blogspot.com

Cheery Daisies found on desktopdress.com

Creamsicle from shewonthatblog.com

Sunset from matadornetwork.com

Pumpkin Patch found on flickr.com

Halloween Bat found on Pinterest  (If he’s yours, he’s ADORABLE!!!!!  Thank you for making him!)

Autumn Leaves from telva.com

Orange Flannel found at allwomenstalk.com

Tabby Kitty from cattime.com

AGGGGG! ONE OF THOSE DAYS

AGGGGG! ONE OF THOSE DAYS!

(WEEKS, MONTHS,YEARS!)

AGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!

Okay; got it out of my system!  Thanks.

You having one of those days too?  Or weeks, months, or maybe even years?  I’m sorry to say but, it happens.  That’s just part of Life.  And I hear you-  it just makes us TOTALLY CRAZY sometimes!

“What is IT,” you ask?  Well, that varies for each of us, and it varies throughout our lifetime.  Basically, IT is anything that throws us or our routines into a loop.  Tests at school, someone gets sick, we need money, we have just way too much stuff to do and not enough time to do it in.  You name it, there’s probably a stress to go with it.

There was nothing major or life-threatening for me today, although I have had those days.  No, today was just a combination of tired, over scheduled, and not being able to prioritize very well.  I felt like I hit the floor running, and everything was totally NOT what I had planned for.

Can you relate?

Part of it is that we get plans in our heads, and it’s hard for us to shift tracks when things get derailed.  Or maybe we FINALLY have it all together with where we’re at for the moment when suddenly it changes, and we’re still trying desperately to do what worked before, or what we think should work.

So what do we do?  Instead of constantly battling, or falling apart, what can we do when we are having one of “Those Times?”

SO NOT IN CONTROL!

It shouldn’t come as any surprise but it still does.  WE ARE NOT NEARLY AS IN CONTROL OF OUR LIVES AS WE THINK WE ARE!  Yes, there are most certainly things we can control-  what we eat, how we treat people, our work ethic, etc.  But we can’t control Mother Nature, or when we get sick, other people’s actions, or life over death just to name a few.

So as difficult as it is for us to accept, the reality of our lives is that they will go much smoother if we don’t continually fight and expect to control the things we really can’t.  (Save your energy for what you CAN control!)  I HATE not being in control!  But let’s face it, when I get sick or injured, I can try and push on as if nothings happened.  I can moan and wail because it’s unfair.  Or I can accept the situation, and make the best of it, see the Blessings still around me, and trust that God is still working in my Life, for me and through me!

*God’s in Control

LIFE IS CHANGE

The truth is, we’re always changing in this Life.  Many of us like the predictable, and want our lives ordered.  But things change.  We grow up, get married.  We change jobs, get older.  We have pets or kids, people come and go in our lives.  So many changes.  And here again, we can cling to what was, what we want, what we expect . . . or . . . we can realize that Life has changed, re-establish ourselves, learn to see what is good in this new place we find ourselves.  As scary as the unknown is, sometimes it’s less exhausting or stressful that trying to fit yourself into a Life that has changed.

*The cool thing, though, is that God NEVER changes.  We can always count on Him and His Promises!

STRESS ONLY MAKES IT WORSE!

We all know that stress is bad for us.  Okay, not when a tiger is chasing you because it makes you move out of a dangerous situation.

But in general, stress is not good for your body, your emotions or your Spirit.  It makes everything harder to deal with.  Especially if we are in a constant state of stress.  God never intended us to live that way.  He wants us to rest, to sleep well at night, trusting in Him.  But how do we NOT stress?  Or at least minimize the stress?

Well, I’m going to share with you some things I have learned over the years.  I come from a family of major-worriers, and I stress.  But I have learned things that help.  I’m going to call them Power-Ups or Energizers, things that will help you de-stress, and bring positive energy back into your Life.  But first, we need to think about our Sinkholes, our Energy-Zappers, those things that drain the energy out of us, and lead us into stress and despair.

Please take a few minutes to think about what kinds of things steal your energy from you.  (Writing them down somewhere helps.)  Driving in rush hour, being hungry, dealing with certain people, being around crowds. having your living-room floor dirty, being constantly on the go, whatever they are, IDENTIFY THEM!

Now you have an idea about your Energy-Zappers so avoid them if you can!  If you can’t, 1.) you can prepare ahead of time if you know they are coming, and 2.) you can have techniques for dealing with them while they happen or after the fact.  These would be your Energizers.

Think about things that bring you Joy, lighten your Heart, or help you during rough times.  Talking with God, or just BEING with God are vitally important here!  Being around people who bring Sunshine into your Life, relaxing to your favorite tunes, petting your cat, being in nature, whatever they are, please write them down!

THIS is your arsenal of weapons to use when dealing with Energy-Zappers!  For example, I used to ALWAYS wear my favorite dress when going to take a test because it made me feel confident and beautiful.  Plus, all the friends I saw along the way told me how nice I looked!  Major Power-Up!  Think of which things will help you before, during and after major stressers in your Life.

This takes awareness.  You have to choose how to react.  But only God knows your body better than you, so pay attention to it, and do what you can to help you in stressful situations!

I Hope this gives you some food for thought.  You’re going to have “Those Times.”  How you deal with it will make the difference between being overwhelmed or going with the flow.  For me, I am again changing priorities in my Life.  A new job and a husband awaiting surgery remind me that this is not the time to be hugely social or investing myself in major projects.  Those times will come-  in their own time.  For now, I need focus on how Blessed I am to have a job that I Love, and to be here for my husband, and with him, because he means the world to me!  Thus I will let go of trying to control so much, of trying to live up to my own unrealistic expectations for this stage of Life.  I will try to avoid things that drain my energy, and will instead focus on those that fill me with energy.

And most of all, I will trust God.  I hope you can do the same.

Blessings,  -Billie

RESOURCES:

Is Today One of Those Days? “Calvin and Hobbes” created by Bill Watterson

Crazy Town found on lovethispic.com, Taz created by Looney Tunes

Instead of Worrying, the Tiger, and Stay Away found on Pinterest

The Secret found on shambray.com

Stress Less from theorganizedhousewife.com.au

Shine from Simple reminders.com

FLUMMOXED AND BAMBOOZLED!

 

FLUMMOXED & BAMBOOZLED!

Dear God!

HELP!!!!

Please help me!

As David says in the Bible, I am filled to the depths with despair;

I call on Your Name for aid!

“O Lord, from the depths of despair I cry for your help; Hear me! Answer! Help me!” -Psalm 130:1-2 (TLB)

 

WHY!?!

Why does it all seem overwhelming at times?

My Life is not bad;

I have a GOOD Life that You have given me,

filled with Love and Family, Hope and Friends.

So, why then, do I find myself at times filled with despair,

my emotions all a-whirl?

 

LORD!!!!!

PLEASE HELP!

I am tired. So tired, all the time.

Owwwwwwwww. Pain,

in my back, knees, feet and legs.

God, I LOVE my new job!

I REALLY DO!

And I know that my body will adjust,

that I’m learning, and will not always be floundering to balance everything.

But for now . . .

I feel as if all I have carried

seems to come crashing down at my feet.

 

There was a time, when I was young and had energy,

when I could do the tasks You gave me,

juggling Home and health, Family, food, helping others

and time with you, God.

I find it harder now to deal with everything,

perhaps because I am no longer a Spring Chicken any more,

(Or a Spring Peacock for that matter- isn’t it cute!?!)

You tell me to take care of myself.

HOW DO I DO THAT!?!

The task seems insurmountable!

I need sleep, I need good nutrition and exercise.

Keeping up on medical issues,

not sitting so long at the computer or phone.

Spending time with you, Lord

finding time to relax and renew my Spirit.

Time with my husband, with Family, with Friends.

Caring for the Home, the pets, working,

TRYING to keep up on housework!

(AND DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE YARD!)

 

How, Lord?

How am I to do all appointed to me,

and with good Grace?

How do I Love You, Love myself, Love others

when all seems overwhelming?

I don’t mean to whine.

You have seen me through so many hardships,

and have given me so many Blessings.

I thank You, Lord.

Even now, most of the time, I’m learning this new Life. And Loving it!

But I MISS my daughter! I miss my Mama!

I can’t find TIME! And I am so low on energy!

Even as I embrace and an excited about my new Life,

it’s hard to shift from the old one.

Can I just lay my head on Your shoulder?

Because when I do, I feel you caress my hair

as You whisper words of encouragement and Love in my ear.

You’ve got this,” You say.

I Love you, and all will be okay.”

As I cling to You, Loved in Your comforting embrace,

my tears begin to subside.

I have been so exhausted;

usually this despair comes upon me late at night

when I am overwhelmed by tasks yet unfinished,

and worries of the coming days.

 

“I am exhausted and crushed; I groan in despair.”

-Psalm 38:8  (TLB)

Yet, You are already there with me.

Through it all, You are with me.

And things I think so overwhelming and important,

are really just minor things in Your Grand Scheme of things.

Love Me” You say. “Trust in Me.”

When I am confounded and befuddled, anxious and worn down,

those are not of You, Lord.

You are encouraging, Loving, accepting.

You ALWAYS welcome me with open arms,

so filled with Joy to see me, to spend time with me!

You never contrive to overwhelm me.

If I am overwhelmed, it is because I have not turned to You,

I have not heeded Your guidance.

I struggle on my own strength,

pushing through toward the goals of my choosing.

“Commit everything you do to the Lord.  Trust him to help you do it and he will.”  -Psalm 37:5  (TLB)

You came to give me Life, and abundant Life.

Not weary worn frazzled Life.

Please, Lord, help me remember this.

And, yes, I hear You!

I am to take care of myself but also cut myself some slack.

For I am Yours and I am Loved!

Thank You, Lord, that in You, there is always Hope.

I Love You, Lord!

Amen

 

As you read this, please know that I do not live in constant depression, nor am I primarily sad and overwhelmed.  Life brings changes, changes that are new doorways for the Lord to Bless us with.  But they can be challenging and heart-wrenching at times.  We all feel anguish, dismay, confusion.

 

I choose to share this with you because I want you to know that it happens.  To all of us.  Yes, strong Christians get overwhelmed at times, feel lost, and don’t know how to deal with everything.  But there is always Hope in the Lord.  Please hold onto that promise, and remember that He is with you ALWAYS and that HE LOVES YOU and thinks that YOU ARE WONDERFUL no matter what!  And if God Almighty thinks you’re wonderful, then you better believe it!

 

I leave you this day with Love and with Hope.

Blessings, -Billie

“For the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, says: Only in returning to me and waiting for me will you be saved; in quietness and confidence is your strength; but you will have none of this.”  – Isaiah 29:15  (TLB)

Resources:

Bamboozled from hideyourarms.com

Crying in Anguish, Out of the Depths, Please Hold Me Jesus, and Hope found on Pinterest

Baby Peacock found on animalia-life.club

Overgrown Yard from homeguides.sfgate.com

Overwhelmed from thethingswesay.com

Life Abundant found at artbyerinleigh.blogspot.com