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

DEDICATION AND CELEBRATION!

DEDICATION AND CELEBRATION!

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!!!

What’s that?  You didn’t realize that this week is the 2 YEAR Anniversary of Sonshine Celebrations?  Well, now you know, and I am so glad for all of you who have found your way here.  It’s my Joy to Bless you with all the cool things God shares in my Life!  And just think about all the neat topics I have been able to discuss in the last two years!

If you’re interested, PLEASE feel free to put a topic in the search box and see what all you can find.  (You can even check out our 1 Year Celebration post.)  If you can’t find something, please message me on Facebook!  Just so you know, the format on some of my older posts is a bit harder to read on smartphones, but I am going back and correcting that.

And if you LOVE Sonshine Celebrations, please:

  • SHARE it with your Friends!  Tell them about it, show it to them, send them the link, or connect them to my Facebook Page!  I want to share God’s wondrous Love with as many people as I can!
  • Go LIKE and FOLLOW my Facebook page!  That way you will get updates about new posts.  I am working towards having a Subscribe/Follow Me button here but until then, Facebook is the fastest way to get updates.Always, ALWAYS feel free to SHARE my Facebook posts with your Friends!
  • I also LOVE hearing your thoughts about my posts.  PLEASE leave comments, both here and on Facebook.
  • And come back often to visit!  There is a new post every FRIDAY!

And now to CELEBRATE!!!!

IT TAKES DEDICATION TO CELEBRATE THINGS!

While trying to decide how to Celebrate this week, I realized that so many milestones we Celebrate in Life are tied to Dedication.  When we have children, we Dedicate them to the Lord, we commit ourselves to caring for them, to guide them in Life, and help them grow close to God.  And we Celebrate the precious gift that God has given us in them!

When we start a job, we make a commitment to work hard, we are dedicated to doing the best we can, and a job well done warrants a Celebration.

When we get married, we are Dedicating our Lives and our Love to our spouse!  We consecrate our marriage to God, to be the best we can be together, and we Celebrate not just our wedding vows but the Hope and commitment of a lifetime together.

Any major accomplishment in our lives takes Dedication.  Athletes work HARD to achieve success.  Any beautiful piece of art requires not just the vision but the determination and perseverance to finish the task.  All good relationships take a degree of commitment; you can’t just coast along-  you have to invest yourself.

Even small acts need Dedication.  If I actually make myself work to keep the kitchen clean, when I go to cook something the next morning, I have a thrill of victory at the sight of all the clean counter tops and tools easily at my reach.  When I pursue my desire to stay in shape and go walking, inside I’m doing a little Happy Dance because I’m so proud of myself!

Sonshine Celebrations would not be here if I hadn’t had the determination to pursue my vision.  It takes hard work and commitment!  There are many Thursday nights I am up really late finishing these posts because I have made a commitment, to you, to myself, and to God to have a new one out every Friday.  (And yes, I am attempting to work on them throughout the week, not always at the last moment, but I am still a Work in Progress!)  But every time I hit that post button, I feel immensely happy, and whenever my husband or kids tell me how proud they are of me, it makes my heart sing.

Having grandiose plans is all well and good, but if you don’t execute your plans, they wither and die, never coming to fruition.  (I have pinned so many wonderful ideas on Pinterest but if I don’t try some of them, I’m missing out.)  Think about all the miraculous things that have been accomplished because someone had the Dedication to follow through on their dreams!  That is definitely something worth Celebrating!!!

SO LET’S CELEBRATE!

Our accomplishments are worth Celebrating!  God gave us such amazing brains that can think of the most wondrous things, and when we reach for those dreams, when we strive to make them reality, that is something to be proud of!  God certainly is proud of us!

There are tons of different ways to Celebrate.  Parties, dinners, awards, rewards, a pat on the back, a treat.  Sometimes we Rejoice with just us and God-  a feeling of elation within our Soul, a silent High Five, a trip to the Ice Cream Parlor.  I get great satisfaction in marking off my accomplishments in a Bullet Journal, and have been known to reward myself and Friends with Golden Stars!  (You remember all those little gold stars we strove for in school, and how Happy we were when we got them!)

You can Celebrate with those you Love-  going out to dinner in honor of a promotion, a Birthday party to Celebrate all the lives you have touched during your years on earth, a candle-light dinner your first night in the new Home you worked so hard for.  I Love getting Congratulations cards from Friends when I accomplish my goals, as well as receiving emails or Facebook congrats.

So what about YOU?  What have you devoted yourself to lately that required lots of Dedication to achieve?  How did you Celebrate?  We’re human; when we accomplish something, we Celebrate.  And both the accomplishment, and the Celebration motivate us to further endeavors.  What dreams do you have lurking within you, waiting to venture forth into being?  Be willing to make that commitment, Dedicate yourself to bringing your goal into reality.  And think about how you will Celebrate when you get there.  When I went back to school for my Master’s Degree, in the very first class I saw pictures of those who had come before me walking across that stage with their hoods on to receive their Degree.  The image of me doing that motivated me when the going got tough, and the reality brought me so much more pride and Joy then I ever could have imagined!  GO WORK FOR YOUR DREAMS, PEOPLE!

As for my dream of Sonshine Celebrations, I re-dedicate myself to doing the best I can to share God’s overwhelming Love and desire to be in relationship with us.  To Celebrate, I think I will pat myself on the back for a job well done, and make something REALLY TASTY tomorrow!  (Check out Tasty Foods on Sunday for the recipe!)

Now it’s YOUR TURN to Dedicate and Celebrate!

Happy Anniversary! -Billie

Resources:

Dance on the Tables, Gold Stars, Believe in Yourself, Celebration Time! and  Be Fearless found on Pinterest

the Royal Family from yahoo.com

Dedication Definition found at JandiCoGraphix on etsy

So Let’s Celebrate from indulgy.com

Walt Disney quote from tuckereece on etsy

CELEBRATE AND REJOICE!

CELEBRATE AND REJOICE!

I WILL PRAISE THE LORD NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS.  I WILL SPEAK CONSTANTLY OF HIS GLORIES AND GRACE.  I WILL BOAST OF ALL HIS KINDNESS TO ME.  LET ALL WHO ARE DISCOURAGED TAKE HEART.  LET US PRAISE THE LORD TOGETHER AND EXALT HIS NAME.  FOR I CRIED TO HIM AND HE ANSWERED ME!  HE FREED ME FROM ALL MY FEARS.  OTHERS TOO WERE RADIANT AT WHAT HE DID FOR THEM.  THEIRS WAS NO DOWNCAST LOOK OF REJECTION!  THIS POOR MAN CRIED TO THE LORD-  AND THE LORD HEARD HIM AND SAVED HIM OUT OF HIS TROUBLES.”  -Psalm 34:1-6  (TLB)
One of the cool things about Summer is that there are SOOOOOOOO MANY Celebrations taking place!  Everything from weddings to birthday parties, family reunions, 4th of July Barbecues, and all things in between!  I admit it!  I do my fair share of partying as well!  Among other things, my backyard has played host to a our 25th Wedding Anniversary Celebration, a Family Olympics, Dance parties, and a Worship Night just to name a few.
When I turned 50, I wanted to have a BIG party to Celebrate!  (Maybe I was inspired by Bilbo Baggins a bit!)  Part of me felt silly, though, because it seemed a bit extravagant to have an entire HUGE event all about me.  But I was reminded that:

  1. We all need to be Celebrated, Loved and Cherished by those who care for us, and whose lives we have touched.
  2. It gives others the chance to Minister as they help us Celebrate, and it Blesses others to see and participate in such an outpouring of Love.
  3. While I get lots of the Love and Joy, it’s not all about me.  It’s also about the wonderful things that God has done for me, and for those people in my Life who have helped me along the way.
  4. It reminds others that they too can commemorate special times in their lives.
  5. And it gives God a chance to Bless me even further as I glorify His care and Blessings.

So I had my Princess-Pirate Birthday Ball with a dance floor on my basketball court, complete with sparkly lights and pirate flags.  I ordered myself a bright pink Quincinera Dress, invited those dear to my Heart, and had the time of my Life Celebrating all the wonderful things that God has done in my 50 years on this earth, the lives He has used me to touch, the perseverance through hard times, and the Love that surrounds me always, even when I cannot see it.
Of course, not all occasions are marked with GIGANTIC events.  Some may only be you with one other person having root beer floats.  But it’s important to remember that we ALL deserve to Celebrate!  Yes, Life is difficult sometimes and we go through hard times.  But God gets us through each and every one, and LOOK at the precious gift He has given us in His Love and Salvation!  Does that not make Life worth Rejoicing in?  
I LOVE this picture by kokecit on deviantart because it touches my Soul, and reminds me that God Loves and Celebrates me just as I Love and Celebrate Him!

A SONSHINE AND RAINBOWS PARTY!

This week marks the one~year Anniversary of Sonshine Celebrations so I thought it was the perfect time to talk about Rejoicing and Celebrating the Lord!
There have been hardships along the way, times when I’ve gotten discouraged, and wondered if I was making any difference with what I was doing.  But through it all, God has helped me, guided me, and made it abundantly clear that He is using Sonshine Celebrations to share HIS EXTRAVAGENT LOVE with others!  And that certainly marks an occasion to be Festive and kick up our heels!  So I plan to make up some tasty, rainbow colored goodies, dress up all sparkly and dance around the house with God to some of my favorite worship music!
Let me take this moment to THANK all of you who stop by and read these posts!  It is for YOU that I reach out with Love and Encouragement.  If you’re new here, please check out some of the older posts, and come back often!  New posts are up every Friday morning.  For all my Faithful Followers and Prayer Warriors, THANK YOU for the feedback and prayers and Blessings you have given me this past year.  And special THANKS to my Techno-Wizard son who made this blog come into being, and to my husband and daughter who encourage me, put up with late, LATE Thursday night whirlwinds, and especially to God for the Joy He shares with me in this Life, and the promise of the Life to come!

Seriously, this week, PLEASE Celebrate!

1.)  What’s happening in your Life that deserves recognition?  Maybe it’s a BIG event like a promotion, or maybe it’s as little as getting to bed before midnight.  (One of my goals!)

2.)  Now what can you do to CELEBRATE that Blessing from God?  Go out to dinner?  Have some Friends over to Rejoice with you?  Search out ideas on Pinterest and throw a spur~of~the~moment Party?  Go on a picnic by yourself with God?

3.)  Because remember that every Blessing we have is from God.  Each time we are able to make it through adversity, it is with His strength and guidance.  HE LOVES US THANKING AND PRAISING HIM!!!  How can you and God Celebrate together!?!

Remember, it’s okay to commemorate important events and people in Life.  Such occasions give Testament to the Faithfulness and Love of God!

So go ahead~ CELEBRATE AND REJOICE!  -BILLIE

MOVIES about Celebrations:

  • Valentine’s Day” A sweet reminder that everyone Celebrates in their own way.
  • Chocolat” What can I say? It’s a movie about Celebrating Life and CHOCOLATE!
  • The Last Holiday” Don’t wait till the perfect time to Celebrate~ REJOICE IN THE HERE AND NOW!!!

BOOKS about Celebrations:

  • Let’s Have Tea Together” by Susan Wheeler and Paul Kortepeter. This is an adorable book about Tea Parties complete with beautiful Holly Pond Hill illustrations and recipes!
  • Star Trek: The New Voyages 2” This compilation of short stories about the original “Star Trek” has a WONDERFUL story in it about a “Surprise” written by Nichelle Nichols. (Lieutenant Uhura)


RESOURCES:

Celebrating Girl found on Pinterest

Bilbo’s Birthday from “The Lord of the Rings”

Rejoice by kokecit on deviantart

The Strength of Joy found on Facebook

Rainbow Doughnuts from tastemade.com

Pink Part Cake found at stocksy.com