All posts by Sunflower Sojourn

I am committed to sojourning with you toward Jesus Christ, the Son, as we seek to become the people we are called to be in every aspect of our lives.

God Willing.

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15

There is a saying in the Arabic language that is often said: “Inshallah” (God willing). I like how this saying is so often said, because it places recognition in God’s omnipotence and in the fact that humans only know so much. Sure, we can plan all we want. But ultimately, we don’t know. Our humanity gives us a very limited picture of our own lives and of the world. We don’t know about natural disasters or airline shutdowns that can derail travel plans.  We don’t know that we’re going to fall so sick that we can’t get out of bed on the day we have an important presentation. We don’t know that we’re going to unexpectedly meet the person that changes our life and our entire life plans. Or, that we don’t meet the special person we always dreamed of. The list goes on.

I have often gotten caught up in my own plans, determined to follow through with them no matter what. How many of you are the same way? Yet we read the Scripture at the beginning of this post and see: it is all according to God’s will. We are not in control! It’s not about our plans or our timing. I was supposed to attend a historic event today. However, I have been struggling with sickness for the past week. I woke up fatigued. My cough is unpredictable and my voice is barely there. After praying about it, I had the sense that it was a “no.” The plans I had made with others months ago were not going to happen. I was to stay home and rest.

I can’t explain why this is the week I got so sick. However, I do know that this day of rest has been immensely healing to my body. It has also been a great time to reconnect with God. It’s just another lesson in learning to let go of my plans and dreams in order for whatever else my Jesus has in store. It’s all “if God wills.”

(Note: I’m not against planning! We need to make plans, to a certain extent. However, our plans are often very different than THE plan the Creator accomplishes! We need not to be so set on our plans that we are closed off to His different plans.)

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Image courtesy of Unsplash.com
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Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude.

It’s November, the month that those of us living in the United States celebrate Thanksgiving. This holiday reminds us to give thanks for our blessings.  In my own life, I’ve been working to cultivate an “attitude of gratitude.” As my attitude has shifted, I have noticed a much higher level of contentment in my life! Life definitely isn’t “perfect”–but it is all a blessing! 

Check out my monthly post over at Modern Ruth Project to read more about my thoughts on gratitude!

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Photo by Bruno Raffa on Unsplash

Holding On To Hope.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Having hope isn’t always an easy task. It’s in the situations when we really need hope that it’s easiest to lose it! Hope is so necessary to live our best lives possible. Hope brings freedom. When we lose hope, we live in anxiety and fear. We lose our joy and our center. Hope lifts the shackles of worry off of us. Hope protects and preserves–when we lose hope, we lose faith in the thing we hoped for! If we are no longer hoping, we might miss it when what we hoped for comes along!

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Photo by Evan Kirby on Unsplash

To the world, remaining in hope sometimes seems crazy. But, we serve an awesome God! He’s a way-maker, a miracle worker, a promise keeper…Jesus Christ came as a human being to earth, this painful, messy, confused place. Then He died and actually rose from the dead for you–for your eternal JOY! HOPE is what God offers!  

In finding your dream job, or a job…Have hope! Maybe there are still some stepping stones before you get there, so that you can do the BEST job possible! Or, maybe God will reveal something even greater to you along the way!

As far as meeting a suitable spouse…Have hope! Being hopeless isn’t going to attract the person you are waiting on! Have HOPE in God’s promises and goodness…Even if the timing is not what you wanted or what the world thought was reasonable!

In any situation…Have hope! You never know how the situation will turn around! In my life, I remember a time when I had been job searching for months…I had interview after interview…But no job offers (except retail). One day, out of the blue, I had an email from a supervisor at an organization where I had volunteered a few years back. They were starting a new program–and my qualifications literally fit perfectly with what they were looking for! Basically, it was my dream job due to the different elements of it. I got the job almost automatically! Believe me, I never would have expected that to happen! But GOD. Faith and hope sustained me throughout all those closed doors!

Find hope! It will add increase and strength to your life, as well as to the lives of those around you! An attitude of hope is, well, hopeful! If you’re struggling with finding hope…Pray for it! Believe me, it will be granted, sometimes in ways you never expected! I love all my readers and I pray that each of you has an outpouring of hope as you read, in whatever situation you need hope!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

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Photo by Den Heslop on Unsplash

 

 

Finding Strength in Scripture.

This week, I’m over at Modern Ruth Project for my monthly post. I’ve had some circumstances this year that have rocked my world. One solace I’ve found is in reading the Holy Bible. God’s Word has kept me grounded and given me so much strength. His Word is strength for all of us! Go check it out! I pray you’re encouraged to go deeper into the Lord’s Word & to discover the constant love He has for you!

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Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash

 

 

 

Mind and Heart Power.

Today the second reading was from Philippians. If we followed St. Paul’s advice, we would have a lot more peace in our lives! We would learn to dwell on God instead of cluttering our lives with worry. Our minds would be so much more inspired and pure as well. Soak in this powerful passage and let’s start off the week in a great way!

“Brothers and sisters:

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Have no anxiety at all, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious,
if there is any excellence
and if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.
Keep on doing what you have learned and received
and heard and seen in me.
Then the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:6-9

Series on Hold!

Happy Sunday, readers! I hope you have a blessed and rejuvenating day!

Due to my large school load and needing to take care of my own mental health, I am putting the mental health series on hold. (Practice what you preach!) Don’t worry, I will pick back up when things slow down over here!

Happy feast day of St. Therese! May her “Little Way” continue to inspire us to love Jesus and our neighbor. May we live heroic lives which draw us closer to Christ and His cross, no matter what our sufferings may be. St. Therese, pray for us!

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Image from Pinterest/acfp2000.com

 

Say “Thank You!”

I came across an email sent to me nearly 2 years ago. This email was packed to the brim with encouragement that I needed today! It was prophetic, if you will. I remembered the basics of the email and searched for it, seeking the treasures found within. Even now, 2 years later, the inspiration echoed.

I sent a “thank you” email to the person who had sent the email! I pray that they will be encouraged and built up by my act of thanking them! I wonder how many other people they have encouraged and will encourage?

You never know how much it will encourage someone to hear how they have encouraged you! Encouragers can get tired. Sometimes those who give encouragement rarely receive encouragement themselves. It’s important to make others aware of how they have impacted our lives! Gratitude is so important for our own state of mind, in addition to refreshing the people who have touched our lives!

If someone gave you a word to change the course of your life 10, 20, even 30 years ago…Reach out! Thank them and tell them how they changed your life or your mindset.

If a friend helped you last week with something seemingly small…Say “thank you!” Tell them why you appreciate them.

If you’ve never thanked your parents for the sacrifices they made raising you…Say “thank you” and let them know how they shaped you to be who you are today.

You could say thank you with words, some homemade baked goods, a card, an email, flowers, taking them out to coffee, a spiritual bouquet …The possibilities are endless!

 

Your “thank you” could mean more than you ever know!

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Photo by Hanny Naibaho on Unsplash