Mornings: The Start to a Great Day!

The way in which we begin the morning can have a lot of bearing on the entire day. You know those mornings everything seems to go wrong, and the whole day is thrown off balance? Yes, starting the morning off right is very important! Cold winter mornings can be even more difficult to get out of bed for. Hopefully these small tips can help you get the day off on the right foot!

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1. Praise God! This new day is a gift! You made it through the night and still have breath in your lungs! Too often we forget to praise Him. So, give thanks to God for the new day He has given! Reading a Psalm of praise is a great way you could do this. Setting a morning prayer routine is important. You can wake up earlier, or pray on the train or in the car. During this time of prayer, you can thank God for all the blessings you have, and ask for help with situations in the day ahead.

2. Drink a rejuvenating beverage. I’ve begun to drink hot water with a drop (seriously, one drop) of peppermint oil on mornings when I’ve gotten very little sleep and been so exhausted–but that “peppermint tea” does wonders to keep me awake & focused at work! You can also try hot water with lemons–also very yummy and revitalizing! If you want to to drink tea or coffee, try to drink decaf–caffeine can be very addicting and not allow you to get by well without it.

3. Have your outfit ready for work or school. Now, this step is one you would have done very first–before you even went to bed the night before. It will save you lots of time in the morning and make getting ready go more smoothly. You won’t need to worry about walking out the door late simply because you couldn’t find an outfit that matched!

4. Eat breakfast. Yes, this step is very important. Choose something protein-heavy, such as eggs and bacon. Fruit is a good option for energy as well. You could even set out the cookware the night ahead to save a little time. Making breakfast does take a little extra time–but it’s worth it. You won’t be focused on your hunger and will be better able to concentrate.

These tips are very basic, but they can go a long way in getting your day off to a great start! Do you have any other tips for starting the day right?

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Reasons to Journal

(This post came from my old blog, and has a few additions.)

For over 10 years, I’ve consistently kept a journal. I plan to do so for the rest of my life. Journaling helps me vent during the tough times,  celebrate during the good times, and see the interesting in the in-between times.

You can keep a journal for many purposes: prayer requests, your prayers to God, your feelings, events of your life, dreams, important conversations, thoughts on life, and anything else you can think of. The journal pictured is one I used in the past, and greatly benefited from. Below is a picture of the front page for each day. There is a place for the weather, events of the day, where you are spiritually, what you are grateful for, people you are thinking about, and more. The next page is blank for other musings.

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(This journal can be ordered online here: http://journalsunlimited.com/shop/inspirations-a-gratitude-journal/)

I definitely recommend journaling to everybody. You may not consider yourself a writer, but no one else needs to see your journal. It is purely for you. (Of course, you could also write prayers–so maybe you and God.) It’s not something you need to do every day, either, but could simply be a solace in dark times to pour your heart out. You could also simply write positive happenings and moments that you want to look back on. In my opinion, journaling can be a great avenue for emotional health.

This woman uses her journal as a prayer journal to write Bible verses and encouragement as art. I love to look at her Instagram from time to time and see what she has come up with:
http://web.stagram.com/n/hersoutherncharm/

What are the benefits of journaling? Here are a few that I’ve found. For each person, they will be different.
1. It is a positive way to process emotions. If you are angry or sad, writing is a healthy way to process your thoughts. For good situations, it is also a great way to celebrate these happenings. When you are in the midst of making decisions, writing down your ponderings each day can help you see patterns and come to a conclusion.
2. It is a way to track your growth as a person. You can look back at old journals and find ways you’ve positively changed. On the other hand, sometimes you will see other changes that may not be so positive, and figure out how to get back to a good spot. You could use your journal as a way to set goals.
3. Journaling is a great way to relax. Spilling your thoughts on paper is a great way to unwind at the end of the day, or to prepare for a new day. It might even be a good “siesta,” a way to take a break mid-day.
4. Your journal is an avenue to see God’s hand. Journaling is a beautiful, tangible way to look back at situations and see how they have evolved. How good God is, and how wonderful and amazing are His ways! Looking back at old journals and the situation now, I can see the change and that God has answered my prayers!

What are your thoughts on journaling? What benefits have you seen from journaling, if you are a journaler?

I Am Back!

I am back! I will be posting again, hopefully at least twice a week.

If there’s one thing I could say, it is that God is GOOD, all the time. Even when we feel that our life is a disaster, God is STILL working. In fact, it is in the times when we feel the worst that God is doing the most! Don’t despair. There will be another post coming on this topic. May God bless you in the meantime! Keep looking up to the Son!

Mother’s Day & Mother Mary

A very happy Mother’s Day to all mothers! Please remember to pray for those women who are trying to have children but have been unable to due to infertility or failed adoptions, as well as other circumstances. Also remember those who have lost their mothers. This can be a difficult day for many.

ImageBesides the woman who gave birth to us, we have a heavenly mother. Catholics place a huge emphasis on Mary, the Mother of Jesus. She is, after all, the one whom God chose to give birth to His Son–to God Incarnate! That’s a huge deal. And Jesus gave her to the disciples, and consequently, to us, as He hung on the cross. Despite this, it can still be difficult for some of us to wrap our minds around devotion to Mary. A few months ago, I was able to view the film “Mary of Nazareth.” My devotion to Mary has been forever changed. Yes, really, the movie was that good! While I’m sure not everything was totally accurate, it really helped me to visualize the woman Mary was. I saw her deep faith against all odds, the scrutiny she faced for saying “yes” to God, resulting in pregnancy out of wedlock, and the connection and intense love and trust she had for the Lord. Her love for all others along her path was also evident, including those society detested. Mary was an absolutely amazing woman, and she loves all of us and hopes for us to know her Son. She is constantly interceding for us! Check out the film if there is a screening near you.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Taking Life As a Journey

Life is truly a fleeting journey, a temporary sojourn. God is teaching me not to speed through it.

Too many times, we are stuck waiting. Instead of savoring the season of life we are in and finding the gems in our lives every day, we simply wait. It’s not until this or that happens that we feel we can start living. This is not true; every single moment of our lives is an absolute gift. Not a single moment of life is wasted or should be rushed through.

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Lately God has had an interesting way to show me not to speed through life, or on the road. It’s stunning how many times I’ve found myself in front of a police car, reaching a four-way intersection at the same time as a police car, or seeing the sheriff sneakily parked on the side of the highway without lights at night. I’m convinced that God isn’t only trying to remind not to speed in the car. Waiting has been a huge theme in my life the past few years. God is trying to teach me to enjoy the scenery and whatever is right in front of me, not so determined on reaching my destination quickly.

Praise God for these lessons, however the Lord manages to impart them to us! I’m loving each beautiful moment and step on this path He’s laid out for me, though I sometimes don’t understand the routes He’s plotted out. His ways are better than my ways, that’s for sure! I’m sitting back and enjoying the scenery and precious moments that otherwise I would speed through.

Welcome!

Welcome to Sunflower Sojourn!

 

My name is Lianna, and I am a Catholic young woman in my mid-twenties.

The aim of this blog is to encourage you as you journey to become the person you were created to be. This life is an incredible sojourn, and it's one we make with God and others on the same path. It is not easy; my hope is that this blog will bring you joy and strength. I will post to inspire you on your daily journey, and topics of posts might be: faith, financial, relationships, health, or any other topics that might be helpful to you.

May the Lord bless you abundantly as you seek Him and the great plan He has in store for you!

Together journeying toward the Creator and becoming the creations we were meant to be.