Tag Archives: miracles

100 Followers, and Almost 4 Years of Sunflower Sojourn!

Sunflower Sojourn has hit 100 followers! Yet whether I have 1 follower or 100, I’ll still keep writing on. Thank you to all 100 of you who are following, whether you’ve been following for years or for a week!

I remember when I began this blog almost 4 years ago. I was living with my family and on the job search. I felt discouraged and encouraged at the same time by my progress. (Little did I know what God was up to–I didn’t need to even be looking for a job, because my dream job would be handed to me!) I had some extra time on my hands due to not working full-time. I felt the pull to minister through the written word. Thus began this blog!

Here are a few of the happenings that have occurred in the 4 years I’ve been keeping this blog:

I “met” another blogger who just so happened to live in the same city. At a time when I was feeling nudged to move, she just so happened to have an extra room in her house. We lived together for close to a year, one of the most blessed living situations I’ve had so far in my life. (And no, I don’t believe that the situations listed above are coincidences. I believe in God’s hand in each detail of our lives!) She’s still someone I would consider one of my best friends. I’m thankful God used our blogs to connect us!

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My dream of visiting Africa came true in 2016! It was a miracle how I was able to go on the trip. Miracles abounded throughout the entire trip itself as well. I am forever grateful and look forward to my next visit, whenever it may be! There are a few other countries high on my list and where I’ve felt Him leading me for years. God, You can do it again!

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I made a career change. Ok, it’s still in process and will be awhile before I can actually practice! Yet I look forward to the day when I can walk with others on their journey to healing and wholeness as a counselor.

Most of all, I’ve seen many miracles! One of those miracles is my visit to Africa, mentioned above! I’ve been in awe of God’s workings in my life the past 4 years. I can’t wait to see how He works in the next 4 years! Where will He take me?

Where will He take this blog? I look forward to finding out!

Thanks for reading along! As always, let me know if you’d like me to post on anything in particular!

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Letting God…Be God.

An exciting possibility recently surfaced in my life, quite unexpectedly. Immediately I began to play out what might occur, when, and how all the other aspects of my life would be affected by this possibility. In my mind, I began to manipulate everything to work out nicely. Essentially, I began to try to take the reins and to plan out each detail.

Especially for those of us with leadership abilities and tendencies, it can be difficult to give over control of our lives. In fact, it can be difficult even to see when we are seeking control, since it is part of the very fabric of our nature. However, all this planning is in vain. You see, GOD is ultimately in control. Though it’s important to have a direction…It is all “God willing.No amount of planning or manipulation on our part can accomplish what God has for us.

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Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

The good news is, I don’t need to plot out every aspect of my life! I can let go of stress and anxiety as I learn to simply trust. My Creator knew my path and all the beautiful twists and turns it would take before I was even in my mother’s womb! I could never have imagined the beautiful experiences I would have in my life, the connections I would meet that would shape my life, and how so many details would seamlessly meld together at a perfect time. As I look in awe over the numerous miracles in my life, I look forward to seeing how He will do it again!

Isn’t it amazing the miracles that happen….When we let God, be God!

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”~Ephesians 3:20-21

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Photo by Matthew Sleeper on Unsplash

Highlights of 2016

It’s difficult to believe that 2016 is almost over! I feel as if the year was swift, yet when I look back, it’s hard to believe how much happened!

Let’s start with something that will begin in early 2017. My patron for 2016, randomly chosen through the Saint Name Generator, turned out to be significant. It was St. Ignatius of Loyola. I have been a fan of the Examen and Ignatian discernment for a number of years. It turns out that one of his patronages also became important in my life. He’s the patron of educators and education. This year, I really felt the Lord nudging me to go back to school. After an interesting journey, I was accepted to the program of my choice! I will be starting as a part-time grad student for an M.A. in Counseling, as of January!

The year started out rough. Within the first week of the year I was ill. There was a high

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amount of drama at my workplace. It was a struggle. Through it all, I learned to lean on Christ even more. Reading the Scriptures & knowing my Creator through this became more important to me than ever before.

My city had a lot of victories. In June, I went to the parade celebrating our basketball team winning the NBA title! It was really a great celebration and a show of unity for a city that has had many setbacks and much division. The next month we hosted the Republican National Convention-and the candidate won the presidential election! Months later, the baseball team went to the World Series (though we did not win). In God’s eyes, this city is not “The Mistake on the Lake.” He is at work in this city.

I moved in with a roommate. Financially, this was a great decision. Even moreso, it is a benny-cuddle-2blessing to have a companion on the journey & who is also seeking God. She gets the journey. Not long after moving to the new place, a seeming “super-mouse” pushed me over the edge to adopt a cat. Though he did nothing to help with the mouse, he’s brought much laughter. (And praise God–the mouse (mice?) are gone. May they never return to our home.)

 

For the second year in a row, one of my reflections was published in a book! This time, it was a book written by my very own roomie! It’s a raw reflection about a relationship breaking up, but I pray it ministers to someone who may be in a similar situation.

I visited Africa, finally! It’s difficult to put into words how much this experience affected me and the joys it brought. I am so thankful for the miraculous way God brought it about. The whole trip and all His movements on the trip, too, were truly miraculous! I will be forever grateful.forblog

Truly, this was a year of beauty. Thank You, Heavenly Father. I look forward to 2017 and whatever adventures may lie ahead.

Happy New Year’s to all my readers! May our Heavenly Father bless, direct, and strengthen you in all your ways.

“Brothers, I do not consider myself to have embraced it yet. But this one thing I do: Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.”~Philippians 3:13

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Blessing is Beyond Fear

I have written before about open doors and my dream come true. Finally, the dream was almost here!

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The week of my trip had arrived! However, I wasn’t feeling the jubilation that I had anticipated. In fact, I was feeling completely stressed out and weary. I didn’t realize how much my stressful job had taken a toll on me, especially nearly a year of work with barely any time off. I got sick days before leaving. Two days before my flight there was a big work event for my program, which didn’t help my stress or my health. Time was short and I felt like more and more was being added to my list to do before leaving. I felt overwhelmed.

I called a friend for support. It was the night before my flight and I was so worn out. My friend was firm with me and very honestly told me that he thought I was afraid & that my sickness was caused by apprehension. He told me to stop worrying so much about the packing and other details and to get ready for a great trip. I pondered his words. Even though I had dreamed for years and years of Africa, perhaps deep down I was a little afraid. I’m accustomed to my predictable daily life. So much was unknown about this trip. I was definitely going to be thrown out of my comfort zone. I was afraid of the unknowns and what could go wrong instead of being joyful about my dream finally coming true. 

I finally got packed and stopped worrying about what I could be forgetting. I still had a minor cold on the plane ride, but my stress melted away as the plane traveled closer to the place I had loved and dreamed of visiting for so long. I let go of all my worries from home and prayed and journaled on the flight. From beginning to end, the trip was a blessing. Why had I been so apprehensive? It was for nothing! The trip was one of the biggest blessings of my life. The way the Lord provided for this trip was a miracle, and so was all the ways that He provided and worked while we were there. I have been to Africa. It was the first time, but I know…It is only the beginning.forblog.jpg

When we are afraid, there are blessings beyond the fear. Let go of the fear you tightly grip onto, and let God! You never know what the blessings are that lay beyond your fears.

You Are Not Stuck

Feelings of hopeless situations and being stuck keep us there. It’s like someone in deep mud. They realize that they are stuck, and they stay in the mud as they continue to sink deeper and deeper. Because they are already stuck and sinking, they don’t believe there is a way out of the mud.

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So, in certain situations where I was not moving forward, can you guess why there was no progress? It was my attitude keeping me stuck. Because I believed that the situation wouldn’t change, it didn’t. I kept sinking deeper into the belief that things were the way they were, and that was that.

I wasn’t thinking outside of the box. I failed to remember that faith moves mountains. When I thought certain situations would stay the way they were–they did. Sadly, I failed to remember that we serve a God bigger than any situation we will ever face. Our God can do anything, and believe me–there are some pretty creative ways that He changes situations and help us out!

I have been reflecting a lot on Ephesians 3:20: “Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” His mighty power is at work within us-wow! Are our thoughts and attitudes cooperating with that mighty power?

As God has blown me away with open doors, and situations have changed that seemed but a dream, I have begun to work harder on shedding those attitudes that keep me stuck. As my attitudes have changed, new possibilities and realities are coming into view. Living in faith is living in freedom!

I am ready to put on the attitude of faith and expectation, ready for the miracles that are sure to come. I am stepping out of the mud. How about you?

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Miracles of Motherhood

God likes to blow us away with miracles of motherhood. Infertility is so common in the Bible, not only a modern day trial. God performs many miracles and gives the childless a child. Not only that, but God performs a complete miracle to send His only Son to Earth! Jesus Christ is conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit!

There are many women longing for the gift of a husband and children. God’s word speaks to every generation. I believe that the miracles God performed in the Bible relating to motherhood can give hope to today’s generation. Infertility is sadly a very common cross. Additionally, women are getting married older than ever, which can cause some panic regarding the ability to attain pregnancy. Sometimes women feel they have waited too long for a spouse, and with relation to their “biological clock,” settle on the next best person to come along. Waiting on God’s best usually doesn’t come in our timing and can cause fear about the ability to have children. Take heart at the esteem that God has for motherhood, and the miracles the LORD has done for so many women in granting them their heart’s desire.       

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  • The following are just a few of the stories of God making women mothers (against the odds) in the Bible.
  • Sarah is the wife of Abraham. She was very advanced in years, well past the age of childbearing. Years earlier, the Lord had made a covenant with Abraham (then Abram), telling him that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars. Nothing seems to happen, and still Sarah and Abraham are childless. One fateful day, three visitors come to visit Abraham. One tells him that they will have a son. Sarah is hidden and listening the conversation. She laughs, thinking it impossible for her to have a child. The Lord tells Abraham: “Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” (1 Gen. 18:14) Indeed, the word of God comes true, and Isaac is born. It didn’t matter that Sarah was way past childbearing years. God kept His promise.
  • Hannah is a wife of Elkanah in the first book of Samuel. Elkanah has another wife who has children. As for Hannah, the “Lord had closed her womb.” (1 Sam 1:6)  The other wife taunts Hannah about this, and Hannah herself is absolutely brokenhearted at her inability to have a child.  “In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly.” (1 Sam 1:10) The priest Eli sees Hannah, and thinks she is drunk due to her behavior! That is the extent of her sadness. The priest blesses her and tells her that God will grant her her prayer. The family goes up to worship the next day, and after that husband and wife come together. God opens the womb of Hannah, and she conceives Samuel. Hannah dedicates the child to God. Samuel goes onto become a great man of God.
  • Elizabeth is the wife of Zechariah in the New Testament. Elizabeth was unable to have children. She and Zechariah were very old. An angel appears to Zechariah letting him know that they will have a son named John. “Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I know that what you say is true? I am an old man, and my wife is old, too.” (Luke 1:18) Zechariah is rendered mute until the birth of their son due to his inability to believe. Elizabeth gives birth to John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus Christ. (And incidentally, also His cousin!)
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Do you think your motherhood is any less important to God than that of the women in the Bible?  Wait on God, and trust Him! Our miracles aren’t always wrapped up like we want them to be. He will work, though it may not come in the form of a positive pregnancy test. Nowadays it often comes in being led to a child (sometimes halfway across the world) who you just know that God is asking you to raise, or filling the important role of mother for the neighbor down the street without a mother figure. Spiritual motherhood is a vital role that women also fill by their prayers and teaching the Lord’s way by both word and example. (Yes, it is a very important form of motherhood in itself–one not focused on very much.) Believe His word and His promises! Be open to the ways He is working.

“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”~Luke 1:45

Happy Mother’s Day to all mommas and all those women who are mothers at heart!