Saturday, December 7, 2013

On Seeking the Sunshiney and What "All Things Sunshiney" Means to Me



I love using this blog to share my love of art, crafty diy ideas, decorating, music, photography, and funny stories from my life.  Occasionally, I will share my faith through this blog because I feel that this is a good platform for me to share that story.  I began this blog several years ago because I wanted to take the focus off of "me" and I wanted to share more of Him.

my deepest desire is for God to use me for His glory

My deepest desire is for God to use me for His glory.  To take my hands and use them for His purposes, to take my heart and use it for His purposes, and to take my words and use them to bring glory to Him.

I named this blog All Things Sunshiney because of my story...my testimony.  It is a story that is still unfolding, of course, and will continue to unfold and transform throughout my life.  I chose the phrase specifically from Psalm 139 - a passage that speaks to me over and over again in so many ways.  This passage is my life verse.  The entire psalm reads:

1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD
5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.
19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

This is such a powerful passage to me and I drew "all things sunshiney" from verses 11 - 12:

"If I say, 'Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,' even the darkness will not be dark to you.  The night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you."

When I was nine, I stayed with my Grannie and Poppie for the summer.  We had just gotten home from church camp in Tishomingo, Oklahoma.  I remember one night before I went to bed, I said to my Grannie, "I want Jesus to save me, what do I have to do?"  She asked me if I understood what it meant to be saved and I said "yes," in all of my nine year old wisdom.  So we prayed together and I asked Jesus to come live in my heart.

I remember that night vividly.  I remember the way my Grannie smelled, the color of her night gown as she knelt down beside me, the feel of her hand on top of my little hands, and the way her voice sounded when she gave me the words to pray.  I remember the feeling I had after I had asked Jesus to come live inside my heart.  It is such a sweet memory for me, and that is my salvation experience.

But, that's not really my story.

My story is found in the process of God leading me (and you...all of us) out of the darkness and into the light...into the "sunshiney."  My story is my testimony - just as your story is your testimony.  I believe that we all have a million reasons in our lives to feel happy and thankful (the sunshiney), but I also believe that we can easily get stuck in a place of melancholy and sadness (the darkness).

For me, that dark place feels like the extra room we all have in our house where everything gets thrown when company is about to come over.  You know the one I'm talking about.  The room with the door that is always closed because when you walk into it, it is so chaotic and unorganized that it overwhelms you.  It is a room that is easier to avoid than deal with.  Sometimes we walk by and throw a few more things on top of all the junk that is already in there, and close the door again.  Sometimes we walk into the room with good intentions of cleaning it out, but the process becomes too arduous, so we stop.

I believe that, thankfully, we do not have to rely on ourselves to get those rooms "un-junked."  I'm not saying that we should all air our stories in great detail to the world, not at all - hopefully we all have someone that we can share our details with in confidence.  I am saying that I believe when we are brave enough to open ourselves up to the light and share our stories with one another - even dark stories - community is built.  When community is built, there is no need to close the door to our junk-ey, unperfect rooms and pretend that our homes are perfect.  It's ok to say, Hey...I have a junk room too!

I believe that God uses our stories to bring glory to Him and to bring us together.  He is all things sunshiney and for that I am so very thankful.

Thank you for taking the time to be here.  I believe that we all have a story to contribute, that we are all equally valuable, and that we all have a purpose in this life.  We all have our own way of seeking the sunshiney in life, and this little blog is my way of doing just that.  I am blessed to share that journey with you.  My hope is that this blog puts a smile on your face and inspires you to go out and spread some of your own unique sunshine into the world.

God bless you,
Julie

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