I was watching the movie Respect starring Jennifer Hudson. This story is about Aretha Franklin’s life and career. Aretha had produced 9 albums before her first breakout song, “I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Loved You),” She signed with a label at 18, but her first hit was at 24.

 This truly humbles me.

 I don't want to give up.

 The truth is, you never know which piece of art you create, what song you perform, what book you publish… may be The One that lifts you to a new level of success.

When I first wrote my book “God the Father, Jesus the Big Brother, Holy Spirit the Best Friend” back in 2015, I could hear crickets. There was no hype and no readership. But I kept writing. Four years later, Tina Marie Shuster produced the audio book for “God the Father…” and suddenly, that book started getting massive attention! This audio book landed #1 and #2 on the United Kingdom Amazon Best Selling list. It landed #2 on the United States Amazon Best Seller list and landed on the Canada Best Selling list as well!

 So, be patient. Keep doing what you love. And leave the results up to God. At any given moment and on any given day, your entire life can completely change for the better.

Just don't give up.

 If you need prayer for anything, let me know. I would love to pray for you. 

I was watching Ocean's Thirteen and there were a couple of scenes where Rusty Ryan left the slot machine "open and available" so that the next person who sat down would attain the winnings. He did this with a purpose and a plan.

Rusty would set it up for their success or leave coins for others to collect. How did he know the next crank of the lever or the push of the button was the winning one? I actually don't know how he "cracked the code" but for those unsuspecting winners like the woman in the casino and the man in the airport, they didn't care! They received a very large sum of money, unaware it was Rusty that "picked them out" to be the winners.

How many times has God done that for us? Let us remember and stand in God’s Truth!

My joy shall multiply today as I receive unlimited favor in the name of Jesus.

Oh Lord, let your Spirit lead me to unlimited success and favor this month in the name of Jesus.

Lord, let me be at the right place at the right time in Jesus name.

God Almighty, let success manifest in every area of my life so that your name can be glorified

My God is able to do beyond what I think, ask or imagine. (Read – Ephesians 3:20)

I know God is setting YOU up for success! I know he is leaving his blessings in plain sight. He knows the winning path and wants you to take it. I know he is going to open doors with divine connections and divine favor. I know he is going to "pick you out from the crowd" and celebrate your personal victory. We can trust him for all that we need and more!

 If you need prayer, let me know. I would love to pray for you!  

 I was playing the Hasbro's board game, "The Game of Life" with a friend the other day.

 It was very freaky  - and astute  - the “results” of the game. I was a Children's Author, I owned an online business, dabbled in acting and won so many awards with bonus paydays. I was married and owned a family home. All kind of seemed very similar to my "real life."

 As I was playing this game, I said to my friend,  "I am going to own this family home and fill it up with children!"

 Then I get to the STOP: FAMILY PATH or LIFE PATH. I chose FAMILY PATH which almost guarantees the player to get a baby (a peg in the car). Somehow, I managed to skip all those baby spots. I even STOPPED to SPIN for a Baby and still couldn't get one.

 In the meantime, my friend was landing on all the baby spots and filling up her car with blue and pink pegs to indicate her growing family.

 I was getting discouraged. "How is this so easy for you?" I ask my friend. "How come I can't get a baby and I am trying so hard?"

 As I continue playing the game – “continuing on with Life” - I finally land on a baby girl spot and excitedly place my pink peg in the car.

 My friend said to me, "See? You didn't give up! It came to you, maybe when you weren't even trying."

 And I was thankful for my one pink peg. Even though my friend had a car full of pegs, I learned that taking the risky paths in Life are well worth it to attain the prize!

 Even though my friend officially won the board game, I thought I won an important lesson: keep rolling, keep spinning, keep moving. Other people may have the blessings you want or are recipients of gifts you are trying to attain. But never say never!

 You never know which is the next step, the next spot, the next spin that will get you to your greatest gift.

 If you need prayer for anything, let me know. I would love to pray for you! 

 My co-worker and I were looking up former child stars that we loved watching as a kid and noticed where they are now.

 Some became famous and successful in their own endeavors. Some did not.

 We were discussing the differences between successful and mediocre  paths and why, we think,  some child stars are still going strong today.

 I told him the advice that I truly believe and live out and the best advice I can give to anyone: Keep your head down and work hard.

 It says in Isaiah 30:21: Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

 And Ecclesiastes 10:2 says, A wise person chooses the right road; a fool takes the wrong one.

 It's too easy to get caught up in the drama and the politics of any business. It's too easy to listen to the critics and the haters. It's too easy to loose yourself as you progress forward in your chosen profession.

But if you can put on those invisible headphones...if you can just listen to the passion of your craft...if you can just keep focused on your purpose and not compare yourself to others...if you can work as hard as you can while accepting setbacks as part of the process....

And keep your head down and work really hard....

Then you can and will embrace a level of success you didn’t even know was possible. Live your Dreams!

If you need prayer, let me know. I would love to pray for you. 

1. I was watching a live Wrestling event with Travis and I noticed that these athletes have to control their moves, be disciplined in their efforts and wise in their conduct in and outside the ring. Though it seems easy, I'm sure it is very difficult to hit their opponent without hurting them...to do a high-flying-twist off the ropes with such grace and to understand the action as to make sure there is no major injury to either athlete.

I want to talk about: Controlled strength.

 You may have to go all in for Christ…but also maintain wisdom to hold back. You must restrain but with a purpose. Follow God’s leading. You must be wise with your power and might.

 I guess my biggest reflection on this would be: “take the high road and be the bigger person. You can show love by what you don’t do.  Don’t talk back, do not start arguments or gossip and don’t engage in office drama.” Sometimes strength is letting things go. Or controlling what you say. Just because you can do something…doesn’t mean you should.  

 I would challenge you to not over exert your abilities but instead, respect the greater good. Can you show servanthood and righteousness and still maintain a proper amount of strength? Can you watch for the well-being of other people while also caring for yourself? Can you go all in for God's will yet stay humble on your knees?

 Let's practice discipline in our behavior as we are wise in our efforts to control our strength and showcase God's glory.

If you need prayer for anything, let me know. I would love to pray for you. 

There is a scene in the (2008) movie Eagle Eye where a man is hearing a very distinct and  very direct voice… literally in his head. He is wearing an earpiece so he can hear that robotic female voice plainly.

Other characters in the movie run from the voice and will not directly comply. But this one character does everything the voice says, exactly to a tee. He may ask a question and when he doesn't get an answer, he still goes about obeying the voice as commanded.


 Scene from the Movie:

The voice: The package you've just received... contains a small metal valve. Open the package and follow our instructions precisely.

Man: What kind of stone is this?

Voice: No questions. Cut the stone and place the setting according to the specifications we sent you.

 Those who have seen the movie know exactly about this voice and where it comes from.  And that voice may or may not be good in this film…. So, I don't want to compare.

But I do want to take this into a different context by saying I want to always be that precise and that obedient to the Holy Spirit's leading, a voice that is always good. A voice I can always trust. A voice that leads me and guides me into the right path. I don't always have to know the answers; I can walk in blind faith. But I want to be that diligent when God asks me to do something. I want to comply with no hesitation and no complaint.

I want God's voice to be clear in my head as I open my heart to His will and His ways.

 If you need prayer for anything, let me know. I would love to pray for you! 

7. I was watching the movie, Free Guy starring Ryan Reynolds. And there is a scene I want to describe (as I try not to ruin the movie for you!)

 There is a scene where the Blue Shirt Guy “levels up” by becoming the good guy and helping others. He stops the violence, assists those in danger, restores peace and recovers stolen items. In doing so, he gains more money,  more possessions and advances to a new level of greatness.

 I can't help but think that God can and will elevate and advance us in the same way.  I believe that what I sow, I will reap. I want to believe that every time I say yes to Jesus, that I am saying yes to his ultimate good plan for me and I am cashing in the reward of my good works.

I want to share with you an excerpt from my upcoming Christian Nonfiction book, “Be the Sunshine”:

“There are certainly some perks to bringing generosity, compassion and kindness out into the world. It’s the old adage: you reap what you sow. I like to believe that when I go out of my way to bless others, God will go out of his way to bless me. I don’t try to give with an ulterior motive, but I also know that if I plant and sow seeds of goodness and love, I can expect that same favor back. I wake up every morning fully expecting God’s goodness to rain down over me. I live with my hands wide open to receive all good things as I spend my days sowing generosity to others.”

 If you need prayer, let me know. I would love to pray for you. 

There's a scene in the NBC hit show The Office, referring to the episode, “Safety Training” :

 The HR Rep Toby is informing the office workers  what to look out for.

Toby: Ok, um, one thing that you’re gonna want to look out for is carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s recommended that you take a ten minute break from typing every hour. For your circulation, you’re gonna want to get up out of your chairs and uh, and move around about ten minutes every hour.
Michael: Yes, good. Fine. Like stretching and…
Toby: Um, yeah. You’re computer screen can be a big strain on your eyes, so uh, it’s also recommended that you step away for about… about ten minutes every hour.
Michael: Wow, that is… that time really adds up. That’s like… a half an hour, every hour?
Darryl: Take them at the same time.

 Do you feel like life is like that?  There is always so much to do!

I have appointments scheduled, like my annual physical, a trip to the dermatologist (I live in FL and I'm light skinned - can never be too careful) and trips to the dentist. And that's just medical appointments. When I add in my work schedule, my Bible Study meetings at church, on and on...I can feel overwhelmed and life can feel out of balance.

I pray that God will give us a simple solution like Darryl did when he said, "Take them at the same time." Let's be proactive with keeping our scheduled balanced and our time more structured. Find the easy path and try not to over-stress or overcomplicate your life. Let’s not make a mountain out of a molehill. We don't have to freak out or make things even more difficult. Find the right pace for you.  And remember to schedule in some fun on your agenda. That’s important too, like taking time to watch The Office!  

 If you need prayer for anything, let me know. I would love to pray for you. 

Another Well. May 22

My husband and I went to a BBQ place for lunch and on this particular day the tea dispenser was empty. You don’t understand... this place has one of the best southern-style-always-freshly-made sweet tea….and I was more than a little bummed that I could not even get a drop of the beverage. Until… God reminded me that there is another tea dispenser… outside, out in the patio sitting area. And it was full and I drank to my fill!

In life…if the well you are depending on right is dry, go to another well. Be creative. Think outside the box. Get the results you want to produce… another way. Maybe there is a fresh, new, filled to the brim opportunity for you just a few feet away.

 I want to pray for you: I pray God that you will give this person fresh visions, revelations, answers and solutions to the problems or issues in their life. I pray God that you will direct and guide their path and give them instruction on their next steps moving forward. I pray Lord that your command will be so clear and that this person will stumble upon a new threshold of blessings, a new alternative source for provision and a new wellspring of opportunity. Thank you, God for opening this person's eyes to new avenues and open doors for success. I pray all of this in the name of Jesus Christ!

 *** This will be my last weekly blog post for a while. Travis and I are on a 21-day hiatus with the Lord and I will "be back" next month.

 If you need prayer for anything let me know. I would love to pray for you! 

 I have a signed DVD of my favorite TV show, Boy Meets World. I am very excited about this piece of personal treasure as Danielle Fishel, Rider Strong, Ben Savage and Will Friedle all signed it and wrote me a personalized message on the cover.

 This DVD is not with the other Boy Meets World DVD's. Oh no! It is set aside on a stand. I do not want this DVD to get messed up. I do not want anything to happen to this DVD. I see it as a one-of-a-kind item!

 I want to feel the same way about my Bible!

 My Bible stays in my prayer room. It is not in my library with the rest of my books. It is not tossed aside or thrown on a shelf. Oh no! This is the Word of God. This is the book that gives all the other books meaning! This is the book that restores my soul and renews my mind! I keep my Bible safe and protected, guarded and cherished!

 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. - Hebrews 4:12

 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. - 2 Timothy 3:16-17

 I want  to value God's Word and be receptive to its power source in my life. For those who own a Bible, you own a holy item, a precious treasure! It should not be collecting dust, but rather used as a mighty sword as we win our battles through its pages of wisdom, guidance, correction and divine power!

If you need prayer for anything, let me know. I would love to pray for you! 

 I felt like I was punched in the gut… and I felt mad and maybe a little betrayed.

 I have a few Authors I absolutely love and respect, reading all their books only to realize that they did not write their own books; they hired someone else to write the pages for them.

 Maybe I was naive. I mean, these Authors were cranking out books very fast! Maybe this is how the literary world works and I need to “grow up” and face reality. But I lost respect for these writers...who claim to be "idea" men and nothing more. I look up to writers more than most, so this was a heavy reality to face.

 I have 5-pages worth of just story ideas! The thought crossed my mind. Maybe I should hire a ghostwriter and get more books with my name on it out there. Someone else could write my stories and I could rest my pen for a while. It could bring in more money, more notoriety, more...wait. Let me not get caught up in this!

 Both me and my husband are writers, so we take this profession very seriously. We understand the grueling process it takes to get to a place of literary perfection and success. And I am adamant on making sure the books that have my name on it is indeed a Sunshine-original!

 I want you to know, that when you look behind the curtain of my business, it's me operating the board. Nothing is an illusion with me; I'm not trying to fool anyone. It means a lot to me when I can inspire other writers, because this calling is very true to my heart and I need to stay 100% authentic in the process!

 If you need prayer for anything, let me know. I would love to pray for you. 

 I was acting spoiled, really. There is no other word for it.

So, Travis and I had free tickets to an attraction in the city, but we felt like $30 was too expensive for parking (we believed that the attraction would only last 20 minutes and thought the parking fee didn't justify the time) so we just left.

 God convicted my spirit and told me that I was not recognizing the blessing he gave us. While other people have to pay full price for the attraction AND have to pay the parking fees, Travis and I only have to pay for parking. Why am I coughing an attitude?

 I realized that my downfall and pride is when I fail to recognize God's blessings around me all the time. So, I get upset when God doesn't answer my prayers in the way I would like him to, not appreciating all that he has given me so far. I get impatient  having to tolerate my current situation, not thanking the Lord that my current predicament is a lot better than it used to be. I can act spoiled, thinking I am more entitled when I need to stay humble and on my knees.

I never want to take God's amazing gifts and blessings for granted!!

I repented of my attitude and asked God to show me next time I act that way. I want to live with a spirit of praise, of thankfulness and deep appreciation. I am here, I am alive, Jesus is my Savior and He is good. Say no more; I am happy!!

 If you need prayer, let me know. I would love to pray for you!

10. Here I am with my husband at a grocery store. It is nothing special…just an ordinary day. The frozen food aisle is full of people looking at a sale for Häagen-Dazs ice cream. Travis is observing the fresh – or not so fresh - bananas on the display. The loud speaker announces a new phone on sale at the electronics center. Everything seems normal. Mundane. Routine.

Suddenly, I hear something familiar. A song starts to play… “Smile” (released in 2009) by Uncle Kracker. I hear the lyrics:

♫♫ You make me dance like a fool / Forget how to breathe
Shine like gold, buzz like a bee / Just the thought of you can drive me wild
Oh, you make me smile ♫♫

And suddenly, I am no longer shopping at a store, but dancing in my spirit. I am smiling at the memories from 13-years ago when the song played so often on the radio. I am touched by the lyrics and felt extremely giddy … even as the associate beside me stocks turkey meat in aisle 9.  

There can be excitement and appreciation and joy… even in the mediocre. Running an errand… can be a reason to dance. Every day is full of miracles – you just have to be open to receive them! It may be one song, one memory, one instance, one encounter, one second that can lift your spirit and remind you that every moment is….

♫♫ Just like a flower poking through the sidewalk crack / And just like that
You steal away the rain / And just like that

You make me smile like the sun…. ♫♫

If you need prayer for anything, let me know. I would love to pray for you! 

I was listening to a T.D. Jakes sermon and he  was talking about resources. He said that most people think he will talk about money when preaching about God's provision and resources, but instead he talked about the power of relationships. He made mention that one phone call to the right person can clear up more than any amount of money can.

 Recently, Travis and I went on a getaway and stayed at a resort. We were able to get a 50% discount off the bill because of a friend who had offered that gift to us.

 Is there someone in your life who has opened doors for you or blessed you in remarkable ways?

 I pray that God will give us divine connections and divine opportunities and divine favor. I receive a financial increase, but I also receive the right people, the right doors, the right supporters, the right benefactors and the right resources to come my way.

 “I hear the Lord saying, "Tell my people to look out for my unconventional plans. Get ready for unconventional deliverance. Get ready for unconventional provision. I am going to use people in your journey that you never thought I would use. I am going to bring provision from unlikely sources. I am going to draw you out of adverse circumstances and set you in the midst of destiny. You will bring glory to Me. I will use you to reveal My glory in the midst of wicked people."
Book: The Jochebed Anointing
By: Ryan LeStrange

****** Travis and I are taking a 21-day hiatus with the Lord. During that time, I will not be updating my weekly blog. Travis and I will be praying and interceding for ourselves and for the needs of God's people. If you have any prayer requests, please let me know (go to the CONTACT US tab). We will pray for you and bring your needs up to the Lord in agreement and faith! 

3.  Travis and I will often visit a nearby lake where there is a large family of Muscovy ducks and several of their babies all swimming or resting by the grass. We arrive regularly with bread or corn-chips for our feathered friends. 

 As soon as Travis arrives on the scene, the ducks go crazy, running or flying out to meet with him. Travis and I will literally throw food in their direction. It is raining bread  and they all eat to their heart's content.

 The Muscovy ducks didn't realize when they woke up that morning that they would be receiving such a feast!

 I wonder if God does that?

 When He shows up, sometimes unannounced, He will rain down blessings from Heaven, showering us with goodness, feeding us much-needed and much-desired gifts. He just walks in with a full loaf of bread...  His bag of treats just for us.

 When you get a sense of God’s presence, don't just walk across the grass. Sprint. Fly! Because today, the Savior has something great prepared just for you. A personalized blessing with your name on it!

 If you need prayer for anything, let me know. I would love to pray for you. 

 So, one of my guilty pleasures is watching America's Next Top Model. That show motivates me to stay focused on my goals and to stay resilient in my passion. Plus, I make mental notes on what makes a good photo and how to “smile with your eyes.”

 I just finished watching a season/cycle from 14 years ago and I was looking up all the girls then and what they are doing now.

 I was surprised to see that so many left the modeling and entertainment industry, some are verbally bitter about her time on the show, and others (some that even left the show early) did phenomenally well in acting and modeling years later.

 So, what makes the difference? How is it that out of 13 girls in that season, 3 have gone on to modeling success.

 I know so many people who are "shooting stars". They grab success at a quick rate. I admit, I am jealous of their overnight popularity. But  years later...I can't find them anywhere and they left the spotlight.

 But I also know some people who have climbed up the charts in their chosen field and year by year they just continue doing what they love. They don't get engaged in drama or more importantly, let anyone else (including themselves) get in their own way. They stay humble and appreciative, ever growing, ever moving.

 14 years from now, I want to be "caught" still doing what I love. If someone in 2036 researches me online, I hope they will still see me writing books, sharing inspirational content and loving God and loving life. That to me defines true success!

 If you need prayer for anything, let me know. I would love to pray for you. 

I am happy to be back from my 21-day "hiatus" with the Lord. Travis and I had a great time interceding for others and we truly saw the move of God in mighty ways!

 I want to talk about a real-life event that happened just a little while ago.

Travis was taking wrapping paper out of the guest room closet when he saw a circular-something-maybe-an-animal that seemed to not be moving. Fearing the worst, he ran to get me. "Oh, no...it's a snake!" I immediately say as I noticed the body curled up.  My heart started pounding as Travis made plans to call the professionals about our wild animal.

 I made some noise around the unidentified creature and still no movement. Could it be dead? I grabbed the flashlight and edged in closer and the color shone a blue tint. I grew a little more confident and drew a few steps near it only to realize it was just a blue party streamer that had coiled itself in a circle.

And it took quite a few moments to calm my nerves!

 But that's what Fear does. In the shadows. At night. It's False. Evidence. Appearing. Real.

 The fear of something, the quickened heartbeat, the anxiety of a negative report, the disastrous thoughts, the imagining of the worst can spin you into a chaotic flurry. Do not let your mind "go there." Do not allow your negative mindsets to consume you.  Fight fear with Truth. Combat anxiety with prayer. Flash light on your dark places. You'll find there is nothing to be scared of when seen for what it really is…a shadow just to get you shaken up (or in my case, a blue streamer).

 Let's not live in fear. Let's not assume the worst. 

Let's live in faith and expect the best! 

If you need prayer for anything, let me know. I would love to pray for you! 

 I read this verse in my Bible and thought about something: “God gets their attention and commands that they turn from evil.” – Job 36:10 (Bold emphasized)

I was planning on having time with God only to have my attention diverted to the Internet. Well, suddenly, the Internet went down. It wasn't storming out. There was no natural reason for the Internet to be out. I restarted the server; the restarted my computer. Nothing. Still down.

 And then, it finally hit me! God was trying to get my attention! I felt an instant conviction, put my laptop away and re-focused my priorities, realizing what was most important.

 How does God get your attention?

 I would encourage you to keep a lookout on how God is getting your attention. It doesn't have to be anything negative - though God does turn negatives into positives. It could be an encouraging text from a friend as a reminder that Heaven loves you. It could be an extra shift at work so you can get overtime pay as financial favor. It could be a complimentary dessert from your favorite restaurant as God's nod in your direction.

 So, let’s cheer to God for getting our attention so we can stay focused to the light and the love of the Savior.

If you need prayer, let me know. I would love to pray for you!

**This is my last blog post… for a little while. Travis and I are taking a 21-day hiatus with the Lord. We will spend this time in prayer, interceding for others, digging into the Word and expectant of God's divine movement! I’ll be “back” next month! ***

I was watching the Live Action Adaptation movie of Cinderella (2015). We all know the story, so I can safely describe the scene. The Prince is searching the land for the owner of the glass slipper. Ella is locked up in the attic by her evil stepmother. All seems lost and hopeless.

Even locked up, abandoned and ostracized ...Ella sings. She sings from her heart, from a place inside of her that refuses to lose hope. Even with tears in her eyes, Ella is determined to not allow her dark situation to overcome her. She sings “Lavender’s Blue (Dilly, Dilly)” which is a song that contains a picture of what she wants her life to be like someday:

 The lyrics are:
“… Lavenders blue, dilly, dilly
When I am king, dilly, dilly
You shall be queen
Who told you so?
'Twas mine own heart, dilly, dilly
That told me so

… Roses are red, dilly, dilly
Violets are blue
Because you love me, dilly, dilly
I will love you
We shall be safe, dilly, dilly
Out of harm's way.”

And in this 2015 movie version. the Prince hears Ella singing in the attic and, well...the rest is history.

So, I want to remind you today to keep singing! As you are in a holding pattern - as the door is locked before you - as you are stuck in the transition between 'once upon a time' and 'happily ever after', just keep praising and worshipping! Sing about what you picture your life to be. Sing about the possibilities to come. Sing about the hope and the beauty of tomorrow. Sing and let it come from your heart – a place where nothing can steal your peace and take away your hope. The King of Kings and the Prince of Peace is on his way to rescue you!

 Jeremiah 20:13 : Sing to the LORD! Give praise to the LORD! He rescues the life of the needy from the hands of the wicked.

 If you need prayer for anything, let me know. I would love to pray for you! 

8. I was watching the Disney live action movie, 101 Dalmatians starring Glenn Close. In one scene, Cruella writes out a check for 7,500 pounds (the movie is set in London). She wants to pay the couple for the 15 Dalmatian puppies. It is implied in the movie that Roger is unable to break through in his video game design and I'm sure that money would be a literal life-saver for the entire family. Even though the couple stares at that check with big eager eyes, they knew they could never give up what is most precious to them….for any amount of money.

 Roger and Anita decline, saying:  “The puppies are not for sale.”  

Don't let money tempt you into giving up on your dreams. 

 I am very thankful. I have plenty of extra time to write and create to my heart's content and I give 100% to my life's calling.  But, the royalty checks from my books can be inconsistent and at times, lower than I thought. With that said, I make it a habit to decline opportunities that interfere with my Author Career. Yes, on paper, these opportunities might mean more money for me but would require me to trade what is most precious to me. And so, I always decline the offer.

 My job is to focus on the Assignment that God has given me to the very best of my ability. It's on Him to provide. I can't be tempted to give up my dreams… for cash. I pray you don't, either.

“My dreams are not for sale.”

If you need prayer for anything, let me know. I would love to pray for you. 

4. I was getting a hot stone massage and the therapist was working hard to get out my muscle knots. I would instinctively winch at the pain or tighten up. The pressure was uncomfortable, even though I knew it was for my own good that the  therapist was focusing on these problem areas.

The therapist knew I was reacting defensively towards his deep pressure massage, and would stop what he was doing and told me to take deep breaths. Inhale in. Exhale out.  As I practiced this behavior, I centered my attention on my breathing and the pain became less and less.

 I would recommend that for you. Right now.

 Do you feel some pressure? Some pain in your life? Do you feel uncomfortable about this season you are in right now?

Let's do it together.

 Deep breath in.

Exhale Out.

One more time.

Inhale. Exhale.

Remind yourself to stop for a second and center on your breathing. You can get through this. The pressure is temporary. God is working things out for your good. Everything is going to be okay. Deep breaths! You've got this!

 If you need prayer for anything, let me know. I would love to pray for you! 

I want to say that I have “returned” from my 21 day-hiatus with the Lord. It was a wonderful time with Travis as we prayed and interceded for people, being a witness to God's movement and divine blessings!

I remember the scene from the movie "First Daughter" where Samantha talks about how she experienced freedom and an openness with James, the man who allowed her to just be herself. Samantha felt cherished as the real her…and not just the First Daughter of the President.

John Mackenzie: Did you love him?
Samantha Mackenzie:  I loved who I got to be with him.

And I thought about this….I love who I get to be…

I remember the days when I would get so mad, so frustrated, so discouraged when my book sales weren't as high as I expected, or my book did not land on an Amazon Best Seller list or the hype wasn't there when I released a new book.

 On any given day, my emotions would be flip-flopping on whether my books were successful or not.

 And I got tired of feeling this way and living this way.

 I realized that my writing and my books are secondary. It's not entirely about what I write. It's the platform where I get to connect with others. I now receive messages on a daily basis from people who follow me on social media. I have a large virtual following. People may not read my books, but I can still encourage them, love on them and minister to them with weekly blog posts and weekly emails and uplifting content.

 I get prayer requests from others and I have the privilege of praying for people.

I love who I get to be as a Writer. The books are secondary. The connection I have with people…that is always first!

 If you need prayer for anything, let me know. I would love to pray for you! 

11. There is an excerpt in the Mark Batterson book, "Win the Day" that I thought was very intriguing. Mark talks about how a simple name change can alter destinies.

  "In 1964, a boxer named Cassius Clay began a new chapter in his life with a new name, Muhammad Ali. In 1993, the artist formerly known as Prince changed his stage name to a symbol. The composer Mozart altered his name multiple times. You'd be surprised - or maybe not - how many of Hollywood's household names are nicknames.
            God turned Abram into Abraham and Sarai into Sarah. The switch from Jacob to Israel was more than just a name change - it was a new story, a new identity, a new destiny, a new nation. Jesus gave nicknames to everyone! My favorite? He called His cousins James and John "sons of thunder"!
              God doesn't just rename us; He puts His name on us. This is how God flips the script. He changes our name, which changes our identity. We get grafted into God's story."

I have a birth name. I even have an adopted name.  
Growing up, I had one name. Going into my 20's, I had a completely different name. 
But now…I am Sunshine Rodgers. That's my married name.

 It's ironic though that one year after I got married, legally changing my name to Rodgers, that my first book was published. And Sunshine Rodgers is not just my "new" name, but my business name, my public name and an Author name that opened up a sensational door for success and fame.

 It's amazing how one name change can alter your destiny…maybe without you even realizing. As Batterson wrote in his book, flip the script  and become grafted into God's story for your life!

 If you need prayer for anything, let me know. I would love to pray for you. 

9.I'll never forget reading that dreaded email. The free blog site I've used for years - the one where I gained 25,000+ readers - was shutting down on me. I could pay the costly monthly fee or else my site would be cancelled and gone forever.

I grumbled for days as I transferred my content over from my free blog to my main website.

Then I received this horrible letter in the mail. My phone’s 3G Network was being shut down. My phone of 8 years will no longer be serviced and just like that, my device became unresponsive.

I grumbled for days as I learned all about my new complimentary phone.

In the midst of my complaining, I could hear God's still small voice telling me that he did warn me ahead of time. And, what I learned was that… not only did God know ahead of time what was happening, he provided another option for me. He reminded me about my current website that I could use in leu of the blog site. God also provided me a free phone to use as I discarded my old one.

Life can bring annoyances sometimes. And if you are anything like me, you don’t necessarily want to change things that are working out just fine. But I am happy I have a God who talks to me, warns me ahead of time, consoles me and provides solutions and answers when I need them. I truly believe that Heaven sets me up for success.

Though it was a frustrating transition, I know (cue the cheesy music) that when God closes a door, He always opens a window.

If you need prayer for anything, let me know. I would love to pray for you! 

5. When I walk around my neighborhood, I always follow the same route. I travel right at the corner, past the community pool and onto the sidewalk until I reach the house with the two black cats. Then my home is just a few houses down. This has been my set pace and I know it well. It's about 3/4ths of a mile and I take that same walking path about six times a week.

 One day, I was out walking, and I saw my next door neighbor, only he was jogging towards me. He pointed at me and jokingly said, "Hey. You're going the wrong way" as he passed me, moving in the opposite direction. Clearly, his walking path is different than mine.

 But no matter which path we chose, we still have the same objective: to stay active, to be fit and to enjoy the nice weather.

 I want to encourage you to be open-minded. Let's not be critical or judgmental about how others are running - or, in my case, walking - their race. What works for one doesn't necessarily work for another. Don't point and say, "You're doing it wrong." We're reaching the same destinations, we're just going about it in different ways.

 Set your own path and be confident in the way it leads. And be mindful of others on the trail. They are fulfilling their personal dreams and goals, same as you. Be mindful, be patient, be loving and be understanding as we all share the road – from all different walks of life - together.

 If you need prayer for anything, let me know. I would love to pray for you! 

 We are officially in the Holiday season and I just wanted to talk about the things you can do take care of yourself and ways to destress from the noise and clamor of the season.

 Be aware of how you are feeling. You know yourself best. Set yourself up for success and make sure you are having a little healthy self-care, especially around the holidays!

 My idea of fun is a day at the beach or at a theme park. I love staying in and watching a movie marathon eating junk food and staying in my pajamas. I like to stay the night at a Bed and Breakfast or sleep in late. I enjoy reading, especially when I can read by the pool uninterrupted.

I do not like exercising for fun, but my husband, Travis will go walking and running every night after work as a way to de-stress. He likes to play video games and watch youtube videos and let his mind relax. He also likes to take baths instead of a shower so that he can intentionally slow down and breathe before heading into the office.

What are your stress reliefs? What calms you down? What do you love to do? After a long day at the office, what do you turn to for relief? I’m asking you to do something for you - eat the cupcake and relax -  to stay sane during this holiday season.

If you need prayer for anything, let me know. I would love to pray for you. 

2.  I was getting a hot stone massage and the therapist was very clear, "Tell me if I am hurting you." Even after expressing my soft to medium pressure preferences, the therapist still wanted to make sure I was comfortable while also trying to out of all my muscle knots. He also warned me that the stones may be a little too hot as he placed each one on my backside. I was told to speak up if it was too hot on my skin.

 I want to encourage today you to...speak up. Tell people how you feel. And even more important, tell God what you are experiencing. Do you feel some discouragement or are you getting burned? Is the pressure of life getting to you? Do you need some relief? Is the hand that is  holding you...holding you a little too tight? Say something.

 You have a voice. Use it. Ask for some relief and expect the pressure you feel to soften and alleviate. You are not alone in this. You don’t have to carry this weight by yourself. Pray out loud to the God who is able to quickly heal the areas of your life that are hurting you. Be open and honest. Say what is bothering you. And trust that though you may feel uncomfortable in the moment, the tension, the muscle knots, this temporary issue will be over soon.

 If you need prayer for anything, let me know. I would love to pray for you. 

6.  I ordered a glazed doughnut from Krispy Kreme and the worker asked if I wanted a fresh doughnut. Before I could even respond, she walked over to the conveyer belt and fetched a fresh doughnut that had just been glazed over by icing, still heated from the oven. I was overly ecstatic about this mouth-watering goodness!

In that moment, I couldn’t help but imagine…this must be how God gives His blessings to us!

“Taste and see that the Lord is good…” - Psalm 34:8

“How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you.” - Psalm 31:19

“Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap.” - Luke 6:38

God's blessings are fresh, never stale. These Heavenly gifts have not been sitting around a day or two, getting old or collecting dust. Oh no! God's blessings have just arrived! Fresh off the conveyor belt of Paradise! These personalized presents are Brand New, created and crafted by the passion of angels and from the heart of Heaven. And when it arrives – it is marked just for you and wrapped in divine love!

I am thankful that I have God Almighty by my side who can bring such undeniable favor and awe-inspiring miracles that can come  no other way except by His hand!

 If you need prayer, let me know. I would love to pray for you!