SONshine In A Jar
by Jodie Barrett on November 10th, 2017

Give-a-way and Soul Inspired Project

​1 Thessalonians 3:9 
For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God,
 
​Dreary. Rain was falling by the buckets with no end in sight. A special outdoor photography session had to be cancelled for a second time. The whole day looked like a wash and I was filled with JOY!

One look around the room and I could see four long, lazy bodies stretched out on the couch after a satisfying lunch. That lunch was prepared by many hands the day before at a family event and then my daughter helped set the table after we put on the finishing touches.

I sat in my chair, with a warm blanket across my lap and counted this very dreary day as a Son-shine moment. Many years ago while going through a very bleak season in my marriage I resolved that I could either stay stuck in the circumstances, overwhelmed with sadness, anger, and discontent, or I could look for the blessings in everyday and see the joy that was present even in the difficult. I named this process looking for Son-shine.

Each night while reflecting, journaling my prayers, and reading scripture I would draw a sun at the bottom of the page and record blessings. Some days it felt like looking for a needle in a haystack. One night I wrote next to my sun that I was grateful to hear my husband snore! Really, I did. It wasn’t the snoring that I was overjoyed about, but his mere presence. When I say this was a difficult time in our marriage I was being quite real and his snoring reminded me that we were still together, still married, and still pressing forward.

Have you ever been there? Are you there now? In a place where every day seems filled with storms?

You dread getting up out of bed. You want to run as far from your life as you can because it seems, well, hopeless. I was.

In Psalm 143 David proclaims, “I am losing all hope”. But he doesn’t stop there. He continues with the words that became my mantra:
“Come quickly, Lord, and answer me,    
for my depression deepens.
Don’t turn away from me, or I will die.
 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning,
    for I am trusting you.”

Psalm 143:7-8 (NLT)

When we face the darkest, most desperate of times we can be honest with God and ask for His help. Ask to see and hear Him every morning. Ask him to help you find the Son-shine moments all along the way.

Being intentional to search for His goodness each day will strengthen you and change your perspective. I can say this after of watching for the Son to break through the darkest days. The more I searched, the more aware of His blessings I became and everyday there is something to be grateful for.

Let me encourage you with this prayer:

Lord,
We live in a broken world and we need you. Every day we need to see you. Help us become aware of the blessings that you pour out every day. Let us hear of your unfailing love every morning. 

Amen
(Keep reading to enter our fabulous Give-A-Way!! You don't want to miss it!)

Collecting SONshine In a Jar 

Today I want to share a fun Everyday Thanksgiving Project with you.

Do you ever keep score? You know, within your relationships. Sadly, there have been times that I have.  Maybe I didn’t do it on purpose, but it seems that whenever I am in a conflict with someone, recounting any little hurtful thing they have said or done just pops up like an unwelcome weed!

And just like weeds in our garden can choke beautiful flowers, these emotional weeds can choke a good relationship.
 
But what if we changed our scorekeeping and instead of keeping a tally of hurtful things, we began to  count and collect thoughtful and kind and loving things. Or like our friend Jodie says: “SONshine”.
 
Jodie shared above,
“While walking through a difficult season in our marriage, I began counting SONshine moments each day. INTENTIONALLY looking for the small blessings during a hard time. In my prayer journal I would end my page by drawing a sun and listing my SONshine blessing that I was thankful for. One day it was hearing my husband snore— it was a really hard day but we were still together!”
 
I love this idea! And I am taking on this challenge! Will y’all join us?
 
SONshine In A Jar Project Steps:
​1. Find a large jar - one that will hold lots of SONshine!
2. Decorate as desired. 
3. Keep a pen and pieces of paper, or post it pad, next to your jar for easy access.
4. Place the jar in a prominent location, you will see each day.
5. Everyday, intentionally look for the blessings in your day.
6. Write your SONshine on a piece of paper, fold it up and place it in the jar.
7. Select a date  -  or multiple dates  -   for your family to get together and read the SONshine notes with each other.
 
Here's my SONshine jar our family will be using this year. 

​You can download this FREE printable to use in decorating your SONshine jar. 

1. Download to your computer
​2. Print on label (sticker) paper - I used white label paper
3. Cut out each design and decorate as desired!
Jodie and I would love to see your SONshine Jar! Share with us on social media and tag Sweet To The Soul and Faithfully Following, and use the hashtag #SONshineInAJar.

Blessings Soul Friends, 

Mary & Martha Gratitude Canister Give-A-Way

Oh goodness yall, I am so excited about our giveaway today!!!

How would you like to receive this Mary & Martha Gratitude Canister for FREE??!

eeek!

​Yes please!

​All you have to do to enter this drawing is leave us a comment below and share something you have been thankful for especially in a difficult time. 

That's it!
​We would love to see your comments encourage others, so comment on other's comments for extra entries. And invite your friends!  At the top of this blog post are buttons you can just click to share to social media and to your friends. 

We want to give a shout out and HUGE THANK YOU to friend and Mary & Martha consultant, Laura Blackburn.   You can visit Laura's Mary & Martha page at ​http://www.mymaryandmartha.com/Laurab  or connect with her on Facebook.  

 
Leave your comments and share through the weekend. A name will be picked at random Sunday night November 12, 2017, 10:00pn cst. 

​Today's blog is part of our #SoulInspired Scripture Reading Series : #EverydayThanksgiving


Posted in Soul Inspired    Tagged with #EverydayThanksgiving, 1 Thessalonians, gratitude


49 Comments

Jodie - November 10th, 2017 at 6:01 AM
Jana- No words can express the joy that you have brought into my life over the last three years! I am ever grateful for your encouragement, love, creativity, and generosity. Praying for hearts to grow in thanksgiving everyday! Thanking Jesus for all He has done for us. AND I can't wait to see who wins the thankful canister!
Jana - November 13th, 2017 at 1:54 PM
You are such a gift sweet friend! I really can't fully express my thanks for the friendship and joy you have given me! %uD83D%uDC9B%uD83D%uDC9B
Sheila Watson - November 10th, 2017 at 6:15 AM
I love this project. I did this year's ago, Blessing Box. It's time I do another. This journey He has me on has opened a new door for me. Pressing on in the adventure He is providing.
Jodie - November 10th, 2017 at 7:50 AM
I love it! A blessing box was mentioned to me by a friend a short time ago and that's when I did a large joy jar to place things I wanted to keep that others had given to bring me joy! Onward in our journey Shelia.
Jana - November 13th, 2017 at 1:55 PM
One step at a time friend! God is so good to lead us ! Thanks for sharing with us!
Melanie - November 10th, 2017 at 7:45 AM
What a great idea. I plan to find two jars today for this project. This study has come at the perfect time for me. There are many different life Challenges going on right now. This study has helped me remember to take time each day to be thankful and praise the Lord even during the hard times. I am thankful for my husband during hard times. I'm thankful for him all the time. But specially during hard times. See my husband is very quiet man. A man of few words. But he always knows when I'm going through a difficult times and he always seems to know just the right thing to say or do. God truly made the perfect husband for me.
Jana - November 13th, 2017 at 1:38 PM
Thankful for you Melanie and your husband!
Jodie - November 10th, 2017 at 7:51 AM
Praising God for your husband Melanie! He's pretty special and just right for you!
Sara Cunningham - November 10th, 2017 at 9:10 AM
I am thankful for my family. Today's my mothers birthday and I will be seeing her and other family members who are not saved. Thank you for this study which I am just starting.
Patsy - November 10th, 2017 at 10:16 AM
Happy birthday to your mother. Hope you have a wonderful family day. Prayers.
Jodie - November 10th, 2017 at 12:25 PM
Sara! What a blessing to spend time with family. I know that they will see Jesus in you! Praying for their hearts to open to His call.
Jana - November 13th, 2017 at 1:39 PM
Happy Birthday to your Mom! Thanks for joining us for the study.
Jennie - November 10th, 2017 at 9:35 AM
Love this!! I am thankful for sisters in Christ, who are honest and prayer warriors!
Jana - November 13th, 2017 at 1:40 PM
Amen Jennie! Thankful for those prayer warriors!!
Shelly Reveal - November 10th, 2017 at 9:41 AM
I%u2019ve also been through a season like that in my marriage. It was then that God taught me the most He has ever about Prayer & Fasting!! God would awaken me during the night to PRAY SCRIPTURE OVER MY HUSBAND %u2764%uFE0F To give Him to God & just let God do what only He could. For me to just Look @ Him & not my seasons of struggle. God is a Faithful God. He brought me closer to Him & taught me sooo much of His Wisdom. As tough as it was I%u2019m GRATEFUL, because I learned so much & it helped me be the Power Prayer Warrior He creates me to be!! Thank you Lord for loving me, changing me & ultimately helping me grow closer to you!! You strengthened me to endure all that you have for me on this adventurous journey we are taking together %uD83D%uDE09
Jodie - November 10th, 2017 at 12:27 PM
Yes! God is faithful! Praising Him with you! Thank you for being here and sharing your experiences.
Jana - November 13th, 2017 at 1:52 PM
Amen! Thank you Shelly for sharing your testimony with us.
Clara - November 10th, 2017 at 9:56 AM
Thank you for sharing this project !!!
I enjoyed reading the blog.
Jodie - November 10th, 2017 at 12:28 PM
Clara, I'm so glad you were here! I pray you enjoy searching for son-shine also.
Jana - November 13th, 2017 at 1:41 PM
Thank you Clara and thank you for stopping by the blog!
April T - November 10th, 2017 at 9:57 AM
The last two years have been hard for our family with 2 job losses, finances and stress. I am thankful for God's provision, sisters and friends praying, my kids staying healthy and jobs opening up so I could work around my husband's work schedule to help provide.
Jodie - November 10th, 2017 at 12:28 PM
Prayers for provision. Keep your eyes open to His goodness. He is faithful to provide. Blessings April!
Jana - November 13th, 2017 at 1:42 PM
April I am so thankful God has held you through this time and praying for His continued provision.
Jana - November 13th, 2017 at 2:21 PM
Congratulations April T you are our winner of this beautiful Mary & Martha Gratitude canister!!! Please email your mailing address to me at Jana@sweettothesoul.com.
Jeanette Plummer - November 10th, 2017 at 10:09 AM
What a wonderful idea. I'll definitely be doing this project!! My grateful and very thankful for my hubby. He's right by my side and helping me constantly with all health issues. So thankful he is by side and in my corner.
Jodie - November 10th, 2017 at 12:29 PM
Jeanette, We would love to see pictures of your project! Praising God for your sweet spirit and your husband!
Jana - November 13th, 2017 at 1:43 PM
Yes Jeanette share your pics with us! Thanks for joining in this study friend.
Amber Miller - November 10th, 2017 at 10:37 AM
I am thankful that I was faithful in my waiting on the Lord for my husband. Not perfectly faithful, but no matter how dark it got when I was single I never settled for a man I knew was not my husband. I am thankful for this because my husband is an amazing man of God who serves his family well. It blesses my heart that he does what needs to be done because it needs to be done. Not because I asked, or because he wants to get something out of me or anyone else. Never have I ever met a man who deflects accolades as well as my man. All the glory be to God, all the time. He also leafs me back to the Word of God every time I stray. My marriage is healing me. Praise be to God.
Jodie - November 10th, 2017 at 12:32 PM
What a precious testimony Amber! So grateful for God's goodness.

Jana - November 13th, 2017 at 1:44 PM
Thank you for sharing with us Amber. Such an encouraging testimony.
Heather - November 10th, 2017 at 2:28 PM
I'm so thankful for those that surround me. I have family and friends that are airways supportive, but honest with me in difficult situations. And I'm so proud to have these people so devoted to helping others in need and giving them companionship, especially when those who are less fortunate don't have any family
Jodie - November 11th, 2017 at 6:35 AM
Heather, family and friends are so precious. I love that we can be that to others also.mi "adopt" easily.
Jana - November 13th, 2017 at 1:45 PM
Such a blessing! Thank you for sharing about your friends and family!
Jenner - November 10th, 2017 at 8:35 PM
I am thankful for my friend, Tathel... my sister in Christ. As we struggle sometimes through life's journey, we are always there for one another to prayer for, encourage, inspire and hold each other accountable in making time for Our ministry work. I am so blessed by our friendship. I look forward to the Sonshine jar project. What a wonderful way to remember to be thankful for our many blessings, large or small.
Jodie - November 11th, 2017 at 6:39 AM
Jenner, accountability partners are so valuable. You are wise! So glad you shared this with us.
Jana - November 13th, 2017 at 1:51 PM
Thankful for the gift you and Tathel are to each other. Such a wonderful blessing.
Kitty - November 10th, 2017 at 9:50 PM
Thankful for life & breath. My hubby was very sick couple of years ago and now is healthy and doing great, but I've learned not to take just breathing for granted! God is good!
Jodie - November 11th, 2017 at 6:37 AM
Kitty! Praising Gid for your husbands good health!
Jana - November 13th, 2017 at 1:50 PM
Amen! Thankful for your hubby's good health.
Julie Sunne - November 10th, 2017 at 10:02 PM
I'm going through an overwhelming season of health, behavior, and work concerns, but I'm grateful tonight to be home to tuck my daughter in bed. I picked up Ann Voskamp's joy dare late into 2011 and have never put it down! I record 3 gifts (SONshines - love the term) everyday, whether I feel like it or not. What a blessing it has been! I strongly encourage this exercise. Thanks for sharing.
Jodie - November 11th, 2017 at 6:38 AM
The joy dare helped me also Julie. Praying a God will overwhelm you with his presence.
Jana - November 13th, 2017 at 1:49 PM
Julie I love your joy dare shares! They always brighten my day sweet friend. Praying for rest and refreshment from the Lord in this season. %uD83D%uDC9B
Melissa - November 10th, 2017 at 11:34 PM
I think this is a fabulous idea. I am going tomorrow to find a jar for my Son-shine blessings.
Jodie - November 11th, 2017 at 6:38 AM
Yay!!! Can't wait to see your jar!
Jana - November 13th, 2017 at 1:48 PM
Yay! Definitely show us a picture!
Susan - November 11th, 2017 at 8:52 AM
I am new to your products. Your thankful jar is a great idea to share with my residents. We are planning to make jars this month.
Jana - November 13th, 2017 at 1:46 PM
Susan that sounds fun! Would love to see a pic of all their jars!
Chelsea - November 11th, 2017 at 10:33 AM
Snuggles! I am so very thankful for my sweet babies (3yr old & 2 month old) who both love to snuggle! Life is hard... even when nothing in particular is %u201Cwrong.%u201D The ups and downs, the ins and outs of every day can be wonderful and exhausting and frustrating and inspiring all at once. However, at the end of every day, I am thankful for snuggles with the two munchkins I get to call mine!
Jana - November 13th, 2017 at 1:47 PM
Oh those snuggles are precious grab every one you can!
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