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An inspirational moment of spiritual faith

The Story of 
My Sun & Shade and the Backyard Swing

An Inspirational Moment of Spiritual Faith that Sparked Hope and Renewal

A Heartwarming Walk Down Memory Lane with My Sun & Shade 

Take a stroll down memory lane with me and let your heart open wide as I share the personal background story of light and shade in my life and the spiritual meaning behind it.

The Backyard Swing

 

When our family moved from Michigan to New York in 2017​, I had to leave my beloved backyard swing behind. This swing was a Mother's Day gift from my dad and had become very special to me.

 

The backyard swing sat under an ash tree near my husband's pole barn, giving me a beautiful view of the entire backyard, the driveway, the side of the house, the gardens, the garden shed, and the road. I loved to sit there and often did, watching the sun rise or the sun set depending o what time of day it was. The swing became a haven for me to relax, pray, and reflect on my beautiful yard and garden.

A Peaceful Moment

One summer morning, I sat on the swing with a cup of coffee, enjoying the warm sun and the sweet sounds of nature. The black-eyed Susan's swayed in the breeze, and I was alone with my thoughts.

The sunshine in the backyard spaks faith

Finding Comfort in Prayer During Challenging Times


Our family was facing a particularly challenging time, and I turned to the Lord in prayer. My heart ached and I couldn't hold back my tears anymore. I started to sob. The situation had been going on for a long time and our family was feeling weary from the strain. I couldn't help but wonder why the Lord wasn't making things easier for us. As I cried and prayed, the sun suddenly broke through the clouds and shone brightly in the sky, but the sunlight wasn't reaching me. Big branches from the nearby ash tree were preventing the sunlight from reaching me.

 

As I watched the sunlight cast sharp shadows on the ground, I found myself moved and began to sing a song the Lord had given me years prior during another trial.

The words of the song are taken from Psalm 121.

I lift up my eyes to the hills,

where does my help come from?

I lift up my eyes to the hills,

where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,

The Maker of Heaven and Earth,

My help comes from the Lord,

He is my God

My help comes from the Lord,

The Maker of Heaven and Earth,

He watches over me, 

both now and forevermore

He is the shade at my right hand,

the sun will not harm me by day,

nor the moon harm me by night

Both now and forevermore

Reflecting on God's Presence During Difficult Times


While singing this song, a few thoughts came to mind. I began to realize that the Lord is always my Helper, and He is the source of my support. As the Maker of Heaven and Earth, He is always aware of everything that is happening at all times. Therefore, I could trust that the Lord knew all about what my family was going through, even if I didn't feel His presence nearby. The words of this song became very real: He promises to be with us, providing shade from the hot sun of trying times.

According to Psalm 121, if we look to hills, to the Maker of Heaven and Earth, He will protect us from harm day and night.

 

During difficult times, it can be hard to see things clearly. Just like sitting in the shade. Our understanding gets clouded from discouragement and we often make poor decisions. Perhaps, the Lord wants to keep His works hidden from our view to achieve His purposes in our lives without interference.

 

On the other hand, during good times, I can confidently feel the Lord's presence all around me. I an sense His blessing on my life. The sun's rays beam down on me, warming me, and making me feel good. During such times, I can clearly feel the love and acceptance of my Heavenly Father.

Shade from the sun causes relief from hurts

Overcoming Life's Challenges with Faith

Sitting on the yard swing that day, I felt like I was in the shade – both physically and spiritually. My family was going through a tough time, and I couldn't understand why the Lord was taking so long to help us. Looking back, I'm amazed that we made it out of that trial unscathed. But I know that the Maker of Heaven and Earth came to our aid, comforting me with the knowledge that He sees our struggles and means them for our good. As Romans 8:29 KJV says, "All things work together for those who love God and are called according to His purposes."

The turning point came when I "looked to the hills" and learned to embrace both the "good times in the sun" and the "tough times in the shade" and recognized that they were both from the Lord.

 

Once this was acknowledged, I felt peace and assurance knowing that the Lord was with me every step through our very long, trying situation. Even though I couldn't see His hand at work or feel His presence at times, I trusted that He had a purpose for everything that was happening.

Things began to improve for my family after I accepted our situation, and I learned to rely on the Lord in both the good and the bad times. He promises to always be with us, giving us peace and assurance along the way – even when we can't see Him. By lifting our eyes to the hills and trusting in the Maker of Heaven and Earth, we can find help in both the sun and the shade of our lives.

Lift up your eyes to the hills

Where does your help come from?

Does it come from the Lord?

The Maker of heaven and earth?

Only then, can He be your help in the Sun & Shade.

Join the Journey

In 2019, the Holy Spirit prompted me to start a blog for Christian women, and it was during this moment that the idea for "My Sun & Shade" was born. I wanted to create a platform that celebrated the balance of both the sun and the shade in our lives. Just like my backyard needed both to thrive, I believe that we too need both the sun and the shade in order to live a fulfilling life.

With this in mind, I started sharing my real-life experiences as a pastor's wife, mom, teacher, grammie, and administrative assistant on this website in blog posts, prayers, and songs. I wanted to inspire others to find their own balance of sun and shade, not just in their gardens but in their lives as well.

Through "My Sun & Shade," I hope to encourage others to embrace the ups and downs of life, and to find beauty in moments of their own sun and shade. Whether it's learning to appreciate the warmth of the sun, or find solace in the coolness of the shade, we offer guidance to find balance.

So come join me on this journey of discovering how to live a life filled with God's blessings in both the sun and the shade! Follow "My Sun & Shade" on social media platforms for inspirational tips and insight for creating a balanced, beautiful life!

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