I got a Heavenly gift today, and it almost feels like Christmas and a birthday rolled up into one! It should. And I’d like to give it to you. Here’s why:
You see, ten years ago TODAY I celebrated the birthday of my best-friend from high school. Less than four months later, she celebrated her first birthday in Heaven—after cancer took her body and Jesus took her home.
It left me battered and broken. But by grace—still believing. And I only know God’s Word today and dare to write it because we dove into the deep end of faith together, and came up for air only when we had to.
Before I share today’s gift with you, I hope it’s OK that I share a quick memory. I can still hear the shrill sound of the phone ringing, and feel my feet sliding across the floor to answer it. What followed left me out of breath, and nearly out of words. A rarity.
“Christie, Missy has cancer,” her mom softly said. My heart dropped into my lap, unable to keep up with the pace of those words. I shifted mental gears into reverse, recalling the childhood years she’d been my secret keeper and the gatekeeper to my heart. She’d also been an answered prayer and a literal life-saver. It was now my turn to return the favor.
Fast-forward to after that phone call, and we were side-by-side again. For six solid months that changed me—for a lifetime. I wouldn’t be here without her. And I wouldn’t have the strength to endure more loss if it weren’t for what God did in me through her. That’d be a part of her favorite verse: And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
After one of our last outings, my tires crunched down her gravel driveway, and then settled in for a minute. Before she grasped the door handle I said, “Missy, you KNOW why God created our friendship so many years ago.” She said, “Yeah.” We both knew. And I told her, “For such a time as this!” She nodded and those blue eyes just sparkled back at me.
And THAT brings me to the gift. Today. On her birthday. For such a time as this. As a thank you for reading along, I want to gift you with the opportunity to make a SONSHINE BOX.
I made my first one back then when our closest friend shared how her mom used to make her a cheer-me-up sunshine box when she was a kid. So the two of us got to work making one especially for Missy. And then another. And another.
We took the traditional “sunshine box,” and put my cheesy love of themes and words to good use, and the “SONshine Box” was born. A gift box filled with seven wrapped items, wrapped up in love and God’s Word, that also included the condition to only open up just one a day for a week. So she got a box enclosed with a week’s worth of gifts, but filled with a lifetime of God’s love for her.
In the decade since, I’ve continued to make countless SONshine boxes for friends and family, and even better, many of them have continued to make their own for those in need of encouragement and a reminder of God’s love.
When I committed to blogging in January, I made a pinky promise with Heaven and set a goal that by TODAY, I’d share this life-giving, Jesus-loving gift with others. Thanks to God and Heaven-sent friends, I made it. I made the birthday and the box. Now that’s a gift.
It’s pretty simple, but I’ll share the how-to’s and more pictures of how I put them together next week. In the meantime, when you subscribe to this blog, you’ll get a free download to print out assorted bible verse cards and a gift card to place with your gifts for your very own box of Sonshine.
Ask God to place someone on your heart who could use a special reminder of your love and His. And if you’ve already subscribed, just leave a comment, and I’ll send it your way.
So blessed to celebrate the GIFT of friendship and SONshine with you TODAY!
“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:7
Thank you for walking along with me, one step, one word, at a time. It would sure bless me if you’d subscribe to my weekly emailed blog posts, and I hope to brighten your day and bless you right back!