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Author and general editor Carol Kent, along with four additional coauthors, captures readers' hearts with tales about the joys, challenges, and frustrations that women face in all their various roles. Each book inspires women to remember that God loves them and that their purpose is simply to let his love so fill them that they become warmth, light, and love to everyone around them. Each devotional in these books includes a lighthearted or inspirational story, a ...
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Author and general editor Carol Kent, along with four additional coauthors, captures readers' hearts with tales about the joys, challenges, and frustrations that women face in all their various roles. Each book inspires women to remember that God loves them and that their purpose is simply to let his love so fill them that they become warmth, light, and love to everyone around them. Each devotional in these books includes a lighthearted or inspirational story, a thought-provoking quote, and a relevant verse from Scripture.
Kisses of Sunshine for Women: a deep and heartfelt look into what it means to be a woman—turning everyday experiences into sparkling reflections of hope and joy. Coauthored with Thelma Wells.
Kisses of Sunshine for Moms: tales that range from heroic and hilarious stories of first-time moms, to the joys and struggles of single parenting, to the beauty of watching your children grow up. Coauthored with Ellie Kay.
Kisses of Sunshine for Grandmas: from sweet and sentimental birth stories, to grandparenting a stepchild, to humorous lessons learned from grandkids, to the caregiver generational 'squeeze.' Coauthored with Gracie Malone.
Kisses of Sunshine for Sisters: celebrations of sisterhood that happen as a result of being born and bonded into the same family—or that emerge simply from the love growing inside our hearts with friends who become our sisters.
Kisses of Sunshine for Teachers: encouragement and salutations to those who spend every day at one of the most important jobs in the country—teaching. Coauthored with Vicki Caruana.
Contents Introduction .....10
He Knows My Name, by Thelma Wells.....12
A Surprise in the Closet, by Shari Minke.....14
The Lost Keys, by Jennie Afman Dimkoff.....18
The Blue Shepherd, by Edna Ellison.....22
Birth of a Friendship, by Cheryl Gochnauer.....26
Queen Bee, by Thelma Wells.....29
Mystery Shoppers, by Bonnie Afman Emmorey.....32
Binkies, Baggage, and the Billion-Dollar Question,
by Sandi Banks.....36
The Color of Love, by Thelma Wells.....40
An Empowering Choice, by Cathy Gallagher.....42
Defiant Ways, by Melissa S. Sutter.....46
My Front Porch Family, by Thelma Wells.....50
Go, Granny, Go! by Gracie Malone.....53
Battle of the Ding Dongs, by Rachel St. John-Gilbert.....57
Two Little Words Made All the Difference,
by Patricia Lorenz.....60
Morning Smiles, by Pauline Afman......64
Sisters of the Heart, by Carol Kent.....67
The Birdcage Christmas Tree, by Ginger Shaw.....72
Late Bloomer, by Jeanne Doyon.....76
The 'Planned' Pregnancy, by Ginger Garrett.....80
In-Flight Friendship, by Charlotte Adelsperger.....84
Dancing Queen, by Debi Stack.....88
The New Neighbor, by Judy Hampton.....92
Falling in Love, by Penny Williams.....96
Come to Supper, Child, by Thelma Wells.....100
A Kiss from God, by Danika Protzman.....103
My Eccentric Tante Liesel, by Margaret K. Becker.....106
A Little Bit of Wonderful, by Cathy Gallagher.....110
Pass It On, by Thelma Wells.....114
The Crooked Tooth, by Shari Minke.....118
Cleaning Up Our Act, by Lynn D. Morrissey.....122
A Graceful Skid, by Vicki Tiede.....126
Telling Secrets, by Deborah P. Brunt.....130
The Coat of Many Streaks, by Pauline Afman.....134
The Wilderness Experience, by Bonnie Afman Emmorey.....138
God Listens . . . Carefully, by Ginger Garrett.....143
Like a Mighty Wind, by Thelma Wells.....145
Yellow Ribbons, by Anne Denmark.....148
Searching for Truth, by Cathy Gallagher.....152
New Beginnings, by Margaret K. Becker.....155
Bubble Gum Kiss, by Karen Coy.....158
Overseas Connection, by Laurie Winslow Sargent.....162
Bequest of Wings, by Cynthia Reynolds.....167
Six Feet Tall—and Bald! by Eva Marie Everson.....170
The Royal Coffers, by Jeanne Zornes.....174
'Can Anything Good Happen at 5:30 a.m.....185
When I Had Everything, by Allison Shaw.....190
Gifts of the Heart, by Patricia Lorenz.....193
About Carol Kent, General Editor.....197
About Thelma Wells.....198
Kisses of Sunshine for Women Copyright 2005 by Speak Up, Inc., and Thelma Wells Requests for information should be addressed to:
Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Kisses of sunshine for women / [compiled by] Carol Kent and Thelma Wells.
Summary: 'This devotional provides sources of hope for readers'—
Provided by the publisher.
ISBN-10: 0-310-24768-3 (hardcover)
1. Christian women—Prayer-books and devotions—English. I. Kent,
Carol, 1947— II. Wells, Thelma, 1941—
This edition printed on acid-free paper.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version. NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
The website addresses recommended are offered as a resource to you. These websites are not intended in any way to be or imply an endorsement on the part of Zondervan, nor do we vouch for their content for the life of this book.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical,
photocopy, recording, or any other—except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher.
Published in association with the literary agency of Alive Communications, Inc.,
7680 Goddard Street, Suite 200, Colorado Springs, CO 80920.
Interior design by Tracey Walker Printed in the United States of America
05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 /?DCI/ 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
he knows my name Thelma Wells The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.
Chinese proverb My mother was little more than a child herself when, at age seventeen, she gave birth to me.
Not only was she young, she was crippled and unmarried. In scribbled handwriting, from the back room of my grandparents' home in Dallas, Texas, she wrote 'Baby Girl Morris'
on my birth certificate. However, she called me 'Thelma'
after the midwife who helped deliver me. Later I assumed the distinctive last name of 'Smith' from my biological father.
It wasn't until I applied for a passport to take a trip to Panama that I encountered a real problem, when all I could produce was a birth certificate that read 'Baby Girl Morris.' I had to spend $175 in a court of law to buy the name I had used all my life.
Not many women can say, 'I was a girl without a name,' but I meet ladies every day who have no idea who they really are. It is one of the greatest privileges of my life to be able to say (and write a book with the title), Girl, Have I Got Good News for You!
One aspect of sharing God's love with women that I most enjoy is helping them regain their self-esteem. I get so excited as I am able to 'midwife' them into an understanding of God's role in erasing the baggage of shame and guilt they may be dragging around. I tell them, 'You don't have to live with silent, private guilt all of your life. What may have happened in your past is over and should be done with. It's history. You can pack your guilt and shame away in a box, use duct tape around the edges to seal it tightly, and put it in the trash where it belongs, because Jesus wants you to bring it to him.'
And after I have delivered this good news, I tell them they have a new name. They are not a nobody, they are not a generic Baby Girl Doe in their Father's eyes. He calls them by a holy name. They are blessed, redeemed, and precious. They are his lambs, daughters of the king, his bride.
I paid $175 for a piece of paper that says my name is Thelma Wells.
Jesus paid with his life, on a cross, to give me a new name written in the Book of Life. Today I happily and legally go by the earth name of 'Thelma,' but I know my true identity, my heavenly name is 'Daughter of God, Beloved and Forgiven.'
Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
a surprise in the closet Shari Minke All that we send into the lives of others comes back into our own.
Reminisce magazine Ugh! I tried pushing the hangers in my bedroom closet. Curling my fingers behind the metal rod I felt the obstacle preventing my success. I pulled out a wad—it was two crumpled ten-dollar bills!
Instantly my fingers went into search mode feeling for more
'wads.' Ha! I discovered another one, then another, and another! Laughter bubbled out of me as I threw money on the floor. I dropped to the floor, flattened the money, and counted.
I rushed to the phone and called my husband. 'You'll never guess what just happened! I found $800 in our closet!' Tom was as stunned as I was.
'What do we do with the money?' I asked.
Tom chuckled. 'Call your Dad—he's a wise man—but the first thing I want you to do is to check all the closets!'
Finding no more money, I called my father. Dad's counsel was this: 'According to the law, when you purchase a house, all its contents become your property, so legally, the money is yours. But you have to ask yourself, 'What is the ethical thing to do?' Ask God. He will show you what he wants you to do with the money.'
Seven years earlier we had purchased our home from a man named Fred. We learned that Fred built the home for his wife.
It was their 'dream house.' After they lived in the home for only two years, Fred's wife died of cancer. He left the house empty for another two years, unable to bear the thought of selling it.
During the seven years we lived in the house, Fred had passed away. Fred's daughter, Judy, lived in our subdivision. I struggled with whether the money should go to Judy.
I told God honestly, 'I really want this money. You know it would help with our current cost of finishing the basement, but what do you want me to do with it? Please show me.'
A few days later while reading my Bible, words on the page seemed to blaze like neon lights, 'Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have' (Hebrews 13:5).
In that moment I had the answer. God also impressed on my heart this message:
Wait. I will tell you when to give Judy the money.
The following Sunday I felt like a bolt of lightning hit me.
God spoke to my heart saying, Go! Go now! I jumped off the couch, stuffed the money in my pocket, and said to Tom, 'I'm going to Judy's house!'
When Judy opened the door, I could see she had been crying.
I asked if I could come in, and she graciously invited me inside.
'Judy, a couple of weeks ago while I was moving the clothes in my closet, I discovered some money hidden up under the rod.'
Dropping her head, she smiled, 'That would have been my mother.'
I pulled the large wad of bills out of my pocket and said,
'Well, this money belongs to you.'
Judy sat stunned for a moment as I placed the bundle in her hands. Stammering, as though coming out of shock, Judy shook her head, 'Uh, no, wait, you found the money, it belongs to you.'
'No, Judy, the money belongs to you,' I assured her.
Tears streamed down her face. 'I've been alone for a while.
It's not often that my husband and kids are out at the same time.
Just before you came over, I was missing my mother so badly I walked into the family room and took a picture of her off the wall. As I was holding the picture, I said aloud to God, 'Please,
just let me know my mom is okay.' Then you showed up at the door.'
Now both of us were crying!
For seven years I had shifted the seasonal clothes in my closet. Never had the hidden wads of money hindered me. How inconceivable that God knew a day would come when Judy would be missing her mother so terribly and call out to him for comfort. God was there, waiting to