Monday, June 30, 2014

June Hope Chest Recap- The Meaning of Sunflower Seeds For Hope by Kim McClure

Today, is the 100th post on this blog.  To commemorate that event, I just wanted to write a few words to thank those of you who have supported this ministry over the past year.  Last Spring, I reached out to over 25 women via email asking them if they would be interested in joining me in an endeavor of collaboration in creating a blog with the intent of encouraging women in their everyday lives.  I expected for 10 or so to agree to join in, but I was pleasantly surprised that 20 of them did.  A few have decided to opt out, and I have added a few in since then, but please know that the women that collaborate to bring you the posts and stories on this blog truly have a heart for the Lord and want others to know that they are not alone in whatever problem they are facing.  We are not afraid to admit our shortcomings, and want to share our experiences, so that lessons can be learned, lives can be touched, and connections can be made.

I have a "friend" that made a comment on Facebook about my choice of naming the blog Sunflower Seeds, and went on to joke that you just chew them and then spit them back out.  Well, if anything written in the words that you read on the Sunflower Seeds leaves you something to chew on, then we have met our goals.  We want women to grow tall in their faith like sunflowers, turning their eyes to the Son full of happiness, unwavering faith, powerful optimism and cheerful expectancy.

In the past year, I have been amazed at some of the ways I have seen God work through connections made through this blog.  Women mentoring other women from states away through problems they are facing, because someone read their story on this site.  Our Facebook group has grown to 378 members, and that is the place where most women access the site.  Despite the fact that I do not or never have paid for advertising to make it more visible to more people, or bought "likes", we have encouraged that many women, and I give all that glory to God.

It can be discouraging when a great post goes up, and the viewership is low, but we continue to pray over this ministry, and have faith that God will put the words in front of who needs to see them at just the right time in their lives.  So, we will keep pressing on, and I hope you will continue to support us and pray for us.

During the month of June, many women agreed to share their stories in our June Hope Chest.  In case you missed one of their amazing testimonies, I am adding each link below for easy access.  If their story touches you, please feel free to reach out to them.  If you don't know how, email us at and I will forward your message to them.

We plan to be back for a daily series in October on faith.  Until then, we will have weekly posts from the team.

Thanks for your support and let's keep encouraging and hoping together!


Linda Greenwood honors her friend Marcie Bock for always spreading hope to others.

Stephanie Fulmer shares her story of finding joy in motherhood.

Kim McClure and the Sunflower Seeds team share what hope is looking like as Kim's youngest is getting ready to go to college.

Michele Linville shares her story of God pulling her out of the darkness of an illness, going through a divorce and being afraid to remarry, being a single mom and finding happiness.

Whitney Gesner shares her story of God getting her through partially losing her sight, but never losing sight of Him.

Valicia Leary shares her story of being a mother to two beautiful daughters, one of which is in a wheelchair and how her hopes have changed and faith has grown.

Summer Sink shares her story of being afraid to have another baby after complications with the first pregnancy and delivery, but seeing that hope can conquer fear.

Jennifer Searls shares her story of finding truth in Jeremiah 29:11, and looking back on her life and seeing that God had a hand in what was happening in her life all along.

Marshaye Lynn shares her story of God providing for her family in dark times, and never letting them down.

Annie Murray shares her story of God getting her family through a job loss and a move to a new area, and building her faith.

The Sunflower Seeds team writes about holding on to God while you're in the dark tunnel and can't quite see the light at the end of it yet.

Stacy Sheppard shares her story of having an abortion and the emotional after effects of it, and the joy of knowing that God heals.  She feels called to help other women who might be considering an abortion and wants to share her truth.

Tammy Holtzapfel writes about her years of working with teenagers in youth ministry and how sometimes just coming alongside with a struggling young person with encouragement can really change their perspective.

Renee Mullins shares her journey of faith and shows us that hope means healing, opportunity, peace and empowerment to her.

The Sunflower Seeds team writes about hope and how it can spread light into even the darkest heart.

Annabelle Suddreth shares her life story of believing that she was an "accident".  We all have that tape recorder inside our heads telling us something negative about ourselves. God can erase that if we allow Him to.

Carolyn Berger shares her story of holding onto God after the suicide of her grandson.  If you've lost someone tragically, this story is very encouraging.

Terri Millwood shares her family's journey of learning that keeping up with suburban America wasn't making them happy, but they are finding happiness in simplicity and God.

Susan Haynes shares her journey of defeating ovarian cancer, and how God got her and her family through it.

Jennifer Bias shares her story of loss, betrayal, and forgiveness within her family as a young woman, and her battles with doubt, to see God work in her life and prove Himself to her.

Mitsy McKee is in the midst of battling melanoma, and here she shares how God amazes her with His love and the support she is receiving.

Chaminie Wheeler was born in Sri Lanka and raised in a Buddhist family.  She wants people to see the freedom in a relationship with Christ, where you don't have to be perfect because of His love and sacrifice.

The Sunflower Seeds team encourages you to expect the answers to the prayers you are praying.  Look for them just like you would when you anticipate a visitor.

Dana Best shares her story of praying for her husband's salvation for years, and after relinquishing control to God's will, seeing it happen.. Beautiful and encouraging.

Kelli Karlich shares the discovery that when you don't have hope in your life, you aren't happy.  God doesn't go anywhere, we choose to let go of Him.  Go back and hang on, and be happy.

Stephanie Hodges shares her life perspective that there are glimmers of hope everyday no matter what you are going through, and she has been through some tough stuff.

Katie Gray shares her story of finally figuring out that her hope had been in the wrong places and things in life, and seeing her life come together the way she prayed for, after making some changes in her walk of faith.

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