Formerly a wall muralist, Sophia began to paint a floral series after losing her oldest son in ’02, to a rare genetic disorder and heart disease. She began to get invitations to share her experience of God’s grace through grief, leading her to women’s conferences, banquets, moms groups and churches. She started Dare2Shine, Inc, to encourage others who are walking through the losses of life to find hope, and shine through their circumstances.

Now having two very active boys, and a family of mild processing challenges, she writes and blogs to share her quest for excellence in nutrition, discipline and spiritual peace.

How did you go about naming your blog, and where can we find it?

Joshua was called “Sunshine Boy,” and we sang “you are my sunshine” to him. My middle name is Dare, from the Outer Banks of NC, and Virginia Dare of the Lost Colony. After raising Joshua, we learned what an impact one little life can have on others, and wanted to encourage others to realize the effect they have when they choose to shine their light. My corporation and my site are Dare2Shine

What do you find yourself writing about most often?

Raising boys and art

What prompted you to start blogging, and when did you launch your site?
I began to paint, write and blog to help me focus on my true blessings that shine through all of our challenges.  It expanded into a site of resources and HOPE to encourage others. I started my first blog site in 2006.

How much thought and time do you generally put into each post?

Not as much as I’d like. There are stolen moments when I really feel pressed to share something poignant, but most of my day is so filled with mommy duties and I never want my blog to be something that prevents me from being “in the moment” with my boys.

What are some of your hobbies or accomplishments outside of blogging?
Being a painter, I have to have good reference, which has challenged me to become a good photographer as well. We also had so many health challenges due to anxiety and stress that my husband and I now enjoy cycling (I prefer spinning), weight lifting and teaching classes on healthy aging. I occasionally teach “God in art” classes to homeschoolers and small private schools.

What struggle, if any, have you experienced with keeping your blog updated?
Time has always been the struggle, and I think, for most moms. Since I learned how important sleep is for my sanity, I have refused to sacrifice my rest for blogging. It will just have to fit somewhere in the waking hours for now. 

What are some of your favorite blogs?
agardenofblessings.blogspot.com (inspiring me to garden)

fruitinseason.blogspot.com (comforting)

anotherpieceofthepuzzle.com (autism mom)

themangotimes.com (humorous home school dad)         

Is there a Bible verse that God has recently placed on your heart?
Phil. 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Election week was very emotional for me).

Is there anything that you’d like to add in closing?
Yes. My desire is to share with women how truly significant they are, right where they are planted. Many times we feel so inadequate in our circumstances, or we are going through such consuming challenges that we cannot focus on the good, or see the light in the storm. But even in the heart of our grief at losing my son, we stood on Romans 8:28, and felt confident that regardless of our current pain, (and it has been a rough few years), God would use those circumstances to glorify Him and His kingdom.

He would use us, and even the life of my sweet son, to impact many. When we are able to change our focus, we can see that God does give us so many blessings that are new every morning

I love to encourage others in the current blessings they already have, whether it be our children, our spouses, friends, family, pets, and all the ways that God shows His beauty in the everyday.

My art, personalized plates, and message are all created to help us keep that focus.

When I do find the time to explore other blog gals out there, I am so inspired and encouraged that hopefully, my time blogging is all worth it, possibly to someone else. They are all so eloquent and knowledgeable and I strive to continue to learn and grow this area of my life. 

Visit Sophia at her blog: Dare2Shine

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