The Open Door

April 24, 2024 · by Hillary Wheeler

An interview with a wonderful mother: Sis. Sunshine Corpus

Having a physical open door to others at our homes and emotional open door to others to feel safe and loved by God can be a challenge to learn how to achieve and balance within life. In this interview, a mother who has done a wonderful job at finding a way to love others well shares some of her background, experience, and bits of wisdom with us in the hope that we all can grow together in learning how to have lives lived with an open door to loving others well.

HW: To start off, I just want to say that you are an inspiration and example to myself and every lady that knows you. When your name is mentioned, it's always followed with positivity and amazement about your giving and loving ways towards others, your fun personality, and your love for God and God’s people. I am so thankful to know you and to have your example in my life and I pray God blesses you and your family beyond your wildest dreams.

I know a little of your life, but for those reading this article that don’t know you personally, can you share a little insight about yourself, your family, children, and fun facts?

SC: I am happily married with my husband Robert Corpus, I have four children: Jacob 24, Jasmine 23, Lewis 22, and Gabby 19. I also had a son named Christopher who would have been 28. He passed away on January 29, 2023. I am co-owner of a law office. I am a recovered Catholic and First Generation Apostolic!!!

HW: What is your God story?

SC: Like I mentioned prior, I was raised Catholic “achieving” all the “mandatory” sacraments. I was Baptized in Jesus' name and received the Holy Ghost at the age of 47. My journey was very difficult. My husband is 4th generation Apostolic. He was a backslider when I met him. Before he brought us to truth, he had been back-slidden for about 18 years. We visited our now home church on Mother’s Day evening service in 2021. God started to move on me right away. I felt something in my chest on my third visit and had the desire to go to Heaven. It was here that I learned why I kneel before God. Imagine being raised in the Catholic religion more than half your life and not knowing why we kneel before God. 

God was preparing me for the biggest storm any mother could imagine. I surrendered to Jesus and was into my 2nd year living in truth. My son Christopher was suffering from mental illness, and he came to find me at church on a Sunday evening service. He was having an episode and was in the middle of the road. Our church is located on a main road in our little town in Highlands, Texas. The road is dark, and the cars travel pretty fast. My son was stuck by a vehicle, and he did not survive his injuries. The next day I thought to myself, “How am I going to pass by the spot my son died everyday? How can I continue to go to church again and see that spot?” I begged Jesus to give me comfort, strength, and peace, and He did. I realized all I had to do was ask Him in Jesus' name; there was no need to beg. I buried my son on a Wednesday. I gathered my family on Sunday morning, passed over the spot my son died, and went to church. I love my Pastor and my church family because they were there every step of the way, and still are, and for that I am so blessed and favored.

HW: What women have been your role models that you looked to for learning how to be a mother?

SC: I was not raised in church, so with that being said, I did not have any positive role models. Most of the women in my life did not follow the biblical way of raising a family. I often think about Ephesians 5:22-24: “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” If I had been raised in church, there are so many wonderful role models from new mothers with the Holy Ghost showing patience, kindness, and loving teachings, to the seasoned mothers with wisdom.

HW: Are there any moments in your life that stand out as moments that shaped who you are as a mother to your own children and a mother figure/friend to others?

SC: As a mother living in the world, I just lived in the world, raising my childrenthe best way I thought, sadly without any religion or faith. When I came to truth, I met a young mother of 4. She had one daughter and 3 boys. She had an irreversible condition and was fighting for her life. She came to me one day and said, “Sis Sunshine, I need you to be in my children’s life, but really be in their life”. My heart skipped a beat, and I thought, "Surely, she is not going to trust me with her treasures. I haven’t been in truth long enough. I can’t teach them like she can.” 

My sister passed away at the young age of 34 - 1 ½ years after I came to church. I admired her for her strength. She loved Jesus so much, and her love as a wife and mother was second to none. This made me truly understand the love I have for all my sisters and their children. I have a great desire to support my sisters in any way possible, and when theyinvite me to be a part of their village, it fills my heart with so much joy.

HW: What do you strive for others to feel around you and in your home and why?

SC: I want my church family to come and just have fun and have great fellowship. I want the children to remember the fun they had in my home. I want young moms to fellowship with the elders in our church and to hear their stories and learn from them. I usually have a mixture of ages so young moms can share their experiences with each other, but at the same time gain knowledge from our elders.

HW: What routines/disciplines/habits/character traits have helped or enabled you to create the environment in your home that you desire?

SC: Coming to truth and having the Holy Ghost is what enables me to open my home to my church family. I need my church family to keep focused. When I was in the world, I had worldly friends and engaged in worldly activities. I associate happiness with food. I always make sure that we have plenty of food while we fellowship.

HW: What helps you juggle work, raising a family, and church involvement while also creating and maintaining time and space for loving others and inviting others into your home?

SC: A patient husband is very important. He helps me stay focused on my job, the kids, and welcomes any opportunity to spend time with our church family. He also makes sure we stay focused on God. He makes sure I understand that my clients have to wait when it comes to church and on days that we are committed to our family obligations as well.

HW: Along with juggling life while keeping an open door to others, how do you maintain family time and your own mental health?

SC: I just let God lead the way and pray that He is going make everything easy. The more I grow in God, the easier things are getting.

HW: So many have been blessed by your ability to have an open door of hospitality at your home and through your love for others. How would you advise mothers that desire for their home to be a safe place for others to begin the process of creating that environment and openess?

SC: First, we have to remember that we must remain Christ-like. We have to love others like Jesus loves us and to be giving the way Jesus gives us. Once you get that love in your heart and soul, it just comes so easy.

HW: A growing pressure on mothers has been present the last few years to have an aesthetically pleasing and perfectly tidy home 24/7 and that it's crucial to have those things in place before inviting others into their homes. Many women know in their heart of hearts that people just want to feel loved, but that nagging worry that our homes won't be acceptable is a real pressure. How can women and mothers combat this pressure, and what have you observed people's true needs to be when at your home?

SC: I struggle with that at times; I do like to keep my house picture perfect. I do, however, notice that when I have company they enjoy some of that “normal” clutter. No one wants to go to a house that looks and feels unlived in. People want to come to that “comfy grandma’s house” environment. We can sit and enjoy each other’s company by playing board games, the kids laughing and running around upstairs - that’s how you should want your home to be remembered. It’s okay if it’s messy.

HW: What are some good pieces of advice you have received over the years in regards to one or all of these life challenges: housekeeping, balancing family, work, church, relationships, mothering, and mental health?

SC: Like I said before, prior to coming to church I did not have too many great examples of how to do things the right way. Now, I’m just like a child in a candy store with all my sisters. I watch them, listen to them, and learn so much from them. I really get too much credit for the openness of my home, but I get so much knowledge from my sisters and brothers.

HW: In conclusion, thank you so much for taking the time to think on these questions and share your experience and wisdom with the young ladies and women that will be reading this. I know your jewels of knowledge will be a blessing to many.

Is there anything you feel on your heart to say to the young mothers of this generation and the mothers and grandmothers of the previous generations?

SC: Young mothers: listen to your elders and pillars of your church. Seek their advice on everything. It may seem that they are lecturing you, but I know they want to keep you from making the same mistakes they made and to keep you from the heartaches that they have suffered. They have lived their lives and have raised children. They have done so much crawling before walking.

Previous generations: Be patient and kind to these young mothers. Be their guides and strengthen them when they come to you. Be open to give the best advice you can.

Thank you again Sis. Sunshine! You are loved!


Hillary Wheeler

Hillary Wheeler

About Hillary Wheeler

Hillary Wheeler is a former Pre-K public school teacher turned stay-at-home mom who homeschools her three young and wonderful children. Her life is full of the normal and fulfilling hustle and bustle of child rearing, kingdom work, and family life. When she has moments to feed her personal interests, she will be writing songs, writing, singing, reading books, or spending time outdoors. Hillary loves to learn from women, both young and old, and values the wisdom of those that have gone before. She feels that her "cup runneth over" with undeserved blessings but is also filled with immeasurable thankfulness for the goodness of God and His great kindness in her life. She knows that life is far more vibrant and beautiful when God, our Creator, is able to lead the way and do all the marvelous things that He does so well. She will forever say, "God is good".