On To Adventure

Over the past few months it has become quite apparent that life has changed a lot for me. I am learning a new normal of taking life “one day at a time”. My “health” struggle is new for me. One that brings unexpected rushes of emotions and can sometimes cause me to get discouraged easily. Yet, there is so much to be thankful for. So, I need to work on focusing on the positive things happening in my life rather than on the negative!.

As I write this, I am filled with gratitude over the incredible travel adventure I just experienced with my family. Being able to travel was such a huge gift! I am so thankful!!!

I earned the 2019 Stampin’ Up! Greek Isles Grand Vacation and our path to get there led us from Hawaii to New York, New York to Paris, Paris to Florence, Florence to Rome where the Greek Isles cruise began!

Because of my recent respitotry challenges, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to travel. However, as the days led up to the trip, I started to get well (with no treatment). My immflamuation numbers came down, my breathing improved the only question was whether or not I still had a mass of “something” in my lungs. I believed with all my heart that the answer to that question would be no… but we had to wait and see. I met with my doctor and I was feeling great so he gave me the green light to go.

Since the decision was last minute, I had only a few days to work on swap cards. I guess since I was about to go on an adventure I was drawn to our new set called, On To Adventure!

On To Adventure Card

On To Adventure Card

I created this “inside outside panel card” that highlighted two of my favorite images from this adorable stamp set. To create this type of card, you create a window in the card and put a piece of card stock in it that is stamped on both sides. Here is what the card looks like on the inside.

On To Adventure Card

On To Adventure Card

Today, I want to share a few highlights of the trip as well as give you an update on my health situation which continues to be quite an adventure!

Our trip got off to a great start.

Our Adventure Begins

Our Adventure Begins

We boarded our flight in Honolulu and headed straight to New York City. New York is like a second home to me, I love going there because it gives me an opportunity to visit my big brother.

My Big Brother

My Big Brother

The visit to the city was brief. It was actually just a long layover but we had a chance to show my son in law, Brett, some of the highlights of the city because he had never been there before.

We ate breakfast in the East Village and then took the subway to the Top of the Rock,

Top of the Rock

Top of the Rock

We visited Grand Central Station and tried out the whispering walls in front of the Oyster Bar.,

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station

We passed through Times Square and saw all the bright lights by day.

Times Square

Times Square

Our final stop was Kat’z deli! Brett said it was the best Pastrami Sandwich he had ever ate! I agree. Even though its a big tourist spot, I love going there!

Kat’z Deli

Kat’z Deli

Next top was Paris. We were only there for two days but we packed in a lot of adventure.

Welcome To Paris

Welcome To Paris

I loved seeing the kids experience Paris for the first time.

Locks of Love

Locks of Love

The girls especially loved the chocolate croissants!

Chocolate Croissants

Chocolate Croissants

Our visit to the city of love was brief but we had enough time to take them to some of our favorite places. One really amazing thing that happened is that I ran into two friends outside of the Louve. First, was my friend Anna, whom I knew was in Paris but we just happened to be in the same place at the same time.

Anna and Cindy

Anna and Cindy

The second was my college BFF Kari who I saw was in Paris only after I got there from an instagram post. We also just happened to be in the same place at the same time! I was so grateful to God for the blessing of running into her not once but twice that day! Paris is a big place so the chances of that happening are pretty unreal.

Cindy and Kari Kay

Cindy and Kari Kay

Our next flight took us to Florence, Italy. At the end of all our travels the kids agreed that this was their favorite city. I feel the same way. It was my third visit to Florence and if I could be there again tomorrow, I would be.

I love Florence

I love Florence

There are so many placed in Italy I want to visit. I really can’t wait to get back there again! Our first stop was Pizza and Gelato of course.

First stop Pizza!!!

First stop Pizza!!!

In Florence, there is a gelato shop on almost every corner!

Gelato and Sorbet Time

Gelato and Sorbet Time

Florence was unusually hot on the day we arrived. The heat normally doesn’t bother me but after a full day of exploring the city I started to feel a little fatigued. After the first day in Florence I noticed that my breathing was heavy again and I began to cough a bit. The next day, things got worse and I was forced to come back to our house to rest while the others explored the city. That didn’t keep us from having some fun “take out” Italian dinners together at the end of the day in the comfort of our amazing apartment! Here is the view from our rooftop terrace.

Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

I started to take cough meds but that didn’t seem to do the trick. I began to get concerned as I noticed my oxygen level was dropping a bit too.

We prayed together and felt peace about continuing our journey via train to Rome. Our last stop before boarding the ship.

Train Ride to Rome

Train Ride to Rome

On the train to Rome

On the train to Rome

Once in Rome, I couldn’t wait to get to the Trevi Fountain. Again, I just wanted to experience it through the eyes of my kids who would be seeing it for the first time.

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

After the Trevi Fountain we walked over to the Pantheon. That day as we traveled through the city I could feel a heaviness in my lungs, fatigue was setting in and it was quickly becoming apparent that my symptoms had returned. You see a smile on my face in this picture but there is also a growing concern happening within because I could feel my respiratory challenges returning.

Pantheon

Pantheon

Just moments after taking this photo Derek and I returned to our apartment while the kids continued to explore the city. After a short time it became apparent that I needed medical attention. Things got so bad that I ended up having to go to the hospital. This experience was rather traumatic for me and definitely eye opening. I hope and pray that I will never have to be hospitalized over seas like that ever again. After one long traumatizing night at the hospital it was confirmed that all my symptoms had returned. A CT scan also showed that my lungs still had a mass and were covered with nodules. I was released with medication and we had a decision to make. Should I return home, or should I go on the cruise? I got in touch with my wonderful doctor who gave us wise advice but let us know the choice was up to us. We knew that continuing on would be a risk because if I needed medical assistance my options would not be great moving forward. I sat on our terrace in Rome hand in hand with Derek, praying for wisdom. I didn’t want the kids to know that if they weren’t with us, we would have probably went home. I could feel their excitement to board the ship and continue our adventure and I wanted to be a part of it too. I also however, wanted to do what was best for my overall health. I waited till morning to make a decision!

The next day, I woke up feeling great and had such peace about moving forward, so we did.

Stampin’ Up! worked hard to find me a wheel chair at the last minute and that was the thing that really helped me my first few days on the ship when my medicine was still kicking in.

We had an incredible time on the ship as a family and when I say family I mean not only my immediate family but my Stampin’ Up! family too.

Kim and Cindy

Kim and Cindy

I was surrounded by so much love, support and prayers. How could i not feel better?

BaughMahons

BaughMahons

Seeing my Stampin’ Up! friends filled me with such joy, it was the best medicine and just what I needed.

At our advisory board reunion, these ladies surprised me by forming a prayer circle around me. I was brought to tears by their beautiful heartfelt prayers for my complete healing and restoration.

SU Advisory Board Reunion

SU Advisory Board Reunion

I was glad I made the decision to go and each day I felt a little stronger. I even stopped using the wheel chair the last few days but continued to be careful not to do anything that would cause me to lose my breath.

The Greek Isles were amazing to see! My favorite port was Mykonos. I loved exploring through the maze of cobblestone streets filled with cute shops and restaurants.

Mykonos, Greece

Mykonos, Greece

Derek certainly got his workout carrying the chair around. I was glad I didn’t need it on this day but sorry that we didn’t know that in advance cause he had to push is on the cobblestones all day! What a trooper!

Wheel Chairs are a challenge in Mykonos, Greece

Wheel Chairs are a challenge in Mykonos, Greece

After a little bit of shopping we walked over to the shore and jumped into the sea!

Mykonos, Greece

Mykonos, Greece

We all agreed that this was our favorite port because of the fun day we had there.

Beach Time

Beach Time

Mykonos also was where we enjoyed some family bonding over lunch.

Derek and Brett

Derek and Brett

As well as finding the best gelato in Greece at a place called Ninnolo. I think we went back inside the shop about 5 times to try new flavors.

Ninnolo Gelato in Mykonos, Greece

Ninnolo Gelato in Mykonos, Greece

Santorini was great too. I’d love to go back when I have the ability to explore more without a wheel chair.

Maneuvering the cobble stone streets was a bit tricky but I had a great helper all along the way. There was one big steep hill that Kalani had to push me up, good thing he is strong.

Santorini, Greece

Santorini, Greece

We found a place in Oia where we ate the best Greek Salad I have ever eaten.

Brett’s reaction to the salad

Brett’s reaction to the salad

Can you tell by Brett’s reaction, how good it was? Seriously, it was the BEST greek salad with the most amazing view.

Oia, Santorini, Greece

Oia, Santorini, Greece

In our short time on this island we did manage to find some really delicious food. Thanks to Brett and his research for the best Gyros!

Gryos in Santorini

Gryos in Santorini

We loved this place and wish we had more time to explore.

Oia, Santorini, Greece

Oia, Santorini, Greece

Hopefully I can return again one day when I am in better health!

Oia, Santorini, Greece

Oia, Santorini, Greece

My favorite thing about the trip was just the quality time we shared as a family. We managed to meet for breakfast and dinner on the ship every day and even in between found time to do fun things together like playing mini golf.

Family Golf Tournament

Family Golf Tournament

We also enjoyed meeting to watch the beautiful sunsets before dinner each night.

Sunset on the Jewel of the Sea

Sunset on the Jewel of the Sea

On our final night we had a Stampin’ Up! farewell party. It is always bittersweet because we know our time together is coming to an end.

Stampin’ UpT Farewell Party

Stampin’ UpT Farewell Party

I am so grateful that Shelli started this company so many years ago! In just a couple of days I will celebrate my 20th anniversary and I am SO grateful that I have been blessed to be a part of this amazing company filled with the most loving, incredible people!

Lunch with Sterling and Shelli

Lunch with Sterling and Shelli

After the party we went to our final dinner together. Gathering for dinner at the end of a long day is always my favorite part of the cruise. At this dinner we surprised Jessica with a cake as her birthday is this week and we knew she would be away at camp, so we wanted to celebrate as a family.

We loved our servers and they brought us this amazing chocolate cake and sang a very out of tune Happy Birthday song to her.

Jessica’s Birthday Celebration

Jessica’s Birthday Celebration

However, they did it with such passion and we will never forget it. It was a fun memory to have on our last night at sea!

Celebrating Jess

Celebrating Jess

We are home now and the first few days back have been a challenge for me. I was feeling very overwhelmed with life which can happen after traveling so far and feeling jet lagged! Right now, there are so many unanswered questions as to what is going to happen next. I know that as my meds wear off, my symptoms may return. How will this affect my classes and business?. I am concerned about my monthly sales so I will stay on track to keep my annual goals. There are things at my house that are in need of repair. My Dad hasn’t been in the best health and my Mom needs my help so I need to stay well. And overall, the biggest concern is, “what is my diagnosis”? I wonder, will they ever find something that they can treat so I can feel normal again?

This morning I woke up and felt as if God was reminding me to walk in victory and not defeat. I read Psalm 23:4 and felt encouraged where it says, “even if I walk through a valley as dark as the grave, I will not be afraid of any danger, because you are with me”.

I need to remember that life is an adventure. Today if a gift. I am thankful that I woke up, that I have breath in my lungs and I have the ability to sit and share with you how thankful I am for a new day just to be alive. I trust in God’s purpose and plan for me. We are not promised that life will be easy but we are promised that we don’t have to walk through it alone!

I don’t fully understand God’s plan at the moment but I am grateful that His plan allowed me to spend this precious, unforgettable adventure with my family. One that I will not soon forget.

Whatever you are facing today, know that you are not alone! I pray you will find strength in knowing that God is with you and He is able. Put your hope and strength in him and allow Him to lead and direct your path. It’s not always easy, especially when we face obstacles but when we find our way back to Him, we can rest in the assurance that He is our peace and is by our side through all of life’s adventures!

Enjoy Today

I made this card with products from our new Good Morning Magnolia Suite. I think its my favorite suite in the new catalog. The message says, “Enjoy Today”, this could be used for a Birthday, Mother’s Day, Graduation or any type of a special celebration.

Magnolia Lane Enjoy Life Card

Magnolia Lane Enjoy Life Card

Magnolia Lane Card and Envelope

Magnolia Lane Card and Envelope

This message has taken on a whole new meaning with my recent health challenges! I have learned to appreciate and enjoy each new day that I am blessed to be alive and have the opportunity to take another breath!

If you follow my blog you will know that I have been dealing with some serious respiratory challenges. This has now been going on for almost 2 months. Recently, things got so bad that I spent a little over a week in the hospital.

While in the hospital I went through hundreds of tests, several biopsies and still all results came back negative! It has been impossible to find out what is wrong with me. I was admitted to the hospital because I had pneumonia like symptoms. I was experiencing high fevers, a terrible cough and my oxygen level was extremely low. Previous X-rays had shown that I have a mass of “something” in my right lung and a bunch of nodules all over both lungs, which explains why my breathing has been so shallow. But so far, after hundreds of tests, there has been no clear diagnosis so I can begin treatment.

I have an excellent team of really smart doctors but I have left them all scratching their heads wondering what to do with me.

There have been lots and lots of prayers lifted up for me. I can feel them. In fact, I was able to be released from the hospital because my health was improving! So, I went home to wait the results of a bone marrow biopsy they had done. If the bone marrow had shown something serious, then we’d know how to proceed. If my bone marrow was clear then the next step would be to have another lung surgery and this is one I really didn’t want to do.

Earlier this week I got a call that my bone marrow results were clear! That was good news. That same day I went to my church where a group of my Pastors were meeting. They anointed me with oil and prayed over me for healing. As they prayed, I could feel my lungs feeling stronger, I could breathe a little deeper too!. The next morning I went to my doctor and a scan revealed that I was showing signs of improvement. So for the past few days I have been resting, taking some cough medicines, and working on strengthening my lungs. I feel so much better. My doctor thought that I looked and sounded so much better that I wouldn’t have to have any more surgeries or tests unless I began show signs of getting worse. So far, each day I am showing signs of improvement! Praise God.

It’s still hard because I long to be stamping and going about my normal routine but God has blessed me with the opportunity to be at my Mom’s house to recover. It’s been a good time of bonding for us as I feel how much she loves me as she cares for me. I also get to witness the sacrificial love she has for my Dad as she takes care of him around the clock.

I have also been extremely blessed that leaders from my Stamped With Aloha team have jumped in to take over and keep our group activities and events moving forward. If you live in Hawaii, one not to miss is our upcoming Stampin’ Out Hunger Event at the Hawaii Foodbank. I really hope if you are local you will be able to stop by and be a part of this special event. I hope to be there but am so grateful that whether I am or not it is going to be a fabulous event!

FB Open House 2019.JPG

I don’t know what tomorrow holds but what I do know is God is real and he answers prayers. Throughout this experience he has reminded me that he is with me each step of the way.

On my last day in the hospital one of my favorite nurses came into the room and we decided to call that day Miracle Monday as we hoped I’d receive some type of diagnosis. Instead, God brought a miracle in an unexpected way. Here is what happened. My friend Alec was visiting me and my nurse asked, how do you know him? I shared that we met years ago when we were on worship team together at our church. She then said, “Oh what kind of songs do you sing at your church”. Before I could answer she began to sing a song. Within seconds of hearing what she was singing I softly joined in and we sang together. The lyrics to the song are,

Thank you, Lord, for the trials that come my way. In that way I can grow each day as I let you lead, And thank you, Lord, for the patience those trials bring. In that process of growing,
I can learn to care.

I thank you, Lord, with each trial I feel inside, that you're there to help, lead and guide me away from wrong. ‘Cause you promised, Lord, that with every testing, that your way of escaping is easier to bear.

But it goes against the way I am to put my human nature down and let the Spirit take control of all I do. 'Cause when those trials come, my human nature shouts the thing to do;
and God's soft prompting can be easily ignored.

Just hearing that song brought tears to my eyes and when my nurse saw me cry, she began to cry too. I told her that the song she sang was the very first song I had ever sang in church when I was a little girl. I was thinking about the lyrics and how they were ministering to me today knowing that God was reminding me that he was with me and that this trial would soon be over and it would produce something good in me. I asked her, “Why did you sing THAT song?” and she said it was because it was her favorite song. My nurse smiled and said, “this is like a miracle”. I agree!! It was one of those moments where I may have been expecting a miracle to come in the form of healing or diagnosis but God brought a miracle via song from a caring nurse to fill me with hope and peace in the midst of the storm.

Miracle Monday

Miracle Monday

The staff at the hospital were truly amazing. I felt like I had excellent care around the clock. I met some incredible nurses and witnessed them using their God given gifts to care for me. When I am well, I plan on stamping a whole bunch of cards to take to them to show my appreciation!

Speaking of cards, while in the hospital, I received this beautiful fancy fold card from Cheryl Hamilton of Maui. It was also created with the Good Morning Magnolia Suite.

Magnolia Lane Fancy Fold Card

Magnolia Lane Fancy Fold Card

I love the sentiments on this card. Especially where it says, “we’ll get through this together”

Magnolia Lane Fancy Fold Card

Magnolia Lane Fancy Fold Card

I really appreciate Cheryl sending me such a pretty card to remind me that she was thinking of me and praying for me.

Magnolia Lane Fancy Fold Card

Magnolia Lane Fancy Fold Card

I have received several beautiful cards as well as encouraging text messages and visits from friends. These have all made me feel so grateful for the blessing of being surrounded by so much love, support and prayers!

Cindy and Cindy

Cindy and Cindy

At the end of this month I am supposed to be traveling overseas on a Stampin’ Up! incentive trip. It’s something we have been looking forward to for a really long time. As of today, traveling is something I don’t know if I’ll be able to do. However, I know God knows. So I’m going to Enjoy Today and not worry about tomorrow. Whatever His will is, I accept it. I know that because of this situation I have grown more thankful for every single moment I am blessed to be here. There is so much happening in my life that I am grateful for. God is so, so, so good.

Thank you so much to all of you who have been walking through this journey with me and lifting me up in prayer. I can feel your prayers and I am extremely grateful for you.

With much love and aloha,

Cindy

Everything is Rosy

Well, i have finally found a moment to reflect on all that has been happening in my life recently. Saying “everything is rosy” is certainly not how I would describe how I’ve been feeling this past month and a half.

This unexpected season reminded me of exactly where I was two years ago when I found out I had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Although it wasn’t a pleasant time, it was a time where I learned so much and I witnessed so many miracles. In hindsight, I’m grateful for the challenges I faced and for the growth it produced in my life.

So, here we are two years later and another unexpected challenge is upon me!!! This one however, is somewhat mysterious. Let me share with you what has been happening.

Just after Easter, I began to feel extremely tired for no reason. My breathing felt “odd”, I developed a weird dry cough and my energy was super low. I know sometimes I push myself at a pretty fast pace and have days that I need to just rest, but day after day of resting didn’t seem to heal the symptoms I was experiencing! It seemed that with each passing day, I began to feel worse.

Then the roller coaster ride began. One doctor thought I had asthma related issues. Another doctor took an X-Ray and saw haziness in my lungs. This led to a CT Scan and as these tests continued, I continued to feel worse, my lungs began to feel tight and this caused me to feel a bit anxious!

The day I was going to the doctor to get my CT Scan results I ran into Josiah Nordgren, our pastor from New Hope Leeward. Talk about a divine appointment!!! I walked over to say hello and his wife asked me how I was doing. I briefly explained about the challenges I was facing and Josiah asked if it would be okay to pray for me right there in the parking lot. After they prayed, I felt so happy and went to the doctor with such peace.

The doctor walked in to give me the results and I could tell by the look on her face that something was really wrong. She began to explain that the scan showed some serious issues such as an abnormal mass in one lung and a bunch of nodules in both lungs. The doctor referred me to a specialist but told me it might be challenging to see him because he was very busy as he was one of the only doctors in Hawaii who performed non invasive lung biopsies. I thought to myself, if he can’t see me, what will I do! More worry and fear began to creep in!

I drove home feeling kind of numb. I started to think of all the similarities of where I was exactly two years prior. Fears began to flood my mind. I forgot about the miracles. All I could focus on was how terrible I felt, how I longed for my lungs to feel normal again and how I desired to have strength and energy to get back to my daily routine. I’ve learned that one of the best ways to battle problems is with praise. However, I forgot to praise. I even forgot to pray!! Instead, I responded with panic!!

Pastor Josiah texted me that afternoon and encouraged me with a passage from the Bible. It was from I Kings 19 where it talks about Elijah. I was encouraged by his message and I told him I was going to begin to study the story of Elijah. As I read I Kings, I read about Elijah seeing the power of God at work. He witnessed miracle after miracle. When he prayed, things happened. Yet one day, when it became apparent that his life was in danger, he ran and hid in fear and hoped to die. It might sound strange but reading about Elijah feeling fearful in that moment encouraged me. It made me feel normal. But I also realized that I didn’t want to remain in a place of fear. If you read the story of Elijah you will see that he didn’t remain fearful for long! As I began to reflect on the miraculous things God has done in my past. I began to replace my fear with faith.

The next step in this journey was a PET Scan. This would be the test that would reveal exactly what was going on inside of me. The morning of my scan my son, Kalani, sent me an encouraging word that he had heard in a sermon. It was the story of the Israelites fleeing Egypt. As they left Egypt they could have gone to the right, this path was the shortest but it would have led them through the Philistine territory so they would have a new enemy to face. Plus, when the Egyptians decided to come after them this would have put them in a place of having an enemy in front of them and an enemy behind them. The second road they could have taken was a straight path. This way was the easiest but as the Egyptian army approached them it would have been easy for them to access this path and attack them. Rather than go on these paths the Lord led them to go toward the Red Sea. This path didn’t make any sense. It led to a dead end. With the enemy coming after them it appeared that they were trapped. However, God opened up the sea and they walked to safety on dry land. When the enemy ran after them, the sea came back together and the enemy army was washed away. This path was the only path that provided a way for them to see what they feared the most be completely destroyed.

This word was just what I needed. It reminded me that God was at work and no matter what the results were, he could be trusted.

When the PET scan results came back they showed I had issues not only with my lungs but inflammation was found in several other areas of my body as well which caused the doctor to immediately schedule a biopsy.

One biopsy led to three. The first two biopsies came up negative for cancer cells. This was very good news. However, even after three biopsies, the illness I had, remained a mystery.. They tested me for several diseases but all results came back negative.

As of right now, it appears that I have a severe bacterial lung infection. Tests are still being run and after being on antibiotics for 2 weeks I am beginning to feel myself again.

In the midst of all of this, a new Stampin’ Up! catalog was released. I’ve been so weak and tired that I haven’t even been able to enjoy the new products. One of the hardest things I had to do was to cancel my classes this month. Thankfully, Stampin’ Up! had a special promotion called “Everything is Rosy”. This exclusive product suite, which only is available till tomorrow (5/31), is filled with beautiful coordinating Stampin’ Up! products. I was so grateful that several of my customers ordered this suite from me to help me keep up with my monthly sales goals.

As soon as I started to feel better, I went into my studio and made some thank you cards to send to those who ordered this month. Here is the card I created with this beautiful suite.

Everything is Rosy

Everything is Rosy

The set is really gorgeous, it comes with Designer Paper that has copper foil in it. It also comes with 2 spools of pretty ribbon. The top card was made with a Melon Mambo ribbon.

Below is the same card, but this time I used the Night of Navy Copper Edged Ribbon. Isn’t it beautiful?

Everything is Rosy

Everything is Rosy

Here is how the card looks like when it is opened.

Everything Is Rosy Cards

Everything Is Rosy Cards

I even used the stamp set to make the envelopes pretty!!!

Yesterday, I was invited to a birthday breakfast. Since this set had a birthday sentiment in it, I was able to make three different birthday cards with these same products. Here they are.

Everything is Rosy cards

Everything is Rosy cards

For these cards I stamped the birthday sentiment on one of the copper foil edged tags that are a part of the kit.

Everything is Rosy Birthday Card

Everything is Rosy Birthday Card

Below is a closer look at another layout. For this card, I moved the sentiment to the bottom right corner.

Everything is Rosy Birthday Card

Everything is Rosy Birthday Card

And since this one had a smaller tag, I added a couple extra die cut flowers and leaves.

Everything is Rosy Birthday Card

Everything is Rosy Birthday Card

My doctor called today and is scheduling me for more testing!!! Please pray that the tests will show no more inflammation or infection and that the slight cough I am still battling will be gone!

As I draw this post to a close I feel led to end with a prayer. I guess its because one of the lessons I’ve been reminded through this season is, when you encounter a problem, respond first with prayer and praise, this will lead to God’s presence and it’s there you will find peace.

Lord Jesus, I come before you now and praise you for who you are. Thank you for your love, thank you for your mercy, thank you for your peace even in the midst of a storm. I pray for the person that is reading this right now that no matter what is happening in their life today that you would draw near to them. Help them to see you. Help them to be encouraged that you are with them. I pray that you would heal their infirmities, I pray you would provide for their every need. I pray that you would reveal yourself to them in a mighty and powerful way so that they would be encouraged and find peace in your presence. Lord, help them to overcome any fears that they are facing. I thank you today for helping me to overcome fear with faith. I lift up these challenges that I have been facing and I say that I trust you. My life is in your hands. May I never take it for granted. Help me to live each day I am blessed to be here to honor you. I love you and praise you and thank you for your goodness, mercy and love. In Jesus Name, I pray these things, Amen.

With Love and Many Blessings,

Cindy


Follow Your Art

Last month a small group of my Stamped With Aloha team attended Stampin’ Up!’s On Stage event in Atlantic City, New Jersey. This is a trip I normally would have been on. It was hard not to go because Stampin’ Up! events are the best. Plus, I love to travel, especially when it gives me the opportunity to visit with my Stampin’ Up! friends.

When it was time for registration, I just felt as if I shouldn’t go this year. You see, my Dad has not been in the best health and I wanted to stay close in case he or my Mom needed me.

The decision not to go was hard but it turned out to be a very wise choice. You see while everyone was at On Stage, I began to not feel well physically. I wasn’t sure what was wrong, I just knew I was having some respiratory issues that were causing me to feel fatigued. It’s a long story, one that I plan to tell you more about in a future post. But for now, let me continue to tell you about On Stage.

One of the perks you get when you attend On Stage, is to see the new catalog first. You also get to see new products and have the opportunity to order some of them before anyone else. Since I wasn’t there, I didn’t get to enjoy these special perks this time.

Well, one of my sweet stampin’ sisters and friends who went to On Stage decided to send me a very special surprise. She ordered some new products and gifted them to me. Imagine my surprise when this box arrived and inside was products from our fabulous new Follow Your Art Suite! This special gift of aloha really lifted my spirits and brightened my day. My friend, had no idea that I wasn’t feeling well, so this gift was sent simply as a gift of love and aloha and for that I was truly grateful.

It took me a few days before I had the strength to stamp but this special gift motivated me to get into my studio and work on a Thank You card. Here is the card I created for my friend.

Follow Your Art Card

Follow Your Art Card

This Follow Your Art Suite is so fun. The stamp set “It Starts With Art” has super cute images and sentiments for the craft lovers at heart. The Designer Paper is bright and colorful and covered with adorable images.

This sentiment says, “You paint my world with happiness”. Happiness is certainly what I felt when I opened up this special gift. It was such an amazing and fun surprise and so timely too. I am thankful that my friend took the time to put together something that really lifted my spirits at a time when I really needed it.

The next time God puts someone on your heart it might just be a good time to do as my friend did. It doesn’t have to be by sending a special gift! Just respond by making a phone call, giving a hug, speaking words of encouragement, sending a card, etc. Just follow your “art” and let others know you were thinking of them and by doing so, they will know you care.

With Gratitude and Much Aloha,

Cindy