See A Victory

My friend Annie recently celebrated a birthday. Annie has always been such a kind and loving friend to me. She is always there to lend an ear, to give honest feedback and to be a source of encouragement. I feel so thankful and blessed to know her and call her my friend.

Annie loves plants and flowers, so for her special day I created a birthday card using a new stamp set called Floral Essence.

Floral Essence Card

Floral Essence Card

The colors that I chose for this card were inspired by the wrapping paper I bought to wrap her birthday gift in. You can see the gift in the photo below, behind the card.

Floral Essence Card

Floral Essence Card

Although the flowers are different, I thought this set coordinated well with the wrapping paper. I just love this color combination!

The sentiment in this set says, “All day are beautiful that begin with you”. This is a beautiful sentiment that reminds the person you are giving the card to how valuable they are to you. By saying this, you are communicating that time spent with them is time that truly makes a difference in how your day will be.

In the season of life I am in right now, I know that it is important for me to begin each day spending quiet time with God. As I read my Bible, I find wisdom, strength, encouragement, direction and peace. Those are things that I’ve really needed in this season as I still am facing an undiagnosed health issue.

Many of you have inquired as to how I am feeling? To be honest, over the past couple of days I’ve been up and down. My faith, trust and confidence in God is strong and I am working hard to keep it that way! However, when any of my symptoms begin to flare up (and over the past two days, this has happened) I sometimes respond with frustration and discouragement. To be honest in a weak moment I sometimes say, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired! Responding like this is definitely my down!!! What can I say, I am a work in progress! It has been a challenging road but I am confident I will learn and grow stronger during this season!

That is why starting my day reading God’s word and meditating on his promises is so important. It truly does make a difference and it reminds me that I don’t have to fear because the battle isn’t mine, it belongs to the Lord. Here is a verse I memorized this week.

The Lord will fight for you, you just need to be still. Exodus 14:14

I don’t know about you but being still has not been something that comes easy to someone like me. I am used to always being on the go. These past few years my life has changed a lot in this area as I’ve learned the importance and value of rest.

My friend Annie is someone who over the years has often lovingly reminded me of the importance of rest. She is a very wise woman. After going through some challenging circumstances, I get it. It is SO important to slow down and take time to rest.

As I end today’s post I want to encourage any of you who are facing a battle in your life right now. It’s normal to react with fear or frustration but don’t allow yourself to stay in that mindset. Remember that you are not alone! As you begin each new day take time to pray and talk to God about your circumstance. Read His word and allow His spirit to give you peace.

This new song by Elevation Worship has really encouraged me this week. I have been listening to it over and over and it has really helped me! The song is called SEE A VICTORY , you can click on the name to listen to it. I pray that if you are facing a battle in your life right now that as you listen to it, you will feel encouraged and can along with me begin to walk in victory and not in defeat because the battle isn’t ours, it belongs to the Lord.

Happy Dance

The weekend is here and I am so glad it is. I am grateful that I have done really well physically, spiritually and emotionally this week despite the high’s and low’s I’ve encountered as I continue to deal with a mystery illness..

A low point of this week was during a consultation with an oncologist. While meeting with him, I became aware that I have all the symptoms of Hodgkins Lymphoma. It’s not that I’ve been diagnosed with that, but it was clear that it was one of the things they are looking for.

As for high points, there were several. First, I contacted a local environmental company to come and test the air at our home. This was to eliminate the possibility that I had been poisoned with mold. The testing costs between $600 to $1,000. Although the cost was high we knew we needed to do the service. When I called to schedule the service, the owner told me that they would be coming out the next day and that they would be doing the work at no cost. I was stunned. I don’t usually cry a lot, but upon hearing this news, I burst into tears of joy and I probably cried for 30 minutes straight. When I asked him why they were doing this for me, he said, “It’s good to do some good every once in a while, its why we started this business”. Their act of kindness not only blessed me but it inspired me. The testing was done the next day and everything came out clear. No mold.

Another high point was when I went over my most recent CT Scan with my doctor. My lungs looked SO much better. Of course the assumption is that this improvement is due to the medication I am taking. However, I am believing with all my heart that these results are because of the answered prayers of so many who have been praying for me. I know that includes many of your reading this right now,. If that’s you, I just want to say, Thank You SO Much!!!! I am so grateful for you.

This week I downloaded this awesome Bible Memory Ap and have have been working on memorizing the book of James, chapter one. Here is the first few verses of that passage:

Consider it PURE JOY, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials or many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and compete, not lacking anything. James 1:1-4

As I read this I am reminded that we all will face trials in life. This doesn’t say “IF” you face a trial but it says “WHENEVER” you face trial(s) with an “S” which means you will likely face more than one during your lifetime!!! These trials will be challenging but we can look at them as opportunities to grow our faith and develop perseverance. I know for me there are areas of my walk with Christ that I have been praying for to be strengthened. I am thankful that this situation is providing an opportunity for me to grow more into who God has created me to be.

So, today I am standing on God’s promises and claiming victory over this illness. So many of you have prayed and believed for my healing, I think it’s about time I stop focusing on my symptoms and instead focus on the fact that I know God is my healer and there is nothing too difficult for him. Knowing this, comforts me and fills me with hope and a great deal of peace.

I know that some of you reading this are going through challenges right now. There have been many of you who have written me privately or pulled me to the side at a meeting or class to share your story. My heart goes out to you as my situation pales in comparison to many of the struggles you are facing today. Please know that I am praying for you and that I hope that no matter how difficult your circumstances are, you will remember that God is near and desires to help you!

Here is one of my favorite Bible promises to encourage you:

Fear not, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Speaking of help and strength, one of the persons who has really blessed me this week is my downline and friend Jodi Hashimoto. She along with several others from the Stamped With Aloha family have stepped in to run our monthly Inspiration Nights in my place. I was so thankful that a few days ago I was able to attend our Inspiration Night. Jodi did a great job designing adorable projects as she always does!!! I’ll share those projects in a future post but for today, I want to show you a card that she designed for one of her recent classes.

Now I must warn you, before you scroll down to see it, you might want to clear some space around you because it is so stinkin’ cute, it may cause you to jump up and start doing a happy dance!!!

Are you ready…….

Got your dancing shoes on…….

You better stretch a little……

Wait for it…….

Ok……

Here……

It……

Is…….

This Little Piggy Card

This Little Piggy Card

Jodi created this adorable card with the sets, This Little Piggy and Tropical Chic. She hand cut the grass skirt with a piece of Old Olive Card Stock and Paper Snips. I love how Jodi took one of our Frosted Flower Embellishments and colored it to match the card with a Stampin’ Blends Marker.

If you want to see all the cute critter cards Jodi designed for her “on the farm” class, you can click this link to go to her blog: The Stamping Owl.

When a new catalog comes out, I am always looking for ways to add a little Hawaiian flair to my creations. So I used Jodi’s card my inspiration and I got out my new Dino Days stamp set and created this.

Happy Hula Dinosaur

Happy Hula Dinosaur

This little dinosaur is so adorable. There are other dinosaurs to choose from, but this is my favorite and I think the sentiment is so perfect! The coordinating Dinosaur Designer Series Paper is so amazing too. I can’t wait to play around with this set and make more fun creations.

Here is another way I laid out the same card idea.

Dino Days - Hula Dinosaur

Dino Days - Hula Dinosaur

The hula skirt was created with the Dino Dies that are a part of the Dinosaur Suite. All I had to do was to snip a little of each end of the Old Olive Card stock to create a fun mini hula skirt for this adorable dinosaur.

As you can see I also followed Jodi’s idea of coloring the Frosted Floral Embellishments in with a Stampin’ Blends Marker.

Dino Day’s Hula Dinosaur Cards

Dino Day’s Hula Dinosaur Cards

I chose a Lovely Lipstick Stampin’ Blends Marker, to color in the Frosted Flower Embellishment so that the flower would match the little speckles in the Dinosaur Designer Series Paper.

Well, I’m off to yet another doctors appointment!!! I better take a moment to catch my breath from all that dancing!

As I go, I will continue to walk in faith and victory believing that He who began a good work in me, will be faithful to complete it.

With Faith, Hope and Love,

Cindy

Rose Wonder Journal

Here is a project I recently created for a 3D swap I participated in.  This is a simple project made with 3 x 5 index cards that have been bound together by a book ring.  

Rose Wonder Journal - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Rose Wonder Journal - www.stampedwithaloha.com

The stamp on the front comes from the Rose Wonder stamp set.  I love this scripture verse and think its perfect for this project because for me, I plan on using this book to write down several important verses such as this to carry around with me.  The Bible tells us its important to hide God's Word in our heart so why not do that by recording verses to memorize in a beautifully decorated index card book.

www.stampedwithaloha.com

The designer series paper on this project is so pretty, it has copper highlights in it that are hard to see in this photo but up close it really shines.  The card stock is from our new catalog and is called, Affectionately Yours.

Creating an index card book such as this is quick, simple and a very useful gift.  You can use it to write your grocery or "to-do" list, or you can use it as I did to write words of encouragement or verses of hope to carry with you wherever you go.  This will serve as something to help you stay encouraged and also can help you to be an encouragement to others!  And I bet we all will agree that our world certainly can use a whole lot more of encouragement and love.   So, why not take some time to make one of these projects today and then look for opportunities to put it to use!

Source: www.stampedwithaloha.com

Happy New Year

I love the start of a New Year.  It is a time for to reflect on the things in the past.  To be grateful for the blessings we've received and to be thankful even for the challenges that helped us to learn and grow.  I love the opportunities a New Year brings. It is a time to renew commitments and set goals for a victorious New Year.  It is a fresh start.   As 2015 ended I found myself really tired and in need of some rest.  So I took some time to really slow down, something I'm not really good at.   After resting a few days, its now time for me to get back to work.  So back to my stamp room I went and here is the first project I created in 2016.

Fear Not Frame

Fear Not Frame

I got a call from a friend two days ago who was working on a project for a baby shower.  I loved going through the creative process with her via phone even though I hadn't been in my stamp room for a few days.  We settled on the idea of a small photo frame with an inspiring message.  The funny thing is her phone call seeking my inspiration turned into her motivating and inspiring me to create this little frame for myself.  I LOVE the fact that Stampin' Up! created a stamp of the Bible verse Isaiah 41:10 in the Rose Wonder stamp set in our new occasions mini catalog.  As this project will be one I can display in my stamp room to encourage all who pass by and read its beautiful message.

Fear Not Frame

Fear Not Frame

My absolute FAVORITE product line in our new occasions catalog is the Botanical Gardens collection.  I LOVE IT ALL.  I can promise you that this set will remain on my stamp table quite often especially in the coming days where I plan to be stamping up a storm of new projects for the New Year.

So what are your goals, plans and hopes for the New Year.  For me it will be to walk through life, one step at a time knowing that I don't have to fear but can trust God to help me, strengthen me and uphold me through every season I face.  I am glad I will have this small frame on my desk to remind me of this encouraging verse knowing where my help comes from. 

I hope you've had a great start to 2016 and my prayer for you is that whatever you set your heart to do you will be encouraged to move forward with confidence and strength knowing you are not alone and have no reason to fear!

Happy New Year Everyone!

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Source: www.stampedwithaloha.com