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

Card for a Queen

Greetings from my couch!  This is where I've been planted most of the week.  I've been feeling great, so great that resting has become a huge challenge because I'm ready to get up and GO!  I expected that after the second surgery I would be in a lot of pain but it hasn't been that bad.  I feel stronger every day and I know that is because so many people are praying for me.

Learning to rest - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Learning to rest - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Today my friend Cindy stopped by.  Cindy was actually sitting in her car in my driveway when she caught me sneaking outside to get the mail.  It was my first time outside this house all week and it felt great!  I appreciate Cindy coming over as she knew I was going a little stir crazy just resting on my couch and I was in need of some company!   Cindy had some cards she needed to make so having her stop by gave me the opportunity go into my stamp room and open up some of my new products for the first time.

Today I choose to work with the stamp set called Colorful Season.  I wanted to show it to Cindy because it has a cherry blossom stamp in it and years ago she was a Cherry Blossom Queen.  In fact, just a couple months ago she received the honor of being a judge at the 50th Anniversary Cherry Blossom Queen Pageant in San Francisco.  It was fun to create this card with Cindy sitting across the table from me.  It seems like with each stamp I would do she would gasp and say, "I LOVE THAT"!!!!.  It was the kind of "oohing and ahhhing" that demonstrators love to hear while they are demonstrating.  I knew that as soon as I was done making the card I would be giving it to Cindy because I could tell how much she loved it.

Colorful Season Cherry Blossom Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Colorful Season Cherry Blossom Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Here is the card I made for Cindy.   I featured one of our newest in colors, Powder Pink on both the card stock and ink pad.   I die cut flowers out of that same color from the Season Layers Thinlits. I also used a new Textured Impressions Embossing Folder called Garden Trellis for the background texture and I embellished the die cut flowers with pearls.  

This is a great stamp set because it has images that make it work for different occasions all year long.  So it is extremely versatile.  The thing I like best about this stamp set is the sentiments.  There were so many different ones to choose from such as "You Make Me Smile", "Thinking Of You", "Just Breathe" or the one I used on Cindy's card which says, "Life is a Beautiful Thing".  All of these sentiments are wonderful ways to express encouragement and I believe encouraging others is a very good thing to do.

I gave this above card to Cindy and then I made one more as a sample to keep.  On my sample I changed the sentiment and added Jewel rhinestones instead of pearls.

Colorful Season Cherry Blossom Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Colorful Season Cherry Blossom Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

For the sentiment on this card I choose another wonderful saying from this set.  It says, "May All Your Tomorrow's Be As Happy As Today".  I love it.  It reminds me of the value of being there for others when they are down and encouraging them.  Just like the way Cindy was there for me today.  

My situation hasn't changed.  I am still facing a lot of unknowns with my current health challenge.  I've been doing really well but there are times I struggle.  I know that there are those of you who are reading this today who are struggling too.  Some of you have contacted me and shared about some really difficult challenges that you are facing and my heart goes out to you.  When I think about what I am going through it pales in comparison to some of the difficulties many of you are facing right now.  My prayer for you is that you will turn to God and find peace, comfort and rest in His loving arms.    Here is a word of encouragement from the book of Matthew.

Then Jesus said, "Come to me all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you.  Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  Matthew 11:28-29

I'm back on the couch resting again.  I'm learning my limits.  I'm learning to pay attention.  Those are things I wasn't very good at before.   I am learning the importance of taking better care of my self with an awareness that God wants to teach me about who He created me to be.  He wants me to know Him more and that will happen when I learn to rest and be still in His presence.  As I've rested, I've witnessed his faithfulness and blessings over and over again.  Even today, as he knew the desires of my heart and sent a beautiful Cherry Blossom Queen to brighten my day!

Cherry Blossom Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Cherry Blossom Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Of course those of you who know this Queen understand that taking her picture is nearly impossible!  Thankfully, she was gracious enough to allow me to take a photo of her with this card so now I can encourage you just as she encouraged me.

I hope and pray you will all have a peaceful, restful and happy weekend!
 

Source: www.stampedwithaloha.com