A Season for Growth

Many years ago I was a part of an organization called Youth With A Mission.  It was one of the most life changing experiences I have ever been through.  As I was reflecting on the card I am going to share with you today, I was reminded of a day back in 1987, when I was sitting in a Quonset hut in Manoa Valley. I was in a room full of students from all over the world. We were all a part of a school called a DTS or a Discipleship Training School.  Our leaders were all very young, energetic, passionate people who had a desire to know God and make Him known.  

One of the first things they did for each student was to have a time of prayer over them.  When it was my turn, I went to the front of the room and was surrounded by these young passionate leaders.  After they prayed for me, one of the gals said to me, "As I was praying for you, I saw a vision", she said, "I saw a beautiful rose, it was entangled with a bunch of other beautiful roses on this garden trellis. Then I saw a hand reach down and pick one single rose and plant it at the foot of the cross. Suddenly, the rose began to grow and blossom as it wrapped itself around the cross."  She went on to say, "I believe this means you were just in a very comfortable place in your life.  You were surrounded with good people, in a good environment, but you weren't growing.  So God reached His hand down and picked you up and planted you right where He wanted you and it is during this time that you will thrive and grow."

Those words spoke to me.  I not only believed she was right but through my experiences with YWAM that year, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was where I was supposed to be, doing what God had called me to do.  It was a season of growth, a season for change.  A season to learn about servanthood and making a difference.

The card I want to share with you today reminds me of that season of my life as well as the season I am in now.  I'll explain more in a minute but let me share the card first.

Graceful Garden Card

Graceful Garden Card

To make this card I used two stamp sets, Graceful Garden and Ribbon of Courage.  I stamped all the images in black ink and colored them in with an aqua painter.  The background texture of this card was made with our new Layered Leaves 3D Textured Embossing folder.  Besides using Very Vanilla Card Stock, I added a piece of gold patterned paper from the Bundle of Love Specialty DSP, a small strip of Fabulous Foil Acetate beneath the rose and a piece of Gold Foil under the sentiment.

The final touch was to add a jewel rhinestone in the "o" of the word possible and I used dimensionals on all the layers to build them up.

As I reflect upon that vision a young YWAM leader had for me many years ago, it makes me think of the season I am in today.  I know God is in control of my battle with breast cancer.  I am surrounded by prayer warriors who have been continually lifting me up.   I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is with me and I am where He wants me to be.

 That doesn't mean things are going to be easy. I have to admit yesterday was challenging for me.  I went in for the start of my radiation treatments and found that although I didn't experience a lot of physical pain, I did find it mentally and emotionally challenging.  However, even in the midst of the challenge, I remember these words that I learned in Sunday School and I began to recite them in my mind during treatment.

Psalm 23

1 The Lord is my shepherd;
    I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
    he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3     He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
    bringing honor to his name.
4 Even when I walk
    through the darkest valley,[a]
I will not be afraid,
    for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
    protect and comfort me.
5 You prepare a feast for me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
    My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
    all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
    forever.

Today, I just want to remind each of you reading this that no matter what you are going through you are not alone.   God loves you so much and He has a perfect plan for your life.  You may not be in a comfortable place at the moment but thats okay, know that He is with you.  Talk to Him with an understanding that He hears you.  Ask for His help, strength, wisdom and direction.  Just as He is helping me through this journey, He will help you too.

 I am thankful that as I design cards, God uses them to bless others and in this case remind me of a vision that still speaks to me today.  I pray that this same vision would serve as much as an encouragement to you as it is to me.  

Now as I go off to my second treatment, I will do so relying on His help, His strength and the knowledge that today I'm going to grow a little more into the person He desires me to be.

Thank you for allowing me to share my journey with you.  Know that as you are praying for me, I am also praying for you.  May you find hope and strength today especially if you are facing challenging circumstances.   Let's continue to trust God and believe that He leads us exactly to where He wants us to be and let's do our best to continue to grow in Him.

With love and a grateful heart,

Cindy

Good News and God's Timing

On Tuesday, I had a full afternoon at the hospital.  I was there from 12:30 pm until 5:30 pm.  I had appointments to meet my two oncologists,  a genetics counselor,  a dietician and some other wonderful people who would be helping me navigate my journey to wellness over the next several weeks.  Although I was anxious to get the ball rolling with these appointments, I was also a little nervous about being at the hospital for so long because I've noticed after surgery that I get tired quickly and that seemed like a lot to do in one day.  To make matters worse, although my schedule had been quite free, this was also the day my monthly downline Inspiration Night was scheduled for.

Well, the day went great, better than anticipated!.  The staff at Queen's hospital were so loving and caring and each person I met was wonderful to talk with and provided me with so much guidance, care and information.   To be honest, I felt like a Queen at Queens! It was a day to learn about the next steps I would be taking and a day to find out and celebrate some very, very good news.

The first celebration was that I was given the official green light to go on the Stampin' Up! Incentive trip I had earned last year.  The trip is coming up in July and we have plans to go to Japan, Thailand and Korea.   This was a trip I've really been looking forward to and I thought for sure I'd have to give it up because I am still healing from surgery.  My doctors agreed that as long as I'm careful to follow some restrictions it would actually be a good idea for me to go and enjoy this time away before I start radiation at the end of July.  God's timing is PERFECT and I am so thankful I won't miss out on this trip that I worked so hard to earn.

The next good news is that I will only have to have radiation for four weeks.  That will begin at the end of July.  The other good news is that after radiation I will not have to go on any medications as long as I work hard at eating healthy, exercising and living a stress free life.  As I spoke with one of my oncologist he told me of a program where his patients took a hula class.  I joked with him and said, "Sign me up, I'll take Hula over Hormones any day".  Learning to dance Hula would be a wonderful thing to add to my plan for compete healing and I know plenty of talented hula dancer friends I could call to teach me!

Well, that is the latest update so please know that all of your prayers are being answered!   All is well and I am feeling so happy and blessed.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for your prayers and encouragement.   I hope you know how grateful I am for each one of you who have been so loving and supportive to me.

Two of the special people who have helped me with my journey are my downline Jodi and Norine.  Even though I told them I could probably do it, they insisted on taking over my monthly Inspiration Night this month.  It was a good thing they did because in hindsight I didn't realize I would have so many doctors appointments that day.  When I left my last appointment I realized that even getting to Inspiration Night on time was going to be a challenge.

When I arrived, the room was set up and everything was already running smoothly.  With them overseeing the design and prep work for all the projects I just had to take care of the recognition cards.  Jodi and Norine chose the stamp set Lots of Love for the featured set at Inspiration Night so I decided to make my recognition cards using that same set.  Here are the two cards I came up with.  These cards were given to anyone who promoted or was in my top ten for Sales in April or May.

Lots of Love Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Lots of Love Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I featured two new In- Colors on these recognition cards, Lemon Lime Twist and Berry Burst.

Lots of Love Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Lots of Love Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

This card was cut a little shorter on the top layer so the white strip of card stock adhered to the inside of the card was exposed.  Even putting these two cards together was a challenge because I'm still struggling with getting tired but God sent an angel over named Pat who helped me cut the card stock so I only had to stamp and assemble the pieces to have them ready in time to recognizing my downline achievers.

Lots of Love Cards - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Lots of Love Cards - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I was so glad I was able to be at Inspiration Night.  It is always so fun to be with my wonderful downline.  They have been so encouraging and supportive of me and shown me an overwhelming amount of love.

Barbara at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Barbara at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Well, speaking of love, the theme for Inspiration Night was Sending Love.  It was based on the stamp set Lots of Love and the beautiful Whole Lot of Lovely Designer Series Paper.

 Here are the cards Jodi and Norine designed for our June Stamped With Aloha Inspiration Night.

June 2017 Inspiration Night - www.stampediwthaloha.com

June 2017 Inspiration Night - www.stampediwthaloha.com

I love the colors of this designer series paper and I love the variety of cards Jodi and Norine were able to create with a single stamp set.  Let's take a closer look at each card.

Lots of Love Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Lots of Love Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

This first card is so sweet.  Letting someone know how much you love them is always a good idea.  That is exactly how we feel about Ann.  Since Craig was traveling an unable to prepare our meal, Ann coordinated and picked up dinner for everyone.  That's just who Ann is, a very thoughtful person with an infectious laugh, who is definitely loved by us all.    

Ann at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Ann at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Another amazing person is Ralene who offered to make cards for Michelle who was unable to attend at the last minute.  When I asked for help she quickly raised her hand and said, "I can do it" and just like this card says, she was doing it with a heart that was thinking of others!   

Ralene and Jill at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Ralene and Jill at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Here's a close up of the Thinking of You card.

Thinking of You Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Thinking of You Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

This next card has a very beautiful sentiment on it.  It says, "Live with passion, Laugh out loud and Love deeply."

Lots of Love Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Lots of Love Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

There was a "laugh out loud" moment at Inspiration Night.  I'm not sure what was happening but I heard lots of laughter coming from one of the tables.  I ran over and snapped a photo and captured this moment.  I was just hoping to capture all the laughter and smiles.  However, do you see I captured something else?

Jodi and Roxy at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Jodi and Roxy at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I still don't really know what they were laughing at but it could have been the fact that Roxy had a dimensional backing stuck to her face and didn't even know it.  It makes me happy to see my downline having such a great time as they are creating together building friendships along the way.

The next card uses my favorite piece of DSP in the pack.  I love the black and coral combination.

Lots of Love Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Lots of Love Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I love the large sentiment that comes in this set.  This card could be used for many different occasions so it is very versatile.  

I always save my favorite card for last.  

Punch Art Kokeshi Girl Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Punch Art Kokeshi Girl Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Isn't this card adorable?  The little Kokeshi girl was made with our new Lemon punch.  This was by far my favorite card of the bunch and almost as cute as these two below.  If you would learn how to make this punch art girl or any of these cards, you can go to Jodi's website called The Stamping Owl by clicking here.

Consider Yourself Hugged, Jodi and Norine at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Consider Yourself Hugged, Jodi and Norine at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I am so tremendously blessed by the all the love shown to me by Jodi and Norine.  I love the message of this card and the fact that they took over and ran such an amazing Inspiration night was like receiving the best hug ever!  They did an awesome job from start to finish and everyone who came had a really great time.

Terry and Joy at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Terry and Joy at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

A few days ago I was on the phone with someone at the Stampin' Up! home office sharing with them about how I was going to be able to go on the incentive trip to Thailand.  They told me, "oh I am so glad you won't miss going to such an amazingly beautiful place".  I paused for a moment and thought about what she said.  Although I know Thailand is a beautiful place and Thai food is my favorite food to eat, my excitement had nothing at all to do with the place.  After all, I live in an amazingly beautiful place!!!  However, going to Thailand had everything to do with the people I would see when I traveled there.  

You see one of the greatest blessings that comes with being a Stampin' Up! demonstrator these past 19 years has been the friendships I have formed with my downline, customers, and co-demonstrators from all over the world.  They have always been wonderful, but during these past several weeks I have felt and experienced the reality of how much I am loved and cared for by such an amazing group of people. These people are more than just friends, they are like family to me.

People like my friend Meg Loven from Illinois who learned I will have to wear a mask on the plane and didn't hesitate to mail me a variety of adorable masks so that I could be cautious and fashionable at the same time.

Cute Masks from Meg - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Cute Masks from Meg - www.stampedwithaloha.com

People like Jodi, Norine, Ann and Pat who made sure Inspiration Night would a fun night for all.  

My heart is filled with gratitude and thanksgiving knowing that I can trust that God's timing is perfect!  He is in control and I am grateful to Him for the blessing of today and the hope for tomorrow!

With a grateful heart,

Cindy

 

 

 

 

Source: www.stampedwithaloha.com

One Step At A Time

On Tuesday, May 23, 2017,  I officially began my battle with breast cancer.   Tuesday morning, I had surgery and now the waiting period beings to see if they got it all.  Once I learn the results, I will know what the next steps are.  I am someone who likes to know the plan.  Someone who wants to know what is going to happen on the road ahead but I am starting to learn that God desires for me to rest in Him trusting Him to lead and guide me through each day, one step at time.  No fear, no anxiousness, just an awareness of His presence and a heart filled with gratitude and love.  

One of the big lesson I have learned is that God prepares us for things.  Sometimes the challenges we face are actually God preparing us for something that we will soon face.   He is doing something in us to make us stronger, ready to battle what is ahead.  

I woke up a few days ago thinking about the Tour Du Mont Blanc hike that I did last July.  Then a few minutes later I got an email from a friend who said, "do you remember that hike you did last summer, don't you see how God was preparing you for what you are going through now?"  As I sit back and think about it,   I see that He was.

Tour Du Mont Blanc (Chamonix, France) Day 1

Tour Du Mont Blanc (Chamonix, France) Day 1

I remember this day vividly.  It was day one and we weren't that far into the trek and I was already feeling overwhelmed.  I felt like there was no way I was going to keep up.  As you can see the others are way ahead of me and I felt bad like I was slowing everyone down.  The weather was not good. We'd pass places where we were supposed to see something incredible, but all we saw was fog.  We climbed up to the snow and then a really steep decent brought us to a new town and hotel where we'd be staying the night.  Although that day was AMAZING it was also one of the most difficult struggles I've ever been through.  Although I felt a great sense of accomplishment, I had tears in my eyes thinking this was just day one and we had several more days to complete the over 80 mile hike.

My husband hugged me and encouraged me.  I knew he was in pain too.  It was clear that we were in this battle together.   So before we went to dinner,  I took some time to rest and grabbed my favorite devotional book called Jesus Calling.  It was July 14th, 2016 and this is what it said:

  "Keep walking with Me along the path I have chosen for you.  Your desire to live close to Me is a delight to my heart.  I could instantly grant you the spiritual riches you desire, but that is not My way for you.  Together we will forge a pathway up the high mountain.  The journey is arduous at times, and you are weak.  Someday you will dance light footed on the high peak; but for now your walk is often plodding and heavy.  All I require of you is to take the next step, clinging to My hand for strength and direction.  Though the path is difficult and the scenery dull at the moment, there are sparkling surprises just around the bend.  Stay on the path I have selected for you, It is truly the path of Life.  

Day two of the hike began with a lot of love and encouragement from my friend Lynsay who was the one responsible for inviting me on a "little hike" where I would enjoy drinking espresso and cappuccino's, eating gelato, sleeping in hotels, enjoying delicious French and Italian foods, etc.  She is a great sales person not only in the Stampin' Up! world but also on adventures, but this trip didn't turn out exactly as she proposed.  She left out all the hard parts and in hindsight I learned that she didn't realize how difficult this journey was going to be.  But it was worth the pain.

Lynsay and Cindy - Day 2 Tour Du Mont Blanc - July 2016

Lynsay and Cindy - Day 2 Tour Du Mont Blanc - July 2016

Derek was by my side every step of the way.  There were times I would say to him, "go on without me" and he would calmly say, "I'm not going to leave you".  He'd speak words of love and encouragement to me every step of the way.  He would affirm me and tell me "where almost there, you are doing amazing".  He is such a gift from God.  We made so many lasting memories on this amazing journey together.  

Derek and Cindy Day 2 Tour Du Mont Blanc - July 2016

Derek and Cindy Day 2 Tour Du Mont Blanc - July 2016

The next day felt so much better.  Although we had another day of not so perfect weather my attitude about the challenge was different and I was ready for battle.  I knew that although it would be hard, I could make it.  I just needed to take it one step at a time and not worry about what was around the corner.  If I focused on the fact that around the corner was another steep path I would get discouraged and feel like giving up.  So I learned to pace myself and focus on continuing to move forward focused on just competing the battle no matter how long it took me.  I felt blessed to have such love and encouragement all around me, all along the journey.  

Day 2 Tour Du Mont Blanc - July 2016

Day 2 Tour Du Mont Blanc - July 2016

One of the things that helped me a lot is that I would pray as I walked and I felt like God gently whispered to me and said, "I want to remind you of how much I love you".  So when things got hard, which was most of the time, I would look down at the ground and focus on finding heart shaped stones.  Each time I would see one I would be reminded of God's love and the fact that He was walking with me.  

Heart Shaped Reminders - Tour Du Mont Blanc - July 2016

Heart Shaped Reminders - Tour Du Mont Blanc - July 2016

I was not alone on this journey, each day I would pass many people who were enduring the same pain but finding the peace and joy in it.   It makes me think that every day I pass people who I don't even realize are experiencing struggles in their own life.  Just as I greeted and encouraged those on the hike that I encountered, so I should be more aware of those God brings across my path today to speak words of life, hope and encouragement because they too could be experiencing difficulties.

Tour Du Mont Blan - July 2016

Tour Du Mont Blan - July 2016

This journey was a beautiful opportunity for me to set aside time to not worry about anything (which I tend to do quite often) but to take life one step at a time enjoying the journey.  It was an opportunity for me to learn that often things that are the hardest offer up the greatest rewards.

Final Day- Tour Du Mont Blanc - July 2016

Final Day- Tour Du Mont Blanc - July 2016

As I turned the corner on the last day at one of the highest most picturesque parts of the hike I was reminded of those words I read in my devotion book on day one.   "Though the path is difficult and the scenery dull at the moment, there are sparkling surprises just around the bend.  Stay on the path I have selected for you, It is truly the path of Life."   

Celebrating completing the Tour Du Mont Blanc - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Celebrating completing the Tour Du Mont Blanc - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I was so glad I didn't give up.  I was so glad that I stayed on the path and kept walking, one step at a time.

In the same way we celebrated God's faithfulness to bring us to bring us to this point in a difficult journey, so we celebrate today.  We recognize that God has a plan that can be trusted and we know that in the end we will find victory in Him.

 Today I am on another journey.  This one is also difficult.  This one is also one I need to take one step at a time, not worrying about tomorrow but focusing on what I need to do today.   I can remember my hike and the lessons I learned and apply them to what I am going through now.  I see that God was preparing me as He so faithfully does.

I am encouraged to know that I am not alone.  God is with me and so are so many others.  More people than I ever could imagine have showered me with Facebook messages, texts, phone calls, flowers, gifts and cards.  I have witnessed people shedding tears upon hearing about my diagnosis, people who I don't even know that well and it made me feel so humbled to realize how much they loved and cared for me.  I was so blessed to hear friends say things like "WE are going to do this, and WE are going to do that" in helping me formulate a battle plan reminding me that I had a support system ready to battle with me.  They were reminding me that just like this hike, I was not doing it alone.  To say that I am glad that this happened to me seems kind of harsh but I can already see the good that is coming from it.  I can see how God is using it to draw me closer to Him.  I can see how God is showing me areas of my own life where I needed to slow down and learn the importance of rest and finding peace in His presence.  I am reminded of His great love for me and the importance of me sharing that love daily.

I know that there are those of you reading this who understand the battle you have been there and so bravely fought it or you know someone dear to you who has.  Thank you to so many of you who have shared your own journey as a way to encourage me.  To everyone else who is out there, your battle may not be cancer but it may be something else, relationship issues, the passing of a loved one, addiction, financial problems, etc.  Whatever it is know that God has not abandoned you and you are not alone.  He promises that when you seek Him with your whole heart you will find Him.  He is faithful.  As you allow Him to take control he will bless you with joy and a peace that passes all understanding.

Let me conclude todays post by sharing today's Jesus Calling devotion from today.  Once again it is a very timely message:

"The peace that I give you transcends your intellect.  When most of your mental energy goes into efforts to figure things out, you are unable to receive this glorious gift.  I look into your mind and see thoughts spinning around and round; going nowhere, accomplishing nothing.  All the while, My Peace hovers over you, searching for a place to land.  Be still in My Presence, inviting Me to control your thoughts.  Let My Light soak into your mind and heart until you are aglow with My very Being.  This is the most effective way to receive My Peace."  "Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way.  The Lord be with all of you".  II Thessalonians 3:16.

Thank you for standing with me and allowing me to share my journey with you.  May God bless you with a greater awareness of His presence and peace with each step that you take today.

Source: www.stampedwithaloha.com

Unexpected Circumstances

A couple weeks ago I got a phone call from someone working at the Women's Center at Queen's hospital.  This kind woman was calling to ask if I had booked my mammogram appointment like I told her several weeks prior that I was going to do.  Since my life runs at a marathon pace most of the time, I told her what I usually do, "I've been busy, so I'll do it later when things slow down".  See the problem is that things rarely slow down for me and I was several years over due for this procedure.  Normally the call would have ended there but this lady was persistent.  I could even hear her smiling when she said, "would you like me to call the other hospital where you say you are going to go?  I can schedule an appointment for you right now over there"  I told her that she didn't have to do that and I promised I would go.  Then she suggested I go to an appointment at the Queen's Women's center near my home which I didn't know existed.  "Are you free tomorrow, she said?"   It was because of her kindness and persistence I scheduled it and the next day I went.

The proceedure  was convenient, quick and I felt good that I finally went, so I checked that off my list and got to work on my stamp room remodel.  

My room, which is in the garage, is where I spend most of my time.  I feel so blessed to have that space.  My wonderful husband gave up his garage years ago so I could have a home office.   Lately, I was feeling as if it was a little cluttered and in need of a make over.  It has almost been 20 years since I've started my job as a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator, so it was time.

Cindy's Stamp Room (Before) - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Cindy's Stamp Room (Before) - www.stampedwithaloha.com

We began the giant task of clearing everything out which included some weight lifting equipment we had out there.  

Remodel Day Begins - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Remodel Day Begins - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I didn't mind carrying the weights so that Derek could take care of moving the heavier objects.

My wonderful husband - www.stampedwithaloha.com

My wonderful husband - www.stampedwithaloha.com

This box might not look that heavy but it contains half of my punch collection.

Packing up my favorite punches - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Packing up my favorite punches - www.stampedwithaloha.com

As you can see, I have a lot of punches and they are really heavy!!

We worked all day and before you know it my stamp room looked like this.

Preparing for the remodel - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Preparing for the remodel - www.stampedwithaloha.com

And the inside of my house looked like this. YIKES!!!

Craft room chaos - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Craft room chaos - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I had to prepare myself because I don't work well when things are like this.  I like structure, order and I need to have a plan.   Clutter and chaos make me crazy but I knew that this was only temporary.  I had adjusted my schedule so that I would have time to put everything back together. This time hopefully I would be doing that in a more organized fashion, clearing out the clutter as I reorganized.

The next day my cabinets arrived along with a crew of men who were going to install them in a day or two at the most, or at least that's how long they estimated it would take.

The construction begins - www.stampedwithaloha.com

The construction begins - www.stampedwithaloha.com

True to what I've heard about construction, things didn't go as planned.  One day turned into more than a week.  There were many unexpected challenges that came up.  Although it wasn't a pleasant situation and it was at times very stressful, I believe God was preparing me for the unexpected circumstances that can sometimes come up in life so I could learn the right way to respond.

Around the time the project was to be finished, I got a call back from the hospital.   They were calling me back in for more testing.  That was unexpected and a little unnerving and something that had never happened to me before.  That led to another visit and then a scheduled biopsy.  The biopsy confirmed there was something wrong but they needed to wait a few more days before I would receive test results.

 In the meantime the painter came and we began the final day of construction which included painting the walls and floors.

Waiting for the paint to dry - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Waiting for the paint to dry - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Prepping to move into my new room was a great distraction from the wait.   I was so excited to for the paint to dry so that I could begin to put back the things I needed and get rid of all the rest.  I began to envision how I wanted to set things up to make it a comfortable and fun place to work.  I imagined all the wonderful people I would have over to stamp with me and looked forward to sharing this space with my customers, downline and friends.  

Well the wait ended on Tuesday when the Dr. called and confirmed the outcome and I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  It appears that it is in the early stages but I won't know a lot more until tomorrow when I meet with a specialist.  Hearing news like this can turn your world upside down but I truly believe God had prepared me.  Just that morning in my daily devotions I had studied Psalm 91 and entitled it, "God is in Control".

When I received the news I was not alone.  My downline Laura who was visiting Hawaii was with me.  Laura and I had been sitting in the garage together talking while making a pink flower lei to use as a decoration in my new stamp room.  Laura hugged me and prayed with me and then just sat with me until Derek arrived.  How ironic that she had been with me at the start of my career with Stampin' Up! and now at the start of this new season, she was with me again.  I see her being with me as a gift from God because at that time of day normally I would have been home alone.

 Then my loving family gathered and we discussed as much as we knew, and we knew very little.  There was lots of love felt in my home that night and I felt great appreciation for my wonderful family that God has blessed me with.  As I began to share the news with close friends, I have to tell you I have never ever felt such love, encouragement and support before.  It was like I saw an army of people rising up that were going to fight along side me.

So now, I wait again.  This time however there is no more chaos in my house.  The construction is done and my room is ready.  The pink lei I was making with Laura is hanging over one of my glass pineapples, marking the start of this new season.

Stamp Room Decor - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Stamp Room Decor - www.stampedwithaloha.com

This will be a season where God has blessed me with an opportunity to declutter my life and refocus on what is most important, fixing my eyes on Him and not my circumstances.   Remembering to not be anxious about anything but to pray always knowing that God is with me and His plan and purposes for me is all I desire.

Cindy's Stamp Room - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Cindy's Stamp Room - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Standing in my finished stamp room now, I know the journey to complete the construction didn't unfold as I expected.  Now that I can see the finished product I can appreciate all the little adjustments that needed to happen in order for it to turn out so beautiful.   

Cindy's Stamp Room - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Cindy's Stamp Room - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I am thankful for the way that God is using the lessons I learned through out this remodeling process to prepare me for the construction that he is now doing in me.

Shortly after construction was complete, I was working in my new room when Derek walked in and said, "did you do that on purpose?", "Do what?" I asked"The lights over your table are in the shape of a cross", he said.  I looked up and sure enough there it was.  

Stamp Room Lighting - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Stamp Room Lighting - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I smiled because that was not in the original plan.  I had just asked for a row of lights.   However due to some unexpected circumstances the plan for the lights had changed and I'm glad they did. Now I have a reminder every time I look up.  A reminder that God is with me and that He is watching over me.

So although this diagnosis was not in my plans, I trust that God's plans are far better than mine.   I am ready for this unexpected challenge and the growth it will bring in me and the good that I know will come of it.  I am already experiencing that, in the incredible love I feel from so many of you who have reached out to me and made me feel so special.

Cindy's Stamp Room (after) - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Cindy's Stamp Room (after) - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I look forward to getting to work in my new space and creating projects to share with you here.   I will also keep you updated on my current health challenges and would sure appreciate your prayers.

Trusting in Him, 

Cindy

 

Source: www.stampedwithaloha.com