Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Walk Uprightly

Morning y'all! I know my posts have been short lately, but I needed to be sure to get some cards in that I've had sitting on my desk for a while! This card features a sentiment from Daydream Designs' Sunshing and Rain Sentiment Set. I just love the verses and sentiments that Diane uses! They are always so encouraging to my heart exactly when I need them!
Have a blessed day!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Birthday card for Lana

Hey, y'all! Today I'd like to share with you a card I made for my Mother-In-Law for her birthday! I've used Lucy's Flower from The Digi Garden for this fun card!
Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Thinking of you fall card

Good afternoon! Today I'd like to share with you a card I made using Daydream Designs Pumpkin and Sunflowers Color Digi Set. I used 4 elements of the stamp set and put them together to make one larger image grouping and then added the sentiment from a fun font on my computer.
Hope you enjoy!
Oh, be looking for Christmas stuff at Daydream Designs! There are already some wonderful images & papers available, but more are coming!!!
Have a blessed day!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Peace that passes understanding

We've all probably sang the song "I've got the peace that passes understanding down in my heart" and that's what I want to talk about today. Before I share my story, I'd like to share the details of this week's Stampin Sisters in Christ Challenge!
 My great friend and uber talented sister in Christ, PeggySue
 John 16:33 (NIV) "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
 Make a card that to you represents peace or calm; with an image, color scheme, CAS layout or verse, something that speaks peace to you, but peace symbols themselves are excluded. The card has to speak peace through your own style.
 Daydream Designs - one participant will win a $20 voucher for the store!
You're going to want to win this one! Daydream Designs has the most wonderful creations!
Here is the card I made for this week's challenge:
I've used Bitty Baby Sentiments by our wonderful sponsor Daydream Designs
Paper is by Simple Stories.

The story behind my card...
When I was 21 I gave birth to a healthy, very happy baby boy. He was awesome! I was young. I raised him as a single mother for almost 10 years. I did my best, but I certainly didn't give him as much understanding as I could have. I loved the little guy beyond anyone I've loved before, but I wasn't able to enjoy all the little things about him growing. I didn't understand that I needed to enjoy those things. Sometimes he just got in my way and made things difficult for me. My mom and my friend's mom babysat, a lot, so I could enjoy "adult time" My friends were always at our house and I never quite was able to give him undivided attention as a mother should from time to time. We did have a lot of fun, though! But someone was always with us when we were having fun. He loved the times when I didn't go out and I stayed home with him. We rented movies and ate pizza and chips and dip and soda and ice cream. This is something we still enjoy together once in a while and yes, not long ago my 17 year old son laid in my room watching Mary Poppins with me on a Sunday afternoon, at his request! lol I wasn't feeling well and it was a sweet moment with him. Anyway, fast forward through his little life to 9 when mommy met someone she loved and decided to get married. My husband and I married in April 2005 (right year husband? lol) and in October he adopted my son to be his own. October 6th to be exact. It's now called "Phelps Family Day" and we always celebrate that day in some way. This year it was just a nice dinner with our now 18 year old with an attitude, and his grandparents of 7 years, but we still celebrated, because it was important to us.
Now is the next chapter of the story-our quest for another child. When we got married we started trying to have a baby right away. Neither of us was very young anymore! (remember when 30 used to be old? ha!) We had failed attempt after failed attempt, precancerous cells to deal with and medicine to regulate and all that fun stuff. It's really not fun. It puts a lot of pressure on a relationship when dealing with infertility. It was as much my body's issues as it is possibly my husband's (he's never been officially checked, because if my body isn't working right there is no need to test him, yet) So, needless to say, our relationships have suffered some. Not just my husband's and mine, but with our son and families and with our friends. I became very bitter and jealous about every pregnancy around me. It's kind of hard to throw yourself into a friend's baby shower when you wish so bad that it was you. There were many tears shed and lots of make up used before these showers. Of course it's hard to look happy when you're dying inside! For the last several years I've been very sad and felt not worthy since it wasn't happening for us. I've even been regretting the way I raised my son, missing all the times when he was little and I could have been a better mom. Times I wish I could go back and enjoy him. Earlier this year someone called us telling us there was a baby in need and wanted to know if we'd be interested. We were floored that someone would think of us in this situation. Once the shock wore off and prayers were said and talking done with mentors, we decided that, "yes, we WOULD be interested in caring for this little one and becoming her parents." After about 2 weeks of talking to the "go-between" and waiting and planning and getting the "run around" I finally said, "look, if this isn't going to happen, I need to know, my heart is too involved" and they finally came clean and said that the person with the little one only wanted money and not really to give the child. I was devastated. That is when I really became bitter. I was so hurt. I thought God had REALLY let me down this time and that He must think I was so unworthy of a child that He would allow people who abuse children to have them, but not me. I must have really screwed up with raising my son that He wouldn't trust me with another one. Or that He was punishing me for my previous lifestyle. Let's fast forward to just last month. A friend of my husband's has a rough life. She is an alcoholic and disabled and tends to become involved with real winners of guys. She's the mother of 3 lovely children, whom she doesn't even have living with her because she can barely take care of herself, let alone 3 kids, too! There is more to her situation that I will not go into, but if you're a prayer warrior, please remember this lady in your prayers. She can use them! Anyway, she became pregnant. She didn't know what she was going to do, so she asked my husband if he and I would consider adopting her baby (which was really babies!) because her boyfriend wanted her to get an abortion and she didn't want to. So, after much prayer and discussion, we decided that it would be best for the babies if we would take care of them after they were born. We had apprehension about this, we knew there would likely be issues with the little ones but wanted something for her children that she could not give them - a loving, stable home. Well, needless to say, her boyfriend got to her and those little babies are with the best Father they could ever ask for and they are in Jesus' loving arms. Heartbreak for us - again! I began asking questions about why we couldn't do this, what was so wrong with us and why God didn't want us to have children! Once I "got over" that issue, for that day anyway, we began to talk about what our life was really going to look like. We still want a baby, but it doesn't look like that is going to happen. In my mind, we needed to make a decision - Are we going to keep waiting and hoping for it to happen or are we finally going to move on with our lives and live as if we're done with our child rearing years? My husband, who has been a rock for us during these times, says we need to pray about it. My question...how long do we pray about it? When do we make a decision to live our lives? I won't go into the rest of the discussion we had, but we were still in a quandary about the situation but knew we had to make a decision and I was quite frustrated, even angry about it all. We were planning on visiting with the Pastor soon to try to get some answers. In Sunday School the following morning, we were discussing Nehemiah and his decision to rebuild Jerusalem. One thing they were asking is "how long do we pray" the answer came to them just as simply as it came to us that day "pray until you have peace" Wow. We almost lost it right then, but the Pastor kept teaching as Chris and I were struggling to keep our emotions under control. I don't remember the rest of the lesson, but other questions I had asked the day before were answered, just as simply as the one about praying. I left church after SS and my husband and son stayed. I cried all the way home and talked to God. IT WAS AN AMAZING TIME! After lunch, Chris and I talked and prayed A LOT. We came to a decision and we had the most peace we've ever had! We know the desire of our heart is to have a baby and we're not going to keep our lives on hold waiting for it to happen. We're going to "pray for rain and build our ark" lol I don't think and I can convey the perfect peace I have about our decision. My friend, Jennifer, says "you can see it" on my face when I talk about it. I truly believe that God is going to give us our baby and I believe this is going to happen through a private adoption. I also believe that if His plan is something else for me, I am at peace with that, too. I am at peace because I'm ready for HIS will to be done in my life and not mine. I also have faith that He will give me the desires of my heart because I'm His. I have a "peace that passes understanding" I can feel it from my head to my toes and I can feel it as well as see it in my eyes and my smile. There's no longer a sad little smile, it's filled with joy and overcoming. Now, there are still going to be trials, of this I am sure and there already have been, but I have faith like I've never had before and a God that loves me more than I'll ever know. I am worthy to be a mother and my dreams and desires are important. THIS, my friends, is what peace looks like to me, finally. With or without another child, I have the peace that passes understanding down in my heart.
Oh, BTW, we are "building our ark" by redoing one of our offices to make a guest room that will be easily converted into a nursery with a simple change of a bed (we're putting a twin size bed in there so my mom can enjoy the room until it's needed for the nursery). We're also planning and preparing a list of things we know we'll need and we're planning the purchase of those things. We've started a savings plan and will be doing some fundraisers to raise money for the adoption fees.
I believe if you truly have faith, you must take action as though it IS going to happen.
Please join us in prayer for our baby.
I will post updates as we have them.
May God bless you today and may you find peace that passes all understanding in your life.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Daydream Designs Declaration of Hope Day

Daydream Designs Declaration of Hope Day
October 9th
We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself
the means of inspiration and survival.
~Winston Churchill~
Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
Psalm 25:5
Few things in life teach more powerful lessons than adversity. When one encounters devastating challenges, it becomes easier to separate the superficial and the trivial from what matters most. We can suffer many losses, yet through faith, family and friends we discover the will to carry on. What we cannot live without is hope. Hope is the essential ingredient to emotional and spiritual survival, even when the body is wracked by destructive disease. Disease is a cruel enemy, but one conquest it rarely claims is hope.
Members of the Daydream Designs Dream Team, join together this month as one voice on this day to extend hope and encouragement to those touched by cancer and other life-altering diseases or disorders. Everyone on the team has either personally battled the ravages cancer or their loved ones or friends have been touched by it. Some have witnessed the devastation of Alzheimer’s or the struggles associated with Autism. Whatever the struggle, we have discovered the importance of hope.
We invite you to join us on this journey of hope, and as you visit each blog, we know you will be inspired by the creative talents of our team, by personal stories and powerful testimonies about the God who is with His children through every circumstance. We’ve each designed projects using images and/or sentiments from the new Hope Endures series. There is an outline set available to create your own colored set and currently four primary colored lines:
Pink: Breast Cancer
Purple: All Cancer, Alzheimer’s
Yellow: Children’s Cancer, Bone Cancer, Soldier Support
Puzzle: Autism
Visit our blogs, for your own inspiration, but we’d love to hear from you too. We invite you to share your own testimony of faith, or take the opportunity to honor loved ones who lost the battle with cancer. Share whatever is on your heart. You can tell your story on anyone’s blog, but we hope you’ll let each designer know you visited. Maybe you’d just rather list the names of those you want to honor and remember, whatever the form the cancer /disease took. Here are the dream team members who are participating.
Thanks for joining us as we share why HOPE ENDURES in our hearts.
My first pink card represents my mother, who is a 2 times breast cancer survivor. What an encouragement she was through each of her trials. I'm very thankful that the cancer did not take her from our family as it has so many others. We praise God every day for her freedom from cancer! 10 years cancer free! Woo Hoo! I love you, Mom.
My second pink card represents my dear friend, Jessica's mom. Myrtle lost her battle to breast cancer earlier this year. Jessica always tells us how wonderful her mother was. I only wish I had been able to know her before she had passed on. Love you, Jessica!
My yellow card represents my little friend, Anna. Anna battled a rare form of cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma when she was only 7. She "fought like a girl" and is fighting every day to stay cancer free. She's been a huge blessing in our lives and we continue to pray for her to remain cancer free! Sending our love to you and praises for your healing, Miss Anna!
Thanks for stopping by my blog today and for letting me share a little piece of my heart with you today. May God bless you and your loved ones!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Gettin' a little boxy!

Good morning! Welcome to another wonderful challenge day for Stampin' Sisters in Christ!
This week our hostess is the Uber Amazing Michelle!
The verse of inspiration she chose is: Eph 3:17-19 "that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height - to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge."
Michelle challenges us to: Make a box or use an image that includes a box.
Our wonderful sponsor this week is The Digi Garden - they make the most adorable little people images! You've seen a few of them featured on my blog recently. You're going to love them!
For my creation this week, I found a tutorial on Split Coast Stampers for this adorable mini box. It is just big enough to hold a few pieces of chocolate, or as I've found out, a little candle wax tub from the Dollar Tree. Instead of using a decorated paper around a solid sheet of cardstock, I used a patterned sheet of cardstock to make the card. The image I used is by our sponsor. It's called Patches the Scarecrow. Isn't he adorable?!?
Well, I hope you've enjoyed my creation today. Be sure to stop by the Stampin Sisters in Christ Challenge blog and read Michelle's devotion. I'm sure you'll be blessed by it! Also, don't forget to join our challenge this week!
Have a blessed week~