Sunday, April 25, 2010

52CP17: Times & Purposes

We're all familiar with the verse from the Bible: "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven" (Ecclesiastes 3:1) Today I'd like to turn this a little sideways and suggest the following: To every time there is a purpose, as well. Let me illustrate...

Quite a few years ago now, when my children were still young, I was lamenting to my mother about something I couldn't do that I wanted to, specifically because my children (and I have six) were still young. My mother - wise woman that she was - responded with the thought that I would play many different roles in my life - daughter, sister, friend, wife, etc. - and that my role at the present time was "Mother". That instantly changed my perspective, and I realized that whatever it was that I was wanting to do (which I can't even remember now) would still be available to me when my Mother role was less demanding.

Several years later I went through a divorce, which is never a happy thing, but events took several unforeseen and completely unexpected turns, and did not turn out in any way as I would have imagined or hoped. One of the outcomes was that my children lived with their father, for the most part, instead of with me. In the following years I had many experiences - some good and some truly horrific - and learned A LOT! Had my children been with me through these times, they would have had to share the horror with me, and I would not have been in a position to learn what I learned.

Now, as they are adults and going through their own "stuff", I have tools to help them and (hopefully) ease their way a bit. Even if they have to do their own "hard knock lessons", I've "been there, done that" and can have empathy and know (at least a little) the right things to say to help them through.

One of my favorite people in the whole wide world is a recovering alcoholic, and I've watched her struggles to overcome her disease. She has had many ups and downs (and the downs were really down!), and had several sponsors come and go as she worked the AA program. At this point, bless her, she is a sponsor herself! She is finding that those who come to her and ask if she will sponsor them are those who have had similar backgrounds and/or issues to the ones she dealt with. It is very validating for her to realize that the horrible experiences she had served a purpose, and she has something to offer to others as a result.

One of my most deeply-held beliefs is that THERE IS A REASON FOR EVERYTHING. Things have to go the way they go in order for us to learn what it is we need to learn to move us on to the next thing, and - hopefully - for us to help each other along the way...

Stamps: Stampin'Up! Hope Happens; Ink: SU! Chocolate Chip; Paper: SU! Purely Pomegranate, Berry Bliss dp; Accessories/tools: Sizzix Top Note die, Martha Stewart butterfly punch, dewdrops, flower from my stash

Note that my card is pretty much all diecuts and punches, which I can accomplish with one hand - for the most part - so there was limited additional damage/pain... I also need to credit Becky Roberts for the idea I used on the Top Note die.

Here's Mr. Linky for you:

Saturday, April 24, 2010

52CP16 Featured Artist

I suppose I should apologize for never, ever finishing my project for this week's challenge, but I'm just not going to. I still haven't been to the doctor - he doesn't have any openings until May, but they were going to fit me in Friday or this coming Tuesday. Since - obviously - Friday didn't happen, I'm hoping against hope that Tuesday does! If I could lop off my right arm just above the shoulder I'd feel significantly better but, as it is, I'm just dealing (barely).

Apparently all of you had issues this week, as well, because the ever-faithful Beverly was our sole player! Just for that, I'm showing you the outside and the inside of her card!



Thanks, Bev, for being so diligent with these challenges! I really appreciate it!

Just so you're all aware, I've already finished my project for tomorrow's challenge, and I'm going to go upload it right now, and schedule the post for midnight tonight! See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

An Update

Just wanted to bring to your attention that I've edited the post for this week's challenge. No, my project is not there, sadly. I'm typing this one-handed, and can't finish my project because of my shoulder (again). So sorry to be such a bad challenge hostess, but it can't be helped, I'm afraid...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

52CP16: What's Inside

Edited on Tuesday: I apologize that I still don't have my project up. My shoulder is acting up again with a vengeance and cutting/stamping/coloring/painting/writing is painful beyond belief. I have a tentative appointment Friday with the orthopedic (if he can squeeze me in, otherwise it won't be until Tuesday) to see exactly what's going on. Everyone seems to think it's a torn rotator cuff, but they're gonna do an MRI to see. If the pain abates soon, I'll see if I can finish my project. Otherwise, please make something for me to see, k? Thanks!

Good Sunday morning to you! I'm just a bit later than usual with this post, and I'm still working on my project - it turned out to be a bit more finicky and time-consuming than I thought - so I'll be adding to this later, but wanted to get the inspiration up for you. I was looking around the Keep Calm gallery and came across this:

'Nuff said...

Here's Mr. Linky:

Saturday, April 17, 2010

52CP15 Featured Artists

Happy Saturday! Here are the submissions for our "Just Be" challenge:



Aren't they great? I love seeing how the inspirations get interpreted each week - so inspiring for me! Thank you, ladies, and a special thank you to Deb for the amusing story I discovered when I went to her blog for a closer look at her card... See you all tomorrow for a new challenge!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

52CP15: Just Be

This past week I was going through some boxes (still unpacking from the move...) and came across some things I'd written several years ago. I decided to use one little piece of one of these writings for our challenge this week:

If you want to be, then take the actions you would take if you already were. I want to be a writer, so I take pen in hand and move it across the page, filling it with the words that come into my mind. Will they all be published? Are they all lucid and valid? Probably not, but that can't be my concern. I'm not attached to being a published writer - I'm only taking the action that defines being a writer - writing.

What do you want to be? A dancer? Then dance. Does this mean that you'll be in a rock video or starring in a ballet? Maybe, maybe not. That's not the focus. The focus is to dance.

Do you want to be a teacher? Then teach. If you have children, teach them. If you're in a church group, teach them. Be a mentor, volunteer at a community center, discover other options, but teach!

Do you want to be a speaker? Take a course in public speaking, join the Toastmasters - take an action!

It is only through performing the actions of being what we want to be that we become exactly that...

Here's my creation for this challenge to start things off:

I wanted to try something different calligraphy/penmanship-wise and just do a wonky, but hopefully still sort of cool freehand sentiment with a white gel pen on black paper. The flowers are from who-knows-where, since they've been in my stash forever (except the small one - it's a Prima), and the paper is from DCWV's Old World Stack. A little stitching, a touch of ribbon - done!

What do you want to be? What actions will you take? What will you create for this challenge? Here's Mr. Linky so you can share:

Saturday, April 10, 2010

52CP14 Featured Artists

Only two players this week! Is it because it was a tough challenge, or because I didn't get the challenge posted until Monday, or is it because it was a crazy/busy week for all of you? Anyway - here are the two cards submitted for the challenge by our two most committed players - Beverly and Stephanie:


Thank you so much, ladies! Beautiful, as always! Good news, too - my project and post are ALL FINISHED and scheduled to be published at midnight tonight - woo hoo! See you tomorrow!

Monday, April 5, 2010

52CP14: Honoring Faith

First I must apologize for how late I am in posting this week's challenge - frantic week, out of town yesterday, and my day deteriorated rapidly today, causing delays all around. I'm so sorry!

As I was mulling over what I wanted to post, I thought maybe something to do with Easter, but then I thought that this might exclude those who do not follow the Christian faith. This time of year is also when those of the Jewish tradition observe Passover, and Spring has traditionally been a time of celebration for pagans in regards to fertility and renewal. Seeing as there are so many diverse celebrations, I thought it fitting to expand a bit.

My thoughts turned to religion/faith in general, and how many different paths there are to find spiritual enlightenment. Some consider Jesus Christ to be their Lord and Savior, some follow the teachings of Buddha, some choose Mother Earth as their deity, some choose to omit any kind of "god" from their beliefs. A few things came to mind as I was mulling this over.

I have - and love - a remarkable book about a remarkable young girl named Anna. The book is "Mister God, This is Anna", written by Fynn. Anna had the amazing ability to take something she had learned in one area and apply it to other, seemingly unrelated, things. One such instance is an observation she made about religion after learning about music theory. She stopped in the middle of a game of hopscotch to tell Fynn, "We're all playing the same chord."

In music, the name of the chord you're playing depends on where you started, as in which key you're in. There are several different names for the same placement of fingers on a keyboard, for example. As Anna saw it, those who took the evidence of God and arranged it one way called themselves Protestants, those who took the same evidence and arranged it a different way called themselves Muslims, and so on, but it was the same evidence and the same deity, just a different label for the same "chord".

I had a similar "a-ha" moment one afternoon while watching leaves swirl by me on a little stream. One leaf went around a rock protruding from the water on the side nearer to me, one leaf went around the rock on the farther side, but they both ended up at the same place downstream.

One thing I found to be alarmingly inaccurate was a billboard that proclaimed, "A world at prayer is a world at peace." How many crusades, jihads, or other "holy wars" have been waged, with each side convinced that God was on their side?

My hope this week is to introduce the thought that there is room enough for all beliefs, and we need to honor those who follow a different path than our chosen one. I think it is beneficial - and even advisable - to discuss various theological questions with those of another faith in order to flesh out our own belief and come to an understanding of theirs. A poem that I found expresses this:


I would not interfere
with any creed of yours,
or want to appear
that I have all the cures.

There is so much to know,
so many things are true...
The way my feet must go
may not be best for you.

And so I give this spark
of what is light to me,
to guide you through the dark,
but not to tell you what to see.

Author Unknown

Another thought I wanted to share with you is the concept of "Namaste". This is a word of Sanskrit origin used as a greeting between Hindus. They place their palms facing together and bow their heads as they greet each other with the spoken greeting, as "a gracious form of extending friendship in love, respect and humility", as Subhamoy Das relates. He also defines it as a recognition "that the life force, the divinity, the Self or the God in me is the same in all," and states that the real meeting of people is the meeting of their minds. In one of my trainings years ago, my Reiki master explained it as "The God in me sees the God in you. When I come from that place, and you come from that place, you and I are one."

As another addition to my inspiration board, and a reminder to keep an open mind and heart regarding my beliefs and those of others, I opted to make a little "Namaste" plaque:

I printed out the word on my computer (Mystic Prophet font), then cut a frame from a DCWV Old World stack and a mat from cardstock. I used my Krylon gold-leafing pen to outline the letters and edge the frame.

And that's our "pickup" for this week! What will you create to honor where others might be on their path? How will you gain tolerance, understanding and acceptance of beliefs that differ from your own? Here's Mr. Linky:

Saturday, April 3, 2010

52CP13 Featured Artists

Thanks to our three players this week! I love seeing different takes on the same information...
Stephanie used a great kid's quote for her encouraging (and very cool) card:

Linda made this gorgeous confection with one of my all-time favorite poems:

And Beverly upped the "cute factor" with this fun reminder:

Thanks, girls! For those of you who haven't played along yet, we'd certainly love to have you jump in any time! See you tomorrow for another challenge!