Sunday, August 22, 2010

Behind the Scenes...

I hope you are having a blessed Sunday. This past week I have been entertaining my father who is in town, enjoying the last week of summer with my boys, readying them for school, and preparing for our Gina K peeks which start tonight. One of the sets we are previewing this evening is mine, and I want to share how it came about. Since I know you will be hopping and we have other sets to show, I thought I might go ahead and write a separate post about it so tonight's doesn't get too long! I have been having the most wonderful time creating with it this past week, and still am not sure which samples I will share with you first! Although I don't like choosing favorites, because I enjoy my sets for different reasons, I know if my house were on my fire there are a few I'd grab first, and this one would be one of them!

I drew this set while the pain and numbness I was experiencing in my hand a few months ago was at its worst. If you read my blog, you know it really threatened what I would be able to do in the future crafting wise, and was really a trial and test of my faith. (I have to credit attending my Bible study every week that I wasn't totally overwhelmed with fear about the pain or worry like I sometimes tend to be without God's help. I really wasn't sure if the injury was something that I was supposed to press through or a sign that I should put designing and illustrating aside to focus on my family. Even though I loved what I did so much, I was able to align my will with His and tell Him honestly I would give it up and be happy with or without it and grateful for whatever was in store for me.)

I was actually trying to finish up another set that I'd sketched over a year ago but never finalized, but was finding that I didn't have the strength or steadiness to make the drawings the way I wanted. (I'll admit, that was a little worrisome) I prayed and stepped away from it for awhile, before coming back to draw something entirely new, and using a different process: this time taking away color like an etching (much like I also had to carve away at my heart and remove some layers of myself!) The result is the set we are about to release, with an image and sentiments and scripture (which you see above) that are very personal, because something new and beautiful grew out of that hardship. The result of that time and this new set is so precious to me, because it really forced me to press into the Lord. As you know, he restored my health, but also made me dig deeper and become a different and better person and artist. He answered me, that I would not be the same afterwards, but that it would ALL be for my good.

One more verse on my heart today:
"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love."

Romans 5: 3-5

See you tonight! :)

17 comments:

Anita said...

I love the story behind the set. I can't wait to see your amazing samples and the rest of the set.

Nicole said...

Thank you for sharing, Mel. I've been blessed by hearing what you have gone through and your faith. Can't wait to see your set.

Susie said...

Melanie, I'm so touched that you wanted to share this story (or should I say journey) with us. Thank you for being so open about your faith...it's such a blessing to me and, I hope, to many of your readers.
I can hardly wait to see your set!

Shawna said...

You are a blessing to all of US Melanie. Thank you so much for sharing your faith journey with your readers.

MaxineD said...

Thank you Malanie for your testimony - both of your physical walk and the corresponding spiritual walk. I am looking forward to seeing the whole set :-)

JaniceAileen said...

That post is on of the reasons I follow your blog. You are always so real with us here in blogland and your faith in God is always encouraging! Looking forward to seeing your set, Melanie!!! :)

joy said...

What a wonderful encouraging testimony! Thank you for showing us how God has provided strength and healing for you. I'm hoping it was Bible Study Fellowship you attended each week!

Mary Anne / MA54K said...

I am so glad you shared the story behind this beautiful set. I will now look at it in a different way, each time I stamp with it!

Miesje said...

Oh Melanie - what a beautiful story behind the set that I already love! I hope you like the card I made with it when you see it! Thanks for sharing how it came about.

Tina Gilliland said...

I knew you'd come through this... better, stronger and exactly as God wanted you to be. *HUGS* my friend. I am excited to see your NEW YOU set! *smile*

--Marcy said...

I generally don't take the time to read blogs, but when I saw your newest set I wanted to dig a bit deeper. I was so taken back by your beautiful Psalm 27 stamp as it is one of my favorites. It adapts to challenges, fear, patience, anticipation and many general everyday life issues with "stenghtening of heart". Thank you sooo much for including that in your stamps ---- the rest of the rest is amazing, but I am so excited about the verse!

Lana said...

It is heartwarming to see how this set has touched others and your sharing of how it came about will truly make me look at this set differently.You are an amazing and gifted child of God and I'm so happy I found your blog. Blessings to you and your family.

Jessica said...

What beautiful stamps, I love your art Melanie! Thanks for sharing with us.

Misti said...

Mel, thanks for sharing the story behind this set. It was in my cart first thing at 10pm!!! :D

Payne Holler Cards said...

We serve an amazing Lord! Thank you so much for sharing your faith and fear and letting us see how He brought you closer to Him through that trial.
big hug (-:
in Christ,
Linda

Jennie said...

Somehow I missed this post when my dial-up was having issues and Linda told me about it last night. To see the Lord work even amongst trials is a blessing...Rom. 8:28 He strengthens us in times we find most difficult when we trust in Him.

Colleen Dietrich said...

Melanie, thanks for sharing the link to this post with me. It moved me to read this, as I can relate with the hand pain. I have prayed often for relief, and you know what? He's helping! Makes me so happy.

And I'm happy for you too, that you are able to find relief and continue to use the gifts He gave you. :) Bless your heart!