Now a card to share (and then another story that is on my heart). When our new release stamps and card stocks arrived, I started out making my first little warm up card with "A Beautiful Life" using this sympathy quote in the set (which I love!!) and the gorgeous new Little Boy Blue Pure Luxury. I'm not sure why, but as I was about to color the tulips a beautiful blue to match to make a beautiful monochromatic card, I stopped and thought "Wait, are there blue tulips??" So I Googled it, and found that while tulips come in almost EVERY shade, even BLACK, (although it really looks more like deep brown burgundy or dark, dark violet) they do NOT come in BLUE!! Well, not that that matters, but for some odd reason I just could not move forward making them blue as planned LOL! So I decided to add just a touch of pale yellow, as I usually don't add a lot of bright, what I consider "cheerful colors" to sympathy cards.
But the card was kinda "meh" and a little too somber, rather than a "treasured memory". (Like I said, it was a "warm up" card!) Still lovin' the cardstock though, but I just couldn't decide at the time how to make it better, so I just photographed it and put it aside, hoping I might "make it work" later. It happens sometimes...sigh!!
A few weeks later, though, I was looking at this card again, and thought about a woman from my Moms Together Bible Study this past year, whose story from a few months ago will touch me forever. She had five children and was pregnant with #6, we watched her grow with child over the months we studied. One thing she'd shared in her small group as something she needed prayers for earlier in the year: her husband was not a believer, and it caused lots of problems in their marriage, and how they each wanted to raise their children. Later we all prayed for an easy labor for her during our last session before breaking for the Christmas holiday, the baby was due any day. (While no delivery is without risk, I don't think what would actually come to pass crossed any of our minds...)
A few days later we all received an email that the baby was still born. Her perfectly formed little girl never took a breath because the placenta abrupted during delivery, and the family was deeply mourning their loss. We were all stunned and heartbroken for them and reached out with cards and prayers. Aching for this woman I barely knew, I believed with my whole heart that innocent child's spirit flew straight into the loving arms of Jesus Christ.
But just one week later we received another email from the mother, the contents of which was one of the most beautiful testaments of healing, God's love, and how He uses ALL things for good that I've ever read. To summarize, she explained that she was experiencing God's presence in a way she never had before: that her family was closer, that she woke up each day wrapped in a blanket of warmth that she knew could only be Him, she was falling in love with her husband all over again and the answer to her prayers, that her husband had given his life to Christ, born from wanting God to heal him the way he saw the Lord was doing for his wife, as well as his desire to one day live forever with his family and daughter he never knew in heaven! In just one week this all happened! That to me is a miracle. Oh I can't think of it without crying and getting chills!! Even through death and grief she could still experience this joy and remain faithful! Loving my children as much as anything on this earth it is almost impossible for me to imagine that I could be that faithful, but it gives me hope: during one of the lowest points in their lives, God brought about some of their best, a memory and promise to surely treasure, that He can and will sustain and restore us.Remembering all this, I made some changes to my card, stamping the teeny butterfly from Theresa's "Sending Sunshine" to create this pattern on the background and added some Red Hot punched corners and Strong Red Copic for bicolored tulips. A little sponging in the oval looks like a peek though a window into a golden sky, maybe a glimpse at one of the best days of our past with that person or into the great beyond. NOW when I read this sentiment I connect this card with a celebration of one's life and the promise of our eternal life, without sickness or sadness, we have when we believe. I don't know who this card is for yet, but when it comes time to send it out, I pray it will remind the recipient of all the good things past and hope of what is yet to come when Jesus is our savior....
Happy Easter! Christ died for YOU and is risen!