Friday, January 25, 2008

Butterflies and Inspiring Others

I love it when my blogging friends post sketch challenges! I don't get the chance to play very often (or, more fittingly, I don't make the time), but when I do, it's a blast. Other people's sketches take me out of my comfort zone to try things I definitely know I wouldn't try otherwise.

This card was made using Julee's (Poetic Artistry) Mojo Monday sketch from this week! I can tell you honestly, I would have never come up with this sketch on my own! Julee's sketches really stretch us, don't you think?To get started on Julee's sketch, I chose this fabulous paper from American Craft. I {heart} Cool Caribbean, Black, Red and White together! What a great color combination.

The butterfly stamp is from Hero Arts. I've had it a long time and it's probably only the second or third time I've used it. It just got gobbled up into my huge stash of stamps and promptly got forgotten about.I stamped the butterfly once on some teal scrap designer paper, cut it out and then used my Stardust Gel Pen all over it for some sparkle.

I stamped the butterfly again on a piece of Very Vanilla cardstock, and mounted my teal butterfly over the butterfly on the VV cardstock using dimensional tape. When I cut the butterfly out originally, I cut off his antenna's, because, of course, they'd be too hard to cut around. But when I mounted the teal butterfly on top of the VV butterfly image, the antenna's from that butterfly appear as if they are the antennas of the teal butterfly. Jeepers, that sounded complicated. I'm so wordy.....sorry about that! I'm sure you get the picture.I mounted the butterfly on some black cardstock and sewed a straight stitch around the edges. It's mounted on top of a vertical strip of Real Red cardstock.

The half circles at the top and bottom of the card were made by using my two circle punches, gluing them together, and then cutting them in half. I placed some red bling in the middle of each half circle for some fun. The "I Love You!" stamp is one of Michael's new VD stamps. I didn't know what to put for an embellishment in that are so I just put a sentiment instead. I really like how the card turned out, so thanks to my friend Julee for the inspiration!

Can I just share one more thing with you today? I hope I don't get a bunch of people unsubscribing after they read this:)!

So often, we get worked up and obsessed with what's going on in our lives. Sometimes, we are so overwhelmed we become sad, unhappy, and just plain tired. We might scream out to God "Lord, why are you putting me through all this pain...why me?????" I'll admit, I've had my fair share of these sorts of days over the past 6 months, with the illness/death of Doug's mom, and then Doug's job loss. My own mother was ill with heart issues this year as well. The good news is that God does everything for GOOD. We might not realize it at the time, but He does. And it's how you deal with what God has placed before you that determines if you'll use your pain for good or bad.

I tend to write about my pain here on my blog, partly because that's who I am, I don't hide my feelings well. I wear my heart on my sleeve, so they say. I experience everything from my heart, not my head. Some might think that's a detriment, or a flaw, being so emotional. I don't. I'm glad God gave me compassion and empathy. It's easier to connect with people when you've got the ability to be compassionate and empathize with how someone else is feeling.

The other reason I guess I write about more than just cards on my blog is because I think God might be using me to touch others who are experiencing trouble in their own lives. In other words, God might not be using my troubles solely for MY purpose, but so that through my troubles, I can influence or inspire another person as they travel their own difficult journey! It's not always JUST ABOUT US. Sometimes, we need to step out of ourselves (and our self-importance) to see how our lives, and how we live them, can help someone else.

So the next time you feel like God has given you more than you can chew, stop and say "thank you" first of all, for the opportunity God has given you to grow, and then turn around and say "how can I use my life, and the troubles I have, to influence the life of another human being?"And one last thought. Before you go thinking this is a special talent God has given just to me, think again. Each and every one of you reading this today can be an influence and inspiration in someone else's life. This is something He's given all of us the ability to do. Just Be Open to the opportunity He gives you.

31 comments:

  1. Such a pretty card Amy! Thanks for the reminder - and I come here because of who you are. Thanks for everything!

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  2. Beautiful card, and beautiful words that touched my heart this morning. Thank you for that! ((((hugs))))

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  3. Anonymous9:55 AM

    LOVE the card, Amy, as usual!!

    And AMEN to the insight the Lord has given you. Why anyone would unsubscribe after reading that is beyond me!!! You are such a beautiful soul and it is a pleasure to "watch" the Lord use you and work in your life. Good for you!!!

    Hugs,

    Mary L.

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  4. Amy - thanks for starting my day off right with your beautiful card and and your beautiful words - you are a gem and an inspiration to all of the faithful readers of your blog. ~chris

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  5. Amen!

    Blessings to you friend.

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  6. Beautiful card, Amy! And your words just always touch my heart and give me a fresh perspective! thanks!

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  7. Beautiful job on the sketch Amy! *STAMPIN HUGS* Alex

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  8. Amy

    My favorite card... beautiful!

    I love your encouraging words... so well put!

    God gives us what we can handle... we CAN do all things through HIM.

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart!

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  9. barb hendrickson12:03 PM

    Amen and a lovely card. No unsubscribing here, girl. Maybe some people do read blogs only for the art, and that's fine, but I like blogs because of the people who write them. Interesting people have interesting blogs.....that's why I keep coming back. There are many ways to be inspired and I find that here.

    lots of thanks and bunches of love,
    barb

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  10. Wow, what a pretty card! I love those colors together. Katie

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  11. Amy, your cards are always beautiful. Your blog is special because of you. Stop worrying about people unsubscribing, just do what God leads you to do.
    Your words are inspiring and heartfelt.

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  12. A big AMEN to that Amy! I have memorized the scripture you posted the other day and I just keep repeating it to myself...especially the part about "I know I will triumph"!
    Thanks so much to you for all you do!

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  13. Amy,
    It's nice to know there is someone out there just like me and I'm not losing my mind. I too wear my heart on my sleeve and am an emotional person. I have also been really sick, and have been stressing about not having a job as well. It's very hard when all that hits you at once, but you're right, you have to get your strength and patience from GOD.

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  14. jen del muro6:17 PM

    {{hugs}}

    i love your card. i am so behind on my mojo sketches!!

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  15. Frankie7:06 PM

    Beautiful card Amy!
    I love READING your blog -- no way I'm unsubscribing!! I like that you share your feelings . . . makes me think that if we ever met, I'd already have a friend!
    I know that God knows each of us and never, ever sends us bigger trials than we can deal with. I've learned that when my trials seems huge, God knows I can deal with them and I'm in awe of His confidence in me. Anyway, just wanted you to know that I love your blog and I'm continuing to keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs!

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  16. Amy, Your card put a smile on my face and in my heart today. Your words are very touching and I'll keep coming back (every day).

    Take Care,
    Sharon

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  17. Anonymous8:14 PM

    Wow!! your post touched me so much!! Thanks for your words and I continue to look at your blog everyday for your words that you have for all of us that look at your blog. Love your cards!!!! I will continue to look at your blog everyday!!! Thanks for all you share hear!!! Kim

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  18. Love the card and I also love how you share yourself...isn't that why we do this? Some are just better at it than others, you are one of the better ones. TFS.
    Laura

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  19. Amy, I adore your cards, but your words are JUST as encouraging and uplifting. You just keep being you, and we'll just keep being blessed, okay? ;-)

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  20. Your card is very beautiful! Thank you also for your encouraging and beautiful words! Hugs!

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  21. This is one gorgeous, gorgeous card. You don't have to worry about me unsubscribing--it was a refreshing insite.

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  22. Amy, we are all GOD's children and we should share HIS word. You just keep on being you. We need you, your wonderful art and your encouraging words. Keep up the good work.

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  23. you are such a beautiful person amy! i find so much inspiration from you, even outside paper crafting.........from your christian walk, as well! have a blessed day!!!

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  24. asela8:56 AM

    Amy I'm the same way, often my heart speaks when really I should take the time to process things first. But that's why God gave me my hubby, he processes things first long before the emotions kick in. God has blessed you with so many gifts and we love you for sharing with us. He will always be there for you and your family. Big hugs.

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  25. Anonymous11:45 AM

    Unsubscribe?!?!? What you said was so beautiful and true. we all have troubles in our life, no one is free from that, but if you put your trust in God, he will take care of it for you. Bless, Susan

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  26. Good things for us all to think about Amy. Thanks!
    ps. Thanks so much for the goodies you sent me ... check out the project on my blog when you get a chance... I used the clips you sent me on my latest project.

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  27. Amy you are so right. Also, God has things He wants us to do and ways to use us that we can't get to without the adverse circumstances that propel us forward into the will of God. In everything that happens, God is working out His will in our lives. He is our Creator God and He will bring good out of everything in our lives, even the worst circumstances and He will redeem all the sorrow and grief and bring glory to Himself through it all.

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  28. Well said Amy! And a beautiful card too!

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  29. This card is gorgeous, I love it!!

    And I think its admirable that you share so much of yourself on your blog. Its a comfort to many people, I'm sure, to know that EVERYONE has problems, and that life isn't rosey for anyone.

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  30. Anonymous11:18 PM

    Amy,

    I love your blog & your cards! I agree with what you said that God wants us to use the ability He's given us for His Glory & we do need to be open or 'surrender' to His calling. You spoke my heart! Thanks for sharing & being you..you are very uplifting & inspiring with your cards and your attitude!

    Heather (heatherstampin on SCS)

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