Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dealing with Sandpaper People

Today's Truth

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, NIV).

Friend to Friend

It was Easter Sunday, and I was sitting in the sanctuary waiting for the worship service to begin. Anticipating a large crowd, I arrived early to drop Jered off in the nursery, one of his favorite places to go since every nursery worker doted on him. As the choir filed in, a friend slipped into the pew beside me and said, "I think you need to go to the nursery. Something is wrong with Jered." Jumping up, I leapt over legs, toes, and pews as I raced to the church nursery and my son.

I was not prepared for what I saw. In a far corner, lying on his favorite red mat was Jered, staring at the ceiling, silent and rigid. As I bent over him, searching those beautiful blue eyes, huge tears slid down his chubby cheeks as he flew into my arms, sobbing. You have to understand - as a baby, Jered cried only when he was hungry, wet, or sick. He always seemed to be smiling, happy, and contented. Something was obviously very wrong. I kissed his forehead. No fever. I checked his diaper. Dry and clean. The snack box I had packed for him earlier that morning was empty. I had no idea what had broken my son's heart, but I certainly intended to find out.

Just then, Mrs. Giles, Jered's favorite nursery worker, drew me aside and said, "Let me tell you what happened. We had a new little girl in the nursery today. It was her first time in a church nursery - ever. When her parents left, she immediately began screaming and wouldn't stop. Jered came running and wrapped his arms around her, but she pushed him away. He then brought her his bottle, but she hurled it across the room and continued screaming. Desperate to help her, Jered then found his diaper bag and fished out Turtle.

Turtle was a small, green-and-blue stuffed turtle we had given Jered during a stay in the hospital when he was seriously ill with the croup. From the moment Jered saw Turtle, they were inseparable. He slept with Turtle clutched tightly in one hand, ate with Turtle sitting in his lap or on the table beside his plate, and carefully tucked Turtle in his diaper bag whenever we left the house. Turtle was his most precious possession and was an invaluable source of comfort to him.

Mrs. Giles continued, "I couldn't believe Jered was willing to give Turtle to a stranger, but he tried." The crying child took one look at Turtle and threw it in Jered's face. Stunned, he picked up Turtle, dusted it off, and lay down on the mat, refusing to move, the stuffed animal clutched tightly in his arms. Then I knew. I knew Jered couldn't stand to see the little girl in pain and was determined to help. When he couldn't, he retreated, waiting for someone else to help. That's compassion.

Compassion is not just sympathy. It is empathy. When it comes to dealing with difficult people, we mistakenly equate compassion with "fixing" them. Genuine compassion is first able to feel their pain. I believe one of the reasons we encounter and are commanded to deal with sandpaper people is because the more pain we experience, the more compassionate we will be. We must learn to use our pain in the right way, not lashing out, but looking within to share the pain of others. There is a choice in every pain, an opportunity in every trial. Pain makes us focus inward or outward. It makes us martyrs or merciful. The choice is ours.

I have a love-hate relationship with the Good Samaritan in the Bible. The Samaritan chose to use his pain and help an injured man. He understood the man's pain because of the pain in his own life. The Jews hated all Samaritans. The man lying on the road was a Jew. There was no logical reason for this Samaritan to rearrange his plans and spend his money to help this "enemy" or "sandpaper person" in need. But compassion doesn't look for reasons or search out limitations. It searches for opportunity. The Samaritan had a choice, just as we have a choice every time we are confronted with a need. We must adjust our thinking to understand that sandpaper people are needy people. We can either ignore the need, or we can meet the need by giving away part of the comfort God has given us when we have been in pain.

Galatians 6:2 (NLT) "Share each other's troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ."

If we can't prevent pain, we can at least lighten the load with compassion. Alan Redpath wrote, "You can never lighten the load unless you have first felt the pressure in your own soul." Compassion makes us willing to feel the pain of others, responding as if it were our own.

Let's Pray

Father, forgive me when I respond in anger to the difficult people in my life. I really want Your love to flow through me to each sandpaper person with whom I come in contact. Give me Your heart of compassion to feel their pain and then teach me how to look for ways to help ease that pain.

In Jesus' name,

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Two More Images for CDAC Progressive Challenge

This first image is from Just Inklined. I colored the flower to resemble an Indian Blanket, a wildflower I remember with great fondness as a child growing up in Texas. Along with the Bluebonnet this was a favorite! If you have a flower from Texas you must have a butterfly from Texas, right? So I colored the butterfly to resemble a Pinevine Swallowtail.
This next image is from Nicecrane Designs. When I first looked at this guy I felt I was seeing a detective. I thought about how to portray him and decided that the famous Inspector Clouseau was just the detective to use. So here is my Inspector Clouseau, thought he would make a great masculine birthday card! The quote used is from the movie A Shot in the Dark. :)

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you are having a blessed weekend!!

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Oak Fairy-CDAC Progressive Challenge-Fall/Autumn Theme

Come join in the fun! This is one of the free images for you to create with at the CDAC Progressive Challenge. She is called "Oak Fairy" and is by GuruKitty Designs! There are lots of players, lots of images, lots of inspiration and lots of fun!! WHERE are you??!!!!

Anything Goes-Anything Goes
Color Q: Color challenge
CDAC Progressive Challenge-Fall/Autumn

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Door!

Old doors seem to fascinate me, do they you?  Especially those that seem so welcoming, promising warmth and friendship inside. That is what this image of Priscilla's says to me. So today I am using this door to make a card that somehow relays the message of "welcome", "come inside", "peace and love are found inside".  The name of this image is Door Wreath and can be purchased at Priscilla's store.

This weeks sketch...it's "YOUR PICK" Make it fancy, clean and simple, or somewhere in-between. Remember to click on the sneak peek button on the side bar for the following weeks sketch each Friday.
Our MMSC122 Weekly Bonus Sponsor is..
Stamp and Create and is offering a $25.00 gift certificate.
Stamp and Create is an on-line store carrying many popular brands of stamps, paper, and embellishments including: Wags ‘n Whiskers
Rubber Stamps, High Hopes Stamps, Sweet Pea, CC Designs, Kraftin’ Kimmie Stamps, Whiff of Joy, Stampavie, Penny Black, The Greeting Farm, Basic Grey, 7 Gypsies, Shimmerz, Nestabilities (always 20% off!!), charms and more!! Lacey is always adding new items to the store…so check it out at www.stampandcreate.com
Thanks Lacey for your wonderful prize this week!

Our September Monthly sponsor is....
The Sept Monthly Bonus winner will win a "Surprise Gift Package" FILLED with stamps, craft supplies, papers, tools, embellishments as well as some digi downloads and specialty items.
Surprise Craft Gift package worth well over $100

Here is a look at my card for this week. I made the brick look at the bottom of the card first on the computer, then I used a scoring tool to raise the mortar areas of the fascade, highlighting with white chalk ink for depth.
Close up:
I hope you will take the time to visit my team mates blogs, they are listed on the side bar under Team B for Priscillastyles. You will find all projects for this week's sketch at Priscilla's blog, the Midnight Madness team and the Priscillastyles team. Thank you for dropping in, hope you have enjoyed your visit and will take a moment to leave your thoughts! You are always welcome here!!

Stamp with Fun-Anything Goes
Gingerloft-Vintage or Distressed
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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Apple Pie!

Here is another entry into the CDAC Progressive Challenge, the theme for the next two weeks is Autumn/Fall! You get six images - FREE - from various talented artists to play with! Why in the world would you not be busy right now putting cards together to share and enter and have a chance to win prizes......DUH!!

The image I am show casing tonight is from Glitterbabe's, it is called a Bowl of Apples! There are some stupendous cards being made with this image, you can check them out over at the CDAC Progressive Challenge page. Here is mine:

This paper is actually a vector image that was available of a famous painting about harvesting apples. I thought is was perfect for this image. On the inside I have put an apple pie recipe from Betty Crocker, it got 4 stars as being one of the best recipes around. :) The cards that have the directions for cooking this pie are held in place with clear photo corners so the cards can be easily removed! Hope you have enjoyed seeing this card, I loved making it! Now if someone would just bake me that pie!!!

CDAC Progressive Challenge
DigiDesigns-Anything Goes
Glitter Geeks-In the Garden
Always Something Creative-Autumn

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Change of Images at CDAC Progressive Challenge

Get ready, today is the 15th and a whole new set of images are available to play with at CDAC Progressive Challenge!!!  The theme is "Fall", let's create!!

My image today is by Liastampz, go to her site for a look at this image and all her other wonderful images! Thank you Lia for this wonderful image for all of us to create with during this second phase of September's challenge.

Here is a close up. 

It seemed to me this adorable woman was pointing to one of  Fall's most amazing feats......the change of color! So, with that in mind I had my card in my mind's eye and all I had to do was transfer that to paper and add some embellishments!

I took most of the punched leaves and placed them in a "shaker box" made from the design paper, a transparency and pop ups for dimension and to keep the leaves from falling out of the shaker! :)  Here is a close up of the "shaker box".
 There are more leaves in there than it looks like, they bunched up and some hid behind others...oh well! In real life it looks really cool!  I wanted to finish the inside as well, so let's take a look at that.
I hope this has given you a bit of inspiration and gotten those mojo wheels turning, thinking Fall/Autumn and ready to play along with us at CDAC. Be sure to read your the rules, how to link your card and what the amazing prizes are that you have a chance to win! Hope to see you there!!!
Digistamps4Joy-Colors of Fall
Paper Craft Star-Anything Goes
Digital Tuesday-Celebrate the Season

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

CDAC Progressive Challenge-Back to School (cont'd)

This phase of the Progressive Challenge is almost over, you have until the 14th to enter your "Back to School" cards then the theme will change! If you haven't joined in the fun and free images you are missing out on lots of fun, chances to win BIG prizes and chat with other card makers.....What in the world are you waiting for? 
This is Madison, she is a free image provided by Stamp N Doodle for this phase of the Challenge!!
The photo is a bit "faded" looking on the left side, the transparency I made caused a bit of a challenge for photographing. -LOL-  Sorry about that! At any rate you have a clear look at Madison and just how cute she is!!

I hope you will join us in the fun and share your art with us! The more the merrier!!!

Many blessings and keep crafting!!

 CDAC Progressive Challenge -Back to School
 Crafty Boots -Anything Goes
 Crafting When You Can -Anything Goes

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Midnight Madness Challenge #120.....Woohoo!!!

Good Tuesday Morning and welcome to another wonderful sketch to play with! Here is a look at this week's sketch:

Enter one style or both this week.
Just have fun and come play with us :)

This week I am using Priscilla's Butterfly Digi Set which is in Priscillastyles Store. Take a look around, check out all of the new designs, pick your favorites and get going!

I have been hoarding a sheet of bling, waiting for the perfect sketch, the perfect image and the perfect mojo to all show up at the same time. It all came together for this week's card. I do hope you like it, I had a blast putting it together for you! 
I used watercolors pencils to color the butterfly making her the same color as one showing in the background paper. This design paper is from Mariposa's mat stack by DCWV, these papers are full of butterflies, some bold and some subtle. The solid paper is from my regular stash which is probably Club Scrap card stock. The bling I bought at Michael's using a Mother's Day gift card! :) The flowers are from Petaloo and are perfect with these colors!

the paper on the inside is from Club Scrap!
One more view of the card:
Thank you all so much for stopping in! I look forward to hearing your comments and for sharing your thought!! I hope you all have a wonderful week!!

challenges entered
Craft Your Passion-Anything Goes with a Twist (flower)
Crafty Boots-Anything Goes
Squigglefly-Color (Blue/Green)
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Monday, September 5, 2011

CDAC Progressive Challenge-September

The second month has started and you will definitely want to play in this round! Go here to get all the ins and outs of playing along and a look a the Prize! Come on we want to see your fantastic creations using these free images!

This image is from Tortagialla, she is called Girl with glasses! I had absolutely nothing that was about "back to school" (which is what the Team A team is challenged to do, even though I am NOT on Team A I wanted to play anyway...). So I sat down with crayons, paper and then ultimately the computer and generated my own design paper and embellishments. Ha, don't need to go shopping (except for ink) to make you own! Hope you like her!!

I found out that Prismacolors do not like watercolor paper very much, even with baby oil they don't blend that smoothly. But since the card is kind of distressy I guess that will be ok! Do you like her freckles?? LOL

Thanks for your visit and your comments, they mean so much to me!
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Friday, September 2, 2011

Sharing Today's Devotional from GiG

I just love getting my Girlfriends In God devotional each morning. Sometimes I get a "nudge" to share here and today is one of those "nudge" days. Please enjoy these words from Sharon Jaynes!

September 2, 2011
God Confidence
Today's Truth
Jesus said, "Apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5NIV).
Friend to Friend
Paul said that he "put no confidence in the flesh" (Philippians 3:3).  In other words, he didn't think that he was good enough because of any particular talent or ability that he had on his own.  But his confidence came from his understanding of who he was as a child of God.  Someone once said, "A man wrapped up in himself makes a pretty small package."  But a man, or woman, wrapped up in God is an amazing sight to behold.
I believe we can change our inferiority, insecurity, and inadequacy into unshakable confidence by understanding who we are, what we have, and where we are as a child of God. I am not advocating confidence in self, but confidence in God - confidence in who you are because of what Jesus has done for you and what the Holy Spirit can do through you.  Jesus said, "I am the vine; you are the branches.  If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:56 TNIV).  Connected to the vine you can do everything God calls you to do (Philippians 4:13).
Paul knew what he could accomplish on his own...nothing.  Oh, he could be busy.  We all can do that.  But bearing "fruit that will remain" is another story.  This paraphrase shows how he viewed his own personal weaknesses:
I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations.  Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees.  No danger then of walking around high and mighty!  At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it.  Three times I did that, and then he told me,
      'My grace is enough; it's all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.'
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen.  I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift.  It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness.  Now that I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size-abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks.  I just let Christ take over!  And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.
(2 Corinthians 12:7-10 The Message)
Paul had great confidence. The prefix, "con" means "with" and the root "fid" means faith."  So a confident person is one who walks in faith.  We walk in faith that we are holy, chosen, redeemed, dearly loved children of God who are empowered by the Holy Spirit, equipped by our Maker, and enveloped by Jesus Christ.  Now that's real God-confidence.
Let's Pray
Dear God, I know that I can do nothing of any true lasting value apart from You.  However, when I abide in Christ and He works through me, I can accomplish anything You have called me to do.  Help me to understand the power that is within me and to have unshakable confidence in Christ today.
In Jesus' name,
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