Sunday, May 8, 2011

Beautiful hugs and prayers


Hello everyone! Happy Mother's Day!!! It's time for another Stampin Sisters in Christ challenge! Today's hostess is my sweet friend, Sabrina. Sabrina has chosen Ecc. 3:11a for today's Scripture. "He has made everything beautiful in its time."

Sabrina's challenge is to use all things "beautiful" on our cards/projects. This could include flowers, pearls, bling, butterflies, birds, lace... whatever YOU consider beautiful, we want to see it!

I have used beautiful shimmery cool metallic card stock by The Paper Co. called Blue Bell for my base. I have also used a beautiful design from Flower Soft from a pack called "Wild Flowers". These are available at the ODBD Store and are soooo fun to work with! This is a die cut sheet with perforated cuts around the flowers and you can either lift them with a piercing or embossing tool, or even add some flower soft if you prefer. I cut the ovals with Spellbinders Petite Ovals large and small. I stamped the sentiment from Our Daily Bread designs May release, Mini Tag Trio 3 with Brocade Blue Ink, cut it with the ODBD Elegant Labels made exclusively for ODBD by Spellbinders, and sponged it with Brocade Blue. I used a Spellbinders Victorian Borderability for the lower edge of my green dotted dp from BasicGrey Wisteria pad, and I used a Spellbinders Lattice Rectangle for my frame around the image. I added some gorgeous Prima lace, some pretty hand died and wrinkled seam binding, and I made a rolled rose from that hand died seam binding as well. I added some beautiful punched butterflies punched from the shimmery metallic paper, and some beautiful bling. All in all, I think I added a LOT of beautiful things.

In thinking about this verse... although it's very familiar to all of us, just what does it really mean?

Other translations of the Bible actually use words like "appropriate" and "proper" in place of "beautiful". When understanding the meaning through the light of those words, I believe what this verse is really saying is that there is a MUCH bigger picture than we see or understand.... and that picture is created by and understood only by God, who in His omniscience has made everything and a time for everything. God is eternal and sees the whole picture of all time like it is all in the present. Things in the future are already done in God's picture. He is not limited by time and space. He is all knowing... He knows what was, what is and what will be, and sees it clearly. We are not fully able to understand it all with our finite human minds. We see struggles in this life and they become monumental to us... but He sees the good that comes through them. We see life on this earth as the thing to hold on to. He sees eternity as the thing to be living for. We see our temporal bodies and worry over our fleeting lives, He sees our glorified bodies and eternity with Him, if we have a personal relationship with Him. He has put a yearning for eternity in our hearts, but He has not given us full understanding of what is to come. He wants us to live by faith, day by day doing what we should be doing, moment by moment living for Him. You might ask how I got to this from this one portion of one verse. LOL! It's because when studying the Bible you must always take the verse in it's context and look for other passages that help you understand it.

I hope you'll indulge me a little bit as I share a story with you.

I have been really enjoying watching a live cam on an eagle's nest this spring. When the eaglets were first hatched, they were this cute little ball of gray fluff. Soon I started to notice that they were all beak and feet... their feet seemed WAY too big for their bodies! Then... they began to grow a few black feathers, just scattered here and there. At this point, they are getting quite large and I have to say they are quite homely! LOL! They look half plucked and are totally clumsy... walking around often ends them up flat on their beaks! Their lives consist entirely of eating, sleeping, and scratching or pecking at their itchy new feather growth! I have been reading up on eagles to know what to expect next, and here is what I learned: As they approach the age when they are ready to fly, the parents will stop bringing them food! The baby will sit on the edge of the nest and mom and dad will fly by with some fresh catch in their feet, but they will not bring it to the nest. Day after day will go by and the eaglets will be literally starving for food! They will start flapping their wings and eventually, one day, they will take that leap off the 110' high nest and flap their wings for all they are worth, landing clumsily nearer to available food. At that time mom might fly by and drop a tasty catch nearby and the baby will eat and nourish himself. With renewed confidence he will flap his wings again and find that he successfully makes another short trip. Soon, he will learn how to make his own catch, and will start off on his own life, no longer dependent on his parents for everything. When I read this... I was horrified at the thought, because you see I have become quite attached to these eaglets!!! But as I thought about it, I started to see some parallels to our own lives. With our limited human knowledge, we only see what we have seen in the past or present. Sometimes, things happen to us that we think are downright cruel. We might even lash out at God... thinking that if He was a loving God, how could He ever let this happen to us! But as I watch these doting parent eagles... both mom and dad are soooo intent on meeting the needs of their little ones. It's really amazing to see the instincts they have to care for their young! You see... I wanted to go rescue those little ones when it was snowing out and they looked so cold! I want to go give the little one some extra food because he doesn't seem to get as much as the others! I have my own agenda for these little eaglets! But God has put the instincts in their parents to do just what needs to be done for them to grow into healthy, strong adult eagles, and they are doing it very well! So when that day comes that the parents know their little ones are ready to fly.... and they NEED to fly... they will do what they have to do, never far away, but doing what they need to do to insure that their babies will take that next step in their growth!

Isn't that how God is with us? He knows what we need even when we don't know ourselves what's best for us! We might "think" we do, but only God really knows! It's because of that BIG PICTURE that He sees... that we have verses like last week's verse that MariLynn talked about! Rom 8:28 is true BECAUSE God sees the big picture, loves us, and knows what we need, and works even through the difficult times... the times we feel like we are taking a leap off a 110' step.... the times we feel the bottom is falling out...
With our limited vision, we live very much in the moment. But like the little eaglets, we need to grow, to step out in faith and do all we were meant to do.

I have to smile as I look at these little guys right now... they really are quite ugly, to be honest, but isn't it interesting that God uses the eagle in Is 40:31 "They that wait upon the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not be tired, they will walk and not become weary." These ugly little eaglets will one day be the symbol of strength and victory! Yet even they had to endure much to get to be able to "soar". Sorry this is a long story today, but I thought it fit! In God's time, and in His way... He makes all things beautiful.

Our sponsor this week is Simon Says Stamp!
We want to thank them for their continued support!

For complete details on the challenge and our sponsor, and the full devotional, please see the SSIC Blog.
For more inspiration on today's challenge, please visit my DT Sisters:
Chris, Linda, Peggysue, Miesje, Rebecca, Lisa , Kris, Sabrina, & MariLynn
Randi (on leave)

I am entering this in the following challenges:
Catch The Bug - Anything Goes, Crafty Emma - Favourite Colour Combo, Bloggers Challenge - Nature, Crafty Catz - Include a quote/sentiment, Floweret - Spring& green, Inspire Me Fridays - Always anything goes, Raise The Bar - Flower power, Wags 'n Whiskers - Use die/punch, Crafty Sentiments - Flowers, Little Miss Muffet Challenges - Die cuts and punches, Paper Play - 2E – Show us your style (your favourite style- classic elegance), Paper Romance - Use your favourite die (I have several favorites but this lattic rectangle is one of them... I love the size!!!), Sassy Studio Designs - SIO - Challenge #71: Handmade flowers, Divas by Design -anything goes, Flutterby Wednesdays - must include butterfly, fairy or angel - #153 open, Simon Says Stamp - paper piercing, Clear It Out! -Ribbon/Trim, Top Tip Tuesday - Open challenge - anything Goes

Thanks so much for visiting and have a Happy Mother's Day!!!


Hellma said...

Happy Mother's Day Grace, your card is certainly beautiful love the layout and the colors you have used.

Miesje said...

Oh Grace, your card is so beautiful! I love it! I really liked your devotion - the story about the eagle nest is so appropriate and made me smile! I love the way you drew the parallels. I really treasure my Sunday mornings and reading your and our dear DT sisters words. You all lift me up!

Happy Mother's Day dear friend!

Unknown said...

Gorgeous card! I love your eagle story and I so agree-"With our limited vision, we live very much in the moment. But like the little eaglets, we need to grow, to step out in faith and do all we were meant to do."
Happy Mother's Day!

Scrappy Scatty said...

Thank you for the lovely comment you posted on my card - your blog is awesome
Love Jan

Becky said...

What a stunning card Grace. I love the story about the eagle's, this is so true about our lives, when we see a hardship we want to step in and help, but God is always working His good.

Aunty Sue said...

great card thanks for joining crafty catz this week

Wendy @ E-1-A said...

Oh Grace... your simple and clear way of explaining Scripture is simply wonderful. You have a gift to 'feed God's sheep' for sure.

Happy Mother's Day

Wendy xx

p.s. wonderful card too :D

Lisa Hjulberg said...

Love love love your devotional Grace! It totally resonates with me! Well said! You have a gift. Thank you for sharing it with us. ;)

And your card is gorgeous! I wondered how you cut all those tiny flowers. (*grin*) Beautiful!


Jacq said...

Hi Grace,
Happy Mothers Day to you. What an absolutely gorgeous card!! Love the image, the dp, the colour scheme is beautiful, love the layout and the embellishments. Thanks for joining us at Divas By Design and Good Luck.
Hugs Jacqui xxxxx

Yvonne Garner said...

Beautiful card.

Curly said...

This is so elegant, I love the CAS style and the sentiment is so sweet,

Thank you so much for joining us at Crafty Catz A Challenge Quote/ Sentiment,.

Good Luck,
Hugs Bridget Crafty Catz DT :0)x

karen said...

Wow a truly beautiful card, love the colours, so pretty, thanks for joining us at CES this time, hugs, Karen GDT.

Shell Shearer Swinscoe said...

Just beautiful, love the colours!

Thank you for sharing with us at CES Challenge & Crafty Sentiments this week, good luck!
Hugs Shell xx

Imagine That Digistamp said...

Happy Mother's Day Grace! And what a gorgeous card you made. I love your 3D popped up flowers and fancy border punch... the pretty ribbon and of course the butterflies. Very soothing and perfect for a "praying for you" card. I have a couple people needing one of these right now too. Thank you for sharing your devotional here. I've heard quite a few stories about eagles and it's amazing what wisdom we can gather from such small creatures such as birds. God is awesome and so is every single thing He has created. Have a wonderful week.

lindyloo said...

very pretty and stylish card thank you for joining us at the crafty catz this week hugs linda x

Unknown said...

Happy Mother's Day Grace! I thank you so much for your devotional. We had such a long drive back and didn't have the chance to go to church this morning, so this was a fabulous sermonette for me to read! Loved all your thoughts, go on for as long as you need to make your point! This card is gaw-geous!!! Love the colors and all the beautiful elements.

Mary said...

The colors and layout and overall design of this card is so stunning and BEAUTIFUL! LOVE LOVE LOVE it! (Found you via Stampin Sisters in Christ)

Only By His Grace said...

Hi Grace!
thank you for the super story. I loved reading it.
Your card is so "beautiful". I love every little detail. the colors are gorgeous. I love the flowers too.
Hugs Maz

Dawn B. said...

This is beautiful. I love what you did with your lattice die here Grace. What a pretty color of blue. This morning we talked in church about praying and why God doesn't answer all of our prayers. This write up is another great motivator for today. Great job. I haven't had time to watch the eaglets..Wish I had as I love birds. Happy Mother's Day.

Chris Olsen, Glowbug said...

I enjoyed reading your words on the scripture and all about the eagles. Your card is stunning GF!! I love the dyed seam binding, the flowers, and your use of the lattice border. The color is one of my fave. TTYT!

Hope you had a Happy Mother's Day!!

velta said...

Amazing card Grace!! I love the blue colors. Thanks for the scripture on eagles...always an inspiration, you are! I hope your Mother's Day was a great one....Thank you for sharing :)

Rachel B said...

Your image is so fabulous! I really love the border and your trim is beautiful!

Lisa Somerville said...

Just beautiful Grace, wonderful colors and dimension! Thanks for playing along with the Bloggers Challenge!

Adeline Ng said...

Hey Grace, I love how you frame the sentiment with the image and the layerings too! Thanks for your insights on eagles and the how God knows and is always there for us. Thanks for sharing :-)

Ida said...

Wow! - First your card is just stunning. Secondly your words and story of the Eagles was just inspiring and meaningful. Thanks for sharing both.

carol said...

ooh my super card, love the flowers and the colour, fits perfect with our challenge at Craftycatz, x carol

Anonymous said...

WOWZER Grace!! This is really breath-taking!! Your colors are gorgeous and the layout is amazing too!! What a beautiful job!! TFS! HUGS

Malgodia said...

Cudowna karteczka :)

Unknown said...

Such a gorgeous card totally stunning! Thanks for sharing with us over at Divas By Design for our first challenge! Big Hugs JO xxx

Basement Stamper said...

what a stunning card, love the flowers on it. Thanks for joining us at blogger's Challenge.

Sandra P said...

What a gem! Love the colors and textures :)

Thanks for joining Paper Romance this week!

Sandra P

~Vittory~ said...

Wow! Beautiful!
Thank you for playing with Little Miss Muffet Stamps!
Hope to see your work again!
With best wishes,

Lacey Stephens said...

Fantastic Card! Great take on the die cuts and punches challenge! Thanks for playing along with the Wags 'n Whiskers Challenge!
Wags 'n Whiskers Rubber Stamps

Julie said...

Wow just gorgeous! Thanks for joining us at SSD

Basslady said...

this is a work of art!
LOVE it!!!

hugs and kisses from germany,
silvi xoxo

Jac’s Playground said...

Wow! such an elegant and beautiful card, thanks for sharing it with us at Crafty Sentiments.

Mandy said...

Grace your card is stunning, everything is just perfect and so pretty, I love the paper piercing pattern.
Thanks for joining us at Simon Says Stamp for our paper piecing or piercing challenge :)
hugs Mandy xx

Unknown said...

such a gorgeous card!!
Thanks so much for playing with Clear it Out

CraftyC said...

So very pretty Grace and the colours are beautiful. Thanks for taking part in this weeks CES Challenge!

MariLynn said...

Grace, this is amazing. I love the lace and the pearls. One gorgeous card.

Davi said...

Grace this is so fabulous... The wonderful colors and the pieced flowers with the border looks kinda like a trellis. The embellies are so pretty with it. I love this. How right you are about the analogies of the eagles. blessings

Mandy said...

P.S Thanks also for joining us at Paper Play for our "show us your style" challenge
hugs Mandy xx

Unknown said...

Lovely card. Thanks for sharing at Raise the Bar this week.

Barbara Sproatmeyer (LM2) said...

A wonderful card for spring and I love that square lace die! Thanks for playing along in the Little Miss Muffet Challenges this round. ;D

Sheena said...

Wow, a gorgeous card with beautiful colours. Thanks for joining us at CES this week, Sheena xx

Sunshine HoneyBee said...

Bee-utiful card. Especially like the pop out wildflowers. Enjoyed your Eagle story. Currently I have a BlueJay nest in Photina bushes in my front sideyard. Have been watching & photographing. Photographed the 3 eggs, Mother bird sitting on nest, the babies sometime shortly after hatching when Mother was off the nest and both Mother & Father BlueJay near nest. Enjoyed & photographed some Robins 2 yrs ago in a Mini Magnolia Tree in my backyard from 3 eggs, thru them hatching, being fed & was there for when fist one flew out of nest and also when other 2 flew out of nest.