Sunday, October 23, 2011

A time for Joy!


Howdy all!  It's Sunday and time for another Stampin Sisters in Christ Challenge!  This week our challenge hostess is the dear and sweet MariLynn.  She has chosen Ecclesiastes 3:1 for this week's Scripture. 

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens."

MariLynn's challenge is to 
Make a card that shows the passing of time. A clock ( for hours) a sun (for days) a calendar for (years) etc.
Remember when you were little... and you just couldn't wait for Christmas morning?  The days leading up to Christmas seemed to just drag!  Now I find myself amazed that it's almost Nov. and Christmas is right around the corner!   The older I get, the more aware of how quickly time  passes I become!  I also am becoming more and more aware of how all our days are in His hands, and the time that we have here on this earth is but a drop in a bucket compared to eternity!  We put so much emphasis on this life, and the things of this life, but the things God values have eternal value! 
 My husband's recent layoff really brought home to me the truth to this passage.  Just as God created the seasons, and there is a different purpose for each season... our lives contain many seasons as well. Some are sunny and warm, some are filled with colorful moments of awe and beauty.... and some are cold, and possibly painful. 

Not long ago, my husband and I both started praying that God would  draw us closer to Him and help us to empty ourselves of all that stands between us and our relationship with Him.  Funny thing is that we knew even then that there was some "risk" in praying that way.  What layers might need to be stripped away to help us to completely trust only Him and let Him be our all in all?   What little things might He uncover that we have unknowingly been holding back from Him?  Would He ask us to step out of our comfort zone?  Would we be able to do that?  I truly believe that emptying us first of our "plans" for our future, our retirement, all the things we were expecting to work out according to "the" plan, He is revealing to us that  He wants our trust to be in Him and Him alone. It's not to be our "retirement package", not our 401k, not the health insurance we were 11 months away from being guaranteed through our retirement.... not a job, nothing but Him.  As my husband was driving home his last day of work.... he was praying and actually thanked the Lord for this season!  That's not to say it doesn't hurt!  It's just to say that He saw this as a way God was going to do a work in our hearts, and perhaps even in the hearts of others,  and so he was able to  thank the Lord for whatever He is going to do through this!    We know He never leaves us nor forsakes us, and we are not alone!  We also know that this world is not our home, and we are looking forward to our REAL home!  Our minds can't even conceive the riches He has for us in glory!  
So whatever season YOU are in right now... even if you are in a painful place... a place where it's hard to put one foot in front of the other, a place where you can't seem to see God's hand at all... just know that God DOES have a plan and wants to lead you to a new place of beautiful relationship with Him!   If you don't know Him.... that first step would be to come to Him in faith, accepting Him as your Savior.  If you do know Him, but are not experiencing the joy that overflows your heart when you are basking in the warmth of His presence, I challenge you to ask Him to take you to that next season...   Do you seek JOY?  Do you seek FULFILLMENT?  Seek HIM just as the wise men of old did! 


I decided to use a "season" theme and make a Christmas card, but I also got my clock in with the stick pin! LOL!  I used this month's release from Our Daily Bread designs Joy to the World Hymn, as well as Christmas Rose.  I stamped with Memento Ink and colored the image with Prisma Pencils, blending with Odor Free Mineral Spirits.  I also tore and distressed my edges and used the Faux Burnt Technique on the edges.  The technique can be found on SCS under Try a New Technique  Past Challenges.  I used four shades of Distress Inks: Antique Linen, Brushed Corduroy, Walnut Stain and Black Soot.  I used a base of Craft from Mark's Finest Papers, and the designer paper is Websters Pages Waiting for Santa/Sweet Season combo pack.  The flower is made with a Marianne Poinsettia Die, and I added a clock stick pin for the time element.  The beautiful flourishes around the focal image are various parts of a Cheery Lynn Fanciful Flourish. 

Our Sponsor this week is Digital Delights by Louby Lou
The prize is Three Free Digis from the store!
For the full details of the challenge, prize and devotional, please visit the SSIC Blog.

Be sure to check out the rest of the design team for more inspiration:
Chris, Linda Miesje, Rebecca Kris, PeggysueMariLynnLisa, and Traci

I am entering this in the following challenges:
 Crafts 4 Eternity Recipe Challenge - at least one metal embellishment (metal brads),
Totally Papercrafts - layer upon layer,  Moving Along With The Times - Vintage
Shelly's Images -  Anything Goes,   My Time To Craft - Punches & Dies,  Sweet Stamps - Lots of Layers, Top Tip Tuesday - Layer It  Use It Tuesdays - Metal  Week, Christmas Inspirations - 2W, 2E, must be Christmas  Die Cuts or Punches, Little Claire's  - #14 Christmas,


Only By His Grace said...

Hi Grace,
thanks once again for a very good message. Yes indeed...our times are in His hands and he is the source of our need.
Your card is magnificent. I love the design. The big Poinsettia is beautiful. I love how it is portrayed on the music sheet as well. Love how the vine frames the music.
Hugs Maz

Chris Olsen, Glowbug said...

Oh Grace, your devotional brought tears to my eyes. Isn't that what we should all strive for...a better relationship with him no matter what the cost. and are going through so much. So beautifully written. You are truly gifted with your words!!

Your card is gorgeous too!! Wowzer! I just love the flower you created, the vintage flair, your designs and the added clock (stroke of genius!) Hope you and Al have a blessed Sunday!!


Sharon said...

Thank you for sharing your insight about how God is reminding you about His divine plan for your lives. Just like our children trusted us to catch them if they fell while taking that first step, we as true children of God can rest assured that He will catch us just in time.

I Love your card! What festive coloring you've done. It's hard to believe that it's already time to start making Christmas cards!


Miesje said...

Oh my goodness - what a piece of art! You are amazing - truly amazing! Amazing how God answers our prayers. I totally can relate to your sharing. Your heart is in it. Thank you!
Have a wonderful week!

Merlyn said...

OMG!!! This is simply adorable.. I love everything used in this card especially the swirls and the flower ..Love it :)

MariLynn said...

Grace,what wonderful words of wisdom. Thank you for sharing. I one of the things I have noticed about seasons, is that they never last forever, and that while there are some difficulties associated with them, there are joys and blessings to be found when we look for them. I pray that this season of unemployment will bring richness and blessings to you and your husband's lives that only God can give, and that He will give abundantly!!! I love your card. Absolutley gorgeous!!!

Riet said...

What a wonderful card Grace.

Hugs Riet.xx


Wow!!!! This is a master piece! Thanks for joining us at Christmas Inspirations challenges. Hope you will play again next challenges too.

Linda Carson said...

Stunning artwork Grace! You're inspiring not only in creating but also your relationship to the Lord. Be ready to stand amazed...!

Peggysuez said...

Grace so very clever, I never have yet seen a clock stick pin but if there was one to be found, I could trust you to be the one! Lovely, lovely creation and I know that you will put your trust in Him to lead you through this challenge and it will be an answer to that prayer to have drawn closer to Him.

velta said...

Hello Grace ~ Your card is just gorgeous and your words still are the best ever! Yes, I remember being small and waiting for that special Christmas moment! I still have that feeling with my grandbabies. How fortunate and blessed I am...Kind of a second chance at happiness! Thank you for sharing my friend!

MaxineD said...

Grace this is , as ever, a beautiful offering. I love all the detail you have in this.
Praying for you and that you may experience God's richest blessings.

* Shaz * said...

Fabulous card, thank you for joining us at MTTC hope you can join us again soon x

Lisa Jane said...

oh wow this is beautiful, love everything about it
Thanks for joining us at MAWTT this week for our vintage challenge
Lisa x

debby4000 said...

Love your gorgeous card.

Clare Curcio said...

Thank you for your words of wisdom, Grace! Thank you for sharing Jesus with everyone - you are fulfilling your purpose here on earth by doing that!

I love the music you've attached to your blog. I was wondering - how did you add the music to it? My blog has changed somehow on Blogger - my header has disappeared as well as my sidebar, and the photos don't load like they did. You can take a look at I had to redo it once before when all my photos were changed to the white box, with the red X in the upper right corner. That's why my blog changed from QueenTeacupsPaperTreasures to ClaresPaperWorks. I know you're a busy lady, but if you could take a moment to tell me how to fix it, I'd sure appreciate it! I love your blog, your work, and YOU!

Your sister in Christ,

Caroljenks said...

Your card is just beautiful Grace - what a work of art! I loved your post too - beautifully written.

Thanks for joining us this week over at Top Tip Tuesday for our 'Layer It Up' Challenge. If you have a Top Tip you'd like to share with us next week just add (TIP) next to your name when you link and you could also win the Top Tipper prize!

Carol x

pinky said...

I just love this beautiful card Grace! Thanks for joining us at C4E this week.

Motherhen3 said...

A stunningly beautiful card! Thank you for joining Little Claire in our blog challenge. xxGaynor LCDT

Kristine said...

Absolutely beautiful Grace!! I love that sheet music stamp, and all your fabulous die cuts and embellies just makes it complete. And yes, time does seem to go by so much faster the older I get! Not enough time to do the things we want... better make what time we have count for His kingdom. Have a blessed week friend,

America said...

Thank you for sharing such beauty in your words and in your super gorgeous work here my friend. I love it all! :)

Crystal said...

WOW WOW WOW this is sooo beautiful Grace, love love this design!! STUNNING!!!!

Annette said...

Such a pretty card, I love all the florals. Thanks for joining our layer challenge at Top Tip Tuesday, please join our trick or treat challenge this week. Annette xx

Lovely Linda said...

Oh Grace - this is beautiful - your words from the heart are so true and speak straight to the heart of the matter - thank you! Your card is a work of art - there is so much beauty in the one place - it is a smorgsbord for the eyes! Thank you for sharing Grace! {{{hugs}}}

Shirley said...

Talk about lovely and elegant. I really like how you did the music and the image, your Poinsettia is outstanding, and that clock stick pin is just so creative too! Wonderful!

Hazel (Didos) said...

Hi, this is super and just right for the Vintage challenge on MAWTT, thanks for playing along, Hazelxoxo

Anonymous said...

Dear Grace,

Your Devotional is so beautiful, so moving. I know that we should all strive to be closer to Him. Yet it brings fear to my mind I never know what He will want or take from us. It could even be a child. I have heard again and again, how children go to be with the Lord, and the parents actually get closer to Him. I can't imagine. And, I feel guilty that I don't think I could react in that way. I am so sorry about the difficulties you are facing now. Grace, you are the most Godly woman I know. I know He will be faithful. He always has been. Always will be. He will see you through this desert of trials. Stay faithful, Sweetie. He is.

This card is one of my very favorites! I love how you combined the stamps. I love the colors and depth in that flower in the left corner. The papers are wonderful...and I love the way you distressed the music sheet. It took me a while to find your clock! Your coloring of the Christmas Rose is beautiful...I love every detail of this card! Amazing!

He IS Able!
Traci S.

michele said...

Fabulous! Thanks for joining us at Crafts 4 Eternity this week! hugs x