Before I get into the cards this week, I need to give you the background behind them.
See, when you have a blog on WordPress, you get emails telling you when someone likes your posts, or when they start following you, or when they make a comment. At least I do. I guess I haven’t really looked into the settings behind that to see if I can switch it off, but I have so few readers that I don’t mind being told when someone actually likes something that I’ve posted.
Anyway, I think it was last fall that I got one of those emails, and when the like or comment or follow comes from someone else who has a blog on WordPress, the email contains links to a few of their own posts with a friendly “hey, here’s something this random person has written that you might like and should go check out!”
And that’s how I was introduced to the blog Beauty Beyond Bones.
I don’t remember which post it was that I went and read, but I was so touched by the writings of this amazing young woman named Caralyn, that I went back and read through her entire archive of posts. Her blog is her story of how, through the power of Christ, she has been able to gain victory over an eating disorder and reclaim her life. Triumphs, struggles, inner musings, Scripture, joys and tears, funny gifs and beautiful word art, she shares it all in the hopes that her journey to recovery might help just one person who might also be struggling. I can’t tell you how many times I was moved to tears by her sincere words, eloquently describing how it is only through Christ’s grace and mercy that she is even still here today to share her story.
When I finally caught up to Caralyn’s recent posts, I knew that I wanted to make some cards that were inspired by her and her story, so I asked her permission to share her blog with my readers and make a few cards in the next week or two. She graciously agreed, and as I’ve been kind of musing over this in my head for a while, I got to work on the cards straight away. 🙂
As I was reading through her archives, one phrase kept jumping out at me, something that Caralyn said her mother would tell her time and time again through her recovery: “just do the next right thing.” Overcoming an eating disorder, or any other kind of struggle or addiction, can seem like an insurmountable job, too overwhelming and scary to think about, which can lead to just giving up and being defeated. But no one, not God, not your family, not your friends, expects you to be able to just flip a switch and suddenly conquer the mountain ahead. Just focus on one thing at a time, make one little change in the right direction, and when you’ve mastered that, move on to the next small step, and eventually, step by step, you can overcome. Just do the next right thing. It is such an encouraging message, and that’s what I was inspired to use when making my cards this week.
So, in order of how I made them:
I found this set of ombre washi tape at Hobby Lobby on sale a couple weeks ago and thought it was too pretty to pass up, even though I SERIOUSLY do not need more papercrafting supplies! But it sure turned into a pretty card! I think the brightness of the colors perfectly reflects the brightness of Caralyn’s personality, which shines through so vividly in her writings.
I printed out the words from a document I created in Publisher, and since it takes a whole piece of cardstock to print something, I printed a few copies of the words, hence the reason I made more than one card even after discussing a few posts ago that I really don’t need to make more than one a week.
I pulled out this pretty floral 3D embellishment set and layered it with matching pastel cardstocks, creating a very soft look for this card. For all her brightness and spunkiness, she is also very soft with her readers who are struggling with ED, gently encouraging them in their own journeys towards recovery.
And of course, with Caralyn’s faith being so central to who she is and to her recovery, I had to make a card that included a cross, the hopeful symbol of the Christian faith. The picture doesn’t show it very well, but the gold cardstock is very shiny metallic and matches the gold on the cross so nicely. I got both the gold and the purple fiber paper from the little Amish shop in Indiana that my parents and I visited on vacation last summer. I have all those specialty papers I got there tucked away in a cupboard and I forget to use them, but when I saw the lavender swirls on the cross, I remembered that paper and knew it would be a perfect match, and the added texture makes the card more visually interesting.
So there you have it! It’s been my sincere honor to share just a tiny smidgen of Caralyn’s story with you guys,and I would highly encourage you to go check out her blog, Beauty Beyond Bones. If you are looking for an example of God’s boundless grace and presence, her story is truly uplifting. Or if you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, or has a loved one who is, send them her way for a message of strength and encouragement.
Thank you, Lord, for saving Caralyn and using her to touch and bless the lives of so many.