Love

And here I am again, back with more thoughts and no crafts.  Hey, when I talked about the changes that were coming to my blog this year, I mentioned that I would be possibly doing some posts like this.

So there.  😉

Now, before I start, let me just clarify by stating that I absolutely adore Lindsey Stirling’s music.  She is one incredibly talented violinist, I own all her albums, and I would pay a pretty penny to get to see her live in concert.  #bucketlist  This post is not to hate on Lindsey, or her music, or anything like that, so please don’t take it as such.

That being said, I’ve personally got an issue with one of the songs from her latest album, “Brave Enough.”  Actually, two songs, but not liking “Mirage” is simply a style preference.  🙂

No, the song that’s really giving me issues is “Love’s Just a Feeling.”  When I first heard it, I liked it.  And I still like the instrument part of the song.  It’s got a good beat and again, Lindsey’s violin-playing is top notch.  But the more I focused on the words of the song, the more I have come the conclusion that I just can’t listen to that one anymore.

The chorus goes:

‘Cause love’s just a feeling
Some kind of emotion
When you need the healing
When you’re all broken
Don’t overthink it
But for the moment live slowly
‘Cause love’s just a feeling
And right now I’m open, I’m open

I’m sorry, but love is not “just a feeling.”  Love is a choice, and something that you really do have to think about, or perhaps even “overthink” about.  Do you think any marriage, or any relationship at all for that matter, would last if love was just a feeling?  Every single relationship goes through times where the emotion just isn’t there.  Emotions and feelings change with the wind.  Ask any eleven-year-old with a crush.

If love was just a feeling, no one would ever commit to one person for their whole life (and yes, that does still happen).  No one would ever join the military and risk their lives for “love of country” or even love for their family.  How much love does a parent feel after the 8th time being woken up in the middle of the same night by a crying baby?

Love isn’t just a feeling.

Real love is so, so much more.

Tomorrow we will be celebrating Easter, commemorating the day that Jesus rose from the dead after being crucified for our sins.  Do you really think that Jesus would have come to suffer and die on our behalf if love was “just a feeling”?  Would anyone in their right mind willingly be beaten, scourged, mocked, despised, and ultimately nailed to a cross to die if love wasn’t anything more than an emotion?  Of course not!    But because love isn’t just a feeling, Jesus did come and go through all that to provide a way for us to be saved from our sins and to get to live with Him in heaven forever.

Because He loves us.

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Love is a choice, a commitment, a decision that says no matter what the other party in the relationship does, you will stay true and faithful and committed to that person.  Feelings change, emotions run the gamut, but true love will never end.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.

So yeah, I won’t be listening to that song from “Brave Enough” anymore.  Thank goodness there are so many other great tracks on the album, like “The Arena” and “Hold My Heart.”  😀

I hope you have a very blessed Easter, celebrating the Risen Savior who loves you!

And I promise, my next post will be a craft.  🙂

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Card #120: Alphabet card 1: A

Happy weekend!  Hope you’re all enjoying it.  I’ve spent most of my day tucked away in my craft room making things.  I finished two ornaments today as well as made my card for the blog.  I also hung all the awesome dragon art prints I got for Christmas.  And I even cooked some real food (hey, that’s an accomplishment for me!), so it’s been a pretty productive day.

So, I told you last week that I had a plan for the blog for the next several (read: many) weeks, and today is the start of it.  In my collection of scrapbooking supplies, I have a couple sets of patterned chipboard letters, as well as a TON of letter stickers.  So, I’m going to use up as much of that as I can and make a series of ” _ is for _____” cards.  You may recall that I made an “A is for awesome” card last year.  This idea has been in my head ever since, to make a series of cards with the same phrasing, but different layouts and colors.

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I did use the same wording for this card as for the original, but it’s definitely a different design and color scheme.  I started with a blue base card and just layered everything on, using a few scraps along the way.

It’s going to be interesting trying to match paper and cardstock that I have to the various colors that are on the big letters.  As well as trying to come up with good words for some of the letters!  If anyone reading has suggestions for words that are good for cards, please comment!  I’ve got ideas for some, but I didn’t really think much about how hard some of the letters might be when I decided on this idea.

Hmm, I hope I don’t regret this!

Anyway, hope you enjoy reviewing your alphabet over the next few months as I make these cards!

Card #113: Awesome!

Well, this is the final week of my pre-made cards, so next week I’ll have to start getting creative again.  Not that I haven’t been creative in the last few weeks as we’ve been getting decorations and other preparations ready for VBS, but I’ll actually have to sit down at my craft desk again instead of on the floor in the living room in front of My Little Pony reruns whilst crafting.

Cuz yeah, that happened.

Anyway…

After I made the “hi” card with the ribbon scraps, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to use more of those chipboard letters.  (btw, I did end up having to go back and use some big glue dots on those letters to keep them attached to the card, because the glue on the back just didn’t hold.)  I came up with the idea for this card, and was thinking about making a whole series of cards like it with different words, but then I thought that would be kind of boring.  But maybe I’ll do that anyway, just to use stuff up, and not bother posting them here.  Or doing a big long post with a bunch of cards in the same style.  Who knows?  It ain’t gonna happen for a while, at least until after VBS, if it does happen at all.

Oh, you want to see the card?  Sorry, sometimes the rambling gets out of control.

 

I tried to find some cardstocks and letter stickers that matched the colors in the “a”, and came up with this simple design.  The light mauve-y pinkish color is a textured cardstock, which adds to the character of the card without adding more colors and making it too busy.

So my thought was to use the letters and do like a series of “b is for blessing” and “c is for caring”, etc. kind of cards, just nice encouragement-type messages.  That would use a lot of my letter stickers, too, which I have a LOT of, so maybe I should work on that sometime.  If I made all the cards with the same layout, it wouldn’t actually be that hard, and it would use a lot of materials, which would be beneficial to my collection, especially if I used a layout that did use some more patterned-type papers.  I really should work on that…

So yeah, I hope you have a great weekend, and a Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms reading this!

 

Card #105: Sharing someone else’s story

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:

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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.

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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.

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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.