Sunday, January 11, 2015

Is God Good When Bad Things Happen?

One of the blogs I read is written by a woman who lost a nearly full-term baby 6 hours after birth. She held her precious daughter for 6 hours and then had to let her go. Such an unimaginable tragedy. I've continued to read her blog because I prayed for her so much while she was pregnant. She's not a Christian and has processed her grief as best as she can, but my heart has broken for her because she doesn't have the hope a relationship with God can provide. She recently had a post on her blog about people saying they'll pray for you or even that God or angels were watching over when they avoided something bad. This raised the questions about whether God's watching over when you don't avoid tragedy and how trite it can seem when people say they're praying. Because I have been praying for her, I felt compelled to explain what that means to me in light of her blog post.

My blog header says that this is a place where I share about my family, my faith and my hobbies, but truthfully I haven't shared a lot about my faith. I don't know how much that will change going forward, but I wanted to share my comment to her blog post with you because it does reflect my heart for who God is. I don't get many (if any) comments on my posts, but I'm definitely up for dialoguing about this, as long as it remains respectful. You don't have to agree with me to comment, but you do have to be nice! ;O) Here's what I said. Let me know your thoughts.

"My intent with this response is not to try to diminish your feelings or grief or say that you're wrong in any way. I agree that sometimes people say they will pray because they don't know what else to say, whether they believe in God, that prayer has any power, or intend to pray or not. I understand what you're saying but just wanted to maybe try give you a little different perspective.

I'm a Christian and regularly tell people that I'll pray for them when bad things happen. We all live in the same world and experience terrible things, whether we believe in God or not. The Bible says, "God causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." (Matthew 5:45) That's part of the world we live in. That said, when someone experiences something tragic, what I truly pray for them (and I really do my best to pray when I tell someone I will) is that they will experience hope and comfort in spite of terrible and devastating circumstances, which is what my faith gives me.

Would I be devastated at the loss of a child. Of course! Unimaginably so. But I believe that God has good things for me and that He works every event of my life for my good, because that is His promise to those who believe in Him. Do I understand how He can do that in the midst of something unimaginable? No. I don't. And in those circumstances, it's easy to question God. But knowing who He is, as much as is possible for my human mind to comprehend, I believe that He is good even when my circumstances could make me question. God is love and anything inconsistent with love is not of God.

In the story you linked to with the example of a plane hitting a house and some people surviving and some not. I think it's easy for the survivors to respond by saying that God was looking out for them that day. Do those people really believe God is looking out for them every day or that God was or was not looking out for the people who died? Who knows. Often it's just something to say. However, I do believe that God looks out for me every day, and also for those to whom bad things happen. Does that mean bad things won't happen to me? No. I don't believe that. The Bible tells us we should expect trials of all kinds. If tomorrow is my last day, I believe God knows that today. Does it make him bad if I or someone I love dies tragically? Is He bad if I experience infertility or the loss of other dreams I have for my life or for those I love? I don't think so. What I do think is that without the hope I have in him, surviving that kind of tragedy might not be possible for me. But with Him I just might be able to make it through. Whether my prayers are for comfort after loss, for a baby I don't have, for restored relationship, or for something else, I can continue to cry out to God with my desires, but I have hope in him whether he answers my prayers in the way I hope or not. Because I believe he has plans for me that are for good, whether I can see that today or not. God is good regardless of my circumstances.

This may just seem like craziness to you, in which case you can feel free to delete my comment. Just know that I do pray for you, because losing a child has to be the most difficult thing we can experience on earth. I pray that you can have hope for a future you can't imagine and that God will comfort you until you can begin to imagine a future different than the grief you're surrounded by today. Your daughter was so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your journey with us."

Monday, December 29, 2014

Soccer Ball Card

With 3 soccer-loving boys, I can always use a soccer-themed card. When I saw Cathy Caines soccer ball tags and cards I knew I had to try to make one! I love how it turned out. Thanks for the inspiration, Cathy! 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Happy Birthday Star

I regularly need birthday cards for my boys to give to friends and I loved this one I saw on Chiaki Haverstick's blog. I loved her idea and it's great for boys! Thanks for the inspiration, Chiaki! 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry & Bright

I saw this card on Jennifer Timko's blog and loved how she used this DSP. Thanks for the inspiration, Jennifer! I pray for all of you that your Christmas is Merry and Bright! And that you're done shopping and can relax by the fire with your tootsies up. God bless and Merry Christmas! 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Lovely as a Tree Christmas

This card was inspired by Christine Blain. I think that I will never love a stamp as much as I love Lovely as a Tree for Christmas cards. I make several versions every year and they're always my favorites. I loved the nonconventional use of Crumb Cake for the trees rather than green and the gems add a sparkly touch! 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Rustic Merry Christmas

On this card I was inspired by Cindee Wilkinson over at Just Sponge It. I loved how she used the six sided sampler stamp set to create a polka-dot image. Since I was making this for my club in November, I was able to change it up and do a Christmas themed card instead. Thanks for the inspiration, Cindee! 

Monday, December 8, 2014

December Daily

A fun start to my December Daily album. I used the Cherry Cobbler album from the Holiday Catalog with the Dots & Stripes decorative mask and some Cherry Cobbler ink. I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out the word "December" from Silver foil sheets and the All Is Calm Snowflake Embellishment on the ribbon with some silver baker's twine. The silver stars and numbers are from the Hello December Project Life Accessory Pack from the Holiday Supplement. I cut the stars from vellum and the Under the Tree specialty DSP and layered them onto a paper doily. I'd love to see your album if you've started one! Leave a link in the comments.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Spooky Banner Class!

UPDATE: I've rescheduled this class for Sunday, October 21st. Please join me!!

For the past few years I've taught a hugely popular class at a local craft store and we've made Christmas banners that say "Joy" on them. I call it the "Joy Banner Class". Everyone who sees the banners absolutely LOVES them and I get a lot of requests for that class. I'm going to do a series of seasonal banner classes and I'm SO excited about these classes! The first one will be in October and will be for Halloween. Thus the Spooky Banner Class title. Then we'll do the JOY banner in November. We'll take December off since it's always so crazy for everyone and pick back up in January with a LOVE banner for Valentine's Day. In March we'll do a spring banner (not sure yet what it's going to say - SPRING or some other "springy" word, lol!) and in May we'll do a USA banner for 4th of July. At the end, if you attend all 6 classes you'll have 6 beautiful banners to display in your home nearly year-round! Each banner will be designed a little differently, different sizes and shapes and, of course, colors. But best of all - they're completely customizable! From the papers I provide you'll get to choose your favorite and then you'll also get to choose coordinating accessories so every banner will be different and made exactly the way YOU want. The price is $20 for each banner, and if you attend 3 classes you get $5 off the third. And even better, if you bring a friend who hasn't stamped with us in the past year, you both get $5 off the class fee! So, do you want to see what the Spooky Banner looks like?

Space will be limited, so be sure to call or email me today to reserve your spot. The class is on Sunday, October 21st at 2 p.m. at my house. You can click the "Email Me" button just under my picture in the right hand column or you can RSVP by finding the event on the calendar on my demonstrator website.

If you can't live without a banner but can't make it to my class, I'll sell you a pre-cut kit with everything you need to assemble your banner at home for the same price. Just Ask!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fitting Occasion Floral District Birthday

I'm back to share another card from my Stamper's Club last month. I feel like every card I make lately uses the Floral District Designer Series Paper, but I love so many of the patterns in that paper! This one uses the fun Rose Red and Tangerine Tango floral pattern paper and another coordinating pattern in Rose Red. I added a few accents in Rose Red and Tangerine Tango from the stamp set along with some of the fabulous Silver Glimmer Paper. I can't get enough of that stuff! I think this would also be cute if you used the new 1-1/4" scalloped circle punch from the holiday mini for the silver piece. I may have to make another one to try that out. When I designed the card I didn't have that punch so we had to settle for a plain circle. boo. Anyway, hope you like it!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Natural Butterflies

This is another card we made at my Stamper's Club meeting last month. I was surprised to realize when I finished this card that there is NO stamping on it. Still I love it. And I especially love the Natural Composition Specialty paper with the embossing on it. It lends such an elegance to any card. My Stamper's Club meets during the 2nd week of every month. Cost is $10 for the projects or FREE for club members and anyone who places an order of $30 or more. I'd love for you to join us!

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