Saturday, March 21, 2009

{Verve-ntly} Praying..and a little Sunshine

Welcome back! I hope you're having a nice weekend...we are. It's a beautiful day here, and tomorrow should be the same (of course then we're in for some colder weather with possible rain and snow for the rest of the week). Noah loved his birthday dinner and cake and all of the phone calls, emails, cards, and gifts he received that made him feel so loved and special. I think he's going to be smiling for a very long time. ;) (His orthodontist's office even called with his staff breaking into a chorus of Happy Birthday --a singing telegram of sorts. We've experienced birthday postcards from professional offices before, but this was a first! lol)

Here's the "gift" that Chloe made for Noah: We thought that was so sweet of her...and a little funny too. ;) He really is blessed to have her as a little sister. Despite their typical sibling moments, it's at times like these I'm reminded how much they really do love each other.

In addition to sharing a card with you today, I thought it might be fun to show you a special plate we've been using for our family birthdays the last few years: It reads: "I am an amazing, incredible person...on the day I was born the sun was brighter & heaven smiled...there is only one wonderful is my very special day!"

It came with a coordinating little journal that I write in to commemorate each time we use the plate. Makes for fun times to look back on it and recall those special days. Here's the journal: Okay...onto the card. But first, a little background. ;) I made this one for a man in our church who was recently diagnosed with a very advanced stage of esophageal cancer that had already spread to his liver. Neither my husband nor myself actually knew the guy at that time, though we both knew who he was as he's very active in our church. For some reason I was really touched by his circumstances and actually surprised at how it's affected me...maybe because he's just a couple years younger than we are, maybe because he, too, has two families so to speak (two sets of kids from two marriages), and maybe because he had absolutely NO idea that he was sick (he'd gone to the doctor for something totally unrelated and routine, and during their conversation he casually mentioned something that the doctor apparently thought should be checked into...thankfully so!). So within a few days he went from needing a renewal of a prescription to being faced with the news that he may not be around much longer.

I can only imagine what a frightening roller coaster of emotion he and his family have been on. The ironic thing here is that so many people {including those they didn't really even know} have rallied around him and his family with such an overwhelming outpouring of love, prayers, and phenomenal support, that his circumstance has actually been a huge blessing to them and his attitude through this has been so positive and his humor is still intact.

{Tangent warning: It's unfortunate, though, that it seems like it often takes something this life-altering to wake people up enough to stop taking life for granted and to let others know how important they are to us while we still have the chance. Life is short and what we know can change dramatically in the blink of an eye. Maybe you don't need a reminder, but if you do, I hope that each of you reading this will do your best to start letting others know how much they mean to you on a regular basis. Imagine how much joy we have the ability to bring to those people whose paths we cross during our lifetime, and how sad it would be if we didn't make the effort, because perhaps no one else will. We all need to know we're loved and that we matter, if only to one person...and that one person could be you! Okay, END tangent.}

Are you still with me? lol I'm getting to the BEST part now!!

So...we've been praying for him and anxiously awaiting each update on his condition as he's been undergoing some very aggressive chemo treatments this past month. Then, last week he underwent a PET scan to see how the treatments were working, and the results were so incredibly encouraging --the four cancerous spots on his liver were no longer visible and the tumor on his esophagus had shrunk by 30% and did not show any cancer activity (we're told what did show on the scan could've easily been evidence of scar tissue or irritation) --absolutely AMAZING!! Isn't this awesome?! Some people may scoff at the notion, but there is great strength in the power of prayer.

Anyway, so now I'll share the card you came to see. Enough of the torturous monologue...if you're still here, I think you've endured enough. I truly don't set out to write such long posts, but sometimes the words just start pouring out through my fingers. lol Please don't hold it against me. I'll try to be better. A lot better. Really, I will. (No wonder blogging takes me soooo long! lol) ;)

So here it is: I'm not sure how well you can see it, but the cross has three layers: And here's a peek at the inside: The cross image came from Verve's Jeremiah 29:11, which I recently received from Patti (thanks so much, Patti!), and the sentiments are also from Verve, as was the sketch (only differing in that I wasn't submitting it in their contest so I didn't add their "twist"). I hope that this card will give him some encouragement to know how much others care about him and that he's still in our prayers.

Thanks so much for the visit, and I hope we'll both be back soon (with a MUCH shorter post -lol! ;) Until then, many blessings to you!

Economy Boosters (just doin' my part -lol!):

Cardstock: Colonial White, Chocolate (CTMH); Patterned Paper: Archaic 6x6 pad (BasicGrey); Stamps: Jeremiah 29:11, Notes of Prayer, Trust in the Lord (Verve); Ink: Chocolate, Garden Green (CTMH); Other: Prismacolor pencils (Sanford), waxed linen thread (unknown), button (BasicGrey), edge distressor, sponges, grosgrain ribbon (CTMH), foam dimensional squares (Scotch), foam mounting tape,


Pat said...

Wow! Not only does the cross have 3 layers, but it looks like everything you did has 3 layers! What a lot of work you went to on this card and it shows. It's wonderful! And what a miracle is being done in that man's body -- thank You Lord!

Jeanette - said...

Your card is absolutely gorgeous and I love the stamps you've used. The story is so touching as is your tangent, thanks for the reminder :) I truly believe in the power of prayer!
I love Chloe's gift to Noah and the sweet plate and journal, fun times to remember! Thanks for sharing your stories Christi!

Jeanne said...

What an uplifting post (despite the devastating news that was received). I appreciate all that you share...the good, the bad, the speak from your heart and it resonates!

Love the award, the plate/journal and the card is simply gorgeous!

You are truly amazing!

sjacquot said...

Christi you have such talents both with your beautiful artwork and your ability to tell a story.
Thanks so much for sharing it all on your blog.
I miss you,

Susan (rainy) said...

What a beautiful post and gorgeous card. It is amazing. And I LOVE that plate!!!

Barb said...

I love reading your posts, Christi and I've missed YOU. How nice that the church is rallying, that's what we do, right? Prayer does change things and I hope that this man continues to progress in the way that he is now.

I think your card is awesome! I love the layers and the colors...just masculine enough.

What a wonderful family tradition with the plate and journal.