Blessings--there is a lot of expectation we wrap up in that word. In human terms we tend to think of blessings only in the positive sense. We are blessed when we have good health, a good job, security, a family and possessions. What happens if all of those are stripped away? What happens to our sense of blessings then? Job experienced this. His whole world was stripped away in an instant as one messenger after another delivered the news that his herds were gone, his children gone and finally Job's body played traitor to him as well. His own wife told him to curse God and die. Nice.
Job eventually comes to the point where he realizes that God is God and he is not. He has nothing to say to the Almighty, but discovers that God alone is enough. Sometimes that's what life gives us. Not the blessings that bring us physical comfort, but the blessing of finding comfort from the only source that can provide a deep sense of peace when the world around us makes no sense. Jesus says in that verse from John that we will have trouble in this world. But He stands as the ultimate blessing. He overcame the world, giving us the greatest blessing of all, eternal life with God the Father through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. Sometimes we find ourselves in a dark place and when that happens that might be the only blessing we see on the horizon. I've been in a dark place before and that one tiny glimmer of light eventually was enough to bring me out.
We also are supposed to be a light in the darkness of this world, a blessing to other. We are meant to comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have received. If you can, try to be a blessing to someone in your life today or this week. If the spirit is nudging you to give someone a call of encouragement, do so. Send a card to someone who is lonely, or ill or grieving. Even a smile to a random stranger or a polite thank you to the clerk at the store can be a tiny glimmer of light in their day or their week.
For my card, I chose to try a technique, new to me, that Lisa Johnson highlighted on Papertrey Ink's Make it Monday challenge. She showed us how to 'frost' our images, by stamping first with a color, then overstamping with craft white ink and smudging the craft ink with your finger to create a halo around the stamped image. It is Fall on calendar but Fall in terms of weather and color changes here in Michigan and the fields often are filled with a light mist. The colors are variations of green, purple, rust, mustard or even straw yellow, caramel, and this is a great technique to allude to those misty, changing fields of grasses. I stamped in kiwi kiss, mustard, chocolate and plum pudding. The chocolate was most interesting, when you overstamp with the white it almost turns a purple shade with hints of brown. I really enjoyed trying this technique and had a lot of fun with it. I carried forward the imagery from the main panel into the green by using versamark and some of the smaller stamps from the PTI set Peaceful Garden, sentiment from the same, and added a touch of shimmer for the frost and mist with a light touch of gel pen around the oval near the sentiment and a vertical strip of scor-tape and glitter just on the left side of the ribbon. Thanks for looking and hope you can play along this week.
Stamps: Papertrey Ink Peaceful Garden, Blessings by Clear Dollar Stamps
Ink: versamark, chocolate, kiwi kiss, mustard, plum pudding, going gray, white craft ink
Paper: Kiwi kiss, soft stone, plum pudding
Other: gel pen, ribbon, scor tape, glitter