Sunday, October 21, 2012

Stampin' Sisters in Christ challenge 162 . . . peace and calm

Happy Sunday stampers! It is time for another challenge from Stampin' Sisters in Christ, where all of our challenges are based on scripture. You can find the rest of the gorgeous creations this week by our talented design team on our home page here.  Our sponsoring company this week is Daydream Designs, headed up by Diane, a woman who loves the Lord. 

I am this week's hostess and my selected verse is from John John 16:33 (NIV) "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."  For my challenge, please make a card that to you represents peace or calm; with an image, color scheme, CAS layout or verse, something that speaks peace to you, but peace symbols themselves are excluded. The card has to speak peace through your own style.

One randomly selected winner form this week will win a $20 gift certificate to Daydream Designs. I chose to use a lot of white in my creation because I find a lot of peace in the CAS style and imagery. I used blues as a complement to the white because blue is a soothing color for me as well, soft ribbon and an image and verse that evoke for me the greatest peace I find in this life, which is through Jesus Christ. My thoughts on that verse are as follows: 

Jesus doesn’t lie to us. He tells us that we will have trouble in this world. Life is full of troubles and fear-provoking situations. You lose a job, a house burns down, the doctor tells you its cancer, or a judge rules against you…and the list goes on and on.

I chose this verse for my challenge several weeks ago, little realizing that after my husband had a sudden heart attack in July that I would need to lean on that verse again this past week. We took another unexpected ambulance ride to the emergency room for another serious, potentially life-threatening situation that started off looking like an ordinary case of the flu.

And as I held my husband’s hand to comfort him, he asked if he had frightened me, yet again, with the possibility of his imminent departure from this world.

My answer was … no, not this time. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t in a place of 100% peace and calm, there was some anxiety, mixed in with worry, fear, apprehension, numbness and concern…the whole mixture for a cocktail of panic was present. But I have the choice to allow them to overwhelm me, or to take another hand in mine, the hand of the One who never lets us go. In Jesus, or as the verse says, “in me you may have peace.” And it is true. When I focused on Him, I had peace.

But fear doesn’t just strike during the crisis period; it likes to creep in afterwards as well, like cold air seeping around the edges of a windowpane. My husband needs a nitroglycerin tablet and my own heart starts to pound with worry. Or I look at the pile of medical bills, totaling a sum that would require a lottery win to pay in full, and my emotions dive yet again. One issue piles up on another issue and suddenly fear is back, full-blown and threatening to overwhelm me like a tidal wave. What do we do?

That verse and many others give us the answer. Our peace only comes through Jesus Christ. When those fears start to return I do one of three or four things; I reach for my bible, I drop to my knees, or I reach out to a Christian sister to ask for prayer. I know number four doesn’t work, pacing the floor and wringing my hands. When I reach step four I have to go back to steps one through three.

The source of our comfort or security is not a clean bill of health; we all will fall sick one day. It isn’t a full bank account or an excellent insurance policy. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”  And when our heart is focused on Jesus the rest of the world fades away and we can experience true comfort.

Life is a journey of learning and continually relearning that lesson until one day we will be in His arms for real and our troubles will be in the past. But in this life, where troubles do still exist, lean on the only One who can give you true peace.

Thank you for looking. Have a blessed week.  


Kara said...

beautiful!! I have this embossing folder too...can't wait to try this:)

Glimpses of My Heart said...

Peggysue - This. Is. Gorgeous! Wow! It is truly a peaceful scene. Your choice os papers is perfect and I love the embossing! So pretty. Love your devotional this week. It is so very true. Sounds like so many of us on the team are in the midst of trials. I wish we could all get together for a prayer meeting! You and your husband are in my prayers.

Miesje said...

Great devotion Peggysue! You and your husband have been through it haven't you? Yet I do understand the peace you describe - I have had that too. Have a good week dear friend.

Debbie said...

Your card is absolutely beautiful, Peggysue! Thank you for the wonderful devotional, too!
I needed it this week, and it has been a blessing!!

Helen said...

Thank you for your devotion this week. It was perfectly timed and wonderful to hear your perspective on the things going on in your life. I'm so thankful that we share a God of peace! Your card this week is gorgeous! I love the little spots of bling with the falling snow! Have a blessed week! ~H

Grace said...

Hi Peggysue! I LOVE your peaceful card... and the use of dp is awesome. Just wanted you to know I have tried to email you and it comes back so I guess my old "group" number no longer works and the one I have for you personally is old.... but wanted you to know I'll be praying for you and your hubby! Your peace in the storm certainly is a testament to God's sustaining grace! Hope all is well now!!!

Diane said...

Peggysue, you have a beautiful card and inspiring scriptural challenge for us this week. One of the things I love about you most is your transparency. You show your dependency and trust in the Lord in such honest and heartfelt ways. Doing so provides a powerful testimony. I appreciated your devotion and scripture for the week so much. What a privilege and joy is is to know you my sister, my friend!

Lovely Linda said...

Hello Peggysue - what a wonderful devotional and what a wonderful testimony you are to the fauthfulness of God! Gorgeous card - you ROCK CAS Sistah! {{{hugs}}}

Traci M said...

Such a peaceful card...and I love your snowy bling! I am thankful that we serve a God of peace...that no matter our circumstances we can rely on Him to see us through. I know your trials have been many, and pray for your husband's renewed health. Your blog background is so pretty!!

Beth said...

beautiful Peggysue and yes a very peaceful scene.

MariLynn said...

Beautiful card. This is so elegant looking. Thanks for sharing your heart about peace. You are such a good friend to me and I want you to know that I love you and cherish our friendship!!!!

ScrappySandie said...

This is absolutely beautiful, PS! Your creative juices are really flowing! The scene you've created says "peace"...I love it!

Jennipher said...

stunningly gorgeous!