Monday, January 11, 2010


"I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord. " Plans to prosper you and and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29: 11. That was my sister's favorite verse several years ago as she was preparing to move from our quiet little Central Illinois town to South Africa to work as a medical missionary. She knew noone there, there was no established ministry but yet she was willing to follow God's call to serve the people dying of AIDS in a place most of us would BEG not to have to visit much less live. She was willing to leave her son and grandchildren, her family and friends, because she believed God had a plan. A plan for Africa, a plan for the needy there, and a plan for her. Six months before she was to leave, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. I sat beside her as she received her diagnosis. First came the blank look. Then the shock. Then quiet tears welled up in her eyes. I was devastated. I was worried. The thought of losing her caused my head to spin. I could only imagine HER heartbreak and fear. As the doctor stepped out of the room, I turned to her. With the tears in my eyes blurring her sweet face, I reached for her hand and again felt shock as she spoke, "I won't get to go to Africa" she stated quietly. Unbelievable! Her concern was not for herself, that she could possibly die from this cancer in her body, her concern was that this disease would interfere with her heart's desire: to bandage the sick and dying in Africa.

That was more than 4 years ago. My sister, who has suffered losses that are impossible to imagine, has faith beyond anything I have ever experienced or seen. She underwent surgery in June 2005, then a course of radiation and some chemo and continued to work and plan for her future - because she KNEW God had a plan for her. She left January 4, 2006, cancer free, to fulfill that plan. This is the birthday card I made for her that year. It was a celebration - a celebration of her life, a celebration of her future, and a celebration of her call.

I don't know the name of the stamp or even the company that manufactures it. I found it in a local stamp store that has since gone out of business. As soon as I saw it though it spoke the name of my sister in my heart. The joy, the fervor, the celebration, the freedom of the dance reflected all that she is within.

The cardbase is basic black heat embossed with gold. The background behind the dancers is white glossy cardstock with dyebased inks in red and yellow with a touch of gold metallic ink for a little pop. I used STAZON black ink to stamp the image then finished with several gold, square brads to add dimension.

"Life may not be the party we hoped for - but while we're here, we might as well dance."

Thanks for visiting -
and Until Next Time -
Happy Stamping!



Gloria said...

What lovely words and thoughts you have shared. You made tears well up in my eyes. What a wonderful example of how we all should live.
Thanks for sharing not only the beautiful card, but the precious story behind your creating it.
Have a blessed day!

Dee in Oklahoma said...

What a wonderful story Jill...I am so happy for your sister. She sounds like a wonderful person.
Oh, that card...I love it...
If you ever find out the stamp company...please, please post it here. I would love to have it.
Thanks for sharing a wonderful card and story.

Dotti said...

Your card is lovely but your sister's story is amazing. God's blessings to both of you.

Dotti S. said...

Your card is lovely but your sister's story is amazing. God's blessings to both of you.