Sunday, May 1, 2011

And we KNOW that in ALL things God
works for the good of those who love
him, who have been called according
to his PURPOSE. Romans 8:28

To me there are 3 very interesting words in this passage. Know, All, and Purpose.

KNOW. I love that it says that we know. Not that we wish, we hope, or we think. To me it is so comforting that I can know that God is working things for my good even when I don’t see how. I love the saying “I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I know who holds tomorrow.”

ALL. The word All in it’s very nature is inclusive. It is the good AND the bad. The big things AND the little things. It is easy to see how God can use good things to work for good, but harder, if not impossible to see how he used bad things to work for good. Sometimes God gives us a glimpse of how he used something bad to work out for our good and then there are other times that I believe we will have to wait until Heaven to see the big picture. One of the times I was able to see His working things for my good started 16 years ago. I was 3 months into the pregnancy when Nikki died. I was devastated. My baby dying, to me, was a very bad thing. How could God use this for good? I was then blessed about 2 months later by being pregnant again with my son Joshua. Joshua is now 15 years old. He is a wonderful young man who loves Christ, and is one of my biggest blessings.

PURPOSE. To me suffering is a little easier to bear when there is a purpose behind it. I hate to run or exercise, but I will “suffer” running because I know the purpose is that by exercising I’ll be healthier.

When my life is going out of control this is the verse I go to for hope and strength to continue. It is my anchor verse. The past 6 years have been extremely difficult for my family. My husband and I have been running a small trucking company and truck repair company. We have had a lot of losses. We had a tornado take one of our farm buildings (insurance did not cover it.) We had our shop tools stolen (insurance did not cover it).We had lightning damage to our home appliances (insurance did not cover it).The economy and especially the high fuel cost have affected us greatly. Every week for the past several years, I have been sure that “This week is the last week we will be in business.” But every week God has seen us through. I have enjoyed working with my husband, who sees this business as his ministry opportunity. Every year we help with Operation Christmas Child. We truck the boxes from our location to the drop off area. That is just one of the many ministries we have supported. My husband also sees it as a ministry because he can provide jobs that affect about 30 families, and that we have the opportunity to show Jesus to them. The employees are like family to us and this last week “our family” was hit hard. Because of serious life threatening health issues we lost 6 drivers. We only had 12 to begin with. We have very hard decisions to make in the next couple of days. With all this happening, I am comforted by KNOWING that my God is still in control; that these problems fall into the category of ALL things; and that my God has a PURPOSE.

A piece of white cardstock rests comfortably in a drawer. Sometimes it can be a little boring, and sometimes friends move out and he is sad but for the most part, life is good. Then one day the creator takes him out of the drawer. He is confused. Before he knows it, he is cut, punched, pierced, heated to high temperatures. Why is this happening to him? How can these things work for his good? He is put in an embossing folder and rolled through a machine. He is marked, stamped, painted, colored, sewn and glued. When the creator is done what started as a plain piece of cardstock is now a card. The creator takes a picture of the card and posts it to her blog. Her friends leave comments. The creator knew that ALL the things (that includes all the “painful” things that were done to the cardstock… piercing, cutting, punching…) were going to make that plain piece of cardstock it into a beautiful card.

Our wonderful sponsor this week for STAMPIN' SISTERS IN CHRIST is

CLEAR DOLLAR STAMPS They have offered $15 in clear stamps.

My challenge for this week for the Stampin' Sisters in Christ Challege was to make a card that didn't use designer paper.

I challenged myself ever further to make a card that started just as a piece of white cardstock. This card has 3 layers. The base is white cardstock. The second layer is white cardstock that I took a green marker to and then embossed using my dotted swiss embossing folder. The top layer was white cardstock that I stamped green flourishes using green ink and

I then ink-spray-smashed the white cardstock with markers and when it was dry ran it through the cuttlebug using the script embossing folder. The Iris was was stamped on white cardstock that I ink-spray-smashed using purple and blue markers. The iris is from a

I then cut the iris out and used the paper tole technique to add layers to it. I punched out the lace using my SU border punch. I added a thin strip of white cardstock that I colored with my green marker to match the green layer. I also used that green marker to outline the sentiment square.

Check out what my Stampin' Sisters in Christ have created.


  1. wow, what a moving post, MariLynn! I'm praying for you, Hun! I love your analogy to the card and God working it for good. Beautiful card to give a lovely visual of this!
    Blessings to you, especially in your hard situations. God be with you.

  2. Marilynn, there are no words to express what a beautiful, tender, loving instrument of God you are! This card is amazing!! A very real and poignant symbol of the verse you chose, and all that you had to say. Thank You Sister!! Please know I will be praying for you, your business and your 'families'!

  3. Gorgeous - Gorgeous my sister...Love the background..Beautiful devotional this morning.
    Hugs :)

  4. Lovely card Marilynn... will be praying that God will direct both you and your husband in whatever decisions it is you have to make this coming week.

    Thank you for choosing this week's text... it is indeed a challenging text.

    Wendy M xx

  5. OH my MariLynn - what a beautiful devotion and so true and easy to relate to! Just what I needed to read to - amazing how that works isn't it? I love your card too - so vibrant! Have a great week!

  6. What a great devotional this week you did for SSC. This is one of my favorite and most comforting scriptures and your personal testimony brought it to life. Without a doubt I will be thinking all week "I am but a piece of cardstock in His hands" a great analogy as we prepare to move after 17 years. God Bless.

  7. Hi Marilynn... I thought I already commented, but you must have it on moderation?? I can't remember now, LOL! ACK--

    Your card is soo GORGEOUS! I love the "SMACKING" technique you chose to use here and the tole too!

    Thank you for sharing from your heart. Your devotion is wonderful and blessed me today. I can relate to so many things you said. I find it difficult to step out of my comfort zone and share very personal things, but know that when you do God can use it to bless and minister to others. You are God's vessel and He's working through you! Thank you for joining us at SSIC as a teammate/sister in Christ. Hope you have a great week!


  8. Hi MariLynn! Oh gf your card is beautiful in every way and detail... but even more so is the devotional God placed on your heart! I'm so sorry you have had to face these difficult times but I know that God's promises are true and reliable! I can see even now how He can use these difficult times to touch others!!!! Thanks for sharing it all with us!!! May God work it all together for good because you do love Him and are called according to His purpose!!! May He bless you far above what you ask or even think!!! I just love the analogy of the white card stock and all that it goes through to become the beautiful piece of art it is now.... being smashed, pressed all around, completely changed.... what a great parallel to what we go through in this life!!!
    hugs & prayers,

  9. This is absolutely stunning Marilynn!! I just love your background with the colors and the script embossing!! Gorgeous!! I also love the flower. I enjoy reading your words each week. They are so insightful. What a great comparison!!
    hugs and blessings,
    Have a great week!

  10. a very beautiful card! love the background!

    hugs and kisses from germany,
    silvi xoxo

  11. Oh MariLynn your post moved me to tears - I knew from you previous posts that your business was in a tough place, but now.... be assured of my prayers.
    Thank you too for the analogy you have used in the card making process - the card is beautiful. I pray we will be beautiful when the Maker has finished with us!!

  12. MariLynn, this is wonderful, a beautiful piece of art! And your devotional was just to spot on, it always is when we share what is personal and how God has used the scriptures to touch our own lives, it never returns void. You have helped so many this week by sharing that piece of your life. I am praying for the decisions that you say you and your DH have to make. Hugs!

  13. MariLynn your message is absolutely amazing! It never ceases to amaze me how GOD uses what looks so dramatc and sad to us and turns it around and blesses us more than we ever could expect! Thank you for sharing from your life. I love your very beautiful! Hugs and blessings, Sabrina

  14. Hello MariLynn - your devotional is touches the heart. I am so sorry for all you have been through and are going through - I am grateful you are not alone. God is a lamp to your feet and a light to your path. He is with you and has a plan for good and not for eveil - a future and a hope! Praise the Lord! I love your card too - always vibrant and beautiful details! Thank you MariLynn! {{{hugs}}}