Monday, January 16, 2012

The women’s group at my hometown church has for years sent handmade cards as one of their mission programs.  The cards are mailed to local shut-ins, college students, military, and missionaries in other parts of the world that we support.  I’ve had the honor of making these cards every month for almost ten years.  Each month I design and make the cards in my Wisconsin studio, then either mail or hand deliver them to my Mom in Illinois, who takes them to the monthly meeting of the church women who stamp, address and mail them.

This card making process has been a true spirit-saver for me through the years, especially during low points of my life, when I wasn’t feeling much like creating.  It was (and still is) my personal mission to get the cards made on a deadline.  After all, people depend on it!  There are so many heartwarming stories we’ve heard from the card recipients and their families.  One woman shares her card at the front desk of the nursing home where she lives.  Another keeps a scrapbook just for the cards.  We received a letter from a missionary on the border of China and Vietnam who teaches English in a village there.  She hangs the cards on the wall as a conversation prompt for her students. 

It’s been said (and I AM a believer!) that doing something for another person is the best way out of a funk.  Many times in the past the only creative project I did all month was card making for the church.  I once heard a pastor’s message about using your talent to do the Lord’s work, and that’s when it all made sense.  Never once have I struggled for a theme, or hit a creative block when making the cards.  Coincidence? 

If you are looking for a creative outlet, I definitely encourage you to ask a church, nursing home, or non-profit organization if you could collaborate with them in a program like this.  It is really, really good for the soul.
In this new year, I thought it would be fun to share each month's card here on my blog.
I'm hoping you get as much inspiration from the cards as I do.

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