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Sunday, February 17, 2013

hope & rising above life

I love focusing on the good, the happy, the joyful. I love finding beauty in the unexpected and sharing encouragement and inspiration here on this little space. But one of my promises to myself when I started writing here was to always be upfront and real with you my readers. And so tonight, I share with you honestly that my heart is hurting, as our hearts do. And it's okay to feel pain. A few moments ago, I learned that sweet Daisy Merrick (the precious little girl whose story I shared a few months ago and asked for prayer in her fight against cancer) went home to be with Jesus today. Join me in prayer for her precious family tonight.

Tonight, I am sad... yet hopeful. Because I know God is still in control, He still has a plan, and He works all things for good. There is so much brokenness because of sin in this world.... but someday the mess will be made whole, because of Jesus I have hope. 

Yet, it's still okay to cry. We suffer, we grieve, we experience heartache and loss. And that is why sharing my friend's blog and shop with you is so perfectly timely. Meet April from Rise Above Life, a friend who has been on my blog before and am happy to have once again. Her heart, passion and ministry is centered around helping those who experience difficult in life rise above it all because of God. Friend, maybe you are experiencing some kind of heartache or difficulty in your life today. You are not alone. There is hope in God. And I pray you are encouraged through April's heart here. 

My world revolves around my family. They are the most important thing in the world to me. When my mom was diagnosed with cancer, it was hard to be happy and have hope. I created a blog to share stories our hope, ideas for having fun and ways that others have found to stay happy when life is tough.  I also created a shop to sell inspirational printables that have helped my family and I to remain positive.

5 fun facts about April // 

My oldest son just got his learners permit and I am trying to teach him how to drive this week. He has only ran over one trash can, missed two stop signs and hit three curbs.

I am also a photographer and love all things artistic.

I am a book-a-holic. If you asked me what book was my favorite, I wouldn't have an answer for you. I love them all the same but in different ways.

I can play the piano, flute and the oboe. I would love to learn how to play the cello someday.

I love all things American Girl and wish my daughter liked them as much as I do. Right now, she is only interested in My Little Pony and soccer.

I have suffered from depression for years and have fought to stay happy. I have done everything I could think of on my own to overcome it from medicine to exercise to ideas on the internet. It helped to a point, but never completely.  One day, it hit me that I was trying to do it all alone and I needed to turn my life over to God. I had to learn to let go and let God take my trials from me.  I looked around and realized that there were so many other people who were suffering with their own problems too. We were all just walking through life, trying to act like everything was great instead of reaching out to each other. I started to write Rise Above Life so I could share anonymous stories from around the country with others so that they would know that they were not alone.  The blog is growing into a place where people come to look for hope. I started to create artwork to hang around our house to remind me to smile and be happy. Family members and friends wanted their own copies of these printables.  I created my shop to sell affordable downloads of these images to share with others. We have just introduced a new line of notecard printables and gratitude boards. 
                                            Connect with Rise Above Life

A few of the lovely prints! 
These prints would be inspiring to hang in your home!
And they make thoughtful, unique gifts!

Look at this cute message board: 


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