Friday, April 3, 2020

Maintaining Perspective

I will be the first to admit that it has sometimes been hard to stay positive over the last few weeks.  Every day life has changed drastically, plans I had put in place for the future have been disrupted, finances have been stretched way beyond what I had planned, loved ones and friends have gotten sick or faced tremendous losses, and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight.  And so much of what is in the news or on social media can be very disheartening.  It's so easy to lose perspective.

As I was thinking about how the words I write or speak have an influence on others - positive or negative, I remembered a session from a leadership conference I attended last summer, the Global Leadership Summit.  The speaker, Ben Sherwood (former Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks; former President, Disney ABC Television; and a best-selling author), spoke on how to lead during times of rapid change and disruption.

Here are a few of the thoughts I jotted down as he spoke about leading others to safety in crisis situations that have been helping me as I think about how what I say or do influences those around me:

1.  Maintain point of reference - where am I and where am I trying to go - There are so many people speaking right now and often what I hear is conflicting information that it is so easy to get distracted and discouraged.
2.  Wait for violent and sudden motion to stop - things will settle and I can take action - It's important to be patient and get a clear view of things before making decisions.
3.  Practice realistic optimism - those who emerge as leaders in a crisis situation keep an unflinching sense of their surroundings, maintain optimism about the future, and retain hope and faith.  Those who have faith in God have a powerful tool for survival.  - This one brings me right back to number 1 as God is my point of reference.  "I lift up my eyes to the hills.  From where does my help come?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth."  Psalm 121:1-2

One of the things that has been very helpful to me to keep perspective on God and the hope I have in Him is to focus on all I have to be thankful for.  I've been keeping a gratitude journal, and I try to write down at least 3 things each day that I am grateful for.  One of the entries in it recently was that I was able to get my hair cut just a couple of days before all of the hair salons were ordered to close.  I'd be ready to pull my hair out right now if I hadn't gotten it cut then!

The early released Ornate Garden Suite products are so suited to the theme of gratitude.  I used products from this suite for to make this Thank You card.  The Specialty Designer Series Paper (DSP) from this suite has a beautiful springtime floral them, with one side having beautiful foiled designs.  I cut one sheet that was white with gold foil to 4"x6" and used the soon-to-be retired 2018-2020 In Color Stampin' Write Markers to color in the flowers.

Once I had my piece of paper all colored in, I used two dies from the Ornate Layer Dies to cut a frame from my paper.  I then cut a piece of Whisper White cardstock to about 5.25"x 3, and I used one of the dies from the Ornate Border collection of dies to make a beautiful scalloped edge.  I stamped the THANK YOU sentiment from the Ornate Thanks stamp set onto the center of my Whisper White piece and then adhered my colored frame around the stamped image.

I adhered the Whisper White cardstock to a cardstock base of Blueberry Bushel, one of the 2018-2020 colors that will be retiring soon, and place some pearl embellishments in the bottom right corner using my Take Your Pick tool.

I participated in a tutorial project with a number of demonstrators around the world and had such a great time collaborating with them.  Together we created 90 project tutorials using the Ornate Garden Suite, and I am privileged to be able to offer a bundle of all the tutorials to you, free with a $50 purchase at my online store here my store or you can purchase it here for $21.  If you purchase the complete Ornate Garden Suite of products, you'll also receive a kit of coordinating products and tutorials to make 4 more cards using this of coordinating products and tutorials for 4 more cards using this suite.  When you place an order through my website here my store, use the April Host Code VHRQVRFQ. 

Here is a list of products used in this card:

Blueberry Bushel Cardstock (146968)
Blueberry Bushel Classic Ink Pad (147138)
2018-2020 Stampin' Write Markers (147159)
From the Ornate Garden Suite (154153 - whole collection)
    Ornate Garden Specialty Designer Series Paper (152488)
    Ornate Thanks Bundle (154115 - includes Ornate Thanks stamp set and Ornate Border Dies)
    Ornate Layers Dies (152726 - also comes in Ornate Style Bundle-154119- with the Ornate Style stamp set)
Pearl Basic Jewels (144219)
Snail Adhesive (104332)
Block I (118488)
Take Your Pick (144107)

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today!  I hope you are staying safe and healthy right now!  Would love to hear how you are doing!