Tag Archives: encourage

2016 Fall Weekend Retreat (Stamp Camp)


It’s that time!!!  I am just staring to feel a bit of crisp coolness in the evening air and a hint of change coming as the leaves on the trees begin to turn just enough to let me know Fall will come once again. Continue reading

Summer Sunshine Wishes!

I’m sharing some “Sunshine” with you today!  You will find details below for my upcoming Sunshine Wishes class and a yummy recipe full of sunshine at the bottom of this post!  I’m starting however, with some insight on waiting… for sunshine.


It’s been a challenging Summer for me to work on any projects that require using my hands.  I’ve been dealing with a “trigger thumb” since early Spring.  And of course it’s on my dominate right hand that I need everyday.  I thought I was just overworking it and tried to give it some rest.  It’s amazing how much we use our thumb.  I can’t even begin to tell you how many things I have dropped… and broken in the last few months.  Continue reading

Fall Creative Retreat – Stamp Camp 2015 (part two)

Back again today to share a little more from last months Fall Retreat.
You can take a peek at Part One HERE.

Creative Retreat at Kirkwood Camp www.stampwithanita.com
This was our incredible view all weekend overlooking the lake with all the slender and color of the Fall leaves reflecting in it’s waters. Simply breathtaking and a reminder of how good it is to take time to not only come here and create, but be still and take in all it’s beauty. Continue reading

Living With the Thorn of an Unseen Illness


More labs for my Natalie today. Since Spring her life has been doctor visits, labs, tests and again more doctor visits and tests. It’s so hard to watch your child who once had an abundant amount of energy and life become stricken with an overwhelming weariness that causes her to not be able to stand. Natalie was diagnosed with POTS – Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome which makes it difficult for her to stand up without passing out. For today’s post I won’t go into a lot of specifics but you can check out this POTS overview of what she deals with daily. Today’s post is not the typical post showing a fun project, but rather a raw and honest peek into my life and heart at this moment. Continue reading

You’re Made for God-Sized Dreams

Have you ever had a dream or desire that started as a quiet whisper in your heart?


For me it was a whisper that started out so subtle that for days, weeks or maybe even years it was drowned out or pushed aside as I moved through life’s daily tasks.

I even began to wonderful if I ever heard anything at all.

A few years ago I found myself going through life unable to see clearly.  I was blindly operating on “auto-pilot”.  When asked how I was doing I would even catch myself saying, “I’m surviving” or “Just trying to get through this day”.  I had gotten trapped behind negative self talk and even started to believe this was as good as it was gonna get.  Have you ever found yourself there? Continue reading

All The Lonely People { Part Two }

Welcome back for part two of “All The Lonely People”.  You can read part one here.

This year my “ONE WORD” is { INTENTIONAL }.

I’ve decided I live way too much of my life on auto-pilot.  A revelation that came to me while I attended Brave Girls Camp back in May of 2012.  I was awaken to the fact that it’s hard to enjoy life when you’re on auto pilot.  You miss out on all that it has for you.  So this year I am focusing on living my life with intent.  Intentional time with my Lord… with self care… with relationships… with inspiring, creating and sharing.  This new Blog as a big part of that.

One thing that I’m going to be intentional with is sending out more cards. You may think that is a no-brainer since I’m a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator but I actually was better at that before I became a Demonstrator.  I get so busy with the prepping of classes and events that I don’t take the time to make them for myself to give. Or worse, I actually do get them made but never manage to get them sent out.  I have stacks of unmailed cards to prove it. Sad but true…

Christmas Cards and Thank You cards that I never mailed out

To continue from part one of “All The Lonely People” I am also going to be intentional with awareness of those around.  Again it’s so easy to overlook others when you are operating on auto pilot.  So many around us are hurting or lonely.  I need to have my eyes open and we all need to be gentle with one another ~ Lives depend on it.  My dear friend Melody Ross from Brave Girls Club shared in THIS incredible blog post about how it would be so propound if we could all wear a sign proclaiming what we were going through or what we needed.  We are all so afraid of what others would think… our weaknesses would be exposed.  So instead we tend to hide behind the pain, behind the loneliness, behind the screen and pretend everything is okay.

I’m working on being intentional with growing and my time with the Lord as well.  I’m in the middle of Beth Moore’s “Sacred Secrets” Bible Study where she just shared with us that secrets manifest.  We may think that what is going on in our lives is hidden but it will manifest itself one way or another.

It may be that the disengaged or grouchy girl whose path you just crossed was up all night with a teething baby, or she has been taking care of her own mother who doesn’t remember who she is, or she just got the test results from the doctor, or someone she cares about deeply just tried to end their own life, or she lives with the memories of child abuse, or the father that she finally was able to forgive and build a relationship with is dying, or her husband is dealing with depression and she yearns for him to just and hold her tight, or maybe he just told her that his business is going under and they may lose everything they’ve worked so hard for, or her closest friend just betrayed her, or she has unfulfilled dreams and desires, or fear has paralyzed her, or she can’t remember what it’s like to not feel pain, or she is so very lonely.

Anyone of us could be that girl.  I know because I’ve been that girl. We all need a little grace at times.  We all need someone to really see us… to hear us.  So many are screaming without uttering a word.  Let’s look up from our screen and see past others eyes to find a soul.  Intentional living matters… kindness matters… love matters most…

Casting Crown does a beautiful job reminding us of this in their song “Does Anyone Hear Her”.

{ We who have strong faith should help the weak with their problems. We should not please only ourselves. We should all please our neighbors. Let us do what is good for them. Let us build them up. ~Romans 15:1-2 }

If you are the one that is crying out and feel like you are not seen or heard please know that you are not alone.  You are truly loved.  God has not forgotten you.  He sees you.  He hears you when no one else does.  I hope and pray that you can be brave enough to come out from behind your screen and ask for your deepest needs and desires.  We were not meant to do this journey alone.  Seek out a safe place of community where you can be encouraged, thrive and grow.  The Lord has promised to never leave you.  He has a plan for your life… a plan for an awesome and wonderfully fulfilled life even more than you can possibly dream or imagine.

{ For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ~ Jeremiah 29:11 }

So now I’m off to getting some cards sent out… because it matters…


{ Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. ~ 1 Peter 5:7 }
{ My God will use his glorious riches to give you everything you need. ~ Philippians 4:19 }
Blessings & Happy Stampin’
Anita Haines

All The Lonely People { Part One }

February is considered the month of “love” and most of us just finished celebrating the day of love “Valentine’s Day”.  This can certainly be a day with mixed emotions.  For some it’s a fun day filled with gifts or tokens of love from a “valentine”.  But for others it’s a painful reminder that they are alone.  Some have even coined the day as “Single Awareness Day”.  We chuckle at this term, but for those who are struggling with loneliness it can really be a difficult time.


photo credit: Nicole C Haines

There is a huge difference between being alone and loneliness.  As a mom of six children I have definitely appreciated my little bouts of alone time.  At the same time, I will be completely honest with you… I’ve also experienced being in a room full of people and feeling incredibly alone.  All of us have struggled at one time or another with loneliness.  It’s when we find ourselves so isolated that we can’t seem to find our way out that it becomes a serious health risk.

photo credit: Nicole C Haines

photo credit: Nicole C Haines

Studies have shown isolation to be twice as dangerous as obesity.  It can impair our immune system and can lead to depression, heart disease, diabetes and even suicide.  In a time where social media is at an all time high we have become increasingly more socially isolated.  We hide behind all our posts of a perceived perfect life.  We find ourselves almost like an addiction coming back for more “friends” and “likes”.  Let’s be honest here, it’s natural to want a positive response to what we post.  I’ll admit I do.

photo credit: Nicole C Haines

photo credit: Nicole C Haines

But when we start to define our self worth by how many likes a post or photo gets we can easily become disillusioned.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love all the benefits and blessings of connecting and re-connecting with friends and family through social media and even now through this new Blog.  But I find myself more and more yearning for real life face-to-face interaction with people.  Some days I just need a real person with skin on to converse with or an authentic hug where you simply melt into someone… and my beloved MacBook or i-phone just don’t do it for me.

Using technology to connect is great and an answer to prayer for some.  But it should not be the only connection you have with others.  As a family we don’t allow phones at our dinner table so we can connect with one another.  I am so saddened when I am out to eat and see a table full of people focused on their screens instead of one another.  Life goes by too quickly to spend it in front of a screen all day.  I need intentional time with a real person.  Maybe it’s because all my kiddos are now in school full time, or because I work by myself from home, or maybe it’s just been this long winter and lack of sunshine we’ve had… but I can’t imagine that I’m alone on this.

What would happen if we all were to be intentional and real with connecting with others?  Maybe you will have to disconnect in order to connect?  This past year a number of my girlfriends didn’t realize how much they were missing out on until they decided to take a temporary break from technology including social media and watching TV.  I want to encourage and even challenge you {as well as myself} to just make an effort to reach out to someone else in some way.

You know… that friend you’ve been thinking about or always say you need to get together with.  It won’t happen by accident… be intentional and take the first step.  Go ahead and pick up the phone and give her a call, ask her to meet you for lunch, or sit down and write a letter or send a card with a note of encouragement ~ a hand stamped card with a hand written note inside is always a gift.  Writing seems to be a lost art.  I know I treasure anything I have with my mom’s hand writing on it.  As soon as I see her handwriting I can see her face and hear her voice.  Or go ahead and use technology and social media… send an encouraging text, email or message to lift someone up.  You never know what a perfect blessing it will be at just the right time.

{ Therefore encourage one another and build each other up. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11 }

Treasured hand written scriptures from my mom

“All The Lonely People” is continued in Part Two HERE.

Blessings, Hugs & Happy Stamping!
Anita Haines