The girls of Sweethaven are fighters. Their lives aren't all happy and jolly. What kind of cardboard characters would any of us be if we didn't have challenges, struggles, things to fight for...?
These women, like all of us, have been through their share of tragedy. And in this first book in the series, one of the characters, Jane, finds out that scrapbooking through it becomes quite therapeutic.
In my own life, I've found that journaling and scrapbooking and creating art all give me the tools to tell a story... painful or otherwise, and in doing so, somehow, I always feel better on the other side of it.
And the most painful, most personal of memories are the ones you may be the most afraid to document...and also the ones that most deserve your attention...
Document a Painful Memory.
My friend, Jennifer Gallacher is a brilliant scrapbooker. Her layouts are so stunning and vivid and eye-catching, sometimes they literally make me gasp. On this layout, Jen shared so openly about a painful memory, the loss of her thirteen-year-old son, Joey.
Isn't he handsome?
Yes, it's painful, but this is a huge part of Jen's story.
A story I'll let her tell you herself...
"I lost my oldest son at 13 years old to the devastation of colon cancer. Joey had poor health almost his entire life, but he was always so happy. That's not to say that he didn't get down, but he never complained about the pain he was in. His battle with cancer and his passing was a terrible blow to our family. Suddenly we were left with a huge, gaping hole in our family and in our hearts.
As we have worked to repair those feelings of sadness and loss over the past five years, we try very hard to dwell on the happy times that we had together as a family. We also rely heavily on our faith. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't "talk" to my son and let him know that I'm proud of him, and that I miss him. I feel so grateful that I took so many photos of him even when he didn't necessarily love having his photo taken. I am even more grateful that through journaling and scrapbooking that I have recorded hundreds of memories of our time together. Now his sweet personality and beautiful smile is forever preserved for my children and my children's children--a priceless book of memories we'll always cherish."
Jen's story continues right HERE on her blog...
I can't think of many things more priceless than memories and photos of the ones you love.
The ones you've lost.
Scrapbook for the comfort of others.
Several years ago, I had the opportunity to create a layout for Angie Smith. You might recognize her husband from the Christian group Selah. Angie's blog, and now her books, are inspiring, encouraging, amazing...but their story is not without pain.
Sometimes, documenting the hope found in the sorrow is also hugely important--for you or for those whose stories have touched your heart the way Angie and Todd's did mine.
But where do I begin?
But maybe you're thinking, "I don't know where to start. It hurts too much..."
Maybe you're scared to crack open the things that are holding you back, to speak them out loud so they lose their hold on you.
So, today, I want to offer something amazing that can help you document the painful things, the things that are hard, the things you fear, the things that keep you from moving forward...
And because I believe in the power of storytelling...in the power of all of us telling our own stories, through whatever medium we choose, I'm going to give away SEVEN copies of A Sweethaven Summer too.
How do I enter?
This time, just leave me a comment and tell me: Is it hard for you to document the painful parts? Would you rather turn away and forget all about them? Or do you find it helps to work through it...even though the tears may dot your paper as you write or paint or create?
We're all in this together, girls...
Now, last order of business:
The winner of the Sweethaven Online Launch Party DAY TWO is:
I think my word would be "light" to remind me to find the light and be the light...so important in all aspects of my life!
Margie, email me and claim your beautiful prizes! :)
I can't wait to read your comments, your thoughts, your hearts...I hope you