Five years ago (Jan 2005) the Lord amazingly lead me to take responsibility for the Above Rubies Magazine in South Africa. During that time only 70 South African families received this encouraging magazine for families from Nancy Campbell in the States, founder and author of the Above Rubies magazine.
Above Rubies started more than 32 years ago in New Zealand when Nancy Campbell was the young mother of 6 children. She felt (like many mothers feel even more so today) the pressure of feminism and humanism all around her in the media and in the education system and there wasn’t any encouragement for mothers at home. Nancy Campbell felt the burden to send out a regular magazine that would encourage and affirm mothers in their high calling as a mother, which will bring strength to marriages and bless families!
She approached a Christian printing firm with her vision to encourage marriages, mothers and families and they printed 1500 magazines. It sounded like an enormous amount back then! Within weeks after she was a quest speaker at a conference, giving out the magazine for free, she started receiving letters and donations from people all over New Zealand. She went to print with the 2nd issue and printed 5,000 and 20,000 for the 3rd issue. At that stage the magazine had a huge impact on the nation in New Zealand.
Above Rubies is a free magazine - made available TOTALLY by donations to its Readers over the past 32 years!!. It isn’t a Subscribing magazine, since people only subscribe for something which they believe in! And Yes, Above Rubies do bless thousands of Godly families who believe in Godly marriages - but Nancy’s vision is bigger than that. She also want to bless those marriages that are falling apart, those women who don’t have a vision for home, those mothers who are still in their careers and NO vision for home and motherhood. So that is why the Above Rubies magazine is made available by donation, so people can take it out, hand it out and share it freely and trust God to provide. And now it is more than 32 years and God is still providing.
Currently about 120 000 copies are printed. It goes all over the world to more than 100 countries.
During the past five years, the Lord sovereignly provided financially for the Above Rubies Ministry in South Africa and it exploded! In 2005 only 70 families received this precious magazine, but currently we send out 4,000 magazines to 600 readers in South Africa and neighboring countries.
During 2009 Above Rubies South Africa experienced a dip in financial support, but at the beginning of 2010 the Lord miraculously opened the hearts of South Africa’s Readers’ to support this ministry!
Since Heidi-Mari and I love to make cards on our Mother-Daughter evenings once a week, I decided to start making ‘Thank you’ cards for families who invest money in this ministry. Obviously I will not be able to make a Thank you card for every family, but I’m going to start - using this crafting passion for the Lord.
And here is the first card I made:
I chose a stamp from Heidi-Mari’s Whiff of Joy collection.
A mother reading to her child. It fits the vision of Above Rubies to encourage mothers to have a vision to build into the lives of their children. Mothers who know motherhood is their highest calling. Mothers who invest not only in their children’s lives for this life, but also for eternal life! Mothers who know they have the ability to change the world, by raising Godly children! What a calling!!
What is a more precious way to build into a child’s life than taking the time to read to him!
I asked Heidi-Mari to colour the stamp with her Promarkers (I can’t even colour a picture with crayons - I leave that to the children!)
Around the stamp I made fake stitches. While making the stitches, putting down the pen and picking it up again, it reminded me of moments when I have a positive influence on my children, but also times when I miss some golden opportunities to build into their lives. The life of a mother is full of ups and downs. There will be days you want to hold on forever, full of fun and special moments, then there will be days you may feel that you are not accomplishing anything at all. Don’t be discouraged. Keep working hard according to the grace of God in you, not your own strength, but what He gives to you.
Next to the images I made a soft pink bow and put a pearl in the middle to give it extra elegance. So often the world looks down on a stay at home mother, who ‘wastes’ her talents and gifts by not going out into the corporate world.
A mother who value herself enough to stay at home and use her talents and gifts to create a safe haven for her husband and put all her time (24 hours a day) and energy into her children to make them everything they can ever be, is like a precious pearl hidden deep in the bottom of the ocean.
I gave the card a vintage, shabby look, by tearing the paper and using thick distressing, since being an Above Rubies mother, is going back to ancient times (the name of my blog), raising children and taking care of the home, loving and submitting to your husband like the Lord intended for women to do since the beginning of time, and in the process strengthening their families!
Motherhood is a very special season in a mother’s live. Nancy Campbell, time and time again encourage mothers to not only love their children, but love Motherhood! Yes, there is a difference. All mothers love their children, but often mothers hope a certain fase of their child will pass so they can enter the next, hopefully better, easier stage. Dear mother enjoy every stage of your children, don’t just ‘endure’ each day, but seek to make it special. You will never have these days with your children again. Enjoy your current season of Motherhood. It will pass so quickly, then you will have more than enough time to do all the projects you want to and didn’t have time for in your mothering season!
To emphasize the idea of Motherhood being a short, quick passing season, I used fall colours. Although in South Africa it is now spring, the rest of the world is entering fall.
I put the sentiment: “Thank You for Investing in Motherhood” on a tag and slide it behind the image. The idea is for the mother who receive the card, to use the tag as a bookmark and always be reminded to invest her time, energy, gifts, talents, love - her total self in Motherhood! A mother who grows in her calling of motherhood and not only loves her children but motherhood too, will shine in the world, like the golden beads at the end of the rope I’ve threaded through two eyelids in the tag!
I put a little rosebud on the tag too. The rosebud reminds me of the precious children whom we raise in our homes. They are like delicate rosebuds in our hands and we make them or break them, by the way we handle them. They trust us with their lives, God entrusted them to us! Will we take care of them, with lovingkindness, tenderness, patience, passion, joy and enthusiasm and allow them to grow into mature, wise adults who live their passion and calling in live!
I’ve put small red flowers in three of the corners and left the fourth corner open, to give it an unbalanced look - being an ‘old-fashion’ stay at home mother who knows her calling by taking care of her husband, children and home, is off-balance with the World! You will always be questioned, often revered to be weird, many times belittled, seldom be encouraged and never be part of the main steam!
I also took part in a few challenges with this card, for motherhood is always a challenge.
And though mothers don’t always receive acknowledgement for their hours of labour, day and night, in this world, be encouraged, God is always watchful and a rewarder of those who serve Him by serving their husbands and children!
The challenges I took part in:
Whiff of Joy Challenge - Special Thank You
Crafty Catz Weekly Challenge - Stitching
Stampin' Sisters in Christ - Use Fall Colours
Alphabet Challenge Blog - V for Vintage
ABC Challenge - D is for Distressing
Stampavie and More - Bookmark
Creative Card Crew Challenge - Autumn or Fall
Everybody Art Challenge - Autumn
Paper Playtime - Autumn
Stampin for the Weekend - Tag it!
To every Above Rubies Mother, may this card:
Be a reminder of your highest calling;
An encouragement to go into your home and change the world through the children and husband, entrusted to you by God;
Be a thank you for your service as a mother and faithful wife!