Today’s guest is Shannon from StrengthAndCourage Cards. I love the story of how her little side business got started. Let’s meet her!
Me: First things first. You just had a baby at the end of August! Tell us about him (and the rest of your fam).
Shannon: Ezri is our third child. We have two daughters (4 and 2 years old) and to be honest, I was hoping for another girl! Don’t get me wrong, I know that boys are great, but I feel like this is completely unfamiliar territory that I’m in with raising a boy! I’m used to painting fingernails, dance parties, and tea parties… I grew up with all brothers and I have a strong suspicion that Ezri will be changing the atmosphere of some of our regular pastimes. That being said, we are just loving having him here! My oldest is our live-in nanny: always holding and caring for him. My husband is thrilled to have someone who actually wants to watch the Cowboys games with him!
Me: Now tell us about StrengthAndCourage Cards.
Shannon: The cards I make are…
…a way for me to get some time away from the demands of stay-at-home/homeschooling mom responsibilities.
…a way that I feel I can minister to others when I’m in the middle of a season in mommy-hood that doesn’t allow me to do some of the other service projects I would like to do.
…cards that I would enjoy and hope others would like to receive. Who doesn’t love receiving snail mail?! And a home made card is a rare treasure to receive.
Me: You say that your ministry was born partly out of your inability to speak well. Could you tell us more about that?
Shannon: Well, I speak. A lot. And insert my foot in my mouth again and again. God has given me a sensitive heart to those hurting. I want to minister to them. Show them love. But I walk up to them and the silliest words (all meant with the best of intentions) come out! I found that that I was shying away from ministering to others out of FEAR of saying the wrong thing. We are not to live in fear! I find that if I send a card, I can write one line and they still know how much they are cared for!
Me: What goals/dreams do you have for your life, and how does your card-making fit with those?
Shannon: My LIFE goals? Life is mostly day to day goals right now! On good days, my priorities are as follows…1. Know God more (Bible study). 2. Be the helpmate for my husband. 3. Raising my kids to know and love the Lord. 4. Serving others.
One great thing about cards is that they are so flexible. I can work on them WITH my daughters who also enjoy making their own cards and thinking of others that they can encourage. My husband never throws away a card that I make him, even though I insist that he can’t keep them forever!
My goal for StrengthAndCourage Cards is to use the sensitive heart and creativity that the Lord has given me to strengthen and encourage others. Carrying out this goal today may look totally different tomorrow and I haven’t tried to imagine what it will look like in the future! For instance, I never thought I would be ministering to so many broken hearts with my cards. I thought I would be making lots of HAPPY BIRTHDAY and CONGRATULATIONS cards but my THINKING OF YOU and SYMPATHY cards way out number the happier greetings. I love that the cards allow others to grieve with those who are grieving and rejoice with those who are joyous.
Shannon: I think that, when you find what you love to do, you should find a way to do it. The hard part? This might not be the season in your life to do what you love full time. Or even regularly! But if you love it, keep working at. Keep getting better! And find a way to use it to bless others! Marla, Thank you for this opportunity!
Me: Thank YOU, Shannon! I’m really inspired by the way you use your cards to encourage others! I love the ones you gave me!
Today, Shannon is giving away the three cards (Pretty in Purple) pictured on the blog!