Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Very Special Honor

Hello stamping friends! I have something to share with you this evening that is very touching and special to me. I have spent most of this beautiful day counting my blessings, and being very, very grateful to God for giving me such a caring and loving support system. I was first introduced to stamping, and Stampin' Up! by a local demonstrator, Nancy Williams. The first workshop I ever attended was organized by Nancy, and I very quickly fell in love with this very new form of crafting (at least it was new to me). I attended every workshop and class that I could for almost a year before I decided that I wanted to become a hobby demonstrator and take advantage of getting the discount myself. Nancy was a very supportive and encouraging person to have lead the way for me, but I had no intention of ever hosting a workshop. I just wanted to be able to buy what I felt I couldn't live without at a discount. That lasted about a week and a half until my sister called as said she would like to host one of those parties that I'd just become involved with. That was the beginning of a wonderful journey.
The fearless leader of our fabulous Stampalicious Stampers is the very sweet, kind, and generous Heather Deshayes. Heather is such a special person, and treats all of her downline members like members of her own family. She is truly an inspiration to us all. I have been blessed to attend Regional Conventions, Leadership, and a National Convention with Nancy, Heather, and many of our group of 50+ members, and I can honestly say that the friendships that we have developed between our close knit group of Stampalicious Stampers is a glorious gift. Every year, Heather hosts an appreciation Luau for all of her downline members with delicious food, fabulous fellowhsip, free stamps, and special awards very similar to the awards given by Stampin' Up! at a national level. I was so very happy when Heather announced that my upline Nancy was the winner of the Sales Award within our group. My amazing downline member Lauren Winemiller (who just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl), was the recipient of The Demonstrator of the Year Award, Jennifer Potter (whom I've had wonderful email and telphone conversations with) was the winner of the Recruiting Award. The Rising Star Award went to Traci Falls, whom I haven't yet had the pleasure of meeting , and that left The Heart of Stampin' Up Award... I was shocked, thrilled and honored to be the recipeint of this very special recognition within our group, and I joined the company of my dear friend and upline, Nancy, who was last year's recipient.
In all honesty, I have to say that I don't feel like I am deserving of any awards. I like so many others, put my trust in our Lord to guide me in the direction He has chosen for me. There are most certainly hardships along the way, but the way in which we choose to handle life's challenges serve as an example to those around us, and I couldn't believe more strongly that the giving of yourself to others, and being willing to serve in whatever capacity that God calls you is greatest gift you can give yourself for a happy life. I am so very blessed, and I'm completely humbled by the kind words and generous spirits of my fellow demonstrators. The following is an excerpt from the speech Heather gave last night, and I share it with you not to be prideful, or boastful, but because it means so very much to me. I listened to these words with tears streaming down my face. Happy tears, sad tears, and joyful, joyful tears!!
Heart of Stampin’ Up! Award

Each year at convention SU honors a demonstrator with the Heart of Stampin' Up! Award. Recipients of this award embody the spirit of Stampin' Up!'s Statement of the Heart as they make a difference in people's lives. This demonstrator, as many of you do on a daily basis, has shown extraordinary kindness, dedication, generosity, or a willingness to serve others. This person exemplifies goodness, goes out of her way to help others, and honestly gives of herself.
This award was hard to narrow down as I received numerous emails about kindness that you’ve all shared to each other and to strangers. I am humbled and honored to be a part of this group.
For those of you that do not know, Stampin’ Up’s Statement of the Heart
To love what we do
and share what we love,
as we help others enjoy creativity
and worthwhile accomplishments . . .
in this we make a difference!
This year’s winner is such an outstanding, sincere lady. Not only is she creative, she shows a genuine love for Stampin Up!

She’s been described as:
A generous soul with a huge heart!
SO kind… no matter what is going on in her life, she always takes time to listen to you and help whenever she can!

Nancy Williams writes about the nominee: While going through some unbelievable hardships this past year, she has been faced with her grandparents' failing health and has taken upon herself to care for them in their home by moving in with them. All the while, she still builds her SU business. She has installed internet in her grandparents' home so that she can keep up with her growing business and her beautiful, uplifting blog. She even has a new recruit and has promoted to Senior Supervisor while taking on all these other responsibilities. Her commitment to her business and to her strong faith I think exemplify what Stampin' Up is all about and I'm happy to call her "friend".

For these and hundreds of other reasons I know she is truly deserving of the "Heart of Stamping" award!!
The Heart of Stampin’ Up award goes to Lorie Souther!

This is a picture of the stamp set I received with the Stampin Up! Statement of the Heart, along with the gorgeous braclets that accompanied all of the awards given. The silver charm braclet has a beautiful heart engraved with SU, and the reverse side says Heart of Stampin' Up! 2009. The round charm is an encased mustard seed with the scripture from Matthew 17:20 "If Ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed... Nothing shall be impossible unto you". This scripture, and the significance of the mustard seed is exceptionally special because it is a part of a sermon that was shared with Heather several years ago by her dear mother, Mauretta who passed away suddenly in January. This was such a beautiful way for Heather to honor the memory of her mom, and many of us missed having our chats with Mauretta, as we so often did at various events. She was such a loving and caring woman, with grace and class, and is sadly missed, but joyously, and lovingly remembered by all those who were blessed to know her.
In closing, all I can humbly offer is a very genuine and sincere THANK YOU! Thank you for sharing with me this love and enthusiasm for our craft, for being an inspiration, and for all the encouragement and support along the way. Your love and friendship is one of the greatest blessings in my life! Beyond that...
Stampalicious Stampers...STAMP ON!!! :-)
Love Ya!


Nancy said...

Thanks, Lorie for your beautiful, kind words. They made me cry all over again. I can think of nobody more deserving of the Heart of Stampin' Up! Award. Enjoy it.


Lauri said...

Lorie!!! This is SO well deserved!!! I am so happy for you!!!! You have a true group of SU! friends and I am so glad they chose you!! I am getting choked up just reading your post!!!

MiamiKel said...

Oh Lorie!! I'm celebrating right along with you! You are a blessing to each of us - through your warm words, your smile, your lovely gifts of cards you make each day ...... I'm so happy that you received such a wonderful accolade to celebrate the beauty of YOU!! Congruatulations and bask in your success! :)

Catherine said...

Lorie! What a touching story, what an amazing recognition, what an inspiration and blessing you are to all who encounter you. I'm so happy to hear this wonderful news and so proud to call you my friend. You have a heart of gold, and a loving, generous spirit.
Celebrating with you!

Sandra MacLean said...

Congratulations Lorie!! This is a very well deserved award. You are an amazing, sweet, generous and kind hearted person and I feel so fortunate to know you. Enjoy this moment in the sunlight Lorie! Bask in it!

Anonymous said...

Oh Lorie - I can't think of anyone more deserving. Every word of that beautiful speech is true and many, many more to boot. I'm all smushy and teary reading it and I am thrilled that you received this honor - you earn it everyday with all the love you pour into your life and the people around you.

hugs to you dear friend...

Unknown said...

Gratz Lorie! I am sorry that I couldn't be there to see you receive the award. You deserve it, girl! You are awesome!

~Beth said...

Lorie, You are SO deserving of this award. I'm so sad that I wasn't there to cry with you. Everything Nancy said is 100% true, and I Love you for it!
Stampalicious Stampers...Stamp On!

karen said...

Lorie! This is a fitting award for such a sweet person with such a big heart! Congratulations on winning, a much deserved win at that!

And thank you for sharing your heart with us on a daily basis! GREAT BIG (((((HUG))))) to you!

Love ya!

Jeanette (Forest Ranger) said...

Lorie, you are an incredible woman and a living example to me! I am often touched by your words as well as your creativity. I can think of no one who is more humble, yet more deserving of such an honor. Congratulations!!!

Mary Giles said...

Lorie you are so deserving of this award. I'm amazed and honored to know you. You are such a kind dear heart with so much talent to boot. {{{Hugs}}}

kadie said...

Oh, now see, I'm all teary too. I can't think of a more deserving person than you, Lorie. And all those beautiful sentiments said are so true. So whenever you're feeling down or doubting yourself and the beautiful gifts God's created you to have...just come back here and read about how much you mean to people. You have a true servants heart and I'm honored to know you, my Dear. Love ya!

Carol W said...

Lorie, I have goosebumps still from reading about your award and your humble, gracious, receiving truly do deserve this award on many, many are truly a blessing to all that know you and I am grateful I have had a chance to be a small part of your life....You are truly on in a million. Congratulations on a well deserved award...

Carol W

Barbara said...

Lorie, congratulations on this award!! You most certainly deserving of it. I can attest to your love of the craft and sharing what you love with others, having been a lucky recipient of your kindness. Well done --- such an inspiration!


Judy McMullen said...

Lorie, I am so happy for you to win this Heart of Stampin UP! award! You are so deserving of this recognition and all of your Sistahs at SCS would certainly testify to that fact!!!

Lisa Hjulberg said...

Goodness, Lorie, what a very special honor! I'm so happy for you! I am quite sure it was well-deserved.


Anonymous said...

Lorie - you really do deserve this award because you are exactly what this award represents. I am grateful that you are my teacher - not only in creative ways, but in the ways of faith as well. Cheryl K.

Carolyn Bounds said...

Lorie, I have never heard the SU's Statement of the Heart until now; and as I was reading it, you were the person who came to mind. You personify all that it states and then some. For me, you and your encouragement helped me to attempt new things in the art of stamping. You helped me to gain the confidence I needed to share this craft I have grown to love and has become such a big part of my life. You have given me the inspiration to step outside of my comfortable box from time to time. You have given me smiles when I felt like hiding under the covers. You have given me so very much that I could never express into words just how much you have come to mean in my life. If there is anyone who deserves this incredible award, it is YOU. I thank God everyday for bringing you into my life!!! Enjoy this beautiful award, my friend!!! In my heart, it was designed especially for you!!!

Much love!!!

Anonymous said...


You are a very special friend to me! You have showed me that anyone can be creative! You deserve this award! I am SO LUCKY to have you for a special friend.