Reaching Skyward

If you have faith

as small as a mustard see, you can say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea,” and it will obey you.  Luke 17:6 NIV

Today I delivered the book package to a local pre-press group to “set the type” before it goes to the printing company. It has been an arduous six months of photographing drawings, revising poems and getting everything just so.

There have been missteps along the way. Yet, all situations have added to my learning curve as a self-published artist poet. The self-publishing company, a sole proprietorship, is 1writersdevotion.

Reaching Skyward

Reaching Skyward

The logo posted here, titled Reaching Skyward, is one of my sketches in black and white.

An eBook is out, as of this writing.

I found centered poems with stanzas and irregular lines which need to be left justified lose something in translation, and a good deal of photographic technique applied to photos may need the images tweaked, not just pulled into a digital format without massaging.

So plans change. Two print editions of Whippoorwill Calls are being created. Both are in color. One, a paperback, will be available online and a hard cover in premium color will also be in retail stores.

I have faith the books will reach market in perfect timing. Why, do I say this? Because He said to ask in His name and I did.

Author&Jackbefore

Be still before the Lord

and wait for him.  Ps. 37:7 CEB

 

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Patience has never been easy for me. At times I have infinite patience; and other times not so. Yesterday, Will took pictures of me for my book cover. The work progresses slowly as I continue photographing renderings and re-paint old drawings with new tools. For a break, I post. Then I am still before the Lord, hushing mind chatter, listening, breathing.

 

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Behold I will do a new thing

now it shall spring forth…  Isaiah 43:19 KJV

11Final7_31APrintCloneACSC_0028pcloneautomidclonebrighten20clone7_17cloneIn retirement and after a lifetime of fulfilling commitments I am living my joy, creating art.  Whip-poor-will Calls, A Collection of Poems & Art, a thin read, features 21 figure and gesture drawings with seven poems. An e-book and a hard copy edition are available through Lulu Publishing.

I spent two months preparing the photographed art for publication. Most are black charcoal figure drawings with four conte crayon renderings and two washes. Two are faces and two figure studies from the book accompany this post. My next project is a 31-Day Devotional combining photography and Scripture.

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Mock orange bloom

Thanks be to God for His

BeautyWildflowers at mailboxPurple starbursts  indescribable gift!  2Cor. 9:15 NKJV

 

 

The earth is the Lord's

The earth is the Lord’s

Snowball blooms brightly

Snowball blooms brightly

A closer look at wildflower visitor

A closer look at wildflower visitor

First hosta bloom this year!

First hosta bloom this year!

White carnation and gladiola blooms grace tiny space

White carnation and gladiola blooms grace tiny space

Mock orange bloom

Mock orange bloom

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I forget about the things behind me

and reach out for the things ahead of me.  Phil. 3:13b CEB

 

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Past starts, sputters and screeching halts are of no consequence because the momentum and joy of writing, photographing drawings and preparing a “thin read” is propelling me forward.  Just as the insect gathers nectar my solar-plexus pulls me inward hungry to express the gifts so graciously bestowed.

Writing space full view

Strength and beauty

are in His sanctuary. Ps. 96:6b CEB

 

Writing space full view

 

A friend asked if there would  be a place for me to write in my cabin when I leave my part-time employment. Yes, I said. Once my laptop was returned and functional this space was created. The cabin-on-wheels, the land on which it sits, spaces for the horses and bovines and this corner exist by the grace of God.  It is His sanctuary just on loan to me.

Full bloom tree top

You have made known to me the ways of life

You will make me full of joy in Your presence.  Acts 2:28 NKJV

 

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Crab-apple tree blooms. Winds come. Petals float and drop covering the earth—a short life.1 crabapple w sky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Balance You are teaching me is preeminent. Walk the beam of life hands outstretched.

 

Water with branches

but whoever drinks from the water

that I will give will never be thirsty again. The water that I give will become in those who drink it a spring of water that bubbles up in eternal life.  John 4:14 CEB

Water with branches

This wet weather pond is not nearly as full as in previous years. With spring approaching perhaps the water level will rise before the dry, hot summer months.

Each season brings a new look, a new adventure. Frogs croaking in alternating rhythms greeted me late this morning. A few days ago wings flapped overhead.

Winters past the scene was totally different. Snow draped the tree branches and covered the ground. I wait with delight for each slide in the show to advance revealing yet another beauty.

snow on the pond

Pond long view

Sonny L of trees

Ask, and it will be given

to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.  Matt. 7:7-8 NKJV

Sonny L of trees

Abba, Father, I am asking, not for myself but for the animals: abundant green pastures, winter and summer shelter, no piles of limbs and broken trees brought down by storms, no ankle-deep mud, no barbwire.  Instead please provide pipe fencing which safely allows the horses and cattle to commune again, and bless me the pleasure of telling their story, Your story. I delight in all that You are and You have promised to give me the desires of my heart (Ps. 37:4). You said nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37). I believe.

Sonny finishes grain with down trees behind

Bebe Jack wait for breakfast long view

The Lord is near

The Lord is near.  Phil. 4:5b CEBBebe Jack wait for breakfast long view

Three minutes before midnight the electricity flickered, then shut down–heat and lights. Having called in the outage to the power cooperative, at 4:00 a.m. when the alarm went off, we were still in the dark.

Taking Sam by flashlight out for his constitutional I checked on the horses. Jack came up to me, got his nose kissed and I could see Bebe was OK too. The night’s deluge of rain, thunder and soft snow drifts had stopped, but the wind was high. Outside it was 20 degrees. It could have been so much worse.

Sonny in snow 2

Inside the cabin the temperature was 64 degrees. Crawling back under the covers was the best of all options. Later I heard the whir of the refrigerator. What a terrific sound. I rose, turned on heat, lights and brewed coffee before sitting down for my devotional time.

Holly Bebe & Jack in distance

Thank you, Lord, for Your protection for me and mine.

Bebe and Sonny

There are persons for companionship

but then there are friends who are more loyal than family.  Prov. 18:24 CEB

Bebe and Sonny

Bebe licks Sonny (2)

Living in adjacent spaces the horses and bovines became grooming partners. It all began when Buff, the copper-colored Charolais-Angus bull, started licking Bebe’s mane.  Soon Jack, the Palomino paint, began grooming Buff and then both horses included Sonny, the Brahma bull.

Jack licks Buff Mon 5_24_10Bebe hugs Buff

Sid w_Jack eating 5_10

Those who make peace

sow the seeds of justice by their peaceful acts.  James 3:18 CEB

Closer Jackie straddling Sonny w_his face

Not only did the Great Dane Jackie pal with the baby bovine Holly, she also became friends with the Brahma Sonny. In addition to straddling the bull who was OK with her presence, she also climbed on top of him. A few years later all the critters took up residence in Tennessee.

Sid w_Jack eating 5_10Siddhartha, the wanderer, just showed up one day and made fast friends with Jack, the Palomino paint. Sid stayed on the Tennessee farm with the other canine rescues, two horses and three pet cattle.

Holly L w_Jackie R full views

God is love

and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 1 John 4:16b NKJV

Holly L w_Jackie R full views

Jackie, (R) a Great Dane and runt of a litter of 17, was all energy, play and love. She became pals with the bovines with ease. Here she and Holly, a  less than three-month old heifer, are searching the gravel for some nuggets that only they could find.

Below: When Sonny, the Holstein-Brahma, was adopted at 11 days old he was the only bovine in the company of 30 rescued canines. He was eight months old when Holly, who was 45 days old, came to live with us. For Sonny, it was love-at-first-sight. The amour remains today.

Pet cattle

When Holly joined the farm at 45 days old she turned Sonny’s head

You will show me the path of life

In Your presence is fullness of joy;

At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  Ps. 16:11

Amid cedar branches with a few snowflakes a cardinal momentarily takes refuge

Amid cedar branches with a few snowflakes a cardinal momentarily takes refuge

In whose hand is the life of every living thing

And the breath of all mankind?  Job 11:10 NKJV

A closer look at wildflower visitor

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Marvelous are Your works

And that my soul knows very well.  Ps. 139:14 NKJV

Autumn mushrooms in duplicate

Each day I return to the large animals’ quarters  there is a new crop of mushrooms in varying shapes, sizes and colorful displays, having pushed their heads up through soil and pine needles beside fallen leaves.

…even Solomon in all his glory was not

arrayed like one of these.  Luke 12:27 NKJV

White carnation and gladiola blooms grace tiny space

These white carnations and gladiola blooms retrieved from the trash at work thrill me with their beauty—and the simple pleasure they elicit with every glance.

Be fruitful and multiply

and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on earth  Gen. 1:22 NKJV

Doe and twin fawns help themselves to crapapples

Doe takes note with twin fawns nearby

After eating crabapples off the ground twin fawns look my way

Fawn stops eating crabapples to lick self

Better a dry crust with peace and quiet

than a house full of feasting, with strife  Prov. 17:1 NIV

Wild rabbit sits and waits

It had sprinkled,

the grass was damp with

another spritz on the way.

Would a wild rabbit wait for me to retrieve the

camera from atop the refrigerator in the cabin?

The answer was indeed, yes!

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;

the whole earth is full of his glory  Is. 6:3 NOAB

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Jesus came and stood among them and said…

“Peace be with you.” John 20:19 (NOAB)

Sonny close up at gate

Sonny peers over gate after trees removed

Recently Sonny brought down several two-inch diameter trees, 15 ft. tall or more. From the cabin the crunching of branches under hooves and backside scratching on hanging debris rang, “I’m looking for a way out!”

This morning with axe and loppers I loosed remnants from root and stump. Next they were thrown outside of Sonny’s space.

When finished I sighed. Now he can amble around clutter-free and peace filled me.

This God—his way is perfect

the promise of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.  Ps 18:30 (NOAB)

For three days I cut grass with a push mower and delivered the cuttings to my farm pals: Sonny, Holly, Buff, Jack and Bebe.

Hay is scarce. Following droughts in neighboring states farmers and ranchers learning of available supplies in West Tennessee traveled with their trailers and hauled full loads back to their animals.

Following breakfast grain Bebe diness on hay

The local farm supply held out serving locals until there was no more.  Last weekend I found someone who had older rolls of mixed grass. Two rolls were delivered the next day. While it lacks that fresh, sweet scent my group is accustomed to at least the cattle will eat it with a sprinkling of green. Except for the edges it is too rough to feed the horses.

Jack eats Bermuda with breakfast

Buff washes up while standing in the morning sun

Yesterday I connected with the person who delivered nine square bales of Bermuda a week ago, and he brought us 15 squares.

We have hay. We have fuel. We have grain and chow for all of us. Everyone is in relatively good health.  And we have a safe place to sleep and good tenants for neighbors.

Life is good on the farm thanks to God’s grace.