For you have need of endurance

so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.  Hebrews 10:36 NKJV

After living in my cabin-on-wheels for 10 months, my option to buy the land beneath my tiny house was nearly exhausted. Then the couple who had privately financed my cabin agreed to carry a mortgage on the land. The mostly treed 5.88 acres included two mobile homes on either side of me. Both were occupied with long-term tenants.

A month after the purchase one of the tenants moved. It was then I learned the furnace was not operational and there were electrical and plumbing issues which needed repairs. Once the repairs were completed, back-to-back families lived in the home and moved out. Finally, the third couple to move in turned out to be great neighbors and tenants, and now there is a baby too.

The home on the north side of me was vacated last March by a tenant who had resided there for almost two decades. After his departure, I discovered so much was needed to make it tenant-ready, it would be better to sell the mobile and have it moved off. A new tiny cabin, already designed, will go in its place once the damaged mobile is sold and moved. The story behind selling follows:

It had been 26 years since I had been back to my birthplace, Seattle, and God opened the doors wide to make my visit possible. In September, with the help of four families who volunteered to take care of my critter crew, I spent 10 days in the Northwest seeing family and good friends, taking in the sights and sounds of tides and waterfowl.BeachInn4bright13

God informed me this was not simply a trip to be with loved ones or to read my poetry open mic night and display my artwork. My instruction was to photograph nature, and being compliant I obliged posting here and elsewhere the beauty all around me.

Just as the Apostle Paul said, I count all as blessings, the gifts and the tribulations. Before my trip to Seattle the cabin’s “on demand” water heater failed. The “on demand” heater rarely delivered “hot” water. I could anticipate lukewarm during summer; but winter, well it was too cold to dip even my toes.

Upon my return, I purchased a 30 gallon hot water heater and had the cabin cleaned and stained.

Northside full view stainedEventually my current tiny house, or cabin-on-wheels, will be moved to the south side of the property and sold with an acre of ground. My projects list includes putting up a few sections of a privacy fence, getting the land surveyed to split out the acre creating two lots and adding a new tiny cabin for me and mine to move into on the north side.

Recently, I picked up the banner for the “As Is” mobile for sale and hung it yesterday. In God’s time, I expect it to sell. My assignment is to be patient and wait, keeping the faith. Broadmore for Sale CU

 

Come to Me

all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matt. 11:28 NKJV

As part of the preparation for returning to the Northwest where I grew up, my property in Tennessee has been undergoing some sprucing. My cabin-on-wheels was washed and is receiving a coat of stain as I write this entry. The cabin has a new 30 gallon water heater. The on-demand one never provided much hot water and just before my visit to Seattle in September, it conked out completely. Hot baths feel sooooo… good. The plan is to put up lattice underpinning before winter.

Southside in full before stain

 

 

 

Northside cabin before stain

 

 

The rental mobile located on the land is already listed with an acre of ground. Overhanging trees which threaten its existence come down tomorrow.  A damaged mobile to the north has been spoken for and is just waiting for the prospective buyer to show up with funds and a mover. This will make room for a 10×10 shed and kennel for the puppies. The kennel is necessary so when prospective buyers enter to view the cabin they will not be greeted by a chorus of howling canines.

Yes, the preparation to move is labor intensive. Projects fill lists based on no cost, moderate cost and substantial. A little at a time they are checked off. To get through the process, I keep reminding myself to remain in the moment, not slip back into remembering the joy of my visit or dream about future events beyond my control. How I do this is to ground myself in faith in a triune God: Abba, Jesus and Holy Spirit.

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves

W_12_15 FINALBeStillBrownWashcopyright_Page_07to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God  2 Cor. 3:5 NKJV

The buyer for the Booksellers at Laurelwood, an icon independent bookstore in Memphis, purchased two copies of my large format, art only edition of Whippoorwill Calls. His plan is to display it where the book will be seen.

Art Only front singlepg

 

For this weekend’s art exhibit at Church of the Holy Communion, only one of my pieces made it into the show. The book cover was pulled.  Since the nudes were considered a bit to revealing, the gesture drawing of the dancer was the one included.

And I read the title poem, Whippoorwill Calls, rather than two smaller ones, at a well attended reception Friday evening. I am grateful for the opportunities God is providing.

Now may the Lord of peace Himself

give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.  2 Thes. 3:16 NKJV

Holly CU in buttercups

The fence line was opened for Holly, the last of my bovines, to allow her to come close to the cabin both to provide some greenery for her to munch and to meet her companionship needs with the loss of Sonny, her mate. In a few days she had cleaned up the new space and was looking for better offerings.

Thus, she walked through her new fence line three times in a row.

Each time I coaxed her back with grain until finally she ignored her dish in preference for clumps of tall grass in an open area. With natural borders on nearly three sides, the Lord nudged me to grab what was left of the welded wire and t-posts to secure her, finishing late that afternoon. The danger was in her wandering into the neighbors’ yard or the street out front.

1_cropHolly eats mid Bebe

There are plans to get rid of a 1977 mobile vacated in February by a long-term tenant and in need of major interior restoration. A for sale sign is posted.

Once gone, the horses will be moved from the back hill (where the mare Bebe can be seen in the above photo on the right) to graze alongside the cabin and include land stretching north which still needs to dry after a very wet winter.

While waiting on the Lord for the sun to scorch the earth, with the help of a local printer, I produced a large format edition of Whippoorwill Calls containing art only, which will be discussed in future posts.

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while

if need be, you have been grieved by many trials  1 Peter 1:6 NKJV

In early April a friend came Monday, and again Tuesday to deliver injections of antibiotic to Buff, the Charolais-Angus bull, who had grown too weak to stand. The vet had made a house call at the beginning of the year, tubing Buff for bloat, administering cortisone, vitamin B12 and long-lasting penicillin. The gentle giant, who taught the rewards of grooming outside of one’s own species on the farm, rallied and began eating hay and drinking water.

Bebe hugs Buff

He looked like he was putting on weight. I thought he had turned a corner until he began eating less and less. Wednesday morning, April 8, Buff died at 14 years old. So glad I was for having rubbed his neck and back and kissed him the night before, and he responded by licking my arm and hand.

“No, no, no…this just could not be happening,” I told myself. “I cannot be losing another one of my big guys.”

Raised on a bottle, imprinting me as their mother-figure, I was thrilled to be Buff’s and Sonny’s adoptive parent. There was something surreal about loving and caring for a baby animal who grew to tower over me, yet sustained a relationship of kinship well into adulthood. They never forgot me or what I was to them.

It is impossible to describe the sense of loss, or even the meaning their lives brought to mine. Because of this experience I can better understand how a person’s faith in God can be challenged as when a parent loses a child.

I remind myself: “Trust, I am to trust You. Yet, while I trusted, where were You? If you love me, God, why didn’t you intervene and save him?”

My identity outwardly, and more importantly inwardly, has been torn from me. I can never go back and redo any of it, relive it, the experience of raising them, loving them, caring for them. I can only go forward, forward from here, but forward how?

The how I am learning. Taking baby steps I am rebuilding my faith, not at the base. Just the outer layers were stripped away. I need to replenish, call on Him even when I am too distraught to know how to ask for help. Just His name, Jesus. I trust He will hear my cry and know the answer before I know the question.

But I say to you who hear

Holly 2_2015 snow

Holly, the Charolais-Angus heifer

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. Luke 6:27-28 NKJV

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials. James 1:2  NKJV

While we have not had the deluge of snow the Northeastern states have, in Tennessee the drop in temperature to single digits has presented challenges. Streets turned icy as the light snow congealed. Our outside heating unit froze rendering the heat pump useless and worse blowing cold air through the ducts. Thank heaven for the fake fireplace which heats the cabin inside, albeit unevenly. What a joy it was when the temperature rose just now enough to turn on the thermostat. The bovines and horses are doing fine and receiving extra nourishment.  And we are moving toward days when the weather is well above freezing with a few more colder nights.

Yet these cold weather issues are not the trials I am associating with the Scriptures cited above. My trial is the forgiveness of a person who brought harm to me 25 years ago. The memory of the incident, which is painful, was repressed until talking with a friend recently. Then I listened to an interview on SAT7ARABIC with the brother of Bishoy Estafanos Kamel and Samuel Estafanos Kamel, two of the 21 Coptic Christians slain by members of ISIS. The brother told how his mother said if she met the killers of her sons on the street, she would invite them to her home. The strength of her Christian faith and the love she expressed is exemplary. If she can forgive, then so can I.

As each one has received a gift

minister it to one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.  1 Peter 4:10 NKJV

In my writers’ group the suggestion was made to approach a local coffee shop to host a book signing. The next day sipping a latte’ and checking messages on my cell phone, I began a conversation with a family at an adjacent table in Square Beans Coffee in Collierville, Tenn.

From Texas and visiting a daughter and grandchild, the grandfather, who has authored several books, asked to see a copy of Whippoorwill Calls. The couple became interested in my poetry and drawings. Following our lengthy and cordial discussion, I met the coffee shop owners’ daughter who had become available and agreed to my book signing and sale of prints on Valentine’s Day from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

It was certainly helpful that a patron had shown interest in my work: one author to another, not to mention the original suggestion from the first author to visit Square Beans Coffee shop.

It is noteworthy: Sometimes the manifold gift of creating art, is less the actual art than it is the generosity of the artist.

R_12_15 FINAL Crouchingcopyright

But seek first the kingdom of God

and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matt. 6:33 NKJV

Cutting back on Sonny’s and Holly’s grain ration to avoid health problems has not suited the Brahma. For the last five days he has pressed his weight against four strands of barbwire and snapped them. Not satisfied with remaining in the heifer’s space, which rings his confine, he has gone over her fence to munch on leaves and whatever he found pleasing to his palate. I don’t blame him. He lives in the trees.

The entire reason I published Whippoorwill Calls is to earn income to buy pastureland for the Brahma Sonny, Holly, the baby bull Buff and the two horses, Jack and Bebe. Yearning for my home state, to visit with friends and family, I wanted to move the entire kit and kaboodle east of the Cascades ideally in view of Mt. Rainier, providing it was in keeping with God’s Will for us.

398Entrance East15EastPasturefrmpadThis latest wrinkle and some health challenges facing Buff have led me to look closer. From our home just 3.2 miles along country back roads or seven miles by major streets is a bank owned property. There are numerous amenities specific to our needs with electricity, septic and well water, not to mention a rudimentary barn and outbuildings right down to a cattle chute.

In the meantime I have secured a radio interview with our local arts and entertainment personality with public radio for February 13, but do not, as yet, have a scheduled book signing with a local independent bookstore. Signs measuring 18×28 inches of several drawings are laminated with a gloss finish just waiting to be set on an easel for such an event. Yes, I am following my cues taking steps within my arena and waiting for God to do the rest.

 

 

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess

for he who promised is faithful. Heb. 10:23 NIV

12_15 FINAL IMAGEScopyright_Page_06I am concluding a third year of reading daily devotions from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, yet it took 2014 before the words “I trust you Jesus” became part of my everyday thoughts as naturally as breathing. Now my mantra, I say these words silently and out loud depending on need.

While preparing images for Whippoorwill Calls, I turned to Christ to ensure the book reached market at the optimum time, then let go. I refused to push myself and others to meet some arbitrary deadline. I simply remained focused on the task at hand. God had me covered.

On Friday, November 21, my proof copy of the paperback edition arrived and the book was approved for printing and distribution. That evening a feed with my title went to global online retailers and storefronts. However, I was advised by two different individuals that a behemoth in the online industry might take a minimum of 48 hours and up to three weeks to have Whippoorwill Calls listed and available for purchase. This meant my book would possibly reach market in mid-December. The news rocked me, and not in a good way. Fear was creeping round, waiting for an opportunity to envelop me. Mantra, repeat the mantra.

Having purchased a bundle of ISBNs from Bowker, in the evening I returned to their website and completed information about my book under its assigned 13-digit identifier. Saturday morning during my devotional time Hebrews 10:23 NIV was my verse for the day: “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”

Speaking with God, I reiterated going to market was in His control despite what others had to say and after meditating on His Word, my faith was steadfast. Immediately following this time with God I was nudged to go online and search my ISBN, title and authorship. In less than 24 hours and closer to 12, there it was. Whippoorwill Calls was available for purchase. Posting the news on Facebook, three friends ordered a copy.

God keeps His promises.

 

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

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.

Challenges open the door

for dreams

We are in the rainy season and flooding has begun. With insufficient shelter save for some trees I dream of completed fencing on high, dry ground and adjoining fields of pasture with run-in shelter for my big pals.

Flooding behind Sonny's space with more rain expected

Between Christmas and New Year’s Eve the coffee shop will close, a perfect time to work on my e-book. If in keeping with your will for me, God, may such be well received providing for those in my care?

Day one of rain

This is my prayer leaving 2011 and entering 2012.  I acknowledge 2011 has been the best year with your abundant gifts.

Nature creates an opening

for fellowship            

Mower on loan in yard freshly cut

A local farmer and friend came through for me yesterday loaning me the mower he salvaged from three push mowers. My friend has a pet peeve. He told me it infuriates him when people move out from the city and cut their grass down to the nub.

This is a farming community not town where neighbors compete for the best looking yard, he said. So he set the mower a bit high off the ground.

This was OK by me since it was better to cut the tall grass, which it did. He also sharpened the blade to get the most obtrusive weeds, which it did.

Afterward I looked around and felt gratified. Perfect it was not since the rough edges remained. Yet perfect it was in the sense that it is part of nature.

My brother reminded me yesterday that all is not supplication or even listening and following what is heard. There is fellowship, fellowship with God.

In nature there is a heightened awareness of the Divine and always fellowship.

Living simply

and simply living

Brahma bull and Lineback dun

With the cabin behind them up on the hill Sonny and Bebe share a meal

This weekend is filled with joy and sunshine. Our move completed by day’s end Friday all tasks ahead seem lightweight by comparison.

Palomino paint

Jack

Oh there is a creosote post to place, some wire to tighten, contents of plastic containers to sort, writing, photography and advertisers to obtain to sustain us.

Charolais-Angus heifer

Holly at her new home

Most importantly all 18 pals are safe and becoming acquainted with their new surroundings.

Palomino paint, Lineback dun, Charolais-Angus bull

Jack and Bebe with Buff in background

Life is simple, and we are simply living.

Nikki is learning the window sill is off limits

kittens

Tiger stripes Ty, Mimi, Nikki and orange tabby Gordy inside the cabin

Thanks to you, God, for peace now.