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.

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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.

When You said, “Seek My face,”

my heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.” Ps. 27:8 NKJV

Church of the Holy Communion at 4645 Walnut Grove Road in Memphis is hosting “Alleluia Be Our Measure,” A Festival of the Sacred Arts, May 1-3, and two of my drawings will be part of the art exhibit. The festival is bringing together artists, musicians and writers to attend workshops throughout the weekend.

God has opened the door for me to read two of my poems: “When Work Ceases” and “Silver Strands” Friday evening, May 1, as part of the opening ceremony. This will be my first public reading of poems from the pocket-size edition of Whippoorwill Calls, A Collection of Poems & Art.

Recently, I produced a large format, art only edition of Whippoorwill Calls. The interior paper is slick and does not absorb the ink resulting in drawings equal in quality to glossy prints sold earlier this year.

Art Only fullcover (1)

The local printing company responsible for the pre-press package of the first pocket-size book produced this edition titled, Whippoorwill Calls, Figure Studies & Gesture Drawings. It measures slightly smaller than 9×12 inches, and contains 23 drawings in this 30-page paperback. I am handling the distribution, currently with a 30% discount to retailers.

The task now is to get in front of people to sell books, individually, as well as identify a global printer/distributor to produce books of the same caliber, with a similar profit margin. My preference is to print the art only edition in Europe and distribute to independent booksellers in England, France and other countries.

Lorsque vous l’avez dit, Cherchez ma face

mon coeur vous a dit, “c’est ta face, Seigneur, que je cherche.” Ps. 27:8 ma NKJV

Église de la Sainte Communion à 4645 Walnut Grove Road à Memphis est accueillant ” Alleluia être notre mesure “, un festival de la arts sacrés, mai 1-3, et deux de mes dessins fera partie de l’exposition d’oeuvres d’art. Le festival rassemble des artistes, musiciens et écrivains d’assister à des ateliers tout au long de la fin de semaine.

Dieu a ouvert la porte pour moi de lire deux de mes poèmes : “Lorsque le travail cesse” et “Silver volets” vendredi soir, 1 mai, dans le cadre de la cérémonie d’ouverture. Ce sera ma première lecture publique de poèmes de l’édition de poche des appels Whippoorwill, une collection de poèmes & Art.

Récemment, j’ai produit un grand format, art Whippoorwill uniquement edition des appels. L’intérieur du papier est lisse et n’absorbe pas l’encre résultant en des dessins de qualité égale à tirages papier glacé vendus plus tôt cette année.

Art Only front singlepg

La société d’impression locale responsable de la trousse pré-presse du premier livre de poche produit cette édition intitulée, appels Whippoorwill, Figure Études & Dessins de geste. Il mesure légèrement plus petit que 9×12 pouces, et contient 23 dessins de ce 30-page livres brochés. Je manipule la distribution, actuellement avec un rabais de 30 % pour les détaillants.

La tâche consiste maintenant à aller au devant des gens pour vendre des livres, individuellement, ainsi qu’identifier une imprimante global/distributeur pour produire des livres du même calibre, avec une marge bénéficiaire comparable. Ma préférence est pour imprimer l’art seulement édition en Europe et à distribuer aux libraires indépendants en Angleterre, en France et dans d’autres pays.

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.

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

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.