Wednesday, October 4, 2017

From Dreamer to Doer

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them. Henry David Thoreau

What are castles but huge magnificent buildings?  What is the sky but something that is unreachable from the ground where you are?

The trick?  Figure out how to reach the sky from the ground where you are.  

I recently published a book that I co-created with a friend.  A dream that I wasn't sure would ever happen... and not even my own original dream.  (This blog entry on tells more about that little project kidnapping!)  For each of us, this dream was years and years in the making.  Excerpts from her prayer journals were paired with photographs of mine into a devotional that is also a work of art, each element enhancing the other.  

It wasn't that we one day woke up and said, "Hey, look!  It's a book!"  She had a dream of creating a devotional.  Over time she gathered the excerpts that spoke to her most.  She polished them one by one.  She put them into various groupings until she had 5 sets of 6 excerpts based around a theme.  She brought those pieces to her writing group getting feedback and editing grammar and words, removing details too personal for the public, adjusting the order slowly.  And then came the reflection questions for each set of excerpts.  And then scriptures that related to each of the readings.  This was a process of years, building and polishing. 

Along the way, she invited me to join her.  I read and prayed over the writings she shared with me.  I waded through years of images, carefully selecting images that related to each reading.  And then I paired the images with digitally created mandalas that picked up on the colors and textures within the images.  

All this was sent to a graphic designer and slowly pulled together.  Sometimes images needed to be replaced, excerpts were rearranged, typos were corrected.  Things were added and things were removed.  

After two years of hard work, this dream became a reality.  It didn't happen overnight, but piece by piece with lots of stalling little breaks (that happens when two people working together are chronically ill).  

Doing begins with starting.  Two years would have gone by one way or another.  But rather than letting two years go by with getting no closer to making a dream come true, we piled up our little tasks one by one, one on top of another, until we finally reached the sky where that castle in the air was.

If you are feeling stuck, just do what you can each time that you can.  Keep piling those little stones of activity.  Do you feel like you are procrastinating?  Jessica Abel, author of Growing Gills, talks a lot about procrastination and the root causes of what is holding you back.  One of my favorite quotes from her book is "Procrastinating does not mean you’re broken. It means you’re trying to force something through willpower alone that takes a plan and structure to achieve." 

So, go make those plans, make some time to do little tasks each day, and keep piling up those little stones.  It may go slower than you hope, but slow is better than a dead stop!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Messages from God Preorders are here!

I can't believe the day has come!  Pre-orders for Messages from God: An Illuminated Devotional are live today!

Messages from God pre-orders image linked to pre-orders page

I am totally doing the happy dance!  It feels pretty surreal and I really wasn't sure this day would actually come!  But it has and I'm simultaneously very excited and very nervous!  I am entering very new territory here.  What an adventure this will be!

Click here to see the trailer for Messages from God!  Be sure to comment while you are there!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Mandalas in Messages from God: An Illuminated Devotional

I've been very busy at work on a different project and have somewhat neglected this site.  BUT, it has been a VERY exciting project!  Very!!

I have been collaborating with Kathleen Schwab creating an illustrated devotional inspired by illuminated manuscripts.

The devotional features text from Kathleen's prayer journals written in the first person as the voice of Jesus.  This is similar in style to Sarah Young's Jesus Calling books.  The text is illustrated by my photography and digitally created mandalas.  The mandalas are all created from my photography.  We worked with a very talented graphic designer, Regina Martine, to pull it all together.

The book will be available for pre-order soon from our website,   I encourage you to learn more about pre-ordering Messages from God: An Illuminated Devotional.  Each pre-order comes with a bookplate signed both by myself and Kathleen.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Proof Reveal for Messages from God Devotional: An Illuminated Devotional

This is from a project of mine where I collaborated with my dear friend and fellow Smithie to create a devotional.  It has been such a joy and wondrous experience to see this come to life.

This video shows me opening the proof copy the first time which was quite exciting!

Messages from God: An Illuminated Devotional will be launched on Amazon on September 12.  Please check out the website and sign up for our newsletter!

Enjoy and stay tuned for the book trailer - my next project!

Monday, March 6, 2017

50 Precious Words Entry

This is my entry for the Second Annual 50 Precious Words Contest hosted by Vivian Kirkland. The guidelines and other entries to this contest can be found in her blog post #50PreciousWords Writing Challenge is OPEN.

A fun little fact.  This was originally "The Peanut Butter Thief".  I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to test it out on a 4 year-old and a 5 year-old.  The 5 year-old said "I'm allergic to peanut butter, can you say almond butter instead?"  And so, in honor of all those kids who have a peanut allergy here is The Almond Butter Thief.

Almond Butter Thief (50 words) 

Mommy kisses me goodnight.
When the house is very quiet…I tiptoe tiptoe to the kitchen.
I open the almond butter and lick the spoon clean. Yum!  
I tiptoe tiptoe back to my bed.
I wake to Mommy saying “Wake up, almond butter thief!”
I wonder, “How did she know?”