Category Archives: Changing Directions

A Holiday Wish

Hi Friends,

I can’t believe I have neglected this blog for so long. I wanted to update you with the fact that children’s book number two is coming along nicely.

The past several months I have been overcommited, leading to missed deadlines and ignored blogs. But tonight a friend sent me this chain letter. Please forgive me that I have copied and will paste it here. In light of the recent tragic deaths we cannot understand or cope with, I felt this was an excellent piece. It is rather long, but you will enjoy it.

I do not know who the author is, or I would certainly acknowledge and credit their work.  I have reprinted it here in purple.

DANIEL’S GLOVES Please take the time and read.
 DANIEL’S GLOVES
I sat, with two friends, in the picture window of a quaint restaurant just off the corner of the town-square. The food and the company were both especially good that day. As we talked, my attention was drawn outside, across the street. There, walking into town, was a man who appeared to be carrying all his worldly goods on his back. He was carrying, a well-worn sign that read, ‘I will work for food.’ My heart sank. I brought him to the attention of my friends and noticed that others around us had stopped eating to focus on him. Heads moved in a mixture of sadness and disbelief. We continued with our meal, but his image lingered in my mind. We finished our meal and went our separate ways. I had errands to do and quickly set out to accomplish them. I glanced toward the town square, looking somewhat halfheartedly for the strange visitor. I was fearful, knowing that seeing him again would call some response. I drove through town and saw nothing of him.. I made some purchases at a store and got back in my car. Deep within me, the Spirit of God kept speaking to me: ‘Don’t go back to the office until you’ve at least driven once more around the square.’ Then with some hesitancy, I headed back into town. As I turned the square’s third corner, I saw him. He was standing on the steps of the store front church, going through his sack. I stopped and looked; feeling both compelled to speak to him, yet wanting to drive on. The empty parking space on the corner seemed to be a sign from God: an invitation to park. I pulled in, got out and approached the town’s newest visitor. ‘Looking for the pastor?’ I asked. ‘Not really,’ he replied, ‘just resting.’ ‘Have you eaten today?’ ‘Oh, I ate something early this morning.’ ‘Would you like to have lunch with me?’ ‘Do you have some work I could do for you?’ ‘No work,’ I replied.. ‘I commute here to work from the city, but I would like to take you to lunch.’ ‘Sure,’ he replied with a smile. As he began to gather his things, I asked some surface questions. ‘Where you headed?’ ‘ St. Louis ‘ ‘Where you from?’ ‘Oh, all over; mostly Florida .’ ‘How long you been walking?’ ‘Fourteen years,’ came the reply. I knew I had met someone unusual. We sat across from each other in the same restaurant I had left earlier. His face was weathered slightly beyond his 38 years. His eyes were dark yet clear, and he spoke with an eloquence and articulation that was startling. He removed his jacket to reveal a bright red T-shirt that said, ‘Jesus is The Never Ending Story.’ Then Daniel’s story began to unfold. He had seen rough times early in life. He’d made some wrong choices and reaped the consequences.. Fourteen years earlier, while backpacking across the country, he had stopped on the beach in Daytona. He tried to hire on with some men who were putting up a large tent and some equipment. A concert, he thought. He was hired. The tent would not house a concert, but revival services. In those services he saw life more clearly. He gave his life over to God ‘Nothing’s been the same since,’ he said. ‘I felt the Lord telling me to keep walking, and so I did, some 14 years now.’ ‘Ever think of stopping?’ I asked. ‘Oh, once in a while, when it seems to get the best of me; but God has given me this calling. I give out Bibles. That’s what’s in my sack. I work to buy food and Bibles, and I give them out when His Spirit leads.’ I sat amazed. My homeless friend was not homeless. He was on a mission and lived this way by choice. The question burned inside for a moment and then I asked: ‘What’s it like?’ ‘What?’ ‘To walk into a town carrying all your things on your back and to show your sign?’ ‘Oh, it was humiliating at first. People would stare and make comments. Once someone tossed a piece of half-eaten bread and made a gesture that certainly didn’t make me feel welcome. But then it became humbling to realize that God was using me to touch lives and change people’s concepts of other folks like me.’ My concept was changing, too. We finished our dessert and gathered his things. Just outside the door, he paused, turned to me and said, ‘Come Ye blessed of my Father and inherit the kingdom I’ve prepared for you. For when I was hungry you gave me food, when I was thirsty you gave me drink, a stranger and you took me in.’ I felt as if we were on holy ground. ‘Could you use another Bible?’ I asked. He said he preferred a certain translation. It traveled well and was not too heavy. It was also his personal favorite. ‘I’ve read through it 14 times,’ he said. ‘I’m not sure we’ve got one of those, but let’s stop by our church and see.’ I was able to find my new friend a Bible that would do well, and he seemed very grateful. ‘Where are you headed from here?’ I asked. ‘Well, I found this little map on the back of this amusement park coupon.’ ‘Are you hoping to hire on there for awhile?’ ‘No, I just figure I should go there. I figure someone under that star right there needs a Bible, so that’s where I’m going next.’ He smiled, and the warmth of his spirit radiated the sincerity of his mission. I drove him back to the town-square where we’d met two hours earlier. As we drove, it started raining. We parked and unloaded his things. ‘Would you sign my autograph book?’ he asked. ‘I like to keep messages from folks I meet.’ I wrote in his little book that his commitment to his calling had touched my life. I encouraged him to stay strong. And I left him with a verse of scripture from Jeremiah, ‘I know the plans I have for you, declared the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you; Plans to give you a future and a hope.’ ‘Thanks, man,’ he said. ‘I know we just met and we’re really just strangers, but I love you.’ ‘I know,’ I said, ‘I love you, too.’ ‘The Lord is good!’ ‘Yes, He is. How long has it been since someone hugged you?’ I asked. ‘A long time,’ he replied. And so on the busy street corner in the drizzling rain, my new friend and I embraced, and I felt deep inside that I had been changed. He put his things on his back, smiled his winning smile and said, ‘See you in the New Jerusalem.’ ‘I’ll be there!’ was my reply. He began his journey again. He headed away with his sign dangling from his bedroll and pack of Bibles.. He stopped, turned and said, ‘When you see something that makes you think of me, will you pray for me?’ ‘You bet,’ I shouted back, ‘God bless.’ ‘God bless..’ And that was the last I saw of him. Late that evening as I left my office, the wind blew strong. The cold front had settled hard upon the town. I bundled up and hurried to my car. As I sat back and reached for the emergency brake, I saw them – a pair of well-worn brown work gloves neatly laid over the length of the handle. I picked them up and thought of my friend and wondered if his hands would stay warm that night without them. Then I remembered his words: ‘If you see something that makes you think of me, will you pray for me?’ Today his gloves lie on my desk in my office. They help me to see the world and its people in a new way, and they help me remember those two hours with my unique friend and to pray for his ministry. ‘See you in the New Jerusalem,’ he said. Yes, Daniel, I know I will. ‘I shall pass this way but once. Therefore, any good that I can do or any kindness that I can show, let me do it now, for I shall not pass this way again.’ My instructions were to send this to four people that I wanted God to bless and I picked you. Please pass this to four people you want to be blessed. This prayer is powerful and there is nothing attached. Please do not break this pattern. Prayer is one of the best gifts we receive. There is no cost but a lot of rewards. Let’s continue to pray for one another. God bless and have a nice day! ‘Father, I ask you to bless my friends, relatives and e-mail buddies reading this right now. Show them a new revelation of your love and power. Holy Spirit, I ask you to minister to their spirit at this very moment. Where there is pain, give them your peace and mercy. Where there is self-doubt, release a renewed confidence through your grace, In Jesus’ precious name; Amen.’ I sent this to more than four, but this story is so touching I felt each of you would enjoy it greatly. GOD BLESS YOU MY FRIENDS

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Meet Becky

Usually I am careful not to include any personal information, but today I have such good news to share.

You can hop over to my Totally Random Shez to read the entire post or just click on this link to meet my beautiful granddaughter Becky. I am so proud of her. She is a beautiful young woman. She is the hardest working person I know and has earned every award that comes her way. She is also sweet, funny, kind and I LOVE her!! Tons.

I feel the same way about my other grandkids, they just are not grown up yet. They will be way before I am ready.

http://www.scacsports.com/awardsHonors/character_community/2011_2012/athletes_of_the_week/week19_female_b

WIP Part of Another Page

Things continue to be hectic, but I have managed to get in some art time nearly every day. This weekend I was the last in the family to succumb to the nasty virus that came home from school with our kindergartener and passed to brother, daddy, grandpa and just when I thought I had escaped…

I spent the weekend down as much as possible and mostly lounging in the living room in front of the fire with my laptop handy and my Bamboo tablet in my lap. Another full-page was completed, so being down for the count is not all bad. I cropped out a chunk of the page and am sharing it here with you.

Here Comes the Bride

This is Amanda. As you can tell, she is a very sweet girl. The book is in 32 page format and the first and end page are glued to the cover leaving 30 pages for: decorations aka the “end papers” which are complete; the title page is complete; the info page, mostly only needs the official ISBN;  of the remaining 25, 18 are completed, and the most difficult ones I tackled first.

If I could be sick again over the weekend I could make really good progress, but then we are left with a house that needs cleaning and laundry a la mode, AGAIN. Tonight I have split my time between dinner, blogs, illustration, sweeping, and have half the laundry done…and..tomorrow is another day.

Looking at this portion today, it looks like the shadow is too aggressive, so it may not be done yet. My next book will not have such complex and detailed pictures. This book started out in watercolors. I had an editor tell me it was “old fashion” and all they were looking for was “purple dinosaurs.” Not sure why I listened to her because the next editor said she “love the pictures, but it would conflict with a book they already had in the works.” Why didn’t I listen to editor number two? Not sure.

Maybe because I wanted to learn to illustrate on my computer. I never expected it to take me 40 hours (or more) per page. A water-color takes a day. But I love the consistency of the colors, if I could get past being too detailed it would have been done, but when “detailitise” strikes it becomes impossible to know when it IS DONE. Digital art means you can make changes until the cows come home, but it will always need just one more tiny detail fixed.

It was handy to have my laptop and my tablet with me on the long days in the hospital and the never-ending ones while mom was in hospice, both times. She was sleeping so much of the time but was so comforted when she was awake that I was there. Mom was also pleased to know I was working, it was important to her that I finish.

Team Luncheon

Here is the link to my post at Totally Random Shez. You might enjoy catching me there  where I show you the stuff from the luncheon. It was such an honor to have the Colorado College Women’s Basketball team to our house for lunch last Sunday. I think you will enjoy the pictures.

You can hop on over to Totally Random Shez through this link:

Colorado College Women’s Basketball team luncheon, a photo essay. http://wp.me/p1UxcC-82

Also I am excited to finally have a new company blog. Actually the company is not new, it has been around since 1997, it is the BLOG which is new. I’m thinking it might be a great way to spread the word about what we do. It is my day job.  And if you travel out-of-town or work during the day, you need to check out our line of products. It may be something you’ve been looking for.

It won’t cost you a penny to look. This is where I spend my days. http://wp.me/p242wM-1

Cheers!!

Shez

Be Careful What You Wish For

Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it. My friend dollyknickers recently commented on a post I did on Totally Random Shez. It showed some amazing light from the window. She wanted to know what the window looked like.

A couple of months ago I had taken photos of that window, because in one view there appears to be six very different scenes. I will post them here in order and the final one which depicts the window in total. Since the photo was taken indoors and the light outside was bright the window appears to have very dark stained wood moldings. In truth all of the woodwork is a very bright white. The camera can be so good at fooling us, when we think it always tells the truth.

Upper Left Close Up of Yellow/Green Leaves

Upper Middle The Dark Branch Swag That Always Fascinates Me With Its Deeply Draping Boughs.

Upper Right Is a Large Old Upright Branch Showing Off It's Moss and Lichens

Lower Right Is Above a Lush Tree Top Canopy

Lower Middle White Birch Branches Appear Against the Green

Lower Right Is a Tangle of Branches from Many Trees

The Upper Half of the Etched Panes Window

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To check out the light see my blog post at Totally Random Shez. I will add the link tomorrow. In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed this little window gallery of photos. It will be fun to take the same shots now that the leaves are gone. What would the window vignettes reveal?

Cheers,

Shez

Oh, please don’t forget to leave a comment. I do love to hear from you.

Women’s College Basketball

What a fabulous weekend. Our granddaughter’s Colorado College Women’s Basketball team made a rare trip to Oregon to play two games. Short drives from home for both. She is a senior this year and for many of her family and friends this was their last chance to see her play in person.

Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, college friends, friends forever well at least since preschool days were all there to cheer the team on. They didn’t win, but for the fans just being there was the most important element.

Check it out in detail at my Totally Random Shez blog. Here is the link:

http://wp.me/p1UxcC-7r

After such a busy weekend we hope to relax a bit and enjoy the upcoming Christmas Season. Our decorations are in place, the house is clean, left-overs for meals this week, and life should be less hectic. Perhaps a bit of time to catch up on a few odds and ends and also time to spend with my awesome hubs.

Best wishes to all,

Shez

From the Road Less Traveled 12.02.2011

 

Do-It-Yourself Project Finished

Hop on over to my other blog where I just posted some pictures of a small remodel my husband and I just completed.

http://wp.me/p1UxcC-63

I’d certainly love to hear back from you on what you think.

All the Best to all,

Shari