Friday, November 11, 2011

Chasing my dream, God always shows up!

Ok so I am in the last stages of corrections for my book, "An Umbrella In Case of Rain," Art and Poetry for the Soul. Just found out that I had to narrow my page count down in order to achieve the book cost of $31.99. I am excited!!!  It will be available just in time for Christmas, great for presents.

It was hard to decide which poems to delete but I decided to delete "Tears in a Bottle," there were several corrections that still had to be made- in other words it was the low hanging fruit. I will save this poem to add to  "An Umbrella In Case of Rain," Art and Poetry for the Soul" Volume 2. Any way the poem is dedicated for all my sisters (and brothers) who have ever suffered through pain and disappointment. When all looks bleak, you will soon realize that everything works out according to God's plan.

Don't want to be preachy, just telling you what I know and not just what I think.

Tears in a Bottle
By Lisa M. Cliff
Don’t fret my sister for God knows what you need even before you do
These sudden changes are really growth opportunities meant just for you

To expand your horizons, to stretch, to explore and to learn
To trust in the Almighty giving him all of your concerns

He knows the very number of hairs on your precious head
He’s heard your every prayer and has heard your every dread

He knows the things you love and the things you like the least
Opening doors of opportunities, closing what needs to be released

He is with you in your darkest hour and at your brightest joy
His hand is on your shoulder and all your pain he will destroy

For He has compassionately watched you weeping and has captured every tear
Storing your teardrops in a bottle, he knows your heartache is sincere

But he has a bigger vision, a plan to bless and prosper you
All the tears he has collected, he will give what you are due

Blessings of harmony, prosperity, good health and peace of mind
For your tears have paid the price and your faith has paid the fine.

And from the perfect perfume bottle he will sprinkle you with your tears 
For you have been a good and faithful servant and to Him you are loved and dear

The orginal painting as above can be seen and is availabe for sale at the Homeport Gallery 779 E Long St.

Hope you liked it, is a small sampling of what you can expect from the book. There are some funny and some inspirational poems, all meant to make you stop and think. For every poem, I share one of my images. Please be on the look out for a special email announcing the book release. I had hoped to have it ready before the closing of my show at the Homeport gallery
 which end Nov. 30. Will keep you posted. 

Investing time and money in a book is quiet daunting. It is a process that I worried and prayed over. With my Dad's encouragement, I began to explore this opportunity. I wondered if I had what it takes or would anyone be interested in what I had to say. Anyway, I started the process by selecting the poems, I chose the ones I liked best, then assigned a project committee. I needed two sharp good friends to agree with me in faith and found that in my great friends Art and Theresa. It takes someones true friendship and belief in you to commit to proof read about 75 poems, and narrow them down to about 40. Even with their support, I still had questions about the idea of a book. In my work travels for Glory Foods, I do my best writing on planes where there are no distractions. Today, I wanted to share another story of God's grace and how when you least expect it, he will send a profound message to you just when you need to hear it. The story goes like this:

I was on an airplane and brought my computer and my stack of poems in order to proof read and make corrections. One by one, I re-read and made changes or added  lines of each of about 20 or so poems. I had a middle seat and I thought the lady next to me was sleep. We had no conversation. I was purely focused on the work at hand. When the pilot made the announcement that we were 20 minutes away and had to shut down electronics, I began to pack up. Putting  the computer away, thesaurus a way etc. I dropped a few things on the floor and the lady next to me kindly helped me pick them up; one of the items that I dropped was my ticket stub, which the lady picked up, she looked at it and gasped "You're Lisa Cliff?" it caught me off guard, I said yes. "You wrote all those poems?" yes, I replied and without prompting she said, "Oh I Would Read a Book of Your Poems!"       

Now yaw know that was only God!!, she could have said, you're really good or I like your writing, no at a time when I am second guessing myself, God showed up (again) in his infinite wisdom, giving me exactly what I needed, "Oh I Would Read a Book of Your Poems!"  I never mentioned a book to this lady, we didn't exchange one word. I'm telling you, when you are open to listen, God will whisper what you need in the strangest of people and places. Just be open and walk by faith not by sight....Listen with your heart. He shows up for me, he will show up for you.         
In the mean time that was the confirmation that I needed and I am on full alert looking and listening for my next opportunity to show my work as well as looking for black book stores to schedule book signings. I also plan to participate in book exhibitions around the country like the Zora Neale Huston literature festival in January just outside of Orlando. I will also be submitting my work for the Columbus Arts Festival this year, it is a juried process. Last year I missed the final round by about 2 points. To offer some insight into the process, artist from around the country but especially OH, submit 4 photographs of their work and a jury of 4-6 professionals make the selections. So this year please say a prayer for that my work will impress the judges enough to get me in.    

Remember, I am trying to make a living out of doing what I love. This is not just for fun and games 

Ok folks thats all I have for this week. Thanks again for supporting me on my journey, please share this blog with your friends and family. I cannot do this without you.

Please comment, sharing your own testimony about how God has strangely showed up for you when you least expected it.

Also if you get a chance please check out my girl "Layla Hathaways" new CD. She is one of my favorite neo soul sistsas. She did a remake of one of my favorite songs, "I'm coming back." Go out and buy the cd, not just get a copy of it, I know she needs your support too. 

Until next time, peace out and be blessed! 
Lisa M. Cliff

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