No matter what::making myself naked {and a giveaway}...














Vulnerable is the only way we can feel when we truly share the art we've made. When we share it, when we connect, we have shifted all the power and made ourselves naked in front of the person we've given the gift of our art to. We have no excuses, no manual to point to, no standard operating procedure to protect us. And that is part of our gift.
After months and months of writing, editing, designing and releasing, the small gift book Robbi Cary and I have collaborated on for over three years was released to the world in April, but to very little, if any, fanfare from me here on Pollywog Creek.

For two reasons: 1) I'm tired - exhausted, actually. I think the greatest toll of chronic illness is fatigue. With limited energy reserves, I've made the important-to-me, urgent, must-write or accomplish tasks a priority. But mostly 2) I'm scared - afraid of the "nakednes" - calling myself a photographer - a wannabe psalmist with a camera, even - and then putting my art out there for a price.

It's humbling and fearful.

And if you know anything about me, you know I don't sell my photos {although that might change a little in the future, and I'll explain more in another post later this week}. I consider my photography to be a free gift that is meant to be freely given to others.

Yes, I've been paid for some of my photos, but only because 1) the organization that used some of them insisted, and 2) my photos were part of ghostwriting assignments for which I receive compensation.

Please hear my heart in this - there is nothing wrong with earning an income from photography or any gift, for that matter. This is simply something between my heart and my God. I explain that and why I don't add a watermark to my photos in greater detail here, but essentiallyI view my photography as capturing an image of what God created - like a xerox copy of a book - so if I place a watermark on my photos, I'd be compelled to make it something like this: Photography by the Creator, Genesis 1.1-31. 

But here's where I'm stuck: I'm not the only person whose name is on the cover of the book. I owe that honor to my beautiful friend Robbi Cary - who conceived this project over three years ago, and asked me to work with her; and it is Robbi who has invested much time, energy, and other resources to make our book a reality. I owe it to Robbi and to God to be vulnerable and naked and to say "Here is our gift - would you please consider ordering a copy or two or three and sharing this gift with others?"

Robbi and I are likely never to receive a single penny from bringing this project to fruition. We didn't work all these months praying, writing, editing, and designing No Matter What, It's a Good Day When in the hope of receiving any reward or compensation, but out of a mutual desire to offer the gifts God has graciously and freely given to us that others might know and be encouraged by God's faithful, overwhelming, abundant love and goodness, no matter what the day brings.

No Matter What, It's a Good Day When is not a naive, pollyanna response to the deep suffering and hurts of life. Robbi and I have not been nor do we continue to be strangers to overwhelming griefs and pain. This little book is just as much for us as it is for anyone else. A few weeks ago, just before our book went to print, I picked up the latest proof and read straight through - not with an editorial eye, but with a heart and soul that needed to be reminded of the truths we share with short prose, scripture and a photo. I experienced afresh the joy and peace I felt when Robbi sent me the very first draft over three years ago, and I was reminded why we persevered in getting this little book published.
God is good no matter what happens. 
~ Ann Voskamp
I'd love to give away 2 copies of No Matter What, It's a Good Day When. One copy will go to someone who leaves a comment telling us how they have experienced a "good day" by knowing God's love and goodness in a difficult season. The other copy will go to someone who shares in a comment why they would like to give the book to someone else who needs to know God's love and goodness. The giveaway will close at midnight Sunday, June 1st, and the winners, chosen randomly, will be announced the following day. 

If you don't want to wait for a chance to win {or even if you do}, you can order a copy of our book here.

And if you're so inclined, it sure would be a Good Day for me, if you would share this post with others, and maybe subscribe to Pollywog Creek, too.