Deborah Burch knows that her life has been a series of miracles. Writing a book is just one more of them.
The words of the book came to me in a dream several years ago, she explains.
And I knew that I was supposed to write it. But, with five children at the time and a full-time job at the studio of artist Chris Roberts-Antieau, she wasn't quite sure where she was going to fit it in.
So, I wrote it down on a piece of paper and it got shoved in a drawer for like six years,she recalls. It's certainly not the first book that was inspired by a late-night dream or that got shelved for a lengthy period of time, but the next series of events that led to its publication might indeed fall under the classification of a miracle.
Burch, a graduate of Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, said that she
never considered herself an illustrator.
A graphic artist, maybe, she said.
In school, the illustrators were always the cream of the crop, the top of the class. That wasn't me.
She sent the book off to a classmate in Texas, asking her to illustrate one page, but it never panned out. And still, the poem on which the book is based sat in Burch's drawer at home.
Finally, in passing, I was talking to a friend, who owns the Coffee News, she said.
We are always trying to come up with businesses together … anyway, I told her about my book one day and she told her husband. He happened to be talking with a publisher in Canton, who wanted to advertise in their newsletters, and one day while I was on the phone with him he got a call from them. He said she was very excited to talk to me and I needed to contact them right away, she says.
So, a series of seemingly unrelated events led Deb Burch to Canton this past Ash Wednesday, March 1 to talk with a company that publishes books that glorify God.
The consultant looked at my one attempt at illustration and she said, Burch recalls.
Deb, you have to illustrate this book,
So that night I went to Hobby Lobby and they
happened to have scrapbooking papers on sale at that time. I bought a whole bunch of them and used the same technique as Chris uses with her fabric art, except I use paper … and that's how I got it illustrated.
By Easter morning, the last illustration for her book was completed.
I can only say that it was incredibly orchestrated by the Lord, she says.
I got up at 5a.m. before my children would get up and if the Lord hadn't given me that push I would not have set aside the time to make sure it would really come together.
She is looking forward to publication of her book, "God's Greatest Gift," which will be a hard-cover book with a jacket, published this fall. She will market it and the publisher will also assist in promoting the book,
probably on a much grander scale than I can,according to Deb. Deb's husband, Dan is in sales so
of course he's all over it, she says with a chuckle. For her own promotion, Burch already has book signings set up with the Coffee Mill and Tina Furnari at Frank's Place.
By the time her first book is on the market, she will be putting the finishing
touches on her second book, about giving thanks.
My first book is all about love, she says.
It's the kids, of course — our children are the most important part of our life together and each of our children have a page of the book that is dedicated especially to them. The book itself is dedicated to Debbie's husband, Dan, and their six living children. A seventh pregnancy ended in miscarriage and in honor of her children, on each page there is a symbolism of the number seven … whether it is horses, raindrops, stars or flowers,
there is something on every page of the book that relates to the number seven.
You have to look to see what they are, Burch says.
It's a special thing and it is all about miracles and life and love.
Burch has a sincere and deep-rooted belief that her family is, indeed, a miracle—one
certainly not of her own making.
I had just about given up on finding someone, she said when talking about meeting her husband.
I had gone to college and moved away and then I came back and I didn't know what to do with my life. I had been praying about it because I had dated enough men and it wasn't getting any easier. Dan and I had been in the same class together but we met again only by chance.
Although both of them were members at St. Mary's in Manchester, it just so happened that one morning both Deborah Bauer and Daniel Burch were walking into St. Dominic's in Clinton at the same time.
He walked in front of me and I was somehow pushed right into him, right off my feet, she says.
I looked up and saw him and I went home and told a friend that I'd just met the man I was going to marry. And I did … and we've been very happy.
The miracles didn't end there. The couple was given only a two percent chance that they would be able to conceive a child on their own.
We offered it up in prayer at that point, she says. Shortly afterward, Deb got pregnant with their oldest daughter, Danielle, who will be a freshman in high school this fall. And the rest, as they say, is history.
It's almost like everything I've done in my life up to this point, has led to this, she says, speaking once again about her book.
I've worked in the printing industry; I went to college for art and design, and then I had my six kids … and then working for Chris, it all came together for me to do this book.The thing is, (writing a book) is the last thing I'd ever have thought I'd do and here it is. The Lord leads you down certain paths and He makes your weaknesses your strengths.
It's a very cool thing that I've found a whole new career virtually by accident.
Deb Burch knows she has much to be grateful for. It's no wonder that her next book will be about giving thanks ... to family, to friends, to mentors, and most of all, to God.