Wednesday, June 2, 2010

On Enjoying the Journey

Lately, I have been really enjoying some things in my life.  Really enjoying.  Things like the words my kids speak.  Quirky words.  Surprisingly insightful words.  Deeping touching words.  Hilarious words.  Laugh-out-loud hilarious words. 

Enjoying the little things they do.  For example, I write in my books.  Highlight, underline, star, journal in the margins.  My books are all like journals or workbooks filled with notes.  The better the book, the more notations I have in it.  Today, Erin, my 3 year old daughter, who is learning the letters in her name and to "match things", picks up a pencil and on a page of my book, she writes two capital E's in the margin, traces two lower case e's in the name, "esther", circles two places she found the word "to" and circles this phrase, "I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:18-20, HCSB).  Did I thoroughly enjoy that?  You bet I did.  Did I laugh and smile?  You bet I did.  Did I pay close attention to the phrase she circled not knowing how to read?  Yes indeed, you better believe that I did.

And other things too.  Butterflies.  Today there are about ten in my flowers that I haven't planted yet.  So I revel in taking pictures of them while they land on my sleeve, in my hair.  One butterfly has part of its wing missing, but it just keeps flying effortlessly around my blooming chives.  I am completely enjoying myself.

Painting and Collage.  I am getting visions of pieces that I want to create.  I have notes and sketches jotted down in my journals  of creations I want to do.  Yesterday I spoke a very bold goal to Tommy on the way home from the library.  After browsing the art displays in the the library over the past few months, I said that my goal is to be the featured artist in the Sturgis Library, but I didn't know if it would be photographs or art or a mixture of both.  And my 10-year-old son says, "Do what your heart tells you way deep down inside.  You know what you should do.  I would go to the library every day to look at your pictures." (We live 60 miles away from the library.)  Did I enjoy those words?  You bet I did.

I am happy.  Happy.

And yet there has been this nagging little voice trying to mess that up.  Like...very accusing thoughts.  Accusing of things like irresponsibility.  Insignificant.  Even idolatry.  A "who do you think you are" voice.  A "how dare you be so audacious to be happy when so many people are not" voice.

So, I pray.  I share with a friend about this feeling and ask for her prayers.

So here is what happened. 

I just started this e-course given by Kelly Rae Roberts called "Flying Lessons:  Tips & Techniques to Help Your Creative Business Soar".  I am reading the second day (day before yesterday) and I am stopped.  Stopped at this:  "Who did I think I was to be having so much fun and enjoying life so much?" she names this fear that she is/was having.  This is right where I have been in the past few weeks.  And then she encourages that we are to "own our joy.  Own our journey into our creativity"...that I have earned this feeling of soaring.  Yes.  I have stepped through some HUGE fears in the past six months and year to live what I authenticly enjoy and feel very much called to do.  HUGE fears.  Night after night of restless sleep and nightmares.  Wrestling with God.  Wrestling with myself.  Wrestling with my thoughts.  Wrestling with old beliefs and old dreams I no longer wanted to pursue.  And then, taking steps through those fears.  At last, no more wrestling.  And then, slowly it creeps in-- a new thing to wrestle with:  guilt over enjoying my life that I stepped into.  Am I encouraged to hear that I am not alone?  You bet I am.

Today, I am reading my Beth Moore Bible study on Esther.  And here is what I read.  "Day Five.  A Time of Happiness.  "For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor."  Esther 8:16"  And then Beth writes, "when a time of happiness comes, I think we ought to take it and run."  And she writes, "Beloved, when a moment like this comes, we need to take it."  And, "One of the hardest challenges about taking advantage of a God-given time of happiness is the guilt of knowing that it coincides with someone else's sadness."  And she writes, "it is meant to be medicine for our souls."  {I had journaled that very phrase recently in a prayer journal...that this time was medicine for my soul.}  And, "When God intervenes and we get a chance to know we're blessed and to feel blessed, nothing is more appropriate than seizing the happy moment."

So do I feel like my prayers were answered?  You bet I do.  Do I think that the timing was a specific answer to my personal prayer, my personal question to God, the Creator of the universe?  You bet I do.  Does this feel extremely vulnerable and bold at the same time to post this?  You bet it does.  But I am facing my fear, being authentic and posting it anyway.

I am happy right now.  I am enjoying my life right now.  I enjoy my man and my kids right now.  I own my happiness. 

Times will come that will be a challenge and painful and sad and unhappy.  So, right now I will enjoy it while the happiness is here to have.  Without guilt.  Without fear.  Because with each time in life, God gives the grace and strength to handle what comes.  And He gives gifts of happiness to enjoy on our journey that remind us of where we going in the end with Him.  I believe that.

Photos and text by Jodene (Jodi) Shaw.  Copyright June 2, 2010.


  1. :-) LOVE your photos. Smiling at your guilt-free happiness.

  2. Thanks Joan! You have taught me much about that subject in my well-work copy of your book Relief of Imperfection and coaching!

  3. Happiness is a GIFT from God!!! ENJOY!! My daily prayer has always been..............may my children be happy and enjoy life!!!!!!!! Love, Mom

  4. it's so great not just be happy in a moment, but to really appreciate it like you are! :)

  5. Glad you like the pictures, Jenn. Thanks for stopping in Kerri!

  6. What a beautiful moment with your daughter... just precious!!

    I am SO loving Kelly's class! I have not read all the posts yet, I feel like I could read them over and over and learn something new each time. :)

    I see you joined in the 'Where Blogger's Create' party... I did too... I'll have to find your post!

    I am glad you posted this on the FB Flying page so I could stop by!


  7. This is such a beautiful post! very inspirational! Thank you so much for sharing this with us!! I am so happy i came to visit you here! Have a lovely merry happy day and love to yoU!

  8. What a fabulous excellent post! Thank you for sharing it! LOVE the pictures! ♥


Welcome ~ share your beautiful thoughts.