Tuesday, March 29, 2011

This Is The Stuff

Lately, the song of my life is

"In the middle of my little mess

I forget how big I'm blessed."

In the middle of my little mess,

I receive this card from a friend.

believe . . . keep believing . . . God will show you his plans . . . awesome

What a blessing

in the middle of my


We live on a ranch.

We are in the middle of calving season in March.

When the calendar



But the weather



The song says,

This is the stuff

that drives me crazy.

This is the stuff

that's getting to me lately.

{That's not mud on those mud boots.}

Sing it Francesca . . .

this is the stuff that gets under my skin

but i've got to trust

You know exactly what You're doing

In the middle of my little mess, I forget how big I'm blessed.

My husband just said,
"3 inches of snow forcasted for tomorrow night,
very wet,
very stressful on livestock
especially young livestock...
"how about stressful for my man?" I think.

Go Francesca . . .

might not be what I would choose

but this is the stuff You use . . .

. . . to break me of impatience
conquer my frustration

it's not the end of the world

This is my "mess" of wood
ready for creativity
not to mention the creative mess
that was on my kitchen island.
My husband helped cut these boards
when I am sure he felt like doing something else.

In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I'm blessed.

A messy pile of wood was the start
of these two prints
of mixed media art that I made this year.
Two photos in my brand new
just opened yesterday.
Step by step into the life I want to be living.
I am so glad God rejoices over me with singing in my process
so glad that He is transforming me from glory-to-glory into the image of Christ
so glad he will carry on to completion the work He has begun in me.

This is the stuff that's getting to me lately . . .

But He uses it mess and all
step by step
in our life.
I am blessed

Linking up with Jen and these sisters:
Finding Heaven

Friday, March 25, 2011

Vote for Black Hills Photo Shootout Shots

Last fall, I attended the
and had a fabulous time!
For all of you photographers,
this year it will be held  September 30 - October 2, 2011
in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota.
Part of why I so loved this event
is because I am always seeking the treasures of beauty and meaning
that are right here where I am.
I did not have to travel far from home to attend
this fabulous event and soak in the beauty of my state
and learn and see fascinating history.

The Shootout is currently working with
South Dakota Magazine hoping to have a spread
in an upcoming issue.
Black Hills Photo Shootout
is asking for two of our best shots for consideration in the spread.

After scanning through my photos,
these four are the shots that I am considering for submission.
The first two are from
a session I attended called
Black Hills Closeups in beautiful Spearifish Canyon
well known for fall colors.

The third shot
I took of my photography friend Dede and I
in a motorcylce rearview mirror
at Boondock's south of Deadwood.

And this fourth is of photographer Paul Horsted.
His book Exploring with Custer is at his feet.
He revisted the sites of
the very first photographs ever taken of the Black Hills
and took current photos of the same sites.
These photos and the experience and history
of the 1874 Black Hills Expedition are the basis of the book.
Dede & I had the unique opportunity
of attending Paul's session as he took us to several
of these sites.
It was an amazing experience of seeing history
and how many of the same rocks and tree stumps
are still there 150 years later!

I included two versions of this last shot:
the original and an edited.

I would love if you would vote for TWO shots
in the comment section!

I am so honored to share what is happening
in my studio this week with these ladies
linking up with Jennifer at Studio JRU!
sneak peek

P.S.  I am working hard at getting pictures and descriptions
of some of my art and photography up on my new ETSY site!
I am super excited and cannot wait to announce when it is OPEN!
You can sign up for my newsletter at the very top of my blog
if you would like to receive the announcement
of the shop opening and of the upcoming events
at which I will be displaying and selling my art and photography.

photos copyright 2010 Jodene (Jodi) Shaw.
All photos are property of Jodene Shaw.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011



You are not a toddler.

You are a

"growing big girl"

who said,

"let's have clown hats!"

March twenty-two.

The day you have waited for.

"Why did you close your eyes?" I ask.

" 'Cause I 'uz makin' a wish!"



You live life fully.

With gust.

With abundance.

You are

all in.

That is how you live.

Often it exhausts me.

But mostly,

it inspires me




2011 copyright & property of Jodene (Jodi) Shaw.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sneak Peek ~ Works In Progress

This is my first run
with matting prints . . .
I am so excited!

I'm also working on this piece.
A dear friend recently lost her mother.
She had a box of classic vintage patterns
that she was giving away.
I said that I would love to make some projects with them!
This is the first one.
The theme is Romans 12:2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

I am using oil paints.
I haven't used them many times
mainly because of
drying time and clean-up.
But I love the vibrancy in the oils.

Erin also suggested
we take a "nice little relaxing walk".

"You can take your camera, Mom,
and take pictures.
It will be so relaxing."

So we did.
And it was

Looking forward to seeing what
my other friends are working on
in their studios

sneak peek

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Whole Heart

"We pour out our misery, God just hears a melody . . . "
Better Than a Hallelujah ~ Amy Grant.

This is me.

I give You
what I have to give.

My whole heart.

My searching.

My anger.

My desperation.

My complaints.

My crying.

My distress.

My shame.

My unforgiveness.

My anxieties.

My cares.

My worries.

My grief.

My doubt.

My brokenness.

My trust.

My joy.

My hope.

My boldness.

My timidity.

My faith.

My belief.

My love. 

My praise.

My song.

My victory.

My triumph.

My milestone.

My celebration.

My confidence.

My courage.

My worship.

My authentic heart.

Right now.

All of it.

Here it is.

This is me.


I am getting ready to start
Stepping Up: A Journey Through the Psalms of Ascent
by Beth Moore
with a group of ladies.
I picked up my book today.
You know I couldn't resist reading the first day!
To close the day's lesson,
Beth suggested that we could worship
in our emotions instead of pushing them aside to worship.
Then she suggested thumbing through the Psalms
and writing down some of the expressive words.
As I thumbed through,
the most common words I seemed to see were
"cry out".
It reminded me of Amy Grant's song quoted above and here:
"God loves a lullaby in a mother's tears in the dead of night
better than hallelujah sometimes . . .
God loves a drunkard's cry, a soldier's plea not to let him die
 . . . beautiful, the mess we are, the honest cries
of breaking hearts
are better than a hallelujah."

Which inspired me to write "my whole heart".
He wants our whole heart . . . all of it.
Not just the good image stuff.
All of it.
Living sacrifice.

Sharing some of my latest art.
A little hand-sized commissioned piece
with the theme verse from the women's retreat.
A surprise piece that I will unveil soon . . .
I just keep getting new ideas for it.
And the shadow box that I finished a month ago
for my sweet friend
to remember God's miracles.

Copyright 2011 ~ Jodene (Jodi) Shaw.

Monday, March 14, 2011

~ Back From Taxes ~


Here I am.

I took an unintentional blog break over the past week

as I finished my taxes.

All that




mixed with the

weird emotions,

{like facing fear, inadequacy, shame, never-enough}


I have


that area of my life


a photo break.

It is those

times that

I feel like

I am going out of

my ever-loving-mind

that drive me outside

with my camera.

To restore

my sanity.



~ He restores my soul ~ Psalm 23:3 ~


My heart is heavy for those in Japan.
My little time with taxes is nothing.
Draw Japan into your arms, Lord, draw them in.
Come, Lord Jesus. Come.

My husband and I watched the movie
The Book of Eli
last night.
Thought provoking and gut-wrenching.
Not for the faint of heart.
Disturbing, yes.
(Like, Mom...Linda V...don't watch it.)
Hard to describe the emotion, though,
when I saw those words flashing
on the printing press.
Do not want to spoil it for anyone.
But the fight for the end meant much.
Anyone else see it?
Drop me an email.
I'd be interested in your thoughts.
Linking up with these lovely ladies:

Photos copyright 2011 Jodene (Jodi) Shaw.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tax Break

I have been working

on taxes.

Am I normal

that I get all kinds of funky


with this project?

Every year.

So the kids and I took a needed

tax break

this afternoon.

And laughed.

And laughed

And laughed.

That is the good stuff.

That is what is really valuable.




Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Walk In Love

~from my journal 1/31/2011~

When you ask Erin what she wants to be when she grows up,
she answers with one of three things:
a princess, a basketball coach, a doctor.
She will be four years old on March "twenty-two" as she says.

Today I came home from church with a headache.
Seems I don't get minor headaches,
only major,
"pull the shades and put a pillow over my head
give me silence and darkness"
"I'm worried 'bout you, Mommy."
Erin says.

That afternoon, Erin had been her normal
boisterous, stubborn, high-spirited, loud self. 
I could hear her on the other side of the door with Tom and Syd,
with her vehement protests when she didn't get her way.

But then I heard the door softly open.
It was Erin.
"Hi," I said quietly. "Will you come snuggle with me?"

"Where do you hurt, Mama?" she asked softly.
She planted a magical kiss on my neck where I pointed
and patted my collar bone with a tender, gentle hand.
"I'm so sorry you don't feel good."
Nodding her head with big sincere eyes, she said,
"I promise I won't let you die."

Touch.  A soft voice. 
I was amazed at the healing in that.
Those simple things.

And then, all with soft footsteps and voice,
here is what she did:
*brought me her Goodnight Moon book and whispered,
"I found it under my dresser.  It's a great book."
*"Oh!  I'll get you my blanket to snuggle.  That will make you feel better."
She sweetly, gently brought her favorite blanket
and tucked it under my cheek.
*"I'm going to get you something special
Something breakable
And I'm going to give it to you."
She came back with a Cinderella button pin from Disney World
that said "happily ever after",
which she had gotten off of her special, breakable shelf
in her bedroom.
I knew without seeing her that she had
"risked her life" and
climbed up on her sister's dresser to get it.
*brought me a picture she had drawn of me on yellow construction paper,
and said, "Here this is for you," lying it on my stomach.

Every so often she would pat me with her little hands.
And I was amazed.
Amazed at the healing of touch
and a soft, gentle voice.
Amazed at the healing of sweet gifts.
And amazed at her loving compassion for me when I felt bad.
She was gifted in this.
And she was giving from a very special place within her heart
that was swelling with sincerity.
With love.

I was thinking that this is exactly what people need
when they are hurt, ill, sick, recovering.
This is healing.
This is compassion.
This helps.
This is love.

I remembered that she has said,
"When I grow up, I'm going to be a doctor."

"Yes," I thought.  "This is exactly the kind of doctor that people need."
One who looks into your eyes and says,
"I will help you.  I care about you."
And then loves you with their actions and words and touch
as they care.

Before she was done,
she had also brought me 
a pillow for my neck warmed in the microwave,
colored in a princess book beside me,
did a puppet show,
brought her photo book from Disney,
gave me a doll,
made a lite brite picture,
and brought popcorn.

I said, "Erin, you really make me feel cared for.
You are good at this.
You give me . . . "
I hesitated and started to say compassion
when she finished my sentence with
"Yes," I said, "niceness.  You give niceness."

When I came home from church that afternoon,
after hearing a sermon on binding up our wounds
and pressing on through the battle in our pain,
I had prayed.
"What would you do with this, Lord?
What are you going to do with me now,
with this headache
in which I am just laying here in the dark and silence?"

And this is what He did.
He showed me through my daughter
what love is.
What giftedness is with love.
How showed me her gift--
something from within
this high-spirited, determined, rule-resistant child
that was of Him.
Was a spiritual gift with love.
He showed me the power
of tender touch
a kind word spoken.
That it is indeed healing to the bones.

Gentle words.
In love.

This was
walking in love.

This is what I read at the womens retreat
leading in to our Bible study
last month
on "Walking in Love".
I had known that the Lord had led me
to write the study on spiritual gifts walked out in love,
but not what I would introduce the study with.
He gave me this experience
through my own pain of a migraine.
And I clearly knew
this was the real-life story to share
walking in love.


I love that He teaches me
about Him
and about living life
through my kids.


Finding Heaven

Honored to be linking up with Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood.