Sunday, September 29, 2013

Think on these things.

Finally, brothers and sisters,

whatever is true, 

whatever is noble, 

whatever is right, 

whatever is pure,

 whatever is lovely,

whatever is admirable

if anything is excellent or praiseworthy

think about such things.

Philippians 4:8

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise . . .  Psalm 100:4

The following is an excerpt from my online Prairie Song summer class from summer 2012:

Gratitude.  Thankfulness.  Seeing the goodness.  Finding the beauty in everyday life. 

It makes a difference.
It is to enter a sacred place.  
A holy, priceless state of being.  
Psalm 100:4 says to enter his gates with thanksgiving, his courts with praise.  
To have thanksgiving and praise takes us into the very presence of God.

This morning I walked for over an hour with my camera falling in absolute decadent love with purple coneflowers, dew drops, the sound of my feet on wet gravel after a rain, fence lines, birds singing, my daughter riding her bike through a rain puddle, and my beagle soaked in grass dew.  My heart swelled with gratitude, with thankfulness for this very place in which I live.  I wondered if the first ten years of my marriage and living on the prairie, if all of it was there then.  Did the coneflowers bloom every summer?  Were the dewdrops scattered like tiny diamonds in the morning sunlight?  Did the birds sing so sweetly?  Because I don't remember any of that from 1996 - 2006.  It does not stand out in my mind.  But certainly they were there.  But my eyes were not open...

I noticed, as I walked, as I photographed, how fulfilled I felt.  
How satisfied.  
Really?  I could be so happy with such a simple thing?  
Yes.  I could.  
It felt sacred, 
It felt . . . with God.  
And also giddy, delighted, indulgent.

Over a year later,
walking in the cool of the day
with my camera
helps me live
Philippians 4:8
in the fall.

Think on these things.

That is what focus and seeking light and beauty helps me to do.
This is what photography is to me.
No matter the season.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

On The Art Table

My art table has been busy lately.

So I wanted to share some peeks at what I've been working on . . . 

I have made a pile of "smalls" that I will sell at very affordable prices
as soon as the finishing work is done.

Here is one:

My fall schedule is getting packed.
If you are in the South Dakota area,
I'd love to have you visit at one of these events!

Jodene Shaw , Mixed Media Art & Photography
Fall 2013 Schedule of Events

October 3-4:  Art for Sale at Rural Women In Ag ConferenceK-Bar-S Lodge, Keystone, SD

October 12:  “Note To Self” Mixed Media Art Class, 1-5:00, Sturgis Photo and Gifts, Main Street Sturgis, SD, Call Terri Jo at 605-347-6570 to reserve your spot; $50 per person {Art supplies provided}

October 19:  Art for sale at Cowgirls and Cocktails 12:30-5:00, Best Western Ramkota, 920 W. Sioux Ave. Pierre, SD

October 20:  “Wholehearted Gratitude” Mixed Media Art Class ~ gratitude journal project; 1:00-5:00 at Scrappin’ Ladies, 
346 S. Pierre St., Pierre, SD; Email Jodi at to reserve your spot or contact Lynne at Scrappin Ladies or Amy Hertel; $50 per person  {Art supplies provided}

November 2: Pinedale Bazaar, Pinedale Elementary School, 4901 West Chicago, Rapid City, SD; 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

November 3: Wholehearted Gratitude Day Retreat, Jon Crane Gallery, 256 Main Street, Hill City, SD; I will be teaching the “Wholehearted Gratitude” Mixed Media Art gratitude journal project at this day-retreat event {additional details, activities and times TBA} {Art supplies provided}

November 7“Wholehearted Gratitude” ~ gratitude journal project; 6:00-9:00 p.m.; Sturgis Photo and Gifts, Main Street Sturgis, SD, Call Terri Jo at 605-347-6570 to reserve your spot; $50 per person {Art supplies provided}

December 7: “Let It Go” Mixed Media Art Class, 1-5:00; Sturgis Photo and Gifts, Main Street Sturgis, SD, Call Terri Jo at 605-347-6570 to reserve your spot; $50 per person {Art supplies provided}

To get schedule updates,
*Follow me on facebook here:  Jodene Shaw Mixed Media Art and Photography
*Sign up for my newsletter here:  Jodene Shaw Newsletter

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Heavenly Rain

Last night, 
while I had supper cooking,
I looked out the window.

And the raindrops
were like tiny lights
all over everything.

Isn't it amazing
how you can water, water, water,

and it never greens up
rain from the sky?

Counting blessings
of seven tenths
and sparkling raindrops
and rain fresh air.

Breathing it in deep.

Just like snow machines
can make snow, but not beautiful snowflake crystals,
our sprinklers
can never create God's rain.
It is just not the same.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Dewdrops: Discovering Abundance and Strength

Monday morning.

Before the wind.


Billions of tiny dewdrops.

Dewdrops accompany God's abundance and provision and grace.

{When the dew fell on the camp at night, the manna would fall with it.  Numbers 11:9}

Nourishment.  {You are not abandoned.  You are not alone.}

{ a land of grain and new wine; his heavens also drop down dew. Deut. 33:28}

"Like dew, grace is a surprising gift that cannot be handmade or manufactured." 
~ Priscilla Shirer
~ Gideon: Your weakness God's strength

{Now may God give you of the dew of heaven,
and of the fatness of the earth, and an abundance of grain and new wine. Genesis 27:28}

~ the dew of heaven ~

~ abundance ~

~ grace ~

~ His strength in my weakness ~

~ like a spiderweb ~

~ how strong it is . . . and yet how delicate ~

It did not rain.
Yet, when I returned home,
my socks and shoes were squishing soaked.

Tiny dew drops.
Abundant moisture.

Washed feet . . .

{deep breath}

Oh my . . . I didn't see it until now...
as I walked, my wet feet caused me to want to turn back,
but now . . .

the dew of heaven


washed my feet.

And I remember this that I shared with my friend Michelle earlier this summer.
A fresh perspective on Jesus washing Peter's feet . . .

Michelle enjoys doing laundry for others.
The first response is to come to mind is often, "Come on over! I've got plenty."
But then, the thought of . . . "oh, I don't want anybody to see my dirty laundry."

And this is what I shared with her in all of my run-on sentences . . .
 and what has remained with me...
accepting grace...

Michelle, do you know how Christ-like that is? It totally reminds me of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples. And Peter didn't want him to do it ~ said he should wash Christ's feet instead. When maybe, really, Peter didn't want Christ to see the mess between his toes and he was embarrassed, but Jesus was saying, I am the only one who can really get in here and do this and clean the places you don't want anyone else to see. And then Jesus told them to go and do this for others. Part of "doing this for others" is letting them see how Jesus comes into those places in our lives where maybe we are ashamed, but He comes in with love instead of "tisk-tisk-ing" and shaming, He cleans it all up. I'm totally seeing this story with new clarity this morning through the thought of letting you do my dirty laundry {even though you didn't while you were here, but you did mention that you loved to do it}.  Because Peter's reaction, is what mine would be, "Oh, let me do it for YOU" which is shrouded in "noble service", but what it really means is "I don't want you to see my dark and dirty places and admit that there are places that need cleaned that I can't even see, let alone, reach. And in the case of dirty laundry, that I can't keep up with." Which is such a part of the "house cleaning" shame issue . . . admitting with humility that I can't keep up with it all and it still gets messy every day and I don't invite people in, because I don't want people to SEE that I don't have all of it together all of the time. And that is just why I resist God . . . Christ . . . because it means admitting I have a need and accepting help with it. Which all totally goes against my pride and self-sufficient independence which is why vulnerability is so hard, but so freeing when we just let go and give way to it. WHEW!!! I did not expect to write all of that on FB!!! But there it is. {Guess I should and probably will write a blog about it.}

More dew drops:  Diamond Dewdrops

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Black Hills, SD: Little Devils Tower Hike

We checked off several South Dakota hikes this year.
Little Devil's Tower was one of our favorites.

{Hikers: *SPOILER ALERT* photos of the hike ahead!}

I don't know if there is a hiker's etiquette about keeping secrets
like not telling the ending to a movie.
But if there is, and you don't want to see what's at the end of the path,
do not read this blog.
But if it doesn't matter to you,

"LDT" is great for a family.  
It's a 3 mile hike with some adventure.

You will never see sights

of the Black Hills from the highway

like we have seen getting out and walking.

There are pockets of rose quartz and sparkling mica everywhere.

Along the bottom of the trail, we met lots of other families
heading to Harney Peak.

But when we got to the top of Little Devil's Tower,
we were the only ones there
and we could see Harney Peak in the distance.

It is hard for my mother's heart to settle down
at the top of a mountain
with your children trekking around
with no guard rails.

I have never seen such a view of The Needles before.

It really is a must-see.

The one little treasure
that you don't want to miss
if you do this hike is the
vein of rose quartz
that is like a pink jeweled stairway right through the rocks.

Look for this:

As we hiked back down,
we met a couple both gray-white-haired,
hiking leisurely to the top.

I said to Jim, "That's how I want to be at their age."

"Me too," he said.

That's what motivates me to stay in shape
. . . to see the world from my feet
 with my husband at my side, 
for as long as possible.