Chair on a deck patio with green cushions

A Lesson From our Wanderings

One winter, when in Maui, I gathered all my camera equipment in a backpack and wandered up a steep road to the local airport. Sunset approaching, I picked up my pace, hoping I wouldn’t miss an airplane in flight. I didn’t need to be anxious, for once at the local airport, all stayed quiet. I waited, and waited more, peering in the sky, staying on alert for rumblings of an approaching plane. 

Nothing came. 

Disappointed, I began my hike back but my attention was captured by still shadows casted from tropical grasses and shrubs bordering the road. Taking a breath, smelling that “just before sunset” scent that happens in warm places where oceans and seas are no more than a day away, hearing the low buzz of distant traffic like worker bees in a hive, and seeing the green—oh so much lively green—that I’d passed by unnoticed on my rushed hike up, I began to see how I’d become too focused on what I wanted, rather than what was simply already there. 

“Enjoy the journey” is an overused cliché. Yet, it still stands true. We can experience joy and beauty in the simplicity of each moment when we do not fall deaf and blind to the moment.

So, let’s not let the joy and beauty God has for us on our daily paths fall to rushing minds waiting for something else to arrive. 

And may we be focused on His presence with every step. 

That same evening in Maui, while exploring the grasses and shrubs bordering the airport road, I did hear a plane approaching. Delighted I pointed my camera toward the sky, and later an awe-striking sunset lit my way home. 

What I’m learning in 2023:

I’m learning to not only take the path, but to be present on the path, to experience the joy and beauty present along the way. 

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16:11

Have you got your 10 Ways to Lift your Spirit printout yet? Winter can be bluesy, so I made this list to remember simple daily things I can do to lift my spirit (and others). I love it, and hope you do, too! A PDF copy is HERE.

What are you learning in 2023?

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15 Comments

  1. Beautiful post, Lynn. Remembering to enjoy the journey we’re on will never get old to me. Thank you for sharing the PDF. It’s perfect for the dark and dreary winter months. Happy New Year! xo

  2. Hi Lynn, I like your word “attention.” I had goosebumps reading your phrase “what was simply already there” and how all of our senses are ‘present’ in the now. Thank you for sharing your spirit-lifters. You remind me to begin using my diffusers. I received oils at Christmas and I will begin using today. The cinnamon…a great idea and I love cinnamon. I was sifting through my clothes this week and puzzled why I continue to wear my same black t-shirt. A thought-provoking post. 😀You remind me when the student is ready, the teacher appears.

    I greatly enjoy your photography on Instagram. You are a spirit-lifter, Lynn.💕

    1. Hi Erica! I hope you are wearing your colourful shirt, while a lovely scented oil is steaming from your diffuser! Thanks for dropping in. You’ve been an inspiration to me as well. I, too, write and do photography, and have now worked in the dental industry over 30 years! You’ve inspired me to work more on my writing and submitting to publications. Have a wonderful working living in the present moment.

  3. I love this, Lynn. It’s so true that we can be so focused on what we want that we miss what’s already there. Thank you for encouraging us “to not only take the path, but to be present on the path, to experience the joy and beauty present along the way.” Love and blessings to you!
    P.S. Thanks also for the spirit-lifters. I sprinkle cinnamon in hot chocolate. I like the flavor, but I never even knew it can be a mood lifter. 🙂

    1. Cinnamon in hot-chocolate? I can see how that would be a mood-lifter, Trudy! I think I am going to try that today. Actually, when I wrote the post, I was feeling tired, so I made myself a cup of hot chocolate for energy (and a treat). Blessings and love back to you!

  4. Thank you for sharing your mood-lifter here, dear Lynn! I love the way that God caught your attention when you were disappointed, and showed you His beauty right there. It fits so well with my word for the year of “glory,” and how He’s asking me to watch for His Glory in the middle of my days! Blessings to you!

    1. I love your word for the year, Bettie. Glory. And there a so many bible scriptures about God’s glory. I know God is going to show you more of Him, with that focus. My word this year is Simplify. I’m not sure what that will bring about this year, but trust His plans. May you be seeing His glory today!

  5. Such a beautiful lesson and approach to life, Lynn. It’s the one I want to live too. “I’m learning to not only take the path, but to be present on the path, to experience the joy and beauty present along the way.”

  6. Lynn, as always, I love your photos. But even more, the reminder to be fully present in what is rather than continually looking for what we want . . . so crucial if we want to live with peace and with our Savior.

  7. Lynn, this is beautiful in photos and words. There is beauty and joy to be had in every day, for our God can show up in the most unexpected of ways. May I learn to not always look ahead, but stay present in the moment.

  8. “So, let’s not let the joy and beauty God has for us on our daily paths fall to rushing minds waiting for something else to arrive.” Amen! What beautiful photos! And your got your airplane after all! I’m visiting from #TellHisStory.

  9. ‘I began to see how I’d become too focused on what I wanted, rather than what was simply already there.’

    Oh Lynn, there’s so much truth in this reality. It makes me wonder what I missed along the way because I was too busy being self-absorbed and not more mindful of those around me. Thank you for the lessons your lens continues to teach me. I am so grateful you’re in my life, friend.

  10. I’m not sure how I missed this post but I’m glad I found it today. I’m also trying to work on being present as I go through my days. It is so easy to get distracted. This is such a good reminder.

    Thank you for your the printable, Ten Ways to Lift Your Spirit. I’m going to get out my citrus oils to bring some sunshine indoors.