It’s a Wonderstruck Life
George Bailey told us it’s a wonderful life. But I’m here to tell you: It’s a Wonderstruck Life.
Often, the smallest, biggest wonders are right where you are, on the way to where you’re headed, begging to be found under your feet.
And sometimes, it takes a child with a stubborn streak of attentiveness to discover them.
I remember now that moment, months ago, when my youngest daughter found that glorious patch of clover that I had fully missed.
A child sees. She stops for miracles, gathering them up by the fist-full.
She discovered clover at the edge of the soccer field. I had passed it, but she had stopped and knelt. I turned around to tell her to hurry. But she was persistent after the miracles. She plucked them one by one.
This young girl’s slowing down was God’s way of reminding me: The here-below is a canvas of God above, who went to the trouble to create infinitely beautiful treasures to brighten up the sullen parts of this world.
This must be what it means to live wonderstruck, God-struck — to expect the Divine at every turn.
Sure, you can discover wonder in the aurora borealis or at the rim of the Grand Canyon. But you don’t have to look any farther than a patch of grass at the side of a soccer field to spy wonder, and to live alert.
And to kneel.
“How often do you pass by God’s presence and handiwork unaware?” That’s the question Margaret Feinberg wisely asks in her new book, Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God.
Her book is a clarion, an artful call to live alert, and to attend to the moments and the beauty right here and now. It’s a game-changer, to live a Wonderstruck life.
These moments are “are all around us — not just in the sanctuary and sacraments,” Margaret writes. “God stoops beside our beds as we offer our evening prayers; he nestles on the couch as we open our homes to strangers, neighbors, friends; he waits in our laughter and tears, our thank yous and I love yous.”
I read Margaret’s words this past weekend, and I whispered my “yes,” again and again.
I remembered, as I read, how my daughters know instinctively what I have somehow unlearned: Wonder is where I am.
That day by the soccer field, Anna bent low over a handsome patch of clover. She plucked and cupped grace in her hands.
Watching her, I asked myself: When did I outgrow this kind of wonder? I used to stop for the clover, as a child. When does a grown-up stop stopping for the clover? When does a child outgrow wonder? And how does she get it back again?
I watched her, jealous for her eyes.
A child’s unyielding search for wonder, as she wanders, makes me wonder. Why don’t I always?
How many small miracles have I missed? How often have I chased after the big thing — the promotion at work, the plush assignment, some sort of status or significance — while missing the wonder of the moment I’m wondrously in?
I’ve been a chronic miracle-misser.
Margaret writes: “The kingdom of God belongs to those who maintain childlike receptivity. Those who refuse to receive the kingdom of God like a child will miss it entirely.”
I want to be a kid again. I want to — as Margaret writes — sit on Jesus’ knee.
I think this is part of the reason why God gave me children — so I could see again. God is in the business of curing the blind. I know it firsthand: I am slowly regaining my vision, and I have only begun to see visible signs of an invisible God everywhere. Everywhere, I tell you. He has soaked His world with wonder.
If we’ve outgrown our streak of wonder, then what would it take to make it fit again? I think about my closet, scattered with things-too-small. If something is too small, we can’t generally make the thing bigger … we can only get smaller ourselves, so it fits again.
Yes, I need to get small. I need to decrease, so I can fit into my child-wonder again.
So, then, this is me, growing smaller. I want to see again.
I am excited to be a part of a team that is introducing people this month to Margaret’s amazing book. Wonderstruck releases December 25. Give yourself the present of wonder!
“This book and Bible study are for anyone who wants to live astounded by God and walk in the fullness of all He offers. With each page of Wonderstruck, may you discover another facet of God’s character, feel the soft pinch of His presence, and step back in astonishment at the One who holds you. So cup your hands in prayer. Scrunch your face against the vault of heaven in childlike expectation. As you pray for wonder, may you be wonderstruck. May you fall in love anew with a mysterious and wonder-filled God.” ~ Wonderstruck
With eyes on the heavens and His word in hand, Margaret Feinberg tells the wonders of God’s love in ways you’ve never known. Who in the world doesn’t need joy like this? ~ Ann Voskamp, author of One Thousand Gifts
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“Wonder is where I am.”
Wow. Those are powerful words that I want to tattoo across my heart. I am also struck by the thought that, if wonder is right here, where I am standing, then God is so very present too. Because he has wrought Wonder right round. His fingerprints cover all of creation and I must simply open.my.eyes.
Praying for wonder to drip from my fingertips and ooze all over.
Yes, Holly. God present, right in the middle of the wonder. I’m thinking, just now, about the song, “His name is wonderful!”
His very name, Wonderful. Full of wonder.
May you have a wonderful, wonder-filled season, worshipping the God whose name is Wonderful. Take care, sweet Holly.
so true! May we have eyes to see his Presence all around! Blessings to you, Holly!
I need to get small, too.
Beautifully written. Off to tweet it.
Thank you, Wendy! Hope you’re having a lovely, peace-filled, wonder-filled Advent.
Wendy, reminds of of St. Thérése of Lisieux, whose constantly referred to herself as “the little flower” and “small.”
You have definitely piqued my interest! I’m checking it out. I often “plan” to be wonderstruck, God-struck, but get in too big of a hurry or too distracted. Thanks for the challenge.
Me, too, Kay! Absolutely, me, too. My kids are so good about getting me to slow down.
Kay, busyness is certainly one of the biggest obstacles to being wonderstruck. Blessings to you this Advent season!
oh yes…holy wonder…and I don’t want to be a chronic miracle misser…counting how started this process of seeing God’s love…finger prints everywhere…this might just be good kindling to continue to fuel the fire as are your words here…blessings~
Hey Ro! Happy Monday! I think you’d like the book. There’s a chapter on three-word prayers that I could have elaborated on — among many other themes. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the book.
ro, I hope you find many more things to help fuel the fire during your journey!
I totally get this – you can hear God whisper “be still” and “look small” “smaller still” He has showed me such miracles when I bother to do this. (my sea shells are particularly little miraculous gifts) thanks for sharing ;)trying to teach this to my boys (harder to slow them down) lol
Kelli … Oh, yes, I’ll bet it is hard for them to slow down. Then again, I’ll bet they find wonder in things like mud puddles, or high up in an evergreen tree. 🙂
kelli, love how you collect sea shells. What a Beautiful reminder of miracles
I LOVE the photos! “I’ve been a chronic miracle-misser.”–let us all turn this around in our lives!
Thanks for stopping by, Margaret. I thoroughly enjoyed the chapters you and Jessica sent. I found myself nodding, and underlining, and “Evernoting” and praying in agreement … and thanking God for you! So grateful for your ministry of words, Margaret. God bless you!
Oh my word that books looks good!
Noah has found more than one four-leaf clover in his time. I, on the other hand, have never found even one. Once I asked him how he was so lucky. His response: “It’s not luck, Mommy. You just have to open your eyes.”
Isn’t that the truth?
Oh. That’s good, Michelle. Those little ones, they really do see, don’t they? … You have those same eyes. I see it in your writing, and in your photography. You have child-like wonder.
Michelle, your child is so wise!
Oh I can’t wait for Wonderstruck. I’ve been a fan of Margaret’s since I first read Scouting the Divine. (I’ve read it more than once!)
I feel like a child in eager anticipation. . . which, of course, is the point!
Kristin, so grateful to have you on board for so long! Couldn’t have done this without you!
Confession: I have NOT read Scouting the Divine. But I’ve heard so much about it. On the list! Thanks Kristin.
I remember those clover, made necklaces out of them when I was a girl. Love this Jennifer, gives me food for thought when I write mine.
Shelly, what a sweet and precious image!
Shelly! When are you “party mobbing?” I look forward to reading your post.
i remember this post well, jennifer. it’s what the Lord used to change my summer with my son from “do” to “be.”
thank you, dear sister.
tanya–sounds like you had a remarkable summer! I hope it was meaningful to both you and your son
Hey Tanya … Glad you came back to read it again, in the context of Wonderstruck. I was really touched by your comment this week. Thank you, friend.
i love margaret. and this book sounds phenomenal. i need a little more wonder.
emily, thank you for your words! Can’t wait to share Wonderstruck with you!
You are a Wonder Woman! You really are. Hey, can someone get Emily a cape? (I love you, Emily Wierenga.)
I’m certain I walk right over the small miracles of wonder daily. This post reminds me to slow, to be watchful, to embrace the tiny glory that blooms in every field of life! This book sounds like a great one!
Kris, we never know what tiny glories are blooming right underneath our feet! May we all have the eyes to see them
Hey Kris! I’m really looking forward to the whole book. My sneak peek was just three chapters, but I’ll be reading the rest of it over Christmas break!
Scott (my son) named our dog Clover because when we brought her home, she started eating the wild clover in our yard. Not exactly a miracle, but he was paying attention, and I was just thinking, “TWO dogs?”
Megan, what a cute name for a pooch! Ours is named Hershey 🙂
Megan — You make good use of story, even in your comments. I love when you come by.
This sounds like a breath of fresh air. Sounds like I’ll be adding another to my stack of books on the Kindle I need to read. May God give me grace to attend to their wisdom.
Nancy, I’d love to hear your thoughts once you’ve read the book!
This sounds awesome. Can’t wait to read!
Jennifer, can’t wait to share Wonderstruck with you!
this sounds like an amazing book, and amazing lesson to keep re-learning everyday.
tara, so true–and every day we keep falling a bit more and more in love with the God of Wonder