Being Filled with Wonder and Awe

the small things 2There is time throughout the day to be filled with wonder and awe. I often forget to live life simply big, to look for those simple things that will fill my soul with wonder and awe.

Every sunrise that I greet is another opportunity to experience more grace, more hope, more joy, more peace, and more wonder and awe. Sometimes anxiety and impatience try to steal the excitement of discovering all of this. The walls of connecting rooms which I live attempt to confine the grandeur of God at work…God revealing his glory.

I pick up a magnifying glass to see what I’m missing.

I must inspect what God has promised in his Word, and to expect to be filled with wonder and awe.

To live life simply big…to be ready for more. I pray the Lord’s Prayer…”Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done…” to want nothing more than God’s glory and His will, to live and breathe His wonder and awe within these walls of connecting rooms…and beyond this place, for His Glory.

Here is a photo of my grandchild inspecting the wonder of a ladybug. It took a lot of bravery for her to hold a little insect in the palm of her hand. She was afraid because she didn’t like the feeling of the bug touching her skin.

Funny how the small things can be scary for us.

It’s in those small things that remind us of God’s infinite grace and love that will overwhelm the scary things so we can live experiencing more.  Dig deep into your memories of your first experience of wonder and awe of God’s grace in your life.

My grandchild is brave with a ladybug and it brings back a personal memory in my childhood of holding a snail…sliding on my arm…a snail with a broken shell. This simple life was sliding along a path in my mother’s flower garden. I noticed the shell was cracked. Carefully, I picked up the snail and held it in the palm of my hand.

I brought the snail, with it’s cracked shell, to my mother because she could fix everything broken. She quickly found white bandage tape and scissors and promptly taped the broken shell. Then she brought me an old shoebox and walked with me outside, while I held the snail, with its broken shell, secured with white tape.

My mother pulled up grasses and found pebbles and a little dirt to put inside the cardboard shoebox for my wounded snail.  And there it stayed. I watched it move about for many days. I held it in the palm of my hand and it would move slowly out of its shell along my skin.

One day, I released it back to the garden, with the white tape still holding the shell secure.

I can’t help but see the resemblance … I am broken and bandaged … by God’s grace.

Being filled with wonder and awe.
the small things

Wonder and Awe

Rhythm of Cluttered Memories

Gardening gloves displayed on the porch soiled by years of digging up weeds or trimming the shrubbery or potting pretty pink flowers into the soil. The gloves are always on display, for years they have been draped over the rod…old and faded but pretty in a way. Some of the fingertips on a few pairs of gloves are worn through, yet there they are waiting to be used again and again. The rusted looking sparrow ornament hanging from the porch manages to still sparkle in the sun year after year after year.  Rhythm. Just a glimpse into my husband’s childhood home that has become a rhythm of cluttered memories.

We visited his folks recently. The clutter used to bother me, but this time I was soothed by the peaceful rhythm of good times remembered. The nik-naks have been sitting on the table in the same place for as long as I can remember. There are things my children made in grade school. Treasured memories.

There’s an old stuffed tiger that has lost both eyes and the tail has been stitched back on a dozen times or more. The tiger is still on the twin bed thirty years later. I think every grandchild slept with that old stuffed tiger. There is a silly wooden turkey decoration with lots of holes drilled for colorful lollipops to be stuck in because a turkey must have colorful tail feathers. When my children were young, they were delighted to pick out their favorite flavored lollipop from that wooden turkey decoration. For years that wooden craft has been perched on the kitchen counter, in the same place…without the colorful tail feathers.

There is a lovely rhythm of maintaining each piece of cluttered memory. She–the one who loves the memories–dusts and cleans and puts everything back in the same place. This time when I visited the folks, I stopped and pondered the clutter and was pulled into the rhythm of memories.

Linking up with everyone for Five Minute Fridaywhere a remarkably encouraging and lively community gathers to write for five minutes. This week’s prompt is: Rhythm.

In Pursuit of a Gospel-Centered Community

The following is a few thoughts from my Sunday devotional: In Pursuit of a Gospel-Centered Community. Where is this community? Wherever I work, live and play. There is nothing deeper and stronger than the gospel on which to build community.

Let Love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. (Romans 12:9-13 ESV)

Let love be genuine: True gospel-saturated community is authentic.

Abhor what is evil: A gospel-centered community will embrace people in their brokenness while making war on sin. Don’t abhor people but abhor evil.

Love one another with brotherly affection: A Jesus-centered gospel calls us to possess a deep brotherly love as we would for our own family, this is a familial affection.

Out do one another in showing honor: Affection for the Lord leads to affection for others, resulting in out doing one another in honor. [1]

Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord: Relationships go deep when arms are linked in a great cause that you are ready to lay down your lives for. Stir up zeal for God and for the cause of God and truth and life. Be passionate in your spirit. [2]

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer: When life is hard, we can either give up on hope or get it from joy. Tribulation drives the roots of joy down into hope  and fight to be constant in prayer, God acts when we pray. [3]

Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality: Lavish mercy, give from your wealth, mentor others, teach a skill, open your lives and the doors of your home.

Being in pursuit of a gospel-centered community is a “forever journey.” The only way that we are able to do any of this is answered in Romans 12:1 (The Message)

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

[1] Matt Chandler, Creature of the Word, page 59    [2] John Piper:  Be Strong and Fervent in Spirit,  ❘  [3] John Piper: Happy in Hope, Patient in Pain, Constant in Prayer