Wonder 13

IMG_4243 - Version 2Sweetest sound

A breezy, spring-scented day it was yesterday. A perfect day pretty much, except I was on Day 3 of the flu.

I had writing to do, so I settled myself into the wicker chair on my front porch and set my expectations low. Scribbling away with my favorite pen, I tried to sound lucid in the devotion I was writing for WorshipMinistryDevotions.com. Was making modest progress when the most delightful sound interrupted my thoughts:

Children’s voices.

Four of them. They were coming up the sidewalk behind me, so I decided to wait until they were within my vision before greeting them (I was sick, and I took full advantage of that fact to justify my inertia).

I waited. And I waited. Still, they did not appear. I gathered the energy to turn my head around, and I realized that, yes, they were progressing up the sidewalk, but at snail’s pace. Because, you know, it takes time to exclaim over leaves and flowers and little bugs. And then it takes more time to scrunch up that leaf or put that bug in your pocket or pause to ponder what makes that flower smell so awesome-good. This discovering of the world is slow business, and it’s not to be hurried.

After walking over and talking with them and their childcare provider for a few moments, I resumed writing. But this time I think I set my sights a little higher. This time I remembered: There are wondrous things to talk about when it comes to my Father’s world, no matter the subject–creation, grace, worship, correction even. I remembered that writing about the kingdom of God requires having the open, trusting heart of a child. It necessitates lifting my head up above my scribbling pen, putting my paltry 3-day flu in perspective, and taking time to see, listen, smell, taste, handle, absorb, and appreciate. It means having great expectations that when I listen for my Shepherd’s voice, He will help me know what to say.

As I continued writing, I tried to catch a little of the wonder of His heart. And you know, I felt I could almost hear it beating in those little voices that trailed off down the street.


What has made you stop and wonder lately? I’d very much love to hear! (Please comment below.)

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13 thoughts on “Wonder

  • Sarah Jenkins

    I just wanted to say that I love your description of the kid’s progress down the street– taking the time to discover every little thing. I often wonder how we can so easily pass things like God’s beautiful creation by without thinking about it. Then I’m reminded that my world is “just too busy” for “that stuff”. I suppose this is the root of what is drawing me more towards teaching and less towards technology– in essence, the WONDER. Reliving that “first time” feeling through others, and as a result reliving it for myself. God loves to see that wonder on our faces and delights in our delight of His glory and creation. So again, thank you for sharing this post…such a reminder to stop and smell the roses…literally.

    • Jeanelle Reider Post author

      Sarah, I’m so excited at the way God might be moving your heart toward teaching. Having experienced your teaching firsthand when you set up this website for me and walked me through each step so kindly and patiently, I can say I think you would be a wonderful teacher! Thanks for your good comment today reminding ME to stop and wonder. (Kind of forgot that for part of last week!) Thanks friend!

  • Diane Page

    Lately, I have gone into the another round of severe dizziness. We have had 4 family graduation celebrations and have had Dave’s mother staying with us for a full week. All of this activity, God has allowed me to attend. In fact, Irene has helped me to slow down and sit outside and enjoy the beautiful weather, the birds, the flowers, and each other. Yes, my house is in tatters, but I know God isn’t looking at my house, but my heart. Thank you, Jeanelle, for your blog to help me to search my heart.

    • Jeanelle Reider Post author

      What a crazy week, Diane! And in the middle of another round of severe dizziness (for which I’m so sorry–I continue to pray for you!). Life seems always to be a combination of joy and trial, two rails of the same track we’re on. But what a receptive heart you have, to be able to see those blessings of creation. And to know that “God isn’t looking at my house, but my heart.” That’s a beautiful phrase–love it!

  • Daniel Reider

    Lately I’ve enjoyed being able to sit outside on the patio in the evening and just spend some time quietly reading. It’s amazing how little time we take to just get away from the computer/phone/TV and just relax. When we create a bit of space, I think we are just a little bit more open to hearing God’s voice in our ears.

    • Jeanelle Reider Post author

      Daniel, I’m so thankful for this time in the evenings that God has given you to enjoy! In the midst of busy ministry days, not to mention serving your family and just doing life, I can imagine how these times to be quiet and soak in the sweet spring evenings have fed your soul. “Creating space” for God to quiet and delight is my prayer for myself this year–thanks for the really timely reminder to do just that!

  • Lucy

    Oh Jeanelle, you’ve worded it beautifully. I am I’m constant awe of His majesty this time of year. The sounds of birds in the morning, the fragrance of the flowers, the sun shining long into the evening. And it’s all a gift from our wonderful Lord for us to enjoy.

    • Jeanelle Reider Post author

      Lucy, I love that you are someone, like me, who delights in bird sounds and flower fragrances and lingering sunshine! Don’t you think that must make God so glad when He sees us receiving these as the gifts He intended them to be? Thanks for sharing your joy!

  • Darlene

    I can so relate to the little kids exploring every little thing. We were camping this weekend with our grandsons and Kaden (2 1/2) picked up everything, including bugs, to look at! It was amazing to see the wonder in his eyes at all the new things (bugs!) he was seeing. It is good, Jeanelle, to look at the world that God has created like a child. What wonder we can discover and how much we can praise and worship God who created all things! Feel better my Friend!

    • Jeanelle Reider Post author

      First of all, Darlene, I’m so glad you got this precious time with your grandkids! Second, I’m glad that God showed you wonder in Kaden’s little heart. I can imagine how that delighted you! Though you’re a little ahead of me in this, I’m finding that being a grandma is teaching me to stop and wonder in ways I had kind of forgotten to do! (I’m feeling much better today–thanks friend!)

  • Shanna Locker

    Recently I have pondered why God in His great Mercy placed me here in America, in Idaho, in small town Filer. Why? Why God allows some of His children to have lives of pleasure and ease while others are tortured in prison because of their Faith in Him? I know the answer but it still causes me to think. God is Sovereign and He does what He wants with His own. He is the potter and we are the lumps of clay – yet He loves us and always does what is best for His children. Sometimes the understanding of “what is best” is far beyond what I can comprehend. And still I remember that His ways are not my ways! :)
    So, no matter who we are or where we are, if we are His child, we’d better be serving Him.

    • Jeanelle Reider Post author

      Shanna, you’re so right that “what is best” is beyond our finite understanding. I think it’s good to wrestle with the differences in our situations and the situations of others whose lives are far more difficult. Wrestling (a) prompts us to pray for them, (b) causes us to feel humble, thankful and undeserving, and (c) reminds us that we must simply trust that God does all things well, knowing that He is love though we don’t always understand how His love is playing out in His children’s lives. Humility, thankfulness, and simple trust are beautiful motivations to serve our great God.