Years ago when my husband and I moved out of a large city and bought a house on a wooded 10 acre piece of property, my parents would escape from city life, several times a year, to spend weekends with us. And once a year my mother would come by herself and stay for a week. She called it her R&R.
We did a lot of hiking through those acres of woods and far beyond.
My mother saw beauty in everything. Especially nature. Everywhere we walked she seemed to be soaking it all in. Those visits, the walks, the talks, inspired a deeper appreciation for nature in me. Without her keen eye, I don’t think I would have picked up the extraordinary beauty in those ordinary places.
It was like she was inhaling the glory of God. Everything held wonder for her.
As far back as I can remember, sunsets, the mountains, the valleys, every plant, flower and bird were a means to give acknowledgement to God. When my sister, Judy, lived in Arizona my mother would return from trips to her house describing the majesty of God revealed in every mountain top. There was a bursting forth from somewhere deep within her soul, like a release, at the beauty of it all.
When I was a child, even through my teenage years, I dismissed her sense of wonder and awe as a ‘mom thing’ and didn’t enter into it fully with her. In my adulthood, I began to understand.
She could appreciate the created fully, because she grasped the deep love of the creator.
This past summer, while walking through an art gallery my husband and I spotted a piece of art that we were both drawn to. We studied the painting, the colors, the depth, we envisioned it in our living room but left the gallery without it.
On another visit to the same gallery, the artist who painted the piece was there. We talked to her and we began to see more deeply into it as she described the process, what inspired her to paint it, the methods she used and what she named it.
She remarked that her paintings aren’t complete until they are enjoyed, looked at with wonder, awe and eventually find a home.
That particular painting found a home. Our home. After spending time getting to know the artist, the appreciation for her painting grew deeper for us.
As my faith in God deepens, the more I get to know His love for all that he has created–especially His love for us–the more my eyes are opened to the beauty surrounding me. I see creation through different eyes and I’m more able to savor the moments.
God gives us moments of wonder. He has painted a world that many artists have tried to replicate but none can compare to the real deal that surrounds us everyday.
The long walks through the countryside with my mother–her naming the plants, pointing out the wild basil–picking it–rubbing it between her fingers to release its aroma–saying to me, “Here smell this, Nancy.” Ah…she soaked in the moments and the wonder of everything.
God could have created the world in black and white but He chose to wash it with color. Even in the depth of winter–when everything can look black, white and dull–He creates splashes of color for us to find. I found it one morning on a branch in my yard.
This year I want to say AMEN to wonder. I want to recall the moments from the past that have inspired me and look for new ways to see the world and rejoice in the wonder.
Written by: Nancy Janiga©2015
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15 thoughts on “Amen to Wonder”
Nancy, this is just beautiful and reminds me so much of my mom…she had the same appreciation for flowers, birds, trees, the wonder of God’s handiwork and beauty He blesses us with. Thank you for this.
If you get a chance, go to my timeline where I shared a piece by John Acuff titles ” The World Didn’t have to be Amazing. It goes along with what you just wrote and both of your writings really speak to me. I, too, get so much enjoyment from these blessings and am trying to pass this on to our grandchildren as, I’m sure you are too.
Bless you & Bob and enjoy the warmth. xoxoxo
Bonnie, Thank you for reading this and for your beautiful comment. I will be sure to visit your fb page to read the piece you mentioned by Jon Acuff. Blessings to you and yours!
Thank you Crystal.
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Thank you. I appreciate your comment!
Thanks again for sharing your talents!
My pleasure. Thanks for reading Tom!
Nancy, I always wished that I could share in Mom’s enthusiasm for nature when I was younger. I do now! She taught us well! I just recently shared with Dave that mom still gets so excited when she sees a beautiful sunset, flower, etc. That love of creation is still very strong!
I shared the same thing with Bob recently, Judy. A few days later, I opened an old journal of mine and read something that I wrote in it about mom’s love of nature. That sparked this blog post. I love that she still has that enthusiasm at almost 86 years old!
Great post. I enjoyed the read. And thank you for visiting my blog an liking one of my posts. Blessings, Natalie 🙂
Thank you, Natalie. I’ll be back to explore more of yours soon. I’m trying to strike a balance between writing and reading other blogs as well. God Bless.
Oh, that makes two of us. I just realized yesterday that I’m spending more time reading other blogs than I really wanted to because it gives me less time to created mine own posts. So I wish you luck. 🙂
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Nancy, your photography is absolutely beautiful and your words here describe the wonder and awe of God’s creation perfectly. I could also “hear” your mother’s words to you and “see” her wonder and appreciation of all God’s beauty through your words. I LOVE this – thank you!
Thank you for stopping by and for your encouraging words, Mindy. Also, thank you for the follow. I’ll be sure to check out more of your blog soon too.
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