That noise of life that so often overstimulates my sensitive brain, I listened to it today. I broke it down and paid attention. I heard laughter, LOUD laughter, resulting from my children being reunited with their neighborhood friends. I heard the song of birds and when I looked, I saw a bright red cardinal making a nest in my oak tree and two woodpecker pecking away nearby. I heard Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” on my radio and a ding on my phone from a friend that missed me. I started to hear the beauty in my noise and it suddenly didn’t feel so chaotic.
I worry that the rush of life keeps my family from seeing the beauty sprinkled throughout our day. I intentionally try to limit my children’s activities and schedule in down time, but in reality, we are still all over the place.
Last year in a quest to teach my daughter to notice the beauty surrounding her, I had her create an Awe Journal. It was a place to record those things in her daily life which she found beautiful, however she defined it.
- She took an oversized spiral notebook and made a cover.
- She defined what “awe” meant to her.
As we went about our day, she noticed things she found extraordinary…a pink sunset, the intricacy of a spider web, a double rainbow, the kindness of a stranger to an irate customer.
- She often captured the moment by taking a picture with my phone. We’d print and tape the photograph into her journal.
- Other times, she drew a picture from memory.
- She would write a descriptive paragraph about it. Other times a poem. Sometimes just one sentence.
- She added Bible verses and drawings. There were no rules.
She now looks now for beauty everywhere…and she always finds it! I get tickled when she says in her pre-teen way, “Hey Mom, look. Total Awe Journal material”.
One night driving home from soccer practice, we experienced a marvelous lightning storm without any rain. Lightening was surrounding us every few seconds. She took video with my phone. It was truly awesome. As we stopped our car to just look up and watch the incredible display in the sky, we were both reminded of the power of God. We were reminded just how small we are in the universe and for that moment simply sat in awe.
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