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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Love the blog entry and the idea of an “awe journal”. We must be on the same journey or it’s exactly what I needed to hear today sort of like an affirmation. I, just today, downloaded a picture journal app for my iPhone and a diary app (that will sync my iPhone and iPad) wanting to record thoughts, “gifts”, beauty, treasures, history, etc. from the day in hopes of intentionally being aware and present in the moment. Partly influenced by the book “1000 gifts” by Ann Vaskamp and also feeling the need to be aware and acknowledge God’s gifts and provisions for the day. Thanks, Allison
I love that book and have a 1000 gifts notebook on our breakfast table. It really inspired me. Thanks for sharing.
I love this idea! We live in a country that always wants more, faster, quicker, 5 minutes ago. It takes a concerted effort to stop and find the beauty all around us. Thank you for reminding us! I love what you are doing! Thanks- Jenny
What an inspirational post, and a magnificent idea! You have definitely inspired me to start an “Awe journal of our own with my boys!
So glad!I’d love to hear about it if you do. Keep in touch.
Makes me think of the Stephen Curtis Chapman song “Miracle of the Moment”. Love the Awe journal. I need to do that this year.
What a wonderful way to encourage appreciation and gratitude in a child. Such a great lesson here for us adults to. It’s so important to slow down and just “be” in the moment isn’t it?
You are exactly right. I feel like many times the lesson is as much for me as it is for the kids. Glad you enjoyed the idea.
Love the idea of an awe journal! So important as we rush through life to take time to notice the beauty around us.
So glad it clicked with you as well. My kids remind me now to slow down and look.
I keep a similar journal (The Happiness Project’s 1-sentence a day journal), so I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea for kids. Recording the awesome moments in each day trains the brain to recognize them as they happen, increasing contentment and happiness. This is an absolutely outstanding project for children! Thank you for sharing this at the After School Linky Party. I’ll be featuring it tomorrow. Stop by to check it out and share more great kids activities while you’re there!
Oh, I am going to check out your Happiness Project next. It sounds right up my alley. I love your magic flute by the way.Thank you so much for featuring the Awe Journal tomorrow. I will definitely stop by and check it out. Have a great night.
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I remember this post, and how lovely I thought it was the first time ’round. What a lovely reminder to listen and look for the beauty and the blessings that surround us. It’s so easy to see them as chaotic inconveniences. Thank you for the meaninful reminder.
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