Be Brilliant: 3 Ways to Wonder Again

Be Brilliant: 3 Ways to Wonder Again

What makes you wonder – stand in awe, be dumbfounded, or feel amazed? What makes you marvel?

Like the look of a child’s face on Christmas morning. Eyes bright. Hearts pounding. Mouth gaping. Hands eager. Feet jumping. Full of life, love and wonder.

I think it’s hard, while adulting, to feel wonder.

With undone to-dos. Unpaid bills. Growing inboxes. Piles of laundry. Tracking the who-what-where-when-and hows of Whoville. Trips to the ER. (Well maybe that’s just us. Thing two, seriously, just had stitches sewn over the scar from last year’s playground accident 8 days ago because Mommy initiated a tickle fest on the stairwell. Insert big eye emoji and a mom fail. Check.)

But I don’t want this Christmas season to pass me by without capturing a sense of wonder in the depths of my heart. I want to stop and soak in the twinkling lights, the smiles of my children and the sweetness of my Savior. The One who gave up all of Heaven to come and dwell among us.

So what are three ways to wonder again? 

FIRST, SIMPLIFY. We have got to take ahold the busiest season of the year and boil it down to the basics. I am the worst at complicating things. Fact. Just ask David. The end result is usually emptiness. I have nothing to offer those closest to me emotionally, physically or spiritually. I am counting on these three questions to help navigate each week with more simplicity…

  1. What needs to get done?
  2. What can be simplified?
  3. When can we stop and just be?
  4. How am I going to take care of myself?

Friends, over a decade, I never understood the importance of taking care of myself and it took its toll on my mind, body and spirit. Now, I am learning that I have so much more to offer those around me if I put myself on the list too.

We need to simplify. We need to give ourselves a shot to see the season through a different lens.

SECOND, SEE LIKE A CHILD. There is a scene in Mark 18 where Jesus uses children to challenge and define our faith. Here is how The Message version encapsulates it.

The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it: ‘Don’t push these children away. Don’t ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them.

Did you hear that? The simplicity of a child. I love the picture created in these words of Jesus gathering up the children in his arms. And Jesus is purposeful in using them to teach us how to live out our faith.

Sunday, my mother had taken my son, thing two that is, to our church’s play practice. When we met up later that day, my mother proclaimed, “And guess who is going to Joseph?!” As we were discussing this later, I asked Micah, “And who is going to be your wife? I mean. Not your wife, the woman who’ll have your child. But that you’re not married too. You know what I mean!” (Insert another mom fail. Check. I think I need to make an emoji for that. Any ideas?)

As soon as those uneloquent and inappropriate words came out of my mouth, I thought, “Wow, this is really a crazy story and we cast children in these roles all the live-long day!”

When we take a look at what really happened in the Bible, it is crazy! It should leave us dumbfounded at least!

Teenagers. Unwed. Virgin child. In whatever the heck year it was! Can you only imagine the hashtags that would be flying around and what would be trending on Twitter! Come on!

We are talking a MIGHTY GOD with a crazy UNEXPECTED plan for an UNREAL rescue that is open to ALL people for ALL of time! And just because He’s crazy in love with us.

Wonder over that. Marvel at that. Think it through and when you can’t figure out all the answers, let yourself see like a child and be amazed at what was placed below the Christmas tree for you!

Ponder this.

John 1:1-5 New Living Translation

In the beginning the Word already existed.
    The Word was with God,
    and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him,
    and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
    and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
    and the darkness can never extinguish it.

I recently read the beginnings of all 4 gospels to determine which one grabbed me. Stirred me to start. Get this.

Jesus, the Word, existed. He was with God. He was God. Everything created through Him. Jesus, the Word, gave words to all humanity. (Obviously more to women. But I digress.)

He gave life and light to all. And that Light. He shines in the darkness. Nothing. Not. One. Thing. Nothing can overcome him. No one can darken his light. No one can extinguish it.

The book of John made me wonder. It won. So now I get to…

THIRD, SHARE. Before I explain, I just want to share these verses that follow a little later in John 1.

From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us (John 1:16-18).

Three words pop out at me. Abundance. Received. Revealed. Out of God’s abundance we receive, but we receive to reveal. Jesus drew near to the Father to receive and then revealed the Father to us.

When we feel the real wonder of the One, we receive more wonder as we reveal Him to others.

Because God did crazy stuff and he still does crazy stuff.

He drops money into people’s mailboxes that need it. He heals tumors that were on scans but not on the second opinion’s. He holds cars together for the family of six that are in it. He slows down respiratory rates of the underdeveloped lungs of an infant. He helps a man that lost his arm be the boss working out with weights in the gym.

He holds our tears in a bottle. Engraves our names on his hands. Always hears our cry. He fights for us. Always has. Always will.

That is my God. His son, my Savior. That makes me wonder. And I hope it does for you too.

With love, e

 

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About Erin Nicole Thompson

Erin Nicole Thompson is a fun-loving and authentic momma to 4 littles, wife of a ruggedly handsome Pastor, and as she likes to think, the CEO of her home operations. She delights in worship, cooking with good music, the sweet faces of her sleeping children, adult conversations, and some quiet time at Starbucks. She loves to serve alongside, encourage, and equip young and seasoned women. Erin is grateful to be part of what God is doing at The Chapel, a multi-campus church in Northern Chicago-land where her husband, Dave, pastors the Lake Zurich Campus. Presently, she lives to dream and follow God as he writes her story.