Teaching Our Children to Marvel

It was an ordinary fall day as I walked with my son, but, during those precious minutes, we had a sacred conversation. In the few words we shared, we caught a glimpse of the magnificent Creator behind his creation.

Slow down and marvel 

The trees had dropped half their leaves and the sun fell on new places in the street. In the breeze, green, yellow, red, and orange leaves tumbled like snowflakes on my son and me. His hand found a place in mine while we walked that autumn afternoon.“It’s so pretty,” he said. We fell quiet for a few more steps and then I looked at my boy, with the fall light on his face, and said, “It didn’t have to be this way. God chose to show us his creativity and beauty.”

Point out God's handiwork

As we rounded the corner, we came upon our neighbor’s yard. A variety of maple trees lined the front curb, each a different, vibrant color. I bent low to whisper in my son’s ear. “It takes a pretty creative God to decide that green leaves, full of chlorophyll, would drain out that color in autumn and show what was always hidden underneath. How amazing is it that He chose this red, that orange, this yellow, and colored all the leaves of creation with His own hand?”

Pause to marvel

Eyes wide, my boy was amazed. We stood stock-still and watched. We let the breeze blow, saw the leaves fall, and reflected. Standing on the street, we could see a glimpse, though tiny, of how God was present around us. With my child’s hand in mine, I could see a bit of how creative God really is. Because none of it had to be. No part of the wonder of nature really had to be so “wonder-full.” It is a gift we often miss, we choose to leave unwrapped, as we rush from place to place. Our busyness and distraction cause us to hurry through this time of divine beauty.

We walked on in silence. When we came back to our own home, my son walked up the drive. He smiled calmly, climbed the front steps and opened the door.

Praying for teachable moments

I stood back and watched. Quietly, I prayed, “Lord, help him remember. Help him see. Help him to know that you are near. Today and in the future when he needs you in ways I cannot guess, help him to see you in the world, to see your hand in nature, to know that you shower us with love the way creation showers us with leaves. Help him know you. Help us both to seize these precious moments to appreciate your unfailing love for us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

It was an ordinary fall day, a walk shared, but during those precious minutes we had a sacred conversation. Mother and son. Children of the King. Words of eternal importance.

About the author — Nadia Swearingen-Friesen

Nadia Swearingen-Friesen is a writer and national speaker with a passion for empowering parents to approach their families with great intentionality and grace.  Nadia and her husband, Mark, are the parents of four children and live in the Chicago area. Nadia also blogs at http://nadiaswearingen-friesen.com/

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