Reclaiming Wonder

by | Sep 3, 2012 | Uncategorized

The sound of her tiny feet digging into wet sand pull my praying eyes open like shades rolling up to welcome a new day.  I watch her from my spot in the lawn chair seated behind the screen. She gallops along shore and my bible, it slips off my lap in concentration.

A loon echoes off glassy lake unzipping early morning stillness.

She holds the plastic handle on the clear box, zigzags between  boats lying on shore, scavenging for signs of leaping life under their bellies. Wispy strands dangle curtain over the sides of her head as she bends low.

A youthful gasp cracks open the quiet and the wonder seeps out in the finding. “Mom,” she calls out and runs for the red screen door. Minutes later, her father follows close behind, picks up the edges of sleeping boughs to capture found treasure.  Little hands full of tiny frogs awakening from slumber.

And I wonder if the miracle of creation loses its allure when I stop giving thanks?  

It’s why I carry my camera like a third arm, to capture what the lens magnifies in surprise. The sacrament of photography, it restores holy awe. In bending over to see, the heart renews in thanks.

I witness grace in the birch peeling back like paper pages revealing hidden beauty. In red shouting low among leafy ground.

I watch Him brush pink sky melting twilight into blue canopy, gazing at her reflection in mirrored pools beneath.

I see Him smile in the joy of an after dinner ride down a quiet dirt road. Thankful for the way an empty agenda ushers in unexpected gifts.

I find thanks in the youthful heart of wisdom that understands play beyond restriction.

And capturing small bits of beauty one frame at a time, it forms a portrait  revealing the nearness of his presence every step along the way.

As we celebrate this Labor Day holiday, may we reclaim the wonder by giving thanks.

Linking with Playdates with God, Multitudes on Monday, Miscellany Monday.


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  1. lolitavalle

    I love your list, Shelly.

    Thanks for sharing God’s wonder as you frame time with your cam. So beautiful.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Glad you enjoyed it. I decided to do something simple while everyone is enjoying our holiday.

  2. Diana Trautwein

    “the sacrament of photography…” EXACTLY. Thanks for this glory, Shelly.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks for your faithful encouragement Diana, you are such a gift.

  3. Christina

    My camera helps me see the thanks in everything. It’s amazing what wonders we can capture when our eyes are on alert for gifts of grace. Beautiful photos!

  4. Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately how writing is so much like a camera… like God gives us eyes to see the world from a different angle, in a different light. Like seeing the paper folding off the bark and holding it up to others in wonder. Word photos is what I want to write. You do that both with your words and photos. 🙂

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Love the way you expressed that Pam. It’s true, isn’t it? Like someone who paints and can’t fully capture the beauty with the paintbrush, just a glimpse of the real. I appreciate your encouragement, thank you. It means a lot to me.

  5. Jean Wise

    The sacrament of photography – now that would make a great title for a book!
    I think you also wrote true words with this: ” I wonder if the miracle of creation loses its allure when I stop giving thanks?” so true. Thanks for brightening my day. love the photos!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Ooo, it would wouldn’t it? Glad you stopped by Jean.

  6. Judy

    The allure of creation is restored in thanksgiving. A beautiful reminder.

  7. Jody Lee Collins

    Shelly–I’m so grateful to God that 1) your camera is a lovely ‘3rd arm’ and 2) that He placed you in a wonder-filled part of the world and 3) that you shared it all with us. The motorcycle picture is positively priceless–I can’t stop smiling!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks Jody. That one is my favorite too. I love it!

  8. Wendy

    “…may we reclaim the wonder by giving thanks.” LOVE this and so love your words and photographs shared today. We have so much to be thankful for friend. Blessings to you and your family today!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Yes, we do have much to be thankful for. Nice to visit with you Wendy. Hope you’ve had a nice Labor Day.

  9. kelliwoodford

    This is *perfect* for someone I know . . .
    Thanks, Shelly.
    (And thanks for your generous prayers and wise words, girl. So blessed by you.)

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I’ve thought about you much Kelli, and I’m continuing to pray friend.

  10. debra elramey (@elramey)

    Hi Annie Dillard, your word pictures and thoughts amaze. Love this!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Well Debra, that’s quite a compliment. I’ve been reading Pilgrim at Tinker Creek in little bits over the summer. I’m always amazed about the subject matter authors choose to write about and do so well at it.

  11. Elizabeth Stewart

    I enjoyed every word, every photo…

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Aw, thanks Elizabeth. Enjoyed your weekend post too friend.

  12. Dolly@Soulstops

    Thank you, Shelly, for sharing what you see so beautifully in your photos and words…Blessings 🙂

  13. Michele {A Life Surrendered}

    You are gifted… you are a gift. Beautiful 🙂

    We are neighbors at Ann’s today… 🙂

  14. ljbmom

    Somany gifts here. Grateful for the way your lens gathers beauty and how it makes me slow. Love to you, Shelly.

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