Seasons of Wonder
“The birthplace of faith is not dogma, creed, or doctrine; faith emerges from awe, wonder, and joy.
Just to be alive in creation is holy.”
—Bonne Smith Whitehouse
I have the perfect Christmas gift for you and those you love! My friend and fellow Sewanee grad, now a popular professor of English at Belmont University, and the author of several celebrated books, has written what I believe to be the spiritual book of the year. At her recent book launch at Parnassus she shared the story that Seasons of Wonder came to life in a farmhouse where she was helping our dear friend Tallu edit her NY Times Bestseller, What I Wish Were True. It was Tallu that gave Bonnie the sacred nudge to write this wonder of a book! I am sure Tallu is smiling from heaven!
In a world that feels coarse and much too critical; where the future is uncertain and there are too many tragedies, we long for a tender voice, one of hope, to remind us of the good, the beautiful, and the sacred in our midst. My friend has created a 52-week devotional that will nurture your mind, body, and spirit. In the introduction, Bonnie invites us to be surprised by God in our daily lives. She writes, “When you live with a tender, vulnerable, open-hearted, awe-filled faith, you’re always on the lookout for opportunities to connect the divine and the ordinary.”
I love how she organized the year around weekly invitations to dig deeper and expand your faith. My favorite calls to action are: embrace mysteries, point to love, cultivate resilience, look for the light, and adore creation. We can all agree that we would like for our small, ordinary lives to feel more sacred, even holy. She writes, “When you consider God as a Surprise, you’re always on the hunt for people, places, and moments that illuminate that ultimate illusion: the illusion that we are separate from God.”
Each week, Bonnie gifts us with a spiritual meditation, invites us to wonder and reflect on the message, and then she gives us an activity to deepen the experience. Bonnie will have you and your family making candles, walking sticks, yummy soups, and rosaries to reinvigorate your prayer life. I was happily surprised how she weaves the liturgical calendar into our every day lives. Bonnie’s voice throughout the book is gentle and encouraging. She recognizes that she is not alone in her desire to experience more sacred moments in the busy, hustle bustle of our earthly lives. I have read the book cover to cover. It’s beautifully written, but more importantly, its message speaks right to the soul. I am looking forward to reading through the book again, and doing the activities with my family starting in January. Follow my lead and purchase Seasons of Wonder for every single person that you would like to bless, and give them a nudge of hope!
I could read her Benediction every single day. I especially love the line, “May we return to wonder again and again—wonder for God, wonder for other people, wonder for other creatures, and wonder for our kin on this planet.” “At its heart,” she writes, “Seasons of Wonder is a plea to view and know the Divine not in terms of certitude but as a vast unfolding, unknowable mystery.”
This is a book for your soul!! Here is the link for purchase online or visit your local bookstore! As a special gift to Bread and Honey, Bonnie has created an Advent with the hopes that we will have a deeper experience of Christmas this year.