Enter to Win a Free Copy of The Gift of Wonder

Plan a play date,
go for a walk through your favourite park,
and take time to enjoy the beauty and wonder of God.
– Christine Aroney-Sine, A Daily Dose of Awe

This week I received a delightful surprise in my mail box: The Gift of Wonder: Creative Practices for Delighting in God by Christine Aroney-Sine (InterVarsity Press, 2019). Since I already have a copy, I’d love to give this one away – to enter to win, leave a comment below or sign up for my free email updates. I’ll do a random draw on June 10, 2019, 9am Pacific.

The strength of the book lies in its creative practices and related stories, but the following quotes also caught my attention.

Delighting in God

God’s kingdom is a new world with a totally new culture, new language, customs, values, and purpose. (page 16)

Finding rest

Sabbath is not a rest of exhaustion but of delight. (page 19)

Recovering awe and wonder

The first key to recovering awe and wonder is to allow for silence. Not the silence that comes from an absence of noise but silentium, the silence of attentiveness toward God. Only silentium provides a quiet space for our souls, allows our imaginations to flourish, and opens us to awe of our amazing God. This form of quietness is not easy to find because it isn’t about place but attitude. Silentium encourages us to slow down, set aside the distractions of minds, hearts, and daily activities to draw from the quiet inner center to commune with the spirit of God in a special way. (page 28)

Playing

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. – Plato (page 55)

Asking better questions

Sometimes doubts are intensified because we ask the wrong questions. Passive questions that expect God to do something without my active engagement are destructive, not constructive. When I blame God, I don’t need to respond. “Why does God allow suffering?” sidesteps my responsibility and sometimes culpability in the situation I am struggling with. Now I replace it with “What does God ask me to do when I am confronted with suffering?” Or “Where is God in the midst of this suffering?” (page 81)

Letting go

So often we excuse our busyness by saying, “But I enjoy what I do.” Yes, but does God enjoy it when it turns us away from the divine presence? We will never learn to rest fully in God unless we can relinquish our desire to be in control of our lives, our time schedules, and our activities, and do what we want to do rather than what God wants us to do. (page 125)

Exploring

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. – Marcel Proust (page 159)

Nurturing compassion

The three most important ways to nurture compassion are modeling, surrounding ourselves with people who regularly practice compassion and coming face-to-face with people who need our care. Without role models to guide us, face-to-face encounters to prompt us, and encouragement to reach out and be kind, the impulse shrivels and dies. (page 171)

To enter to win a free copy of The Gift of Wonder: Creative Practices for Delighting in God, leave a comment below, or sign up for my free email updates. I’ll do a random draw on June 10, 2019, 9am Pacific. This draw is now closed—thanks for playing!

Writing/Reflection Prompt: Respond to one of the quotes listed above from The Gift of Wonder.

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40 thoughts on “Enter to Win a Free Copy of The Gift of Wonder

  1. I’ve had The Gift of Wonder on my wishlist for a couple weeks…but my book budget has been exhausted. I am contenting myself with the articles on Godspace for now.

  2. You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. – Plato (page 55)

    How awesome. I agree that it helps to surround ourselves with those who model compassion.

    I’m in The Writer’s Way class and I’m enjoying going through The Artist Way one more time, including morning pages and artist dates. My interest in art and colour has increased.

    I’d love to see more from The Gift of Wonder and how to use creative practices to delight in God. I say that I collaborate with God in creativity as I write poems, a fairy tale, or I create memes or greeting cards.

  3. Recovering “awe and wonder” when the current challenges of life seem all-consuming is my desire.

    1. I think that’s one reason so many people resonate with this book, Hildegarde. Life is challenging on so many levels, yet is filled with awe and wonder. I don’t want to miss that either!

  4. This looks like a very practical book, I will add it to my reading list. Thank you! And I love how you encourage other writers, April!

  5. Hi April,

    I wonder whether this Christine Sine is the same one who worked to establish an intentional community ministry with her husband, over many decades?

    I’m currently stymied in my attempts to get “out & about”, due to recent shoulder/bicep repair and reattachment surgery. Surgeon’s forecast for anticipated full recovery is Nov.

    Seems like a long time to be unable to fully use my arm and shoulder. Currently the arm is “slung” snugly to my body, preventing inadvertent movement, for another 5 weeks. Cryo cuff machine keeps it cool, by circulating ice water over the shoulder/bicep, several hours per day.

    Here’s hoping good reading might be enhanced by this book. 😄

    1. Ooh, I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had surgery on your arm. I pray for these next 5 weeks and for your full recovery. That will be reason to celebrate! And yes, Christine and her husband, Tom Sine, live in a small intentional community, and she is the founder of Godspace, which is an online writing community that I’m a part of: https://godspacelight.com/community/

  6. This sounds like a wonderful challenge for rethinking solitude, contemplation and reflection. Would love it.

  7. Wow!! April, these are all amazing quotes you shared. And, they all resonated with me and where I am currently in my journey with God. After reading Richard Rohr’s books, Falling Upwards, Immortal Diamond, and just this, I have found myself to move in a different direction as a person overall. Being over 50 yrs I have discovered how we see life through new lenses and that some of the things that previously were important (career) just aren’t anymore. And reading your books, Sacred Pauses and Four Gifts, have given more to work with as I slow down my crazy life. This book you are offering as a prize is one I will get even if I don’t win it. Valerie

    1. I’m glad for this glimpse of your journey, Valerie. I’ve heard so much about Richard Rohr’s Falling Upwards–I haven’t read it myself yet, but it’s definitely on my to-read list.

  8. I think we could all use a bit more delight in God in our days. I’m interested in adding it to my collection for Faith Formation work.

  9. April, I find your comments inspiring and helpful. Since my reading capacity is come close to nil I want to read more of your books and some you recommend but I need to concentrate and open my mind. I do need help and memory. – Frank

    1. Thank you for your kind words and interest, Frank. Reading is a great way to practice concentration, and even reading a short article or story can help us practice. I find that taking notes and talking with other people about what I read can help me remember, so you might want to try writing down a few key words, or telling someone about what you read.

  10. I’m reading this at a seniors care home where our daughter, a chaplain spends her Monday mornings. It is difficult to see people disoriented and confused as their bodies gradually grow weaker. But I see so much loving care happening for them and that makes me happy.

  11. I’m challenged by what Ms. Aroney-Sine writes about letting go, and about asking better questions. I see so many needs around me! Does that mean I need to let my house and garden (the things I enjoy) go?

    The question I’ve been asking all my life is, “What does God want me to do?” Put another way, it might be, “What does God ask of me in these situations.”

    1. Yes, there are many needs that call us to lament and to work at addressing them, and at the same time, there is much beauty and wonder that call us to delight in God and offer praise. I find the challenge is living out both. Can we share our delight with others? Can we do that in ways that respect and empower others? Instead of letting go of the house and garden you enjoy, what if God is asking how you might share your delight in them for the good of others?

  12. Awe and wonder! It seems I have always been in awe and wonder with God’s continually changing creation.
    When I was only 4, I remember sitting on our front porch steps on a sunny spring morning while the dew was still clinging to the slightly long grass. As I gazed at the beauty I realized that spiders had woven webs all over the tips of the grass, creating little nets for the sparkling dew to perch on. I remember being mesmerized. Then and there, I decided to never lose my awe of small gifts like this and to notice God’s surprises everywhere I looked. I had noticed that adults were often much too busy with their lives and important duties to stop and see the joy and beauty right in front of them.
    I’m thankful for that lovely memory and the decision I made so long ago.

  13. April, every time I see a new book, either in the church library, or at a yard sale (I mean new to me), I come home with another one. My list of reading gets longer every week. So if I win this, please give it to “neufelder,” whose sad note caught my attention! Miss you. but Bob is doing a good job!
    ps: I didn’t know I had a website! Thanks.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Mary – I love books, but probably need to do more giveaways 🙂 I miss you and everyone too, but am grateful for the new thing that God is doing!

  14. Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway for The Gift of Wonder. The random number generator has chosen a winner who will be notified by email. I’m planning another book giveaway next month, so please stay tuned!

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