wonder: maintaining a child-like sense of wonder


We begin, malleable as clay, newly minted, a wonder to behold. Childhood offers us an enviable openness and innocence that can quickly turn sour, depending on how our way of seeing things is perceived and responded to by our parents and carers.

I was a daydreaming child, prone to wondering (and wandering away). My impatient mother was apt to sigh, snap and tut at her head-in-the-clouds girl. I lived with eyes wide open, heart and mind engaged in a life beyond what adult eyes could see, lost in my own world, where anything was possible.

Dolls were real to me, so I cried when my sister carelessly tossed them down the stairs. They were my playmates, always firm friends, unlike my chameleon twin sister who blew hot and cold with the wind. Competitiveness took the edge off our companionship. Parents who constantly compared us—proverbial chalk and cheese in our character and interests—were of little help in fostering good relationship between us, or igniting wonder we could easily share.

Books soon became my escape route, a convenient hide-away when life became painful, a continual source of wonder and consolation to this day. Here’s the thing: God never meant us to lose our sense of wonder. That’s not what putting childish things behind us is supposed to mean. Child-like wonder is a precious gift we do well to maintain.

We are hard-wired for wonder, made to marvel and created to see and sense the holy beauty and joy that surrounds us each day. Sadly, our hearts can become hard, cynical and cold. We can fail to see that faith is the greatest wonder journey of them all.

I hope and pray the haiku below will help bring back a sense of awe to you during this Holy Week. May God soften and enliven our hearts, open our eyes, saturate us with His joy, fill us with fervent faith and an increasing ability to rejoice and to praise. Maybe then we will be better equipped to live a wonder-filled life.

Tuned to wonder

My heart is wired, tuned

to see wonder in each day

fired by what I spy



Daily marvel

We wonder, marvel

anew at all God can do

spy his handiwork



Risen—Holy wonder

Eyes are spying now

transfixed—seeing Jesus’ tomb

wondrously empty



Linking my haiku micropoetry with  our Poet Master, Ronovan, and fellow poets, as we share our take on this week’s prompt of ‘Wonder&Spy’. Just click here to join me there and read the great posts being shared.

How are you awakening to wonder as we walk this Lenten pathway? I’d love to hear in the comments below.  🙂

18 thoughts on “wonder: maintaining a child-like sense of wonder

  1. Dear Joy,
    This post, and these Haiku, are filled with so many facets that I hardly know which to comment on! I am so sorry that your child-like heart of wonder was not appreciated by your family! What a difference it makes to have parents that encourage us to “dream and to spin our tales.” How beautiful that the Lord has restored that sense to you, as it comes through in all of your writing, as you “spy His handiwork,” and “see wonder in each day.” But the sentence that touched me most deeply here is this one: “We can fail to see that faith is the greatest wonder journey of them all.” Yes! I want to say, those are the thoughts my heart has been trying to express, as I pause to wonder myself. It reminds me of an old hymn we used to sing, “Oh the Wonder of it all, just to think that God loves me.” Blessings and Love and Hugs to you at Easter Time! xoxo

    • Dear Bettie, how kind of you to sympathise with the child within and how perceptive of you to see a sense of wonder unfolding in the words I share! Yes, encouraging, supportive parents help enormously in helping us to develop a strong sense of our identity and a healthy self-esteem. Sadly, it wasn’t my experience, nor that of many. So when I embraced faith in Christ in my late teens it not only caused a deeper rift between me and my family, it also helped to satiate a deep hunger in my soul, opened my eyes even more to wonder and gave me reason to believe I was acceptable and lovable just as I am. I’m so thankful to have a kindred-heart sister in you! Blessings, love and hugs to you and yours this Easter time. xoxo

  2. “Child-like wonder is a precious gift we do well to maintain.” I wonder if this is part of what Jesus had in mind when he said we must become like little children… I’m so glad to be rediscovering a childlike sense of wonder and agree with you that we should never lose it. I want to help others maintain a sense of wonder, too. 🙂

    Your haiku are wonderful, especially the last one. I was trying to come up with one along those lines, too, but couldn’t quite find the right words. I’m so glad you did!

    Many blessings to you my dear sister/poet/friend! Love and hugs. xoxo

    • Dear Gayl, yes, I think you’ve hit on the key thing Jesus may have intended here. As Christ followers, we are supposed to maintain open minds, open hearts, a state of receptivity, wonder, hope and joy in our daily lives. You are already opening other people’s minds to wonder in the words you share. Your enthusiasm in celebrating small mercies and signs of God’s grace, your enjoyment of God’s creation and the way you share about fun times with your family all point to a heart well attuned to wonder in the everyday. Thank you for your generous comments about my haiku! Thankfully, they came to me so quickly I didn’t try to analyse them. How good it is when God gifts us with the “right words”! I’m sure He will stir you to write just the right ones for your keen readers to enjoy. Easter blessings, love and hugs to you, my sweet sister/poet/friend! xoxo

  3. Wonder is such a gift! Children teach us so much. Jesus knew what he was saying when he said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these!”

    • Amen, Tara! We can learn so much from being around children. I’m finding I have more time to slow and observe these things with my grandson than I was able to do when our sons were small. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the daily activities of life and responsibilities, and fail to step back enough to truly appreciate the precious young life unfolding before our eyes, full of wonder and curiosity! Children also don’t hold back from showing their feelings, do they? Their joy is very evident and delightful to behold. Bless you, my friend. xo ❤

    • Laurie, there is wonder wrapped up in everything, and I’m sure your keen poetic, photographic eye will spot something sensational in the rain! Happy strolling and recording, my friend. And a blessed Easter to you and your family. 🙂 xo

      • What a lovely, thoughtful blessing! Thank you, Laurie! it looks like being a busy(ish) time with our grandson visiting for a few days with his mum and dad. Though we aren’t quite up to them staying with us as usual and will have to space visits out a bit. Seeing him always warms my heart, so a joyous Easter sounds like just the ticket! 🙂 xo

  4. My heart cries for how your sense of wonder as a child was criticized rather than nurtured, Joy. I’m so sorry. It’s so true what you write – “God never meant us to lose our sense of wonder.” I love your haikus and photos. They all foster that sense of wonder in my heart, especially that wondrously empty tomb. Thank you for encouraging me not to forget that sense of wonder and to look for it each day. Have a wonder-filled Easter! Love and hugs!

    • Trudy, I think my parents were such driven, nose-to-the-grindstone kind of people, who valued work above all else, even seeking their solace in it more than in one another, that they had no time for a dreamer like myself. My attempts to share my creative endeavours were brusquely brushed away and it made me lose heart and confidence for many long years. Thankfully, God has slowly drawn me out of my shell and equipped me to create more freely! Now, I love painting images with words and messing about with photographs. Perhaps my early experiences are what make me so desirous to encourage others with their creativity. Thank you for caring and for your beautiful Easter blessing. Here’s to a wonder-full Easter! Love and hugs to you, too, dear friend. xox 😊💜➕

  5. Hello Joy! You’re always so wise and insightful and you sure have a way with words––a natural. I love your poems. I’m sorry you had a hard time growing up but I’m happy you found books and discovered your gift of writing. ❤ xx

    • Hello Vashti! You certainly have a captivating way with words and a sweet gift of understanding and encouragement. I’m, so glad you see wisdom and insight here. It’s a God-given thing, though years of hindsight often teach us much! It’s lovely to hear you like the poems. Those childhood years were challenging in more ways than I have mentioned here, but oh how much it makes me grateful now to have a space and place to write, communicate and connect with lovely people like you! xo ❤

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