SheReads: Five Books that Inspire Wonder and Awe this Advent

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Hear this, O Destiny; stand still and consider the wondrous works of God.

By Destiny Loeve

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It’s December, and I just spent several days on the beautiful mountain of Whistler. The snow softly drifting down along with the majesty of the mountainous backdrop had me captivated. The village, decorated with twinkling lights, inspired all kinds of joy. And oh, the privilege of skiing down through fresh powdery snow under a crisp blue sky… my heart was happy. In such a setting my instinctual response was (and always is!) amazement at the glory of God in His creation.


The book I recently read (many thanks to my husband who graciously allowed me to claim it first)–Indescribable by Louie Giglio & Matt Redman–explores this idea. Together they take on the task of inspiring wonder in an “information-overloaded society” that is “thirsting for wonder” (p. 65). They direct our gaze up to the sky, the Sun, the moon, the stars, the galaxies, and the farthest reaches of the universe. And the result for me was simply “wow”. Accompanied by some astronomical facts, pictures of things I’ve never ever seen before, and reflections on the magnitude of Jesus in the creation of the cosmos, this book was full of insights. It had me google-ing things like “pale blue dot” and watching videos of the moon, February 25, 2007. Our universe is jaw dropping, awe-inspiring indeed.

And what perfect timing for re-focusing on the necessity of wonder. Yes, the festive season is upon us. For me, and likely for you, December can be a bit of a frenzied month. Filled with many good things, it becomes just that … filled. I am keenly aware that I must prioritize moments of wonder and awe at all the birth of Jesus Christ signifies.

Matt Redman writes in Indescribable, “In the biblical account of the birth of Jesus, it was a star that led the wise men to find Him. But God has been using stars to point people to Him long before this momentous event. Yes, the heavens declare the glory of God.” (p. 36)

From the glorious snow-capped mountains, to the newborn babe we revere at Christmas, there is much to stand in amazement of. I would love to encourage you to take these words from the book of Job in the Bible and make a simple substitution of your name for Job’s–just like I did–and let’s take this to heart in December amidst the beautiful hustle and bustle:

Hear this, O _______(your name!); stand still and consider the wondrous works of God. (Job 37:14)

Confession: I’ve never done anything formulated during the season of Advent (besides open up a little window on a box to discover a chocolate). However, my heart constantly leans in these days leading to December 25th towards Simplicity, Worship, and Reverence to mark the arrival of King Jesus among humble humanity. This month I wanted to offer some suggestions of books you might read to take you on this same journey of Wonder and Awe.

Here’s some books our contributors are inspired by:

 This book is an invitation to wake up to God’s Presence – it will help you journey daily with a keen awareness of whether you’re truly awake or not. We live in such a distracted culture and often forget to live in the present moment and bring God into the “now” moments of our busy lives.

 I found it a very compelling read and will read it again many times, I’m sure. It’s not a book that makes me feel guilty when I find myself distracted and too busy, but it invites me to open up my heart again to the whispers and presence of our magnificent God.

This book comes to mind immediately. It is small, written with passion, leads one to look further into the Bible and each chapter ends with a prayer. John Piper’s word to the reader starts like: “Who was Jesus? That’s the question I will try to answer. But my aim is not for you to be neutral about him. That would be cruel. Seeing and savouring Jesus Christ is the most important seeing and savouring you will ever do. Eternity hangs on it. So my aim is that you see him as solid truth and savour him with great joy.”

When asked to share a book that provoked wonder and awe it was this simple collection of poems that came to mind. The poets all offer reflections on the mystery of Jesus, embracing the full arc of incarnation from birth to resurrection. The poems are accessible and insightful, written by several poets including Madeleine L’Engle, Luci Shaw and Eugene Peterson. When I had limited space in my suitcase bound for Burundi, this was the cache of poems I packed! I leave you with one example that penetrates my heart since my own story, namely the adoption of my daughter, resonates with the truth revealed:

After Annunciation by Madeleine L’Engle

This is the irrational season

when love blooms bright and wild.

Had Mary been filled with reason

there’d have been no room for the child.

When we mull over the mysteries of this Advent season, the language of poetry hints at the deep truth best, allowing us to brush up against the brightness–leaving us standing in awe.

This book is a compilation of reflections from a variety of different bloggers around the globe. This guide is ordered into four specific movements for the four weeks of Advent–Preparing, Seeking or Expecting, Waiting and Becoming. The reflections are beautiful and challenging, but the part that is the most lovely to me are the liturgies and prayers that are included at the beginning of each. Filled with God’s hope, love, mercy, justice, and peace, these prayers are stirring my soul this season. (Editor’s note: Kathy and I both contributed to this book, but even if I didn’t, it would still be one of my favourites. I am enjoying the quiet reverence it lights in me as I journey through these devotions this Advent. –idelette xo)

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So SheLoves readers, I’d love it if you would take a moment to write a response about what causes you to literally or figuratively stop in your tracks, and say, “Wow, God.”

Happy reading!

About Destiny

Destiny Loeve treasures most her roles as wife to one daring husband & mommy to three sunshiny children. She loves to see things grow in her garden, read great books, hang out at her church, meet all kinds of people & sit in her living room with friends. When not on maternity leave, she works as a pediatric nurse, and finds as many opportunities to volunteer in the community as possible.

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Destiny Loeve

Destiny Loeve

Destiny is wife to Joshua and mom to Ruby. She alternates between stay-at-home mom and Pediatric/Surgical nurse. She loves the season fall, her church VCC, the show So You Think You Can Dance and meeting new friends and neighbours.
Destiny Loeve

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