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Words of Wonder – November 2023: Discover Wonder by Giving Thanks and Sharing Stories

Giving thanks and sharing stories can connect us with a strong sense of wonder. By practicing gratitude, we can gain a perspective that helps us notice the wonder of God’s work in our lives.

Recently, I enjoyed the delightful National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee. Each storyteller crafted powerful stories with widely diverse content and styles. Yet one thread connected them all: gratitude. Every single one of the storytellers mentioned how grateful they were for what they learned during the events they described in their stories. Many even said that the act of telling their stories was a way for them to give thanks for those life experiences.

We all have powerful stories to share – and it’s especially important to share stories about God’s wondrous work in our lives. Psalm 107:1-2 urges us to tell our spiritual stories as a way to give thanks to God: “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story...”.

Learn more about how to share stories well in this blog and discover more about the power of stories in the lifelong learning chapter of Wake Up to Wonder.

How can giving thanks help us discover wonder? Gratitude trains our minds to become more aware of our blessings. This heightened awareness can lead us to moments of wonder. When we pause to thank God for everyday miracles like an embrace from someone we love or the beauty in a sunset, we become inspired by the wonder of those experiences. The more we recognize and acknowledge God’s goodness in our lives, the more we notice it, and the more we can experience wonder as a result. Psalm 100:4 encourages us to: “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” When we reach out to God with gratitude, we open ourselves to experience God’s wonder. Thanksgiving can be a gateway to awe and amazement in our spiritual journey.

When we practice gratitude, we redirect our focus from what we lack to appreciating what we have. This change in perspective can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. We can find wonder even in the mundane parts of our lives when we view each day as a gift and each interaction as an opportunity to be grateful. We shouldn’t limit our gratitude only to moments of abundance and joy, but give thanks often – even in challenging times. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, the Bible advises us to: “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” By doing so, we can notice more of God’s constant presence with us, which in turn leads us to wonder at the depth of God’s love for us.

Learn more about how to give thanks in all circumstances in this article.

Giving thanks can lead us to wonder on a regular basis. When we express gratitude, we can find the extraordinary in the ordinary, and grow closer to God as we do. So, this month, I encourage you to start a habit of giving thanks every day – and to share your stories of gratitude with others whenever you can!



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