Teach Them Awe

This is 31 conversations from the front porch day 6. You can find the rest of the series here.

31 conversations from the front porch with jkmcguire

Day 6: Sleeping Bees Teach Them Awe

I would get up early on a Sunday morning and head out before the sunrise to walk the path. I encountered dew drops, beavers, great blue herons, other varieties of water fowel, deer, geese, people walking their dogs… and sleeping bees. I can remember clearly the moment I discovered insects sleeping in the brush around the lake. I remember finding bumble bees covered with dew drops. It was holy ground.

There on the edge of the water, standing on mud I captured sleeping bees covered in dew… I felt seen, known, and understood.

It doesn’t make much sense considering I was all alone on that path as the neighborhood slept.

But here I stood all by myself – not alone because nature and I bore witness together to the Creator of all things.

He… she met me there. Like a friend present in my troubles, she stood with me and walked that path, turning my eyes to the sleeping bees and my heart to the awe of being known and cared for by a great, big God.

Nature is a continual reminder that we are very small and there is life being created continually around us and within us – whether we see it or not.

Every time we take a breath… that is a miracle.

That sleeping bee was an altar of sorts. A place where I was once again humbled and bowing low – not in worship of nature, but in worship of a creator I could see in all the detailed beauty around me.

I want to teach my children that…

I want to teach them awe.

sleeping bee awe jkmcguire watermarked
[Click on the image to open a free downloadable Iphone wallpaper image of this sleeping bee]
If you want to teach your children to see the sleeping bumbles on their own, to find the beauty, and how to bow low to the master of the spinning stars…

you have to know awe for yourself.

You can not show what you do not know.

You can not teach – and lead into a land – where you have not been led.

You can not show them what it looks like to be in awe and to bow low…

if you haven’t done it yourself.

Teaching your children awe – begins with you.

From the Front Porch,


teach your children awe jkmcguire

Exercises For Your Own Front Porch Conversations

“One man walks through the world with his eyes open, another with his eyes shut; and upon this difference depends all the superiority of knowledge which one man acquires over another.” (Charles Kingsley)

Thoughts: I love to bring my children out onto the porch. We discover one another, play and stand in awe of the storms that pass overhead. On warm days when the clouds are fluffy and beautiful in the sky we lay out a blanket in the yard and watch the formations above us. They love bringing me into the “play spaces” as much as I enjoy sharing my “quiet places” with them. Try that this week. If you have children/grandchildren considering bringing them – one on one – into the spaces where you find awe this week.

Exercises: Consider doing a few of these by yourself or with your kids to discover awe.

  • Take a nature hike – find a trail or your neighborhood
  • Create a nature journal – drawing and/or pressing what you find
  • Discover your yard – even a tiny yard has something to discover. Our house in the city has an abundance of preying mantis, variety of birds and other bugs, different flowers, leaves, seeds, and plenty of places to find awe.
  • Sit quietly on the front porch listening to the neighborhood – to nature. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you feel? Write that down.
  • Invite your children to do these things with you – listen, see, find, discover together.

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