Anyone else prone to making immeasurable new year’s resolutions? I have two resolutions this year, and they are both difficult to measure. The one that is of interest here is my resolution to be more in the moment. Like many people, I am guilty of saying, “I just can’t wait for spring/summer/whatever,” or “I can relax once I meet this deadline, but until then I will resemble a highly caffeinated squirrel.” This resolution has a few elements: practicing gratitude, incorporating hygge principles into my life, and living and eating more seasonally. A few weeks ago when I was buying the last of my Christmas gifts on Amazon, looking like the previously mentioned caffeinated squirrel, this devotional popped up on my Amazon recommendations. I found the description intriguing, as it seemed to align with my 2023 goals, but I was nervous as I have never heard of the author or anyone who blurbed the book. However, I bought it as I have zero self control when it comes to books.
I am glad I did.
To be clear, this is a book recommendation rather than a book review. I’m on Week 1 of a year long devotional. Obviously, I cannot comment on the entirety, only that which I have read thus far and that which I have skimmed.
Seasons of Wonder: Making the Ordinary Sacred Through Projects, Prayers, Reflections, and Rituals is meant to be a year-long journey, organized according to both the liturgical calendar and by the seasons. I would describe it as a spiritual take on hygge. It’s organized week by week, rather than day by day, and includes readings, prayers, hand drawn artwork, projects, crafts, and recipes to immerse you into the topic. Each week has several ideas so you can pick and choose which activities to do. In Week 1, you can write out a weekly blessing, host a Twelfth Night party where everyone makes their own crowns, or bake a King Cake. There are creation care tips for each month, and January’s is simple: Don’t waste your holiday leftovers. This is definitely organized as a family devotional, where everyone gathers together each week and participates in the readings and activities, but I am doing this alone in single lady fashion, and it seems doable.
The author, Bonnie Smith Whitehouse, is a lay leader in the Episcopalian church and an English professor whose previous books have focused on creativity and storytelling. Seasons of Wonder perfectly blends her area of expertise with her faith background. This book is a little outside my faith tradition. The book contains instructions on how to make and pray the rosary and recommends using a version of the Bible that contains the apocrypha. I am interested in learning about other perspectives and practices of other Christians, so this is intriguing to me.
If you are looking for a new devotional this year, it wouldn’t be too late to start this one, given that it is organized by week rather than by day.