Podcast: Making the Ordinary Sacred with Bonnie Smith Whitehouse

Brave Writer Podcast

Content Advisory: The speaker is a Christian and this show features her book that teaches families how to celebrate the liturgical calendar.

Bonnie Smith Whitehouse is a Nashville-based professor at Belmont University and writer. She calls herself a pilgrim not only because she loves to walk, wander, and contemplate, but because when she read Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek her life was forever changed. She’s a mother of spirited boys, a lover of bird song, a baker of bread, and an amateur painter and hand-letterer.

On today’s Brave Writer podcast, we discuss her latest book, Seasons of Wonder: Making the Ordinary Sacred Through Projects, Prayers, Reflections, and Rituals: A 52-Week Devotional.

Show Notes

Why “Seasons of Wonder”?

Wonder is not discussed enough. We lean heavily on certainty, which is like oil to wonder’s water. When we look at nature, we see wonder everywhere. We are a part of the earth, and with each season we invite a new energy to our life. Seasons of Wonder gives a methodical and creative approach to delving into our curiosity and sense of wonder.

What is a devotional calendar?

A devotional calendar is a guided structure for deepening your study and understanding of a religious faith. Typically in daily or weekly increments, they present a passage to read and invite you to explore what it means.

Seasons of Wonder is not your typical devotional. In fact, Bonnie didn’t approach writing it as a devotional until her editor pointed it out to her. But this is her own personal twist on the genre: A book full of devotion, and how love, wonder, and courage all come from being devoted.

In Seasons of Wonder, each section is named for a month, and contains a practice for each week that makes up that month. For example, January starts off with the theme of “Transcending Dualities,” and the four weeks are titled:

  • “Gather and Resolve,”
  • “Stargaze,”
  • “Wrestle,”
  • and “Set the Table.”

Along with each devotional guide is paired a “wonder moment” and something to try.

To wonder is to tell some stories together, to explore ideas, and to listen and discuss. After you’ve had some time to wonder, listen, and discuss, you move into trying and taking those ideas into something concrete. When you can physically manifest that idea of wonder, something magical happens.


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