Saturday, August 8, 2015

Is Life a Habit or a Marvel?

by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

"Life never becomes a habit to me. It's always a marvel." -Katherine Mansfield
Habits are highly effective—or so they say.

But there’s something to be said about allowing life to surprise us. Remembering to be wide-eyed. Taking time to marvel at things around us. Or the people we meet during the day.

I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In the midst of running my errands, living my oh-so-daily life — you know, falling into the familiar habit of it all — I can forget to look up and see Pikes Peak rising just beyond the foothills. It’s right there, waiting for me to notice it, every single day.

But I’m so used to Pikes Peak, I forget. It becomes nothing special and fades into the background. Just another mountain. Nothing to marvel at.

Today’s quote made me stop and think:If I had a choice, would I rather live life as a habit or a marvel? I’d pick marvels over habits every time.

It seems as we grow older, life demands that we spend less time marveling — over a rainbow or a hummingbird or the kindness of a friend or the comfort of silence. Instead, to succeed we must work harder to establish habits: being diligent and proactive and good communicators.

And yet, in the pursuit of helpful habits, what if we lose the spark, the wide-eyed wonder, of seeing life for what it is? A gift. A blessing. A reason to be thankful — every day.

In Your Words: If you had a choice, would you rather live life as a habit or a marvel? What marvelous experience — event, person, thing — jolted you out of your ordinary recently?


Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” 

A nonfiction writer and editor who said she’d never write fiction, Beth is now a novelist with Howard Books. She enjoys writing inspirational contemporary romance because she believes there’s more to happily-ever-after than the fairy tales tell us. Connect with Beth on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or check out her blog on quotes, In Others’ Words.


  1. I love this post. I wake up every morning as say, "Lord, what do you have for your servant today?" I marvel at what He does. I marvel at the little things like my son achieving a small goal. I marvel at how God allows me to see the good in everything. I marvel that He uses the likes of me to further His kingdom. Yes, I Marvel at life. I pray I never stop.

  2. I love your morning prayer, Cherrilyn! "Lord, what do you have for your servant today?" What a purposeful way to start the day.

  3. When I was growing up, Mom always stopped to point our spider webs, unusual bugs, or anything else that caught her attention. She definitely lived life as a marvel and taught me to do the same. I don't always do it but she was an excellent roll model.

    1. Sherry,
      It definitely helps to have role models who teach us to marvel at life.

  4. If I had to choose one over the other, I'd choose the marvel.

    And yet, in the press of day-to-day living, the marvel somehow gets lost.

    I grew up in Michigan. I lived there for over 40 years, right in the middle of the mitten. And yet, I've never been to Mackinaw Island.

    Now that I live in Kansas, I regret that oversight.

    But I can't help but wonder what marvels I'm missing right here in Kansas.

    Thanks for the reminder to look up and look around, Beth. It's precisely the act of doing those two things that keeps the marvel of life from becoming a habit.

    Or worse: A drudgery.

    1. Here's hoping you discover some marvels in Kansas, Carrie Lynn. :O)