32 episodes

The clarity the desert brings. Hurricanes and hard relationships. Finding reason in the middle of a ruin. Small Wonders are quiet but profound observations about life from Dr. Laurel Moffatt. In each fifteen-minute episode, Laurel uncovers lessons learned from broken and beautiful things that are polished to perfection and set in rich audio landscapes for your consideration.

Small Wonders Laurel Moffatt

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.8 • 40 Ratings

The clarity the desert brings. Hurricanes and hard relationships. Finding reason in the middle of a ruin. Small Wonders are quiet but profound observations about life from Dr. Laurel Moffatt. In each fifteen-minute episode, Laurel uncovers lessons learned from broken and beautiful things that are polished to perfection and set in rich audio landscapes for your consideration.

    The Possible Self

    The Possible Self

    Welcome to the final episode of season 3 of Small Wonders!
    A new year approaches - and for many, a new set of resolutions.

    Reading, going to the gym, travelling, lifestyle changes: all of us have a “possible self” that we strive towards.

    It turns out we’ve been making New Year resolutions for a very long time - at least 4,000 years in fact, according to ancient Babylonian records.

    Humans have always pursued personal growth.

    We’ve also spent millennia breaking New Year resolutions.

    However, it's not as dire as you might think: statistics show that most people who make resolutions keep at least part of them.

    The notion of the possible self is often related to both hopes - and fears - for the future.

    Hope and fear: the possible is connected to them both.

    The possible self is also a theme in the Bible, but a possible self is firmly reliant on Him through whom all things are possible.

    The way to the best possible self - the eternal one - comes through the humble servant, encountered in the Gospels.
    "Going a little farther, (Jesus) fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26: 39

    • 16 min
    Summerbell

    Summerbell

    The Summerbell Window - a beautiful stained glass window - sits in the Holy Trinity Church in Millers Point, Sydney.
    It's not like the other windows: it shows a stormy sea, with Jesus calming the tempest.
    It commemorates the loss of the Yarra Yarra - a steamer captained by William Geoge Summerbell, the namesake of the window - which disappeared on the morning of the 15th of July 1877, after encountering a terrible storm off the coast of Newcastle.
    Witness to the tragedy was Williams's father, Thomas.It was the following year that the Summerbell Window was erected in Holy Trinity Church.
    Jesus didn't calm this storm, nor did He walk on water that morning.
    The window itself acknowledges this.
    "Save me Oh God, for the waters have come into my soul."
    The storms we face are real, and the grief we encounter can be like an unrelenting flood.
    A storm at sea can bring about an internal storm of pain.
    But knowledge of the truth - of God - can help us face this storm in a new light. The Psalms attest to this.
    Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck.
     I sink in the miry depths,
    where there is no foothold.I have come into the deep waters;the floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help;
    my throat is parched.My eyes fail,looking for my God.
    Yet at the same time:
    I will praise God’s name in songand glorify him with thanksgiving.This will please theLord more than an ox,more than a bull with its horns and hooves
    The poor will see and be glad—
    you who seek God, may your hearts live!The Lord hears the needy and does not despise his captive people.
    Psalm 69: 1-3, 30-33

    • 16 min
    Free Lunch

    Free Lunch

    We will always work for food. The question is - which food are we working for?
    "Daily bread" has become a well-worn idiom; we all need it to get by, and without it, life wouldn't be possible.
    However, such a simple phrase fails to capture the complexity of actually finding daily bread.
    From the wheat harvesters to produce the bread, to the toil of workers to earn money to buy enough of it, much of what we do is in search of ways to provide daily bread.
    Throughout history, the price of bread has reflected stability.
    The more expensive the dough, the more unrest in society.
    Bread is important. It is life-giving. But it isn't the life-giver.
    We will always work for bread. But what type of bread are we seeking?
    The one where we work, and hunt, and scavenge and scrounge around for whatever crusts we can find? 

    Or for the one that is given to us, the one sent by God. The true bread of life. The only daily bread we will ever need? 
    "Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval."
    Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."
    Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."John 6: 27-28, 35

    • 14 min
    Far Transfer

    Far Transfer

    Transfer of Learning: To take something from one context and apply it in another.
    For many teachers, this is the goal of their job; to impart specific knowledge to students that they can use in the wider world.
    However, the transfer of learning isn't about just getting things right - it's about being able to get things wrong too.
    Researchers have found getting it wrong can yield a greater transfer of learning.
    To focus on only being right is to limit ourselves - shut ourselves off from amazing possibilities.
    The best learning occurs when we know what is right and what is wrong.
    The Apostle Paul writes about this to his "dear son" Timothy in the New Testament.
    Paul was willing to be treated as wrong for his answer - even though it was the right one.
    The transfer of learning that goes the farthest is not learning only for learning’s sake, but one that pursues the truth, specifically as communicated in this letter, the truth of God.
    "… continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which can make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,  so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3: 14-17

    • 12 min
    Ghosts

    Ghosts

    Do you believe in ghosts? You should. The chances are, you are one.
    According to a Yougov poll conducted in 2021, roughly 40% of people polled believe in the traditional sort of ghost - a spirit that shows up and haunts a person or place. And almost 20% of those polled believe that they’ve had an encounter with such a ghost.

    But Laurell Moffatt has her eyes trained on a different kind of ghost - a more current type, which is almost the complete opposite of the traditional phantom. Ghosts these days don’t show up, instead, we use the term ‘to ghost’ to describe the actions of the living who decide to disappear from someone’s life. 

    In another poll about the experience of being ghosted, roughly the same percentage of people who say they believe in ghosts - 40% - have been ghosted by a friend. Other data suggests that this number climbs significantly for those in romantic relationships, with 60% saying they have been ghosted and 45% saying they’ve done the ghosting.
    That means not only are most of us likely to encounter a ghost - to be 'ghosted' so to speak - but there's a high degree of likelihood that we will ghost someone else at some stage in our lives.
    The question is, what effect does having so many ghosts running around have on society at large?
    LINKS
    Learn all about the supernatural beliefs of the average American here.
    And here are some thoughts on what to do if you are ghosted by a friend.

    • 16 min
    The Whale and the Kayak

    The Whale and the Kayak

    A small video caught the eye of Instagramers recently - one involving a whale and a kyak.
    A drone, hovering over the water at Bondi Beach, captured a person on a kyak paddling away, oblivious to the presence of a whale coasting along directly behind them.
    Laurel Moffatt reflects on the unique place the humpback whale occupies in Australian waters, and the way it treats the various oceans of the earth as rooms in a sprawling house.
    She also considers the place this particular humpback occupied in the life of that solitary kayaker. And in doing so, she finds a reflection of our sometimes incapacity to see the biggest things around us, and how an outside perspective is what we might need to see life's the most important ones.
    LINKS
    If you'd like to hear more humpback whale song, we suggest you visit the Whale Trust.
    There's also lots more to learn about the humpback whales of Eastern Australia at the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water.
    Laurell thoroughly recommends that you check out the original video of the drone, the whale and the kyak.
    And learn everything you need to know about the whale underwater day-spa here.

    • 18 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
40 Ratings

40 Ratings

Beth Emmanuel ,

Gorgeous!

Read all the reviews and all of them say the exact words I would say. Good job Laurel!!

The grandma story reminded me of my mother. Mum had a tortured soul and required a lot of years of forgiveness from me so I could get to the point of loving a woman who was unlovable and didn’t want to be loved. (Long painful story there!)

Beth Emmanuel Taylor

MarnieJC ,

Beauty in the small

Thank you Laurel for your beautiful observations. When I listen, I stop and try to see what you see.

drawn from memory ,

To be revisited…

It feels like too long since the last season, but I still find joy and wisdom its pace and content; so much so that I have revisited some episodes several times while I await season 2. So glad it’s just around the corner (:

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