Taste and see that the Lord is good. How happy is the person who takes refuge in him!
Psalm 34:8 (CSB)
I’ve been looking for goodness — for that which is sweet, good for the soul, joyful and light; for God’s goodness in everyday, ordinary places. In a new month of a still-new year that is full of possibilities and hope, it only seems right to be on the lookout for good.
What I’ve found is that goodness is everywhere — all around, all the time, in all the places.
By the time this post goes live, my baby sister will have had her first baby. I am honored to have been chosen to be the godmother, and my kids are head over heels in love with their newest cousin. We’ve prayed for this baby, waited for her arrival, celebrated her at showers, decorated for her, and waited some more. Bring on the snuggles, the bottles, the pacifiers strewn about, the late-night texts from my sister, the pure sweetness of a brand new baby. In a world that still holds that delicious newborn baby smell, there is still good.
My middle child starts kindergarten next fall. Hard as I try to clench my fists around the slippery strands of time, it just keeps marching along. Last week, we attended the kindergarten round-up night at the elementary school. My daughter was absolutely giddy to be there. She was dizzy with the attention of both parents solely focused on her, the prospect of her own someday desk filled with pencils and folders, a new teacher, new friends, an entire library to browse during elementary school, and the promise of riding a yellow school bus with her big brother. Her joy was overwhelming, and I couldn’t stop grinning big and silly at her happiness and hopefulness. In a world that still holds freshly sharpened pencils and the joy and hope of attending school, there is still good.
I’ve been making soup this winter. When the temperatures dip below zero, it’s time to drag out the stoneware, dutch oven, and slow-cooker. My knife finds a rhythm in slicing vegetables, my ears love the sizzle of browning meat, and my heart gives a leap as I shake seasonings into the pot and suddenly the soup is more than single ingredients standing alone. Add a fresh loaf of crusty-on-the-outside, squishy-on-the-inside bread and maybe a tossed green salad on the side, and dinner on a cold winter’s night is ready. The satisfaction of cooking is a motivator for me, and the joy it brings me to set a nice table and welcome my family around it is palpable. In a world that holds tables to gather around, family to break bread, and meals to be made, there is still good.
Daily, I dig into my laundry pile. I sort whites and bright colors, add detergent and swish-swash goes the washer. I vacuum up dog hair, fallen from our beloved ten-year-old golden retriever. I load the dishwasher, unload the dishwasher, and load it up again, full of dishes on which meals and snacks were served and enjoyed. I pick up tiny toys and stack books on shelves and go to the store for shampoo and bananas. I check in with family via texts, keep the calendar up to date (paper for me, electronic for my husband), and place books on hold at the library. I plan meals and turn in my hours for work and collapse into bed at the end of the day, thankful for each task ticked off my to-do list and asking for help to finish the leftovers. In a world that holds housekeeping tasks and teems with minutiae-managing, there is still good.
Once a month I meet with friends for “book club.” We do choose a book, and most of us read most of it. But really we gather for fellowship, to laugh and to cry, to eat cheese and sip wine and nibble chocolate. I use the Voxer app every single day to talk to my best friends who are all over the country. We gather once a year for a long weekend, flying and driving in from our corners to be together for a few (altogether too brief) days. We talk Enneagram and books, marriage and kids, writing and blogging and social strategies, hurts and fears and prayer requests, silly stories and laundry tips. In a world that holds friends and book clubs and girls’ weekends, there is still good.
I sit at my computer, typing out words and creating emails. I check in on social media, schedule a few posts, attend video meetings, work with our team to plan out editorial and marketing topics. I pray over each word published. I gather stats and help coordinate graphics and plot future plans. This work I’m blessed to do feels like my sweet spot — ministry + business + writing. In a world that holds work that brings deep joy, there is still good.
God, who loves us as much as He did on day one, makes all things work for the good of those who love Him. He thinks of us constantly, more than there are grains of sand. He created the heat of summer, the colors of autumn, the glittering snow of winter, and the newness of life in spring. He went to the grave and back for us, for me and you. In a world overflowing with reminders of God’s love, there is still good.
The walk to school. The sermon at church. The fresh-fallen snow. The width and depth of the ocean. The warmth of the sun. The crisp pages of a new, blank journal. A hot latte. A letter from a friend. A daisy growing out of a sidewalk crack. Your children, friends, and family. A verse in Scripture that speaks straight to your heart. Goodness isn’t hard to find, especially when you’re on the lookout.
May you taste and see the goodness of the Lord, right there in your everyday ordinary (which is really anything but ordinary).
Tell me, where do you see the goodness of God?
May you taste and see the goodness of the Lord, right there in your everyday ordinary. -@annaerendell: Click To Tweet