Taste and see that the Lord is good.
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 the first new year of a new decade, with days 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 — especially when we’re looking for it.
We just celebrated my niece’s first birthday, where I held my two-month-old nephew and my kids played with my siblings’ kids. Cousins! I see God’s goodness in the snuggles, the cousins growing up together, the late-night texts from my sisters with parenting questions, the pure sweetness of new babies. In a world that still holds cousin playtime, first birthday parties, and that delicious baby smell, 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 a 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 with, 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 Christmas morning puppy. 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 calendars 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 chocolate, sip wine, and laugh together. I use the Voxer app every single day to talk to my best friends who live all over the country. 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, there is still good.
I sit at my computer, typing out words and creating emails. I check blog posts, attend video meetings, work with our team to plan out marketing topics. I pray over each word published and emailed. I gather stats and help coordinate details and plot future book launches. 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.
Walking to school. A thought-provoking sermon at church. Fresh-fallen snow. The width and depth of the ocean and warmth of the sun. The crisp pages of a new, blank journal. A hot latte. A letter from a friend. Daisies 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 see the goodness of the Lord, right there in your everyday (which is really anything but ordinary).
Tell me, where do you see the goodness of God?
Goodness isn't hard to find, especially when you're on the lookout. -@annaerendell: Click To Tweet Leave a Comment
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
This year I was “commissioned” as the crossing guard for the elementary school near my house. Sure, I’m out there when wind chills are freezing my finders and my nose. I’m out there when I look like a wet dog who caught caught in the perfect storm, but I’m also there to take in the goodness of the children I get to interact with everyday. There’s goodness in getting a drawing of me crossing kids safely by Valentina in glasses and bouncy ponytails. I get to hear how Audrey took first place in long jump and rope climb in First in Fitness. Paul and I talk hockey each morning (He- Rangers, Me – Pens). Cesar and Daquin bust out the latest dance moves as they boogie through the cross walk. Haley always says, “Good morning Ms. Beb” and it makes me smile. There is goodness in the zeal and enthusiasm of youth. I get to tap into it every morning and every afternoon. Goodness, it’s there for the taking. Joining with you in looking for it! Great post!
Kelly G says
I loved reading this! I could see you in my mind’s eye, dripping wet, and sympathized (with a smile, because it is not me at the moment!) And your descriptions of the kids and their variety and sweetness made me smile inside. What a mutual blessing to them and to you! Thanks for sharing.
One of my favorite things is cuddling up with my kids and reading. We have recently started reading simple chapter books together and I just cant resist when they beg for one more chapter because they cant wait to see what happens. It brings my heart such goodness.
This was such a beautiful post and one I was really needing as I was feeling very down on myself this morning.
I see the goodness of God in my amazing daughter. And, I am really enjoying this hot cup of coffee right now, too. 😉
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
I love today’s reading just like I like all incourage readings. But what springs to mind for me is that God has woke me up to enjoy another beautiful day in world. I am alive. I have roof over my head clothes on my back shoes on feet. A bed to sleep in. Food on my table. When there are people homeless people in our world who don’t know where their next meal going to come from. Who don’t have clean running water. Especially in third world countries. We have alot to thank God for. Christian in our world not allow to even read a page of the Bible. They have to go into hiding. When we as Christian can read our Bible freely. Say our prayer’s freely. We have so much to thank God for. From the moment we get up in the morning to we go to bed at night. We can go into prayer for all these people that don’t have these things. Thank God everyday he wakes was up to enjoy another day in his beautiful world for the Goodness in it and be thankful on to him we can do that freely. Be thankful for all does for us and gives up. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xx
Beth Williams says
This post reminds me of a song by Jeff & Sherri Easter “Thank You Lord for your Blessings on Me.” It was written by Jeff’s dad. He was in prison for drunkenness & then a church group presented gospel. He got out found his wife & moved to their shack behind a junk yard. Yet he saw the blessings God had given him. If we look hard enough we can find goodness all around us. I’m thankful we don’t have Contra virus or other major disease here like China. I have a job where I can interact with RNs, CNAs, paqtients & their families. I have the privilege of praying for them. There’s goodness in a wonderful sunrise, great sermon. Yesterday with pastor’s wife I got to help explain that sin separates us from God & the blood of Christ wipes us clean. Yes there is goodness all around us we just have to be on the lookout. Life can get hard & messy down here. We must be intentional & over look the junk to see the goodness of God.
I see the goodness of God in letters that I receive from my 99 year old pen pal! She was my mom’s best friend and Maid of honor at her wedding. Both of my parents have passed on, but I love talking to my pen pal via “snail mail”. I live in Kansas, she lives in Washington state. I am disabled and not financially able to travel there to see her. She tells me stories about when her and mom and dad were young. I live in my grandma’s house, where mom grew up. I tell her about the “stories” I have from when I lived on a farm. I love animals and they always do something (back on the farm and now) that make good stories! This Christmas, I gave her a sunflower quilt. She loves the sunflowers because it reminds her of the good old days in Kansas growing up. I praise God for her health. She brings much happiness to me in her letters, she says the same thing about mine. God is good! It doesn’t take much to see His goodness, just look up from your phone! Who would have thought a simple hand written letter would bring so much joy? I bet God did! Thanks for sharing your words of encouragement this morning. I hope people listen to your message. Thanks again.
Kelly G says
That is beautiful! I appreciate you sharing how you can be a blessing despite your limitations :).
I know that I see God’s goodness in the sunrise and the sunset… and everywhere in between. I took photos of this morning’s sunset just before reading your post- took the time to experience God’s goodness. I skipped through my kitchen this morning, too (and wondered why in the world am I skipping)! But that was a blessing and I noticed it. Also, we’re enduing pretty warm temperatures for Jan!- God’s goodness! In our hopes we hold His resurrection power! God is so good to give us His goodness- All glory! Thank you for the post!!!
Oh, Anna, I do needed this today! Thank you! I couldn’t get to sleep last night. Too many thoughts about our divided, misguided country whirled through my head. I got up and had a cup of decaf tea. Along with some urgent prayer. And rounded out with reading from one of my most calming books. The Blue Bedroom by Rosamunde Pilcher. Short stories about lives well lived. Some might say, “Shame on you! You should have picked up.your Bible!” . Maybe. But I needed purely human stories of life in the modern world. I needed to immerse myself in an imaginary world for a few. And wrap myself in those friends. Afterwards, I slept like a baby. God is good. All the Time!
Kelly G says
I had to smile when I read “Shame on you! You should have picked up your Bible!” I have been listening to fluffy, benign books lately to help me through fatigue, pain and boring tasks, and wonder if I am sinning. But mostly I view them as a gift from God who knows I am made of dust.
BRENDA KOINIS says
yes ! thank you for reminding us that even the small things bring joy in such a demanding world. I love to enjoy the small things in life as they do bring joy. your write up was like a breath of fresh air.
I’m a stay at home mom that has been criticized by so many other busier moms , I still hold strong that no matter what we do with our day to seek joy in all our activities. I loved this write up !! our family loves popcorn & board games and winter walks .
Jennifer Waddle says
I. Love. This. Thank you for pointing out so much good! You’ve helped renew my perspective.
Nancy Ruegg says
Delightful post, Anna! Loved reading your record of God’s goodness. Almost three years ago I started to journal, “A Celebration of Small Things,” for capturing at least one blessing each day. Now it’s fun to go back and see what I wrote in previous years. Remember the polar vortex at the end of January last year? On February 2 I wrote about the first sighting of spring-green crocus-tops. In a world where flowers can bloom from a frozen landscape, there is still good!
I see no good. I see only sin. Everywhere. I see danger, crime, immorality and when I see people doing good I say to myself “does it even matter what good they do if they aren’t saved ? The way I have viewing God and people lately is putting me in big depression.
I understand Deane. When I see all the horrible things going on in the world I get depressed and anxious about my kids future. But then I remember to look to Jesus. In Him there is good. In Him and Him alone is redemption and saving grace. In Him my kids, you and I have hope. In Him we all have a home in heaven. Until then we must try to see His goodness.
Oh boy – I see the goodness of God everyday in the face on my 1 year old grand. He’s funny and sweet and energetic and I can just see his little mind working (It’s also a little scary lol)! On the opposite end I have my 93 year old Mom who still has some independence. I see His goodness in the sunrises and sunsets that are often beyond breathtaking…. God is so good to me!