I’m sitting here at my dining room table, day 15 of complete self-isolation at home, feeling like it’s been months already. Time is such a strange thing. I know some people have been self-isolating for even longer than that. I sit here and I see the mess around me. Even though we are home all day every day, more than ever I can’t seem to keep the house tidy. I realize it’s because we are living here more. I let the mess go. I am feeling thankful for the mess because I am thankful for our living. I sit here and I notice the sunlight streaming through the windows in our living room, blanketing the sofa with warm light. Then the clouds come and cover the sun and the warm light disappears until the sunlight breaks through again. The bright green leaves outside the window on the wall are dancing in the cold breeze this morning. There is bright green everywhere in our yard, in our neighborhood, thanks to all of the glorious rain and sunshine. I sit here in my self-isolation clothes - sweatpants, t-shirt, cozy plaid jacket. It may be the fourth morning in a row I’ve worn the same thing. (I know I’m not the only one!) I am feeling thankful for the space to notice these beautiful moments of our living. --------- I have not usually been one for coming up with special words or goals at the start of the new year. Words that define the year or that you’re supposed to pay extra attention to. But at the beginning of this year, God very clearly whispered the word “goodness” to me. It wasn’t an audible whisper; it was more like a whisper into my heart, into my soul. It’s hard to explain. Maybe you have had this happen to you. But it was clear to me that I was supposed to have God’s goodness at the forefront of my heart and mind going into this year. It was a challenge and reminder to believe that He had good things in store. Five days later, my husband was in the hospital and we found ourselves in health crisis mode. Weeks later, the whole world found themselves in health crisis mode. And it just didn’t seem like His goodness was going to show up - too many things were going wrong and weren’t going how I thought they should or believed they would. I doubted if I had heard Him right, if I had heard Him at all. What a year to be given the word ‘goodness!’ A dear friend challenged me to keep that word, that promise, close - to hold on to it. And so, reluctantly, I have searched for it - God’s goodness. I have grasped for it, yearned for it, questioned it - and to my surprise I have seen it, experienced it, been awed by it. Despite the hard stuff that will always be present in life, how truly good it is to intentionally see and look and find how God’s goodness is revealed each and every day - in ordinary moments, in health crises, in the in-between moments, in all of it. It is not easy. Gosh, do I know that. I know how long it took me to get to this point of even accepting that God’s goodness was still possible in my life (years!) - and will I ever fully, completely accept it while living in a world that is so broken? I don’t know. I do know that right now I am challenged and reminded to look for it and to just start there. It has deepened and will continue to deepen my love for Jesus and the perspective I carry with me every day. I hope you can truly look and find it, too.