A few weeks ago I spoke at a local MOPS group (Mothers Of PreSchoolers). And one thing that really struck me was their themes for the year: “Noticing Goodness” being my favorite. Doesn’t simply that phrase refocus your thoughts today? What I love about noticing goodness is that it means: 1/there is always goodness to see and 2/goodness needs to be noticed, some moments more than others.
As a counselor and the author of a book on shame, I’ve trudged through some dark places in the past decade – both in my own heart and in the lives of others. In some ways, I’ve trained myself to notice the struggles in life – the places where someone is lonely, isolated, stuck. And I’ve been invited into these dark corners, to be part of the redemption of our God, leading us into places of light and beauty once again. I’m realizing anew that even here – especially here – there is goodness to be noticed. Not in a fake cliche type of way, because that backfires, but in a real way that seeks out the treasures found nowhere else but in darkness.
Were it not for the winter’s doldrums, spring wouldn’t be so sweet – so life-giving.
Without depression, it’s all too easy to take emotional health for granted.
The hardest, most baffling parts of the story are where character is forged, perseverance is developed, steely hope emerges, and compassionate empathy grows.
My shame stories give me the ability to connect with you authentically. (And even write a book about it.)
And then there are the thousands of small beautiful moments waiting to be noticed in our daily lives:
- Pink and purple glory bookending each day through sunrise and sunset
- The taste of a perfectly ripened sweet berry
- A moment of calm in between the stress of a busy day
- My kids’ excitement for new experiences and skills gained
- Unexpected kindness
- Witnessing a friend’s resilience through hard circumstances
- Art created
- A blank page
- Words that make your heart sing
- A good story
- A refreshing walk/run/yoga session
What goodness will you notice today? I’d love to hear about it!