Hi there! I’m so glad you’ve stopped by! This post is the LAST post of a 31-Day writing adventure I jumped into this month! If you’d like to see the fruits of this labor, you can find the introduction to the series, and a “Table of Contents” with links to each day, right here. Thanks so much for dropping in! I hope you’ll be back soon!

31 Days Banner

Here it is folks… the last of 31 Days of (continuously) reflecting on the goodness of God! {Without a doubt I’m certain I will continue to think about/write about His goodness for as long as I’m allowed to keep breathing.} The challenge to get up early and write my heart out before breakfast this month was great starting out, but definitely got harder as the month went on.

It was never much of a struggle to find things to say about the goodness of God. I was a little surprised by that, but not very — He is so good, I am quite certain I could spend the rest of my life writing about His goodness every morning. Every morning itself is a reason to write!

Here are a few reflections on what I’ve learned out of this little exercise, that I hope will be helpful for you, too.

While I hope and trust this adventure in writing was an encouragement, and even a challenge to others, to consider the glorious goodness of God and live life accordingly, I sense it might also have been about me seeing what I was able to do (and less about the words on the page). For a long time I’ve had bits and snippets of larger writing projects tucked away neatly in folders in My Documents, and there they have stood quietly without progress.

Now that I realize I could start getting up and putting 1,000 words on a page before breakfast, progressing toward a particular goal, it is time for me to stop making excuses about why I’m not writing more. If I know there’s something in my heart I’m supposed to be turning concentrated effort toward, I can no longer make excuses for why I’m not doing what I’m called to do.

This has also led me to the observation that my children have become one of my greatest excuses. Sometimes, it is completely valid to say I can’t go to this event or do that thing because it just doesn’t work with my small people, but other times, I am almost blaming my kids as the reason I can’t get up in the morning and exercise {although I will admit — it is HARD when you’re nursing a baby and you don’t know when said baby will wake up and you don’t want to leave your hubs at home with a time bomb — extend grace where grace is due}. But really? The baby might also be just the excuse I need to stay snug and warm in my bed instead of getting out there.

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{“Mom, stop calling us excuses… we’re opportunities!}

Instead of following some sort of schedule of writing about this on this day or that on that day, I chose to simply write what I felt led to write about during this 31 Days. It was absolutely an exercise in taking life one day at a time. I had to trust as I woke up each morning that I would have something worthwhile to say. And if I was planning on exercising in the morning and needed to write the night before, the Lord, in His glorious goodness, gave me the words in the evening and I wrote them down then.

Like the manna in the desert, the Lord keeps providing:

Each morning everyone gathered as much as they needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much—two omers for each person—and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. {Exodus 16: 21-22}

Another lesson from this adventure that MANY of us might need to learn? I am not making rest the priority it should be. Why it is so hard for me to get up in the morning? Because I’m not getting into bed early enough the night before. The Hubs and I almost always have something else Quiver-Tree-related to do or to discuss. There’s probably laundry waiting for me to fold it, or switch it over to the dryer, or a fresh load that needs to be started. And let’s be honest, it’s pretty nice to enjoy those brief and fleeting hours when the wee ones are all sleeping and the house is peaceful.

But did you know that the sleep you get before midnight is actually the most important? And here’s some really great information about your sleep cycles, how to get the most out of your sleep, and why you should NOT be hitting that snooze button…

When I reflect on this, I recognize places in my life where I would like to be further disciplined. If I set the alarm for 5:30, I want my feet to hit the floor at 5:30.  I only have a finite number of hours on this Earth, and man, I really want to use them well. Those who accomplish big are often those who “go big” — and give all-out focus toward a singular task as much as possible.

Louis Blériot, has a cool story. He spent countless hours, francs, and years working on building an airplane. He succeeded, became the first man to fly across the English channel in a “heavier than air aircraft,” and is now remembered for his MANY accomplishments.

The conclusion? If I rise up early to meet with the Lord, and spend my days with an ear to His Presence, I am likely to accomplish more of what I was created to accomplish with my life than if I stayed in bed those extra thirty minutes, and felt worse for it.

And about the goodness of God?

There is still so much to say.

Many of you know, have read already, that earlier this year I lost my Dad. The challenge of settling his estate has been significant. The challenge of facing the rest of my life without him, so unexpectedly, even more so. But this month, I think I’ve come alive like never before. I have consistently pondered the many, many reasons I have to be thankful. I’ve celebrated milestones, big and small, like never before.

At the end of the day, almost every day, (there have been a few rough ones) I’ve been teary-eyed, or nearly in tears, with gratefulness, as we put our children to bed.

Life is good.

Do I still feel like the number of tasks on my plate is daunting (I think I said this at the beginning of the month)? Well, kind of, but, taking a moment to reflect, around the house a lot has been accomplished this month, and I’m slowly working toward some strategies that will help me subdue this household management gig, continue to homeschool very well, and enjoy time with my kids and my husband where I am not thinking about the other stuff that needs to be done.

Even in losing my Dad and gaining a part-time job I didn’t ask for, I can see the goodness of God. The people He has connected me with through it. The wisdom I’ve gained from walking through it. The growing closer to understanding my Dad by learning how he did business? A gift from a very unexpected package.

The truth is, we can spend a lifetime on the what-ifs and I-wish-it-were-like-this’s in our lives, or we can accept the cards we’re dealt and learn to recognize the goodness in them. Our lives are not the random dealing of a deck of cards, and good observation and thankfulness will help us see that.

Stop and look for the good today. And tomorrow. And the day after that…