Grasping the Goodness of God

 In 1999 I was in a very serious car accident. I had all six children with me and I was 10 weeks pregnant when I lost control of my suburban and rolled it, landing upside down in a wheat field. It was the most traumatic thing that I had ever endured and it wrecked me emotionally and spiritually.

I was consumed with depression, anxiety and flashbacks of the accident. I hardly left my house and I didn't drive for months. 

One evening I was at church for a gathering and a staff person asked how I was doing. I'm sure I said the typical, "I'm doing really good!" because then they responded with "God is so good!" That statement bothered me. Friends kept saying it when they heard what happened.  I remember thinking, "No way is he good! If he was, he wouldn't have let this happen to me!" 

Do we really understand what the goodness of God is? I know that in 1999, I didn't understand it. My thinking of God and his goodness was all wrong. 

Elisabeth Elliot said, "We can't really tell how crooked our thinking is until we line it up with the straight edge of scripture."

So, let's see what scripture says about goodness.

Exodus 33:19

And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.

Psalm 23:6

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalm 68:10

..your flock found a dwelling in it; in your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy.

Zechariah 9:17

For how great is his goodness, and how great his beauty! Grain shall make the young men flourish, and new wine the young women.

Mark 10:18

And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.

Titus 3:4-5

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

This is not an exhaustive list of scriptures on goodness. I encourage you to go do your own word study on this. You will be so encouraged and blessed by it. 

When we feast upon the word of God we taste his goodness and are satisfied in Him!

According to these scriptures, Gods goodness is a gift wrapped in mercy (Exodus 33:19), that will follow us all our lives (Psalm 23:6), as we dwell in it (Psalm 68:10)and enjoy the greatness of it (Zechariah 9:17). We must recognize that only God is good but that it is in that goodness that we are saved by faith, according to his mercy.

God is the source of all goodness and is the measure of what good is! 

Romans 8:28 reminds that all God does in our life is for our good as his purpose for us is accomplished.

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

This verse is often misquoted or taken out of context. But when you view this verse in light of what we just learned from the scriptures above it should be a little more clear. 

What is good according to this verse? This is where my thinking was all wrong because I associated this "good" with only blessings & favor, but there so much more to it. Mark 10:18 tells us that only God is good. The greek word used in this verse is the same as used in Romans 8:28. 

Could it be this "good" is meant to grow us in godliness? Could it be God is using "all things" to make us more like him? 

The answer is yes. 

I had to stop viewing the goodness of God only as what the world considers good and see it as it is...becoming more like him. Sometimes his goodness doesn't feel good, it's painful, miserable, unthinkable, unbelievable...but it is still his goodness and I'm learning to praise him for all of it.

That means our trials, adversity, excruciating circumstances are the goodness of God just as is the favor, prosperous, pleasant and happy times God brings to our lives.

This sheds a whole new light on my life as a godly woman and how I am to respond to circumstances in my life.  When I respond to trials as a  sharpening of my faith I find joy in the goodness of God.  His mercy is so great and I'm so thankful he doesn't leave me in my sin but by his goodness he has washed me clean so that I may worship him and give him all the glory!

I don't know if that staff member who told me how good God is realized how he upset me, but as I look back I'm thankful he said it. It showed me how wrong my thinking of God was. Over the next 18 months I fought and I struggled and then the goodness of God consumed me and I surrendered to him. I experienced his grace and mercy in ways I never had before. He broke me and then restored me and his joy is mine!

By His Spirit and through His goodness I can be a woman of mercy and wisdom, patient and forgiving who embraces her trials to grow in godliness.

Daily Rhythms for a Healthy Home


I am not real big on strict schedules, but I love a good routine. I love waking up, knowing what is happening in the day, but in a flexible way. I wasn't always like this. I loved my schedule. When I had a house full of tiny people it really did help me to survive the day better. I can't believe I had my day planned out in 15 minute intervals.  As time went on the children knew what to expect in the day, our schedule turned more into a routine...a rhythm that helped shape our home into a safe and healthy place to be.

Rhythm is consistent, intentional activity with the purpose of creating a specific outcome.

There are things I learned I needed to do for myself that helped the rhythm stay on track.

The Mom Rhythm

I needed to get up by a certain time each morning. I'm not an early riser by any means. Mornings have always been a struggle for me, so I'm not trying to get up before the sun, but with the sun is more manageable. Often, the night before I'm prepping for the next day. If I ever have the thought, "I'll just do it in the morning." I do it the night before if possible. Chances are pretty good that I won't get up early enough to do it that morning.

Every morning I have to read my Bible and pray with coffee. This has to happen before I check the news, my Facebook or email. I am a big believer in figure out how to make it happen.  I have struggle for years reading my Bible first thing in the morning because I struggle so hard with mornings. A few years ago I figured out how to make it happen. I listen to my Bible through an app. I am going through the Bible chronologically this year, and each morning I listen through the app the passages while I drink my coffee. Recently, I've started keeping my notebook near by because I always hear and see things I want to remember or go back and study more of. By the time my coffee cup is empty, my Bible reading is over. Then I spend time talking to the Lord.

I get dressed, even shoes. Now, I don't go all crazy and put on make up unless I know I am going somewhere besides Wal-Mart, but I am dressed enough that if I have to leave quickly I don't have to worry about what I'm wearing.  I have arthritis in my feet, so wearing shoes actually helps me get through the day with less pain. But I noticed that when I wear shoes and get dressed I am also more productive. It's crazy how that works.

I eat. How many times have you gone about your day and forgot to eat? I do that. I make sure in the mornings that I eat. It's helped me in 2 ways. First, I need the nourishment. I make a smoothie or I eat eggs with toast. I have energy and don't get grouchy.  Second, I take a lot of supplements. If I eat, I remember to take my supplements. If I don't eat, I don't take my supplements.

These four things are what I need to do for myself so that I can make sure the rest of the home functions well.

The Home Rhythm

I manage my home. What chores need to happen today? What laundry needs to be done. Do we need groceries?  This is the rhythm I really depend on. When I miss a beat here, I feel like things are falling apart. 

The things mentioned above are assigned days to help us remember to do them. 

Right  now, Thursday is my grocery day. That changes when it needs to depending on our schedule. 

Everyone has a laundry day so that no ones laundry piles up. It has to be washed, dried and put away all in the same day.

I only have 3 kids left at home and they are older, so the house doesn't get destroyed like when they were all younger. So, keeping the house tidy is so much easier now. But everyday, we do a little and that helps keep things manageable. One day we clean floors, another day bathrooms, another day bedrooms.

The School Rhythm

Since we homeschool, that is always happening everyday in one way or another. Bible, Language Arts and Math happen every day. Mondays and Wednesday's we focus on History, Tuesday & Thursday we work on Science and Friday is our co-op day. Monday through Thursday, we have certain subjects we do before lunch and subjects we do after lunch. My goal for the day is to be finished by 2:00. It doesn't always  happen and sometimes we are done before lunch., Those are the really good days. 

We are much more relaxed now than I used to be. When I had more kids in school, our routine was much more tight and planned out. I had more kids I needed to teach, so keep that in mind.  

Our daily tasks may change but the rhythm doesn't. It is meant to be relaxed, organized and productive.  Doing these things on a regular basis has helped all of us to create healthy habits that in turn create a healthy home. 


Praying Psalm 16

I love praying scripture. I believe God loves hearing his words prayed back to him. 

Last week I shared on my Instagram and Facebook page prayers I was praying from Psalm 16.  I wanted to share them here, especially since it's been a while since I've posted here. Ok...more than a while. Let's go for 3 years. Lots of life has happened that I may post about one of these days. In the mean time....

For a week, I took a couple of verses everyday and wrote them out, then prayed them. I did this in a journal, but if you  have a Bible study notebook I also have this free download you can use.

Psalm 16:1-2

"Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge,  I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”

Psalm 16:3-4

"As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight. The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips."

Psalm 16:5-6

"The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance."

Psalm 16:7-8

 I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Psalm 16:9-10

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.

Psalm 16:11

 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy;  at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

What a rich passage of scripture to help bring me into a better understanding of what kind of woman I want to be. I am so thankful for Gods Word and how it never returns void. 


Joy Happens, Especially on the Hard Days

I have a long to-do list for today. I'm so behind that I have resorted to posting sticky notes everywhere to help me manage the list.

But instead of attacking that list, I sit here, typing.

The week has been a difficult one and I need to write it out.
The challenges.
All the emotions. All.the.emotions!
All the joy!

Friend, it's been quite a week. I remember a couple of weeks ago thanking the Lord for giving us a season of calm. Isn't he so good to give us a moment to catch our breath before he moves us towards the next lesson.

The Lord is working on one of my kids. I posted on Facebook this week that it's difficult to watch it happen. As a mom, you never want to see your kid struggle or hurt. But then again, you do want to see it. You do want to see your kid experience consequences of bad decisions. You do want to see your kid learn from stupid mistakes. But all the emotions involved are what is hard to manage.

This kid. He belongs to the Lord and this week I had to give him back over and over again. He disappointed me.  He scared me.  He made me mad. He made me cry! All in the same day.

But Joy! In the midst of my prayers for this kid, God reassures me, comforts me, reminds me that he does hold his boy very close to him, which is why all of this hard stuff was happening. God was not going to give up on this kid. That is JOY!

Knowing, God loves your kid more than you can.

Knowing He never gives up on us.

Knowing he will continue to wait until my kid comes back to him.

Knowing this gives me joy.

I wish the world could understand what real joy is! It has nothing to do with how I feel, because I have had all the feels this week. Joy is about what God is doing in my life and in my kids life and knowing it is out of his crazy love for us. And because of his joy, we can walk in confidence that His plan for our kids is so much better than ours and he is piecing together a story that could change lives!

"So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever." 2 Corinthians 4:18 (NLT)

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