I’m in my new home of Maryland now, recovering from a two-day, 21.5 hour road trip, filled with crying cats, intense low back pain, and far too much fast food. It was tough. That’s the honest truth. =)

As I look back on the trip and begin to feel more myself again, I realize that what held me together wasn’t the mantra of “this too shall pass” (which it did), but this one: “But what’s beautiful?”

Anytime I felt despair, anytime I felt exhausted, anytime I complained to my husband over the walkie-talkie, I found myself reflecting, trying to find the beauty beneath it all. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it’s uncomfortable. Yes, please, let this be over.

But what was beautiful? Despite it all?

…The crazy hatch of cicadas that I could hear even with the windows closed, celebrating their aliveness and their place in the world.

…The amazing playlist I curated for the trip, and the numerous podcasts I learned from and laughed to.

…The support from my husband and his commitment to just keep going.

…The beauty of the night sky in the wilderness, and the earliest of bird songs at 4am.

…The cool air, the change of scenery, the trees and smells and the abundance of wildlife.

Even though it was hard, even though I almost gave up so many times, I kept reminding myself, “… but what’s beautiful?” In that moment, I was right back where I belonged: on a holy adventure, with my beloved family, seeing things I usually only dream about.

And that’s what’s beautiful. That’s what got me through.

I hope you’re doing really well and finding what’s beautiful today.