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You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. But you could.

“You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.” says the song.

And I think that’s true for most of us, most of the time.

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We go through life somewhat mindlessly, not really appreciating what we have until it’s taken from us.

  • We don’t notice the blessing of heat or A/C until it breaks.
  • We don’t appreciate our comfy bed until we spend multiple nights in the ER.
  • We don’t notice how wonderful baby snuggles are until our babies grow up.
  • We don’t appreciate breathing until we get a cold.
  • We don’t notice the sunshine until clouds appear.

But it doesn’t need to be this way.

There’s nothing stopping us from appreciating what we’ve got while we have it!

Two things help me to see what I have before it’s gone, and maybe they’ll help you too.

1. Remember that things will change.

Often, we don’t appreciate what we’ve got simply because we think we will have it forever.

But pretty much nothing in this world is forever.

Babies grow up.

Children leave home.

Bodies wear out.

Jobs end.

Neighborhoods change.

People change.

I know this can be sort of a depressing line of thinking if you dwell too much on it, but I think it’s a useful tool to help motivate us to see what we have right now.

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Shortly before Lisey was born, something happened to someone else (a long story that’s not mine to tell!) that reminded me there was no guarantee I’d have more babies in the future.

Because of that, I treasured Lisey like she was my last baby, soaking up the newborn snuggles, making sure to notice and appreciate all the lovely things about her baby self. 

I remember often sitting for a few extra minutes after burping her post-feeding in the middle of the night, just memorizing the warm feel of her sleeping on me.

I did the same with Sonia.

And then with Zoe.

The realization that things could change made me appreciate what I had in the moment.

And it made me not take those babies for granted.

I paid attention!

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Which is my other point:

2. Pay attention to what’s good.

Humans are pretty prone to paying attention to the things that are going wrong.

That’s useful to some extent, since we often need to address/fix the things that are going wrong!

But sometimes this means we don’t pay attention to the things that are going right.

I am just as guilty of this as the next person, but I feel better when I make a point of noticing the things that are good, or even just the things that are not going wrong.

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Some things that are not going wrong examples:

  • none of my appliances are broken right now
  • I can breathe (no cold at the moment!)
  • I can exercise (my body is still young enough to move easily)
  • No one has been to the ER recently
  • My car is working great (no breakdowns or flat tires)

And some “pay attention to what’s good” examples:

  • The sun came out
  • This coffee is delicious
  • Zoe and Sonia want hugs, even though they are teenagers (!)
  • Lisey gave me a compliment
  • My pastor preaches encouraging sermons
  • Our church has great opportunities for serving in the local community

Need a little boost for your Monday? Leave a comment with a few things are are not going wrong/things that are currently good.

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Amy C

Saturday 23rd of May 2020

This was an encouraging post. I loved it. I have one teenage daughter turning 14 and when she 11 that is when things started changing...maybe 10.5.

3 years later we are struggling but it will get better, I know it. I do remember her baby years. Wish I had written a daily journal or video taped more

Emmy harle

Wednesday 11th of March 2020

Remember that things will change. I think this line is an univarsal truth. Love the way you think. Thanks for sharing. Love from Emmy.


Tuesday 3rd of March 2020

Thanks so much for this post! I am in the middle of report card writing (my least favourite aspect of teaching), but I have so many blessings!

My class is full of busy little people who generally have good attitudes and try their best. I have an assistant for my special needs student and he is doing very well. I have the opportunity to learn new things about teaching. My classroom is spacious and welcoming. I got to hear a live classical concert this last weekend. I have many people in my life that support the work I do as a teacher. And the list could go on.

There are challenges in my life right now as well, but the promise I am clinging to is that God says His grace is sufficient for all my needs. I have seen this in my life today, and I believe I will see it again tomorrow!


Tuesday 3rd of March 2020

What I always took for granted is my voice. I've been without it for the past 2 weeks, and I have at least another week of complete silence ahead of me (accute laryngitis). It's isolating and frustrating to not be able to talk!

But it could be so much worst!! I work with stroke victims (rehabilitation). Now, THEY have it hard! I'm very grateful for my general health, let me tell you!


Tuesday 3rd of March 2020

This was so encouraging to me! Thank you so much for your positive perspective in what is so often a negative world. Also, as a pastor's wife, I'd encourage you to make sure you tell your pastor that you like his sermons, often they only hear the bad feedback.


Tuesday 3rd of March 2020

Yep, I let him know! It's so true that people usually are only inspired to say something when they're unhappy. I'm sure that must be very discouraging for pastors sometimes.

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