We each have a life story, penned without ink, read by the people around us. Who's writing your story?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

On Gratitude: It Seems to Me . . .

 . . . that we don’t (or can’t) truly appreciate what we have until it’s gone. Said another way, we often realize how much we value people, abilities, and even things after we lose them. And sometimes the seeming littlest losses bring a grief that surprises us.

As a child, I could run—fast. I loved to hike in the woods. In my forties, I took early morning walks with my husband and jogged with our daughter, Sharon. I enjoyed those times, but now my hip complains when I walk—slow. I never thought about the blessing of being able to run and walk at a brisk pace until I couldn’t do it anymore.

I am more-than-proud of our children, their maturity, their work ethic, but I miss the “little girl” era. When I see their past photos, I remember the long busy days and interrupted nights. But sometimes I wish I could go back and pull them onto my lap for a story just one more time.

 After a car accident nine years ago, the significance of health, routine, and predictability increased. Why? We no longer had their security. We lost the normal hum-drum of traditional roles, family suppers, and even the ability to walk unaided, drive, and independently care for ourselves. When some of these things returned, I felt blessed beyond measure—and still do.

My sweet mom has cancer. Watching her go through the chemo treatments has made me appreciate the blessings of an appetite, a bad-hair day, feeling half-way decent, and the ability to do my work.
It seems to me . . . that we don’t truly appreciate what we have until it’s gone. We take running water and electricity for granted until a pipe leaks or the lights go out. We underestimate the efficiency of working with two hands until one is injured. We may not fully realize the comfort of a friend until circumstances take him or her away from us. When we find our lives altered, in big matters and small, we see everything from an entirely different perspective. Today I want to savor the blessings in my story just a little bit more.

How does it seem to you?


  1. Sarah,
    These are such sobering thoughts. They make me reconsider everything I've complained about lately, my attitude in general, and my sometimes all-too-important time alone. Thanks for this nudge towards reality.

  2. It's so true, isn't it? And as hard as I try to see the blessings...often God does have to remove something for us to truly appreciate it! Have you read Ann Voskamp's, One Thousand Gifts? She addresses this in an interesting way. You might enjoy reading it.

  3. I'm half way through One Thousand Gifts . . . really enjoying it . . . I like to slowly digest a book like this!