Last night as my birthday date came to a close, I lay in bed thinking about the last 31 years. I was overwhelmed by the goodness of God. I compiled a mental list of all my blessings, a list I have chosen to keep between God and me, and I realized what a full 31 years I have had. God has given me so much, so many good things, and in His kindness, He has used the ‘bad’ parts of my life to grow me and teach me, as well. He doesn’t waste any moments.

Unfortunately, I have a tendency to compare. Sometimes I like to peek at your list and question why God hasn’t blessed me with item #53 as well. God then has to walk down the aisle, tap on my desk with His hand, and firmly instruct me to keep my eyes on my own paper. He knows best. You see, we’re not taking the same test; your list won’t help me. And it is then that I have to rely on faith, faith to remind me that the items God hasn’t put on my list don’t need to be there, and those items that I don’t want to write on my list do. He doesn’t waste.

I have no idea what the future holds for me. God could grant me another 31 years, or God could call me home today. But no matter the length of time on earth, I want to always say, “There were no wasted moments.” And truthfully, having that attitude can be challenging for me. But it’s important to try because it’s true.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”’ (Jeremiah 29:11). For this ‘Focus on it Friday,’ I am so thankful for all of the wonderful blessings God has given me over the last 31 years, and I am thankful for those trials that I normally wouldn’t see as a blessing. Thank you, Lord, for using those difficult moments to bless me, as well! My challenge to you for this Friday is to compile your own list while keeping your eyes on your own paper. What blessings has the Lord given you? And just an important, what trials has He allowed to come your way? How has He shown you that He will not waste those moments?

Originally published at on August 6, 2010.

Wife and mother of four; Former Children’s Ministry Director, 12Stone Church. Current High School English Teacher.